Haven't Saudi blokes got anything better to do than drift and climb over their cars?
The New York Times presents its photos of the year including the photo above of a boy in Gori, Georgia standing beside a medium-range Russian missile that crashed through his apartment.
Inspired by Kottke.org, here's a list of places that I visited in 2008:-
[One or more nights were spent in each place. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.]
As travelling is becoming a passion of mine, next year I plan on visiting more places, particularly in the UK. Here's what's planned so far:-
As you can see, London is a big favourite of mine and given the chance I'd be up there every month. Feel free to add the places that you've visited in the comments.
Thailand's Scorpion Queen, 39-year-old Kanchana Kaetkaew, has set a new world record - by holding a poisonous scorpion in her mouth for just over two minutes.
Kaetkaew completed the record in Pattaya, Thailand and was handed the arachnid by her husband - who, coincidentally, is known as the Centipede King.
She has gone on to begin her second world record attempt: entering a glass compound where she hopes to stay for 33 days and nights along with 5,000 scorpions. That would be one day longer than the current record which she set in 2002. Link
A Boab tree used as a prison on the King River road near Wyndham. Chris&Steve
It may not experience the hottest temperatures on Earth (that record goes to Al 'Aziziyah), but Wyndham, Australia has consistently high temperatures throughout the year making it one of the hottest inhabited places on Earth. The annual average maximum temperature is 35.6°C (96.1°F). The hottest month is November with an average maximum temperature of 39.4°C (102.9°F), and the 'coolest months' of June and July have an average maximum of 31.2°C (86.4°F). In 1946, Wyndham recorded 333 consecutive days of temperatures over 32°C (90°F)!
Fitzroy River. yewenyi
Wikipedia also lists Fitzroy Crossing, Australia as the hottest inhabited place but doesn't give any information regarding temperatures. As an example of how hot it has been this month, at 9am (Fitzroy Crossing time) it was 33.6C and the lowest temperature this month was a chilly 22C (source)
Many websites list Dallol, Ethiopia as being the hottest inhabited place on Earth due to an average annual temperature of 34°C (94°F) was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966. This is lower than the annual average temperature of 35.6°C quoted by Wikipedia for Wyndham.
"Astronaut Karen Nyberg, STS-124 mission specialist, looks through a window in the newly installed Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station while Space Shuttle Discovery is docked with the station on June 10th, 2008."
More stunning photos here.
Oymyakon/Ojmjakon/Oimyakon (map) is the coldest permanently inhabited place on earth. Located in Siberia, the lowest recorded temperature here is -71.2 degrees Celsius. According to Wikipedia this is the lowest officially recorded temperature in the northern hemisphere.
The village has a population of around 800 and is located 690 meters above sea level and lies in a valley between two mountain ranges (the reason for the low temperatures). The name Oymyakon means "non-freezing water" because of the natural hot spring close to the village.
There aren't a great deal of images and videos on the net (here's an account of a trip in 1996) but here are two video reports, one from Sky News and the other from RTL.
It's interesting how the school children only get a day off when the temperature drops below -52C yet over here a light dusting can cause widespread disruption. And even though the RTL report is not in English check out the shirt that breaks in two.
The Daily Mail has posted a recording of a family celebrating Christmas together during the First World War. It is the first time that they have been heard in nearly a century.
Eight phonograph cyclinders, made of beeswax and soap, feature the Smith family from Salisbury in Wiltshire singing carols and dicussing 'daddy being away at war.'
The recording was found by Russell Barnes who also found other recordings that were made between 1913 and 1917.
It's interesting to learn that children were getting bikes for Christmas almost 100 years ago.