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May 2019 -
often see rainbows gracing the sky but those that graze the horizon
often escape our detection. This low-slung beauty was photographed from
my back garden on 2nd April at 13:41 GMT when the Sun was approximately
40 degrees above the horizon.
In order for a rainbow to be seen the Sun must be no higher than 42
degrees above the horizon. This is because, as determined from the
antisolar point, the radius of a primary rainbow is 42 degrees,
thus the Sun cannot be higher than this for a rainbow to appear. During
the summer season the Sun is too high in the sky at mid day, except in
Polar Regions, for rainbows to be observed.
However, near the winter solstice, a midday rainbow may indeed come
into view in the mid-latitudes. But don’t expect to see a grand arch.
At this time of day they’re lying low. Nonetheless, there still may be
that proverbial pot of gold at the end of the bow.
Santa Teresa Tram is a historic tram line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It
connects the city centre with the primarily residential, inner-city
neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, in the hills immediately southwest of
downtown. It is mainly maintained as a tourist attraction and is
nowadays considered a heritage tramway system, having been designated a
national historic monument in 1988. The line has a very unusual gauge:
1,100 mm (3 ft 7 5⁄16 in). The main line is 6.0 kilometres (3.7 miles)
Having run continuously since its opening in 1877 (except for a 2011–15
suspension), it is one of the oldest street railway lines in the world
and having been electrically powered since 1896, it is the oldest
electric railway in all of Latin America. It is also the only remaining
metropolitan tram system in Brazil. The only other original tram
systems in the country to have survived past 1971 are the Campos do
Jordão interurban tram/light rail line and the Itatinga line (near
Bertioga), a rural and non-public tram line, which both continue to
operate today. All other cities closed their systems by 1971 (Santos
being the last), but since that time, three towns, Belém, Campinas and
Santos, have reinstated trams as heritage services, and Rio de Janeiro
opened a modern light rail/tram system in 2016.
giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the ant bear,
is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It
is one of four living species of anteaters and is classified with
sloths in the order Pilosa. This species is mostly terrestrial, in
contrast to other living anteaters and sloths, which are arboreal or
semiarboreal. The giant anteater is the largest of its family,
182–217 cm (5.97–7.12 ft) in length, with weights of
33–41 kg (73–90 lb) for males and 27–39 kg
(60–86 lb) for females. It is recognizable by its elongated snout,
bushy tail, long fore claws, and distinctively colored pelage.
The giant anteater can be found in multiple habitats, including
grassland and rainforest. It forages in open areas and rests in more
forested habitats. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its
fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them.
Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly
solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive
interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry
their offspring on their backs until weaning them.
The giant anteater is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union
for Conservation of Nature. It has been extirpated from many parts of
its former range, including nearly all of Central America. Threats to
its survival include habitat destruction, fire, and poaching for fur
and bushmeat, although some anteaters inhabit protected areas. With its
distinctive appearance and habits, the anteater has been featured in
pre-Columbian myths and folktales, as well as modern popular culture.
The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five species in the genus
Panthera, a member of the Felidae. The leopard occurs in a wide range
in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Leopards are listed as
Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are
threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in
large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait,
Syria, Libya, Tunisia and most likely in Morocco, leopard populations
have already been extirpated. Contemporary records suggest that the
leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range. Leopards are
hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife
trade for medicinal practices and decoration.
Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and
a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the
jaguar, but generally has a smaller, lighter physique. Its fur is
marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's
rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central
spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black
panthers. The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur,
opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it
uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to
adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including
arid and montane areas, and its ability to run at speeds of up to 58
kilometres per hour (36 mph).
are common architectural element in tropical architecture, especially
in Southeast Asia and South America. The length of stilts may vary
widely; stilts of traditional houses can be measured half meter to 5 or
6 meters. In Indonesia, the construction of the house symbolizes the
division of the macrocosm into three regions: the upper world; the seat
of deities and ancestors, the middle world; the realm of human, and
lower world; the realm of demon and malevolent spirit. The typical way
of buildings in Southeast Asia is to build on stilts, an architectural
form usually combined with a saddle roof.
Stilts can be found in Indonesian vernacular architecture such as Dayak
long houses, Torajan Tongkonan, Minangkabau Rumah Gadang, and Malay
houses. The construction is known locally as Rumah Panggung (lit:
"stage house") houses built on stilts. This was to avoid wild animals
and floods, to deter thieves, and for added ventilation. In Sumatra,
traditionally stilted houses are designed in order to avoid dangerous
wild animals, such as snakes and tigers. While in areas located close
to big rivers of Sumatra and Borneo, the stilts help to elevated house
above flood surface.
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