Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Ray Dean (August 10, 1928 – June 13, 2010) was an American country music singer, television host, actor, and businessman.

He rose to fame for his 1961 country music crossover hit into rock and roll with “Big Bad John”.

His acting career included appearing in the early seasons in the Daniel Boone TV series as the sidekick of the famous frontiersman played by star Fess Parker. Later he was on the big screen in a supporting role as billionaire Willard Whyte in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

The Las Vegas Center for Brain Health

Mind-Bending Design

 

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The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (LRCBH), officially the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, opened on May 21, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada that is operated by the Cleveland Clinic and was designed by the world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

 

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Keep Memory Alive (also known as KMA) was founded by Larry Ruvo, senior managing partner of Southern Wines and Spirits, in memory of his father, Lou Ruvo, a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease, together with his wife Camille, Mirage Resorts CEO Bobby Baldwin (who also lost his father to Alzheimer’s Disease), and Bobby Baldwin’s wife Donna. KMA supports the mission of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and has held several star-studded galas, attended by celebrities and notables from around the world.

It has become one of Las Vegas’ most important charity initiatives and a key participant in the nation fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $20 million towards achieving its goal – the realization of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Funds committed by such supporters as the Spector Family Foundation, the Roland and Terri Sturm Foundation, Steinberg Diagnostics, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and America Online will be utilized for the construction and operation of this state-of-the-art facility.

The Center is planned to become a national resource for the most current research and scientific information for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington ‘s Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) as well as focusing on prevention, early detection and education.

 

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The ceremonial groundbreaking of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health occurred on February 9, 2007.

The Center operates as an outpatient treatment and research facility in downtown Las Vegas on land deeded to Keep Memory Alive, the fund raising arm of LRCBH, by the City of Las Vegas as part of its 61 acres (25 ha) Symphony Park.

The Center is approximately 65,000 sq ft (6,000 m2) and includes 13 examination rooms, offices for health care practitioners and researchers, a “Museum of the Mind,” and a community auditorium. The Center will also serve as the headquarters for Keep Memory Alive, the Las Vegas Alzheimer’s Association and the Las Vegas Parkinson’s Disease Association.

 

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The research center for degenerative brain diseases is divided into two separate buildings connected by a courtyard. The first forms a jumble of swooping stainless-steel arcs and houses events spaces to rent. The second contains clinics and research facilities dedicated to preserving memory, and consists of white stacked boxes.

 

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The Five Most Inaccessible Monasteries in the World

Buddhist monasteries are usually located in remote places far from the hub-bub of cities and towns. It takes more than a mild determination to reach them, but some of these are decidedly inaccessible. The idea is to keep all but only the most dedicated followers from reaching these holy places, while they also make the monks feel like they were closer to God in a place of peace and solitude. Today, however, most of these monasteries are tourist attractions and in favor of the tourists, several accessible methods like ropeways and stairs have been added. They still look formidable and require hundreds of meters of vertical trekking.

Monasteries of Meteora, Greece

The Metéora (Greek for “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above”) is a group of six monasteries and one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The six monasteries, built on natural sandstone rock pillars, are one of the most powerful examples of the architectural transformation of a site into a place of retreat, meditation and prayer.

 

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The monasteries are built on rock pinnacles of deltaic origin, known as Meteora, which rise starkly over 400 m above the Peneas valley and the small town of Kalambaka on the Thessalian plain. During the fearsome time of political instability in 14th century the monasteries were systematically built on top of the inaccessible peaks so that by the end of the 15th century there were 24 of them. They continued to flourish until the 17th century. Today, only four monasteries – Aghios Stephanos, Aghia Trias, Varlaam and Meteoron – still house religious communities.

Access to the monasteries was originally and deliberately difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced, so the story goes, only “when the Lord let them break”. In the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau.

 

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Taung Kalat Monastery, Burma

The monastery of Taung Kalat is located on a top of a volcanic plug that rises 737 meters from the surrounding in central Burma (Myanmar) about 50 km southeast of Bagan, and near the extinct volcano Mount Popa. The monastery can be accessed by exactly 777 steps and those who reach the top are rewarded by a spectacular view.

To the north-west opens a view to distant temples of Bagan, and to the east is towering the forested Taung Ma-gyi summit. There is a big caldera, 610 metres wide and 914 metres in depth so that from different directions the mountain takes different forms with more than one peak. Many Macaque monkeys live here that have become a tourist attraction on Taung Kalat.

 

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Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Bhutan

Taktshang monastery, also known as The Tiger’s Nest, is located on a precipitous cliff about 900 metres above the Paro valley, in Bhutan. The rock slopes are very steep – almost vertical – and the monastery buildings are built into the rock face. Though it looks formidable, the monastery complex has access from several directions, such as the northwest path through the forest, from the south along the path used by devotees, and from the north. A mule track leading to it passes through pine forest that is colourfully festooned with moss and prayer flags. On many days, clouds shroud the monastery and give an eerie feeling of remoteness.

 

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Sümela Monastery

The Sumela Monastery is built into the rock cliffs of the Altmdere Valley in Turkey. At an altitude of about 1,200 metres it is a major tourist attraction of Altındere National Park.

The monastery was founded in 386 AD during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (375 – 395). Legend has it that two priests undertook its creation after discovering a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave on the mountain. During its long history, the monastery fell into ruin several times and was restored by various emperors. It reached its present form in the 13th century after gaining prominence during the reign of Alexios III.

The monastery was abandoned after World War I and the start of the population exchanges between Greece and Turkey that forced some 2 million ethnic Greeks and Turks to leave their long-established communities in Turkey or Greece and return to their ethnic homelands. It lay empty for decades before being partially restored and returned to life as a museum.

 

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Hanging Monastery, China

The Hanging Monastery or Hanging Temple is located in a canyon at the foot of the Mountain Heng in the province of Shanxi, China. The temple is built into the cliff side about 75 meter above the ground, and stands propped up by hidden rocks corridor and wooden beams inserted into the mountain. Over 40 halls, cabinets and pavilions within an area of 152.5 square meters are connected each other by corridors, bridges and boardwalks. They are evenly distributed and well balanced in height. Inside the temple are more than 80 bronze cast statues, iron cast statues, and clay sculptured statues and stone carvings banded down from different dynasties.

The temple was build to avoid the terrible flood, and use the mountain as protection from rain, snow and sunshine. Today, it is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area.

 

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Cool Hotdog Cars

“Wienermobile” is a series of automobiles shaped like a hot dog on a bun which are used to promote and advertise Oscar Mayer products in the United States. The first version was created in 1936 by Oscar Mayer’s nephew, Carl G. Mayer, and variants are still used by the Oscar Mayer company today. Drivers of the Wienermobiles are known as Hotdoggers and often hand out toy whistles shaped as replicas of the Wienermobile, known as Wienerwhistles.

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The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has evolved from Carl Mayer’s original 1936 vehicle to the vehicles seen on the road today. Although fuel rationing kept the Wienermobile off the road during World War II, in the 1950s Oscar Mayer and the Gerstenslager Company created several new vehicles using a Dodge chassis or a Willys Jeep chassis. One of these models is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. These Wienermobiles were piloted by “Little Oscar” (portrayed by George Molchan) who would visit stores, schools, orphanages, and children’s hospitals and participate in parades and festivals.
In 1969, new Wienermobiles were built on a Chevrolet motor home chassis and featured Ford Thunderbird taillights. The 1969 vehicle was the first Wienermobile to travel outside the United States. In 1976 Plastic Products, Inc., built a fiberglass and styrofoam model, again on a Chevrolet motor home chassis.
In 1988, Oscar Mayer launched its Hotdogger program, where recent college graduates were hired to drive the Wienermobile through various parts of the nation and abroad. Using a converted Chevrolet van chassis, Stevens Automotive Corporation and noted industrial designer Brooks Stevens built a fleet of six Wienermobiles for the new team of Hotdoggers.
With the 1995 version, the Wienermobile grew in size to 27 feet long and 11 feet high. The 2004 version of the Wienermobile includes a voice-activated GPS navigation device, an audio center with a wireless microphone, a horn that plays the Wiener Jingle in 21 different genres from Cajun to Rap to Bossa Nova, according to American Eats, and sports fourth generation Pontiac Firebird taillights.

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There are currently eight active Wienermobiles, six of which are the full-sized familiar models (the other two are the Mini and the food truck versions) with each assigned a part of the country. The “hotdogger” position of driving the Wienermobile is open to U.S. citizens, and the job lasts from the first of June until the following first of June. Only college seniors who are about to graduate are eligible. Both current hotdoggers and Oscar Mayer recruiters visit college campuses across the country in search of the next round of hotdoggers. Candidates are screened from an average of 2000 applicants. Every March, a pool of thirty final-round candidates are brought to Kraft Foods and Oscar Mayer headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, for interviews. Each vehicle can hold two hotdoggers, and twelve people are chosen. Currently there are about 300 hotdogger alumni.

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They apparently come in all sizes.

The Big Glorious Steam Engines

 

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I heard the sounds of locomotion
and a whistle’s plaintive cry
of weakness, but the wheels were turning.
Steel on steel the sole reply.

The sounds of force accelerating
rhythmically as drums would play
recalled a light and tender time,
though made of steel the permanent way,

when near a depot long abandoned,
waiting for a passing train,
a child would sit alone for hours
just to hear the steel refrain.

I heard the sounds of locomotion
carrying a longing man
with freight and cargo to a place that
rails of steel alone could span.

 

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“I looked out of the train,
And I suddenly saw the empty station
As we hurtled through, with a hollow roar . . .
‘Harviston End’ . . . It was dark and dead”

A quiet hymn to all that we’ve lost. It’s all here, the sights, sounds and smells of a country station about to close. I’ve searched my railway book shelves to see if Harviston End existed, but it appears not. But the word ‘end’ in the title goes much further than the white-pebbled station name.

 

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Lost Tracks of Time

 

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I took a freight train to be my friend, O lord,
You know I hoboed, hoboed, hoboed,
Hoboed a long long way from home, O lord,

 

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train12 The Cincinnatian Baltimore and Ohio steam locomotive 1956

The Cincinnatian, Baltimore and Ohio steam locomotive 1956.

 

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train14 Belgian “Atlantic” class steam locomotive, built in 1939 for the Brussels-to- Ostend run

Belgium Atlantic Class steam locomotive, built 1939 Brussels to Ostend run.

 

train15 Mallard. The worlds fastest steam locomotive, at 125.88mph. Not the prettiest steam engine I've ever seen, but its wonderful that we can make a kettle go that fast... england

The Mallard. World’s fastest steam locomotive timed at 125 miles per hour, Doncaster, England.

 

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Cass Shay #5, #11, #6 running full throttle

Virginia coal train

 

trainDurango Silverton Line, North of Durango, CO

Durango Silverton line Colorado

Those Amazing Flying Machines

 

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San Francisco International

 

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Five giants: three Airbus A380’s, a Boeing 747 and 777.

 

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Qantas A380

 

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747 coming in extremely low at St. Martens.

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The infamous “Gimli Glider”. Air Canada 767 made an emergency landing at an abandoned airstrip in Gimli, Manitoba. The plane ran out of fuel when a technician made a mistake converting gallons into litres.

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Up and away  at LAX

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Berlin Airshow. The American section with the giant C-5 Galaxy dwarfing everything else.

airline6 Antonov An-225 Mriya

The Russian Anotov AN-225 Mriya. Biggest plane in the world.

 

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Crosswinds

 

More Crosswinds

 

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747 into the sunset

 

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Car-go

 

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Thunderbirds over Nevada

 

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F-100 Super Sabre alongside FedEx MD-111 Mojave, California.

Eerie Abandoned Places From Around The World

 

Island Home, Finland

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Methodist Church, Gary, Indiana

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Soviet naval testing station in Makhachkala, Russia

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Church steeple in the middle of a frozen lake, Reschen, Italy

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Lake Reschen is an artificial reservoir. When it was built, it submerged many villages, including a 14th century church.

 

Victorian-style tree house, Florida, USA

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An abandoned hallway, France.

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Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

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Poveglia Island, Italy

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This island was used by Napoleon Bonaparte to isolate those with the plague from those who were healthy. It was later used as an asylum for those struggling from extreme mental health issues.

 

Abandoned bumper cars, Chernobyl, Ukraine

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Overgrown palace, Poland

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An abandoned house in the forest. Location unknown.

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Abandoned Movie theater in Detroit, Michigan

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Church in St. Etienne, France

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Update: after doing some research I discovered the above church is a composite photograph. I was curious as to why a small stream went through a church.

 

Shipwrecks on a sandbar in the Bermuda Triangle

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Staircase to nowhere, Pismo Beach, California

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Initially there was a supported catwalk to the top of the staircase that allowed people to get to the beach.