150-Ft Spiraling Treetop Walkway In Denmark

Architecture studio EFFEKT has designed a walkway to take hikers and Instagrammers to new heights above a forest in Denmark. The idea is to offer bird’s-eye views of the area without disrupting the environment.

The centerpiece of the construction is set to be a winding observation tower, topping out at about 150 feet (45 metres). The hourglass-like construction should rise in a luscious preserved forest an hour south of Copenhagen, in Glisselfeld Kloster, Haslev. It consists of a 2000 ft. (600m) internal ramp, which will take visitors from the forest floor, through the treetops culminating with a 360° view of the hilly landscape, characteristic for the region.

The structures that make up the route towards the tower have been split into two sections: the high walkway will extend past some of the forest’s oldest trees, while the lower path will swirl its way through the younger areas.

The one-of-a-kind project is expected to be finished in 2018.


Kids from around the World with their favourite Toys

Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti is always traveling the world in search of adventure, good stories, and interesting people. For his latest project entitled “Toy Stories”, Galimberti photographed children from around the world with their most prized possesion. He did not expect to uncover much we did not already know. “At their age, they are pretty all much the same,” is his conclusion after 18 months working on the project. “They just want to play.”

But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys. “At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says the Italian photographer. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

However, there are many similarities in which the kids regard their toys, especially when it comes to their function. Galimberti met a six-year-old boy in Texas and a four-year-old girl in Malawi who both maintained their plastic dinosaurs would protect them from the dangers that await them at night. More common was how the toys reflected the world each child was born into – the girl from an affluent Mumbai family loves Monopoly, because she likes the idea of building houses and hotels, while the boy from rural Mexico loves trucks, because he sees them rumbling through his village to the nearby sugar plantation every day. A Lativian kid plays with miniature cars because his mother drove a taxi, while the daughter of an Italian farmer has an assortment of plastic rakes, hoes and spades.

Working for Toy Stories, Galimberti learned as much about the parents as he learned about the children. Parents from the Middle East and Asia, he found, would push their children to be photographed even if they were initially nervous or upset, while South American parents were “really relaxed, and said I could do whatever I wanted as long as their child didn’t mind”.


Watcharapom – Bangkok, Thailand



Stella – Montecchio, Italy



Ralf – Riga, Latvia



Botlhe – Maun, Botswana



Orly – Brownsville, Texas



Noel – Dallas, Texas



Maudy – Kalulushi, Zambia



Li Yi Chen – Shenyang, China



Chiwa – Mchinji, Malawi



Davide – La Valletta, Malta



Cun Zi Yi – Chongqing, China



Arafa & Aisha – Bububu, Zanzibar



Tyra – Stockholm, Sweden

Best Countries Rankings 2017

The overall ranking of Best Countries measures global performance on a variety of metrics.












The study and model used to score and rank countries were developed by Y&R’s BAV Consulting, specifically John Gerzema and Anna Blender, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, specifically Professor David J. Reibstein, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.

Dangerous Countries


The Traffic Girls of Pyongyang

The capital city of North Korea, Pyongyang (pop. 3,255,388) is one of the most mysterious cities in the world.  This is due to the fact that the Communist rulers of North Korea control the country and city with an iron-fisted resolve.  No foreign tourists or journalists, and very few diplomats from other countries.  Only 6-8 countries have missions staffed with diplomats in Pyongyang.

But one truth has been established about the day-to-day activities on the streets of Pyongyang.  The Traffic Girls of Pyongyang.

In these pictures the main characteristic is the lack of traffic.  Especially relative to western and other Asian societies.  There is virtually no traffic.  North Korea is an economic basket case.  So only government elites and upper bureaucrats get to drive cars.

Therefore the Traffic Girls must not get overly stressed out.

The giant monstrosity in the background of this picture is the Ryugyong Hotel.  A 105 floor skyscraper that began construction in 1987.  Construction was halted for many years but resumed in 2009, but was stopped again in 2014. Nothing has been done since.




 Introduced in 2009, some intersections are equipped with traffic control podiums.
Podium features:
– umbrella for shade and rain
– heated pad in base for keeping feet warm
– light for illumination of traffic controller
– reflective paint for visibility

Some basic information on the Traffic Girls.

There are slightly more than 50 posts in Pyongyang.

Each post is assigned six traffic controllers, with the post staffed from 7:00AM to 10:00 PM.

The post’s six traffic police are split into 2 groups which rotate duty.

Each group shift is 2-3 hours. A traffic controller is on duty for 30 minutes at a time, relieved every 30 minutes.

They work 6 days a week, with Sundays off. They also may have to work holidays.

Intersection control
The basic rules are:
If traffic officer is facing you or has back to you, stop do not proceed – cross traffic has right-of-way.
When traffic officer raises baton, a right-of-way change is imminent.
Baton held out indicates a turn through intersection is permitted.

Requirements to be a Pyongyang Traffic Girl:
– unmarried
– attractive
– healthy
– between the ages of 16 – 26
– at least 1.65 meters (5’4″) tall
– high school graduate

Bureaucrats from around the world

Bureaucratics by Dutch photographer Jan Banning is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of state civil administrations and its servants in eight countries on five continents. Jan traveled to Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, Yemen and the United States to snap photographs of civil servants – from fiscal authorities to police, from governors to local clerks – seated behind his or her desk. The result is a fascinating look at the lives of bureaucrats.

India, Bihar

Sushma Prasad (b. 1962) is an assistant clerk at the Cabinet Secretary of the State of Bihar (population 83 million) in The Old Secretariat in the state capital, Patna. She was hired “on compassionate grounds” because of the death of her husband, who until 1997 worked in the same department. Monthly salary: 5,000 rupees ($ 110, euro 100).


Surinder Kumar Mandal (b. 1946) is circle inspector of taxes in Thakurganj block, collecting taxes in a specific part of Kishanganj district, State of Bihar. Monthly salary: 9,500 rupees ($ 208, 189 euro). Surinder Kumar Mandal (b. 1946) is “circle inspector” van belastingen in Thakurganj Block, Kishanganj district, State of Bihar. Maandsalaris: 9,500 rupees (euro 189, US$ 208).

China, Shandong


Qu Shao Feng (b. 1964) is chief general of Jining Public Security Bureau Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration in Jining City, Shandong province. Monthly salary: 3,100 renminbi (US$ 384, 286 euro).


Wang Ning (b. 1983) works in the Economic Affairs office in Gu Lou community, Yanzhou city, Shandong province. She provides economic assistance to enterprises in her region and is the liaison officer between the government and local enterprises. Wang Ning is not married. She lives at home with her parents. Monthly salary: 2,100 renminbi (US$ 260, euro 228).

France, Auvergne


Roger Vacher (b. 1957) is a narcotics agent with the national police force in Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dome department, Auvergne region. Monthly salary: euro 2,200 (US$ 2,893).


Maurice Winterstein (b. 1949) works in Clermont-Ferrand for the Commission for the Advancement of Equal Opportunity and Citizenship at the combined administrative offices of the Auvergne region and the Puy-de-Dome department. He also is in charge of the portfolio of religious affairs, Islam in particular. Monthly salary: euro 1,550 (US$ 2,038). The young lady next to him is Linda Khettabi (b. 1989), an intern pursuing training as a secretary.



Major Adolph Dalaney works in the Reconstruction Room of the Traffic Police at the Liberia National Police Headquarters in the capital Monrovia. Traffic accident victims at time are willing to pay a little extra if Dalaney’s department quickly draws up a favorable report to present to a judge. Monthly salary: barely 1,000 Liberian dollars ($18, €17).


Henry Gray (1940), acting commissioner for Gbaepo district, Kanweaken, River Gee County. During the Civil War, the office was completely looted and destroyed: only one wall remained. Gray has 11 personnel, of whom only 4 are paid. The rest are volunteers. He has no budget and over two years salary owing. Yesterday, he went to the capital Fishtown to collect last two months salary, two times 975 Liberian dollars (2x US$ 17, 2x euro 16). All he got was 600 dollars (US$ 11, euro 10). Gray is father to 34 children (sic), 13 of them depending, and has 18 grandchildren.

Russia, Siberia


Marina Nikolayevna Berezina (b. 1962), a former singer and choir director, is now the secretary to the head of the financial department of Tomsk province”s Facility Services. She does not want to reveal her monthly salary.


Nikolajevich Ilyich Volkov (b. 1954) is administrator of the village of Alexandrovskoye (some 1,000 inhabitants), Tomsk province. Monthly salary: 9,000 rubles (US$ 321, euro 243).

U.S.A., Texas


Rudy Flores (b. 1963) is one of the 118 Texas Rangers, state law enforcement officers who cover 254 counties between them. He is based in Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, and is responsible for three counties. Monthly salary: $5,000 (€3,720).


Dede McEachern (b. 1969) is director of licensing, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, in the state capital, Austin. Monthly salary: US$ 5,833 (euro 4,240).



Ali Abdulmalik Shuga (b. 1964) is responsible for the archives of the Ministry of Trade and CommerceÍs governorate s office in the city of Taizz, Taizz Governorate. Monthly salary: 30,500 rial (US$ 171, euro 117).


Nadja Ali Gayt is an adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture’s education center for rural women in the district of Manakhah, Sana’a Governorate. Monthly salary: 28,500 rial ($160, €110).

Bolivia, Potosi


Constantino Ayaviri Castro (b. 1950), previously a construction worker, is a police officer, third class, for the municipality of Tinguipaya, Tomas Frias province. The police station does not have a phone, car or typewriter. Monthly salary: 800 bolivianos ($100, €189).


Marcial Castro Revollo (b. 1942) is shopkeeper and, at the desk in the back, civil servant for the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the village of Millares (350 inhabitants), municipality of Betanzos, Cornelio Saavedra province, Department Potosi. Also, at the desk in the front, he is responsible for the polling station of the Corte Departemental Electoral de Potosi (elections office). Monthly salary: 500 bolivianos (euro 55, US$ 62).

Burning Man

Burning Man is a week-long annual event that began in San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 and migrated to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. The event begins on the last Monday in August, and ends on the first Monday in September, which coincides with the American Labor Day holiday. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set alight on Saturday evening. The event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. Burning Man is organized by Black Rock City, LLC and has been running since 1986. In 2010, 51,515 people attended Burning Man. 2011 attendance was capped at 50,000 participants and the event sold out on July 24; the attendance rose to 65,922 in 2014.



A large gathering of 21st century hippies partying hard



A mechanically inclined anti-establishment do-it-your-selfer must have built this contraption.









The Hottest Cities in the World

Winnipeg can experience sustained heat in the summer. Some days it gets up to +34-35.  But this heat is nothing compared to the cities below.  I doubt everyone in these cities have air conditioning.  The people obviously can take the heat.

At least two cities contend closely for the title of ‘Hottest City in the World’. What city ranks the hottest depends on how you look at the temperatures.  Here we compare the world’s most sweltering cities in terms of highest temperatures, hottest nights, and most days of extreme heat. So you can judge which is the World’s Hottest City.

In the world’s hottest cities, temperatures get above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) nearly every day for months at a time. Dozens of cities in the Middle East and Africa have extended periods of 40-degree weather.  It’s in deserts along the Persian Gulf, on the Arabian Peninsula and in Iraq and Iran, where cities have exceptionally searing summers. In two cities here, the heat rises above the rest. Only Kuwait City and Ahwaz report having months with daily maximum temperatures averaging above 46 °C (115 °F).

Kuwait City lies on the coast near the head of the Persian Gulf. Capital of the tiny country of Kuwait, the city itself houses just over 30 thousand people, but it adjoins other cities that together form a large metropolitan area extending into the desert.

Kuwait City

Ahwaz, also spelled Ahvaz, sprouts from the desert of western Iran with a population of close to a million.  Although inland from the Persian Gulf, Ahwaz sits at just 23 metres (75 feet) above sea level.

The only cities that come close to the regular 46-degree temperatures of Kuwait City and Ahwaz lie roughly between the two cities. In southern Iraq, maximum temperatures average 44.8 °C (112.6 °F) in July and August at An Nasiriya, while Al Amarah has average highs of 45.5 °C (113.9 °F) in July and 44.9 °C (112.8 °F) in August.

Ahwaz, Iran

How Hot is That?

A 46 °C climate is so hot that it’s well beyond the hottest weather ever experienced in many other countries. Forty-six Celsius tops by a degree ( 1.8 degrees F) Canada’s record high temperature and is 7.5 degrees C (13.5 degrees F) warmer than the hottest day in the United Kingdom. Temperatures that would break records in some counties are normal weather, day after day, for several months a year in the world’s hottest cities.

The only place in the United States with 46-degree heat is North America’s hottest spot, Death Valley in eastern California. Summer temperatures at Death Valley soar to average highs of 46.5 °C (115.7 °F) in July and 45.4 °C (113.8 °F) in August.

Death Valley, California

 Highest Daily Temperatures

Ahwaz and Kuwait are nearly equal in their average maximum temperatures during the year’s two hottest months. For both cities in July, highs average 46.7°C (116.1 °F).

Most Extreme Heat

Despite Kuwait City having a marginally greater average, Ahwaz leads the way in extreme temperatures. Several times Ahwaz has achieved temperatures higher than those ever recorded in Kuwait City.

From 1970 to 2000, Ahwaz made it to 52 °C (125.6 °F) or more on three days. Ahwaz had a high of 52.0 on July 12, 1971 and 52.2 °C (126 °F) on July 1, 2000. Neither of those broke any temperature records for the city, since it had already reached 54.0 °C (129.2 °F) on July 15, 1967.

Meanwhile, 52 °C has never been officially documented, as of 2010, in Kuwait City.

City With the Hottest Nights

In most hot cities when daytime temperatures top 40 °C, it usually cools down at night to the mid-20s. Just a few cities have a month of nighttime lows that stay above 30 °C (86 °F), and Kuwait City is one.

During the hottest months of the year, Ahwaz at night normally gets about a degree Celsius cooler than Kuwait City. But the Kuwaiti nights are not the warmest among cities.

Even hotter nights occur in Oman, a country located south of Kuwait on the Arabian Peninsula. Several cities in Oman stay above 30 °C at night in summer, including Buraimi, Sur and Rustaq, plus the capital, Muscat.  The country’s hottest city that measures weather is Samail, where from June to August nights generally don’t go below 30 degrees. Samail’s hottest nights are in July, which average 31.4 °C (88.5 °F), while the days climb to around 43 °C (109.4 °F).

Average monthly temperatures in °C for Kuwait City, Kuwait (1994-2008)
and Ahwaz, Iran (1994-2005).
Month Kuwait City Ahwaz, Iran
High Low High Low
January 19.5 8.5 18.1 8.9
February 21.8 10.0 20.9 9.8
March 26.9 14.0 25.6 13.4
April 33.9 19.5 32.8 19.1
May 40.9 25.4 40.2 24.3
June 45.5 28.9 45.0 27.3
July 46.7 30.7 46.7 29.8
August 46.9 29.5 46.8 29.1
September 43.7 26.2 42.7 24.7
October 36.6 21.5 36.4 20.3
November 27.8 14.5 26.6 13.8
December 21.9 9.9 19.7 10.0
Annual 34.3 19.9 33.5 19.2