Neuschwanstein Castle

The MarkoZen Blog

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.

The castle was intended as a home for the King, until he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.

The effect of the Neuschwanstein ensemble is highly stylistic, both externally and internally. The king’s influence is apparent throughout, and he took a keen personal interest in the design and decoration. An example can…

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Nature Creates Magical Art in the North Arizona Desert

The MarkoZen Blog

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Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon (vary narrow canyon) in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.

The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí (advertised as “Hasdestwazi” by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department), or “spiral rock arches.” Both are located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

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Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the…

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Japanese firm makes ultra-realistic dog costumes for clients

Now you, too, can be a dog… Image Credit: Facebook / Zeppet Workshop

Ever wanted to be a dog ? Japanese company Zeppet Workshop will turn you into one… for the right price.Taking the idea of roleplaying one step further than anyone thought possible, the company, which specializes in special effects and modeling, hit the headlines back in 2022 when it was revealed that it had created an ultra-realistic Collie costume for a customer who wanted to become a dog.

Footage of the client wearing the costume (see below), which reportedly cost around $15,000, quickly went viral.

More recently, Zeppet was tasked with creating something even more challenging – a wolf costume.

“Because of my love for animals since childhood and some realistic animal suits appearing on TV, I dreamed of being one someday,” the client was quoted as saying.

“At the final fitting, I was amazed at my transformed self in the mirror. It was a moment when my dream come true.”

The resulting outfit, which cost a whopping $23,000, was even more convincing than the last one, demonstrating, if nothing else, just how skilled the firm’s employees are at making costumes.

The process took around 50 days and involved carefully examining images of real wolves to get all the details right.

Other costume designs built by Zeppet over the years include a bear, a panda and various mascots.

Magical Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

The MarkoZen Blog

Hạ Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long City, Cẩm Phả town, and is a part of Vân Đồn District. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. Hạ Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long Bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà Island to the southwest. These larger zones share a similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate and cultural characters.

Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst…

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Kangaroo spotted wandering loose on Missouri road

This is a bit incongruous.

Dec. 22 (UPI) — Authorities in a Missouri county confirmed a kangaroo was recently spotted roaming loose around a road.

Jefferson County Services Director Eric Larson confirmed a kangaroo was spotted near a High Ridge road recently, although animal control was not contacted in the incident.

At least one local resident captured the animal on camera during its time on the loose.

Larson said the kangaroo is believed to have escaped from S and S Farms Exotic Petting Zoo in High Ridge.

Officials with the petting zoo confirmed the kangaroo seen on the loose is named Rueben and was safely returned to the facility after only a short time on the loose.

Maestro Newscaster

This news reader at CBC radio looks like an orchestra maestro. Waving her hands as she reads the news from a sheet of paper.

Marcia Young (née Williams) is a Canadian broadcast journalist, who is the current weekday anchor of World Report, the national morning newscast on CBC Radio.