The building, which took its name from the shape forced on it by the triangular lot it was built on – the Flatiron block, so called because it was shaped like a clothes iron – was officially named the Fuller Building after George A. Fuller, founder of the company that financed its construction two years after his death. Locals took an immediate interest in the building, placing bets on how far the debris would spread when the wind knocked it down. The building is also said to have helped coin the phrase "23 skidoo", from what cops would shout at men who tried to get glimpses of women's dresses being blown up by the winds swirling around the building due to the complex geography of the area.
Today the Flatiron Building is frequently seen on television commercials and documentaries as an easily recognizable symbol of the city. It is shown in the opening credits of The Late Show With David Letterman, and was used as the Daily Bugle building in the Spider-Man films. It is a popular spot for tourist photographs and a National Historic Landmark since 1989, but it is also a functioning office building which is currently in the process of being taken over as the headquarters of publishing companies held by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck of Stuttgart, Germany under the umbrella name of Macmillan, including St. Martin's Press, Tor/Forge, Picador and Henry Holt and Company. Macmillan is renovating some floors, and their website comments that:
The Flatiron’s interior is known for having its strangely-shaped offices with walls that cut through at an angle on their way to the skyscraper’s famous point. These “point” offices are the most coveted and feature amazing northern views that look directly upon another famous Manhattan landmark, the Empire State Building.
During a 2005 restoration of the Flatiron Building an illegal 15 story vertical advertising banner covered the facade of the building. The advertisement elicited protests from many New York City residents, prompting the Buildings Department of the City of New York to step in and force the building's owners to remove the advertisement.
The Flatiron Building was featured on the non-fiction television program Big, Bigger, Biggest, shown in the UK and on the Science Channel in the United States.

This Is New York City



READING-2: Tourism and Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal attracts from 2 to 4 million visitors annually, with more than 200,000 from overseas. Most tourists visit in the cooler months of October, November and February. Polluting traffic is not allowed near the complex and tourists must either walk from carparks or catch an electric bus. The Khawasspuras are currently being restored for use as a new visitor centre. The small town to the south of the Taj, known as Taj Ganji or Mumtazabad, originally was constructed with caravanserais, bazaars and markets to serve the needs of visitors and workmen. Lists of recommended travel destinations often feature the Taj Mahal, which also appears in several listings of seven wonders of the modern world, including the recently announced New Seven Wonders of the World, a recent poll with 100 million votes
For security reasons only five items - water in transparent bottles, small video cameras, still cameras, mobile phones and small ladies' purses - are allowed inside the Taj Mahal.



“Barack Hussein Obama (born August 4, 1961) is the junior United States Senator from Illinois and a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election. The U.S. Senate Historical Office lists him as the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history, the third to have been popularly elected, and the only African American currently serving in the Senate.Obama was born in Honolulu to a Kenyan father and an American mother. He lived most of his early life in the U.S. state of Hawaii. From ages six to ten, he lived in Jakarta, Indonesia with his mother and Indonesian stepfather. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office and serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. After an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003.The following year, while still an Illinois state legislator, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote. As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama co-sponsored legislation for controlling conventional weapons and for promoting transparency in public life; in addition, he made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the 110th, and current, Congress, he has sponsored legislation on lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel.Since announcing his presidential campaign in February 2007, Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care as major priorities. He married in 1992 and has two daughters. He has written two bestselling books: a memoir of his youth titled Dreams from My Father, and The Audacity of Hope, a personal commentary on U.S. politics.”

OBAMA 2008

OBAMA 2008

I Got a Crush...On Obama


“Pablo Emilio Gargallo (January 5, 1881December 28, 1934) was a Spanish sculptor and painter. Born in Maella, Aragon, he moved to Barcelona, Catalonia, with his family in 1888, where he would begin his training in the arts. Gargallo developed a style of sculpture based on the creation of three-dimensional objects from pieces of flat metal plate, and he also used paper or cardboard. Some of these sculptures have a form of minimalism. For example, only one half of a face may be shown, and it may have only one eye. He also made more traditional sculptures in bronze, marble and other materials. He is considered to be one of the most significant artists of the Aragonese avant-garde.He spent a significant part of his life in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France, where in 1903 he lived for a time in the artists commune Le Bateau-Lavoir with Max Jacob, Juan Gris and other "starving" artists, including his friend Pablo Picasso whose head he modelled as a sculpture. The following year, Juan Gris introduced him to Magali Tartanson, whom he married in 1915.Among Gargallo's works are three pieces based on Greta Garbo: "Masque de Greta Garbo à la mèche," "Tête de Greta Garbo avec chapeau," and "Masque de Greta Garbo aux cils". Together with Dídac Masana, Gargallo sculpted the great arch over the front of the stage of the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. The work depicts the ride of the valkyries in Richard Wagner's opera Die Walküre (The Valkyries).Gargallo suffered from fulminating bronchial pneumonia and died in Reus, Tarragona. He is considered to be one of the most significant artists of the Spanish avant-garde, and in 1985 the Pablo Gargallo Museum in Zaragoza opened in the former Argillo Palace.”




Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Reading-5: THE BEATLES

The Beatles were an English pop and rock group from Liverpool whose members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music.
In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries: their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion discs and tapes worldwide.The Beatles are the best-selling musical act of all time in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles #1 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, their innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today.
The Beatles led the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.




Synchronized swimming is a hybrid of swimming, gymnastics, and dance. This sport has an artistic effect, and really relates to those three sports. It consists of swimmers (either individuals, duets, trios, teams or combos) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate and dramatic moves in the water, accompanied by music.
Synchronized swimming demands first-rate water skills, and requires strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, not to mention exceptional breath control while upside down underwater. Developed in the early 1900s in Canada, it is a sport performed almost exclusively by women, although there is some participation by men. In its early form it was sometimes known as "water ballet".

There are hundreds of different regular positions and infinite combinations of positions. These are a few basic and commonly used ones:
Vertical position: Achieved by holding the body upside down and perpendicular to the surface of the water. The legs are held together above the water with toes pointed.
Crane position: While holding a vertical body position, the legs are held at a 90-degree angle with one parallel to the water and the other perpendicular.
Vertical bent knee: Similar to the vertical position, but one knee is bent as much as possible with the toe touching the inside of the vertical leg.
Ballet Leg: Beginning in a back layout, one leg is extended and held perpendicular to the body, while the other is held straight along the surface of the water. A stationary scull under the hips is used to support the leg.
Split position: Holding the body in a vertical position, the legs are extended in opposite directions along the surface of the water and held as flat as possible while keeping the hips straight.
Further descriptions of technical positions can be found on the International Olympic Committee website

Synchronized swimming

Synchronized swimming
Gemma Mengual & Paola Tirados (Spanish Team)


Carnival is a festival season. It occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February or March. It typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations.
Carnival is mostly associated with Roman Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox Christians; Protestant areas usually do not have carnival celebrations or have modified traditions, like the Danish Carnival. The world's largest carnival celebration is held in Brazil but many countries worldwide have large, popular celebrations, such as Carnival of Venice.
Inspiration for the carnival lies in the fact that during Lent, traditionally no parties may be held and many foods, such as meat, are forbidden; the forty days of Lent serve to commemorate the Passion of Jesus. It is natural for people to have the desire to hold a large celebration at the last possible opportunity before fasting.
Parts of the carnival traditions, however, likely reach back to pre-Christian times. The ancient Roman festival of the Saturnalia is a probable origin of the Italian carnival. The Saturnalia, in turn, may be based on the Greek Dionysia and Oriental festivals. While medieval pageants and festivals such as Corpus Christi were church sanctioned celebrations, carnival was a representation of medieval folk culture. Many local carnival customs are also based on local pre-Christian rituals, for example the elaborate rites involving masked figures in the Swabian-Alemannic carnival.
In Christianity, the most famous traditions, including parades and masquerading, are first attested from medieval Italy. The carnival of Venice was for a long time the most famous carnival. From Italy, carnival traditions spread to Spain, Portugal, and France. From France, they spread to the Rhineland of Germany, and to New Orleans. From Spain and Portugal, they spread to Latin America. Many other areas have developed their own traditions.
The origin of the name "carnival" is disputed. According to one theory, it comes from the Latin carrus navalis ("ship cart"), referring to a cart in a religious parade, such as a cart in a religious procession at the annual festivities in honor of the god Apollo. Other sources, however, suggest that the name comes from the Italian carne levare or similar, meaning "to remove meat", since meat is prohibited during Lent. Another theory states that the word comes from the Late Latin expression carne vale, which means "farewell to meat", signifying that those were the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent.

Drag Orion, the 2008 Carnival Drag winner in Las Palmas de GC


The city was founded on June 24, 1478, with the name "Real de Las Palmas" by Juan Rejón, head of the invading Castilian army, before engaging in war with the local Guanches (aboriginal people of the Canary Islands). In 1492, Christopher Columbus anchored in the Port of Las Palmas (and spent some time on the island) on his first trip to the Americas. He also stopped on the way back to Spain. Today, a museum is named after him - Casa Colón- in the Vegueta area of the city.
Las Palmas is today a cosmopolitan city. It has three beaches (Las Canteras, Las Alcaravaneras and San Cristobal) and a big sea-port (Puerto de la Luz harbor) - a very important on during the 70s and early 90s (that benefited greatly from the closure of the Suez Canal during the Arab-Israeli conflict). Due to its situation as nexus of three continents and its importance as a touristic spot, many foreign workers have migrated and settled in the city. Merchants and traders from Africa, China, Russia and the Middle East mingle with one other in the streets of the city's business centers. The Korean and Indian communities are the largest ones, although the majority have been acquiring Spanish citizenship over the years.
According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University (USA), the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoys "the best climate in the world. The main City Festival (Fiestas de San Juan) is in June, celebrating the foundation of the City.
The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also widely known not only in Spain but worldwide, one of the main attractions for tourists.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a sister city of San Antonio, Texas in the United States, which was founded in 1718 by about 25 Canary Islanders.




The Wii (pronounced as the English pronoun we) is the fifth home video game console released by Nintendo. The console is the direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, but it competes with both as part of the seventh generation of video game systems.
A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect acceleration and orientation in three dimensions. Another is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.
Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled the system at the 2005 E3. Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in four key markets. The Financial Times reported that as of September 12, 2007, the Wii is the sales leader of its generation, based on sales figures from Enterbrain, NPD Group and GfK.
The console was conceived in 2001, as the Nintendo GameCube was first seeing release. According to an interview with Nintendo's game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the concept involved focusing on a new form of player interaction. "The consensus was that power isn't everything for a console. Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction."
Two years later, engineers and designers were brought together to develop the concept further. By 2005, the controller interface had taken form, but a public showing at that year's E3 was withdrawn. Miyamoto stated that, "We had some troubleshooting to do. So, we decided not to reveal the controller and instead we displayed just the console." Nintendo president Satoru Iwata later unveiled and demonstrated the Wii Remote at the September Tokyo Game Show.
The Nintendo DS is stated to have influenced the Wii design. Designer Ken'ichiro Ashida noted, "We had the DS on our minds as we worked on the Wii. We thought about copying the DS's touch-panel interface and even came up with a prototype." The idea was eventually rejected, with the notion that the two gaming systems would be identical. Miyamoto also expressed that: "If the DS had flopped, we might have taken the Wii back to the drawing board."

WII The Revolution


The name marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, who was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the Senate, exclaiming "Νενικήκαμεν" (Nenikékamen, 'We have won' or 'We are victorious') before collapsing and dying of exhaustion. The account of the run from Marathon to Athens first appears in Plutarch's On the Glory of Athens in the 1st century AD who quotes from Heraclides Ponticus's lost work, giving the runner's name as either Thersipus of Erchius or Eucles. Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) also gives the story but names the runner Philippides (not Pheidippides).
The Greek historian Herodotus, the main source for the Greco-Persian Wars, mentions Pheidippides as the messenger who ran from Athens to Sparta asking for help. In some Herodotus manuscripts the name of the runner between Athens and Sparta is given as Philippides. Herodotus makes no mention of a messenger sent from Marathon to Athens, and relates that the main part of the Athenian army, having already fought and won the gruelling battle, and fearing a naval raid by the Persian fleet against an undefended Athens, marched quickly back from the battle to Athens, arriving the same day.
There are two roads out of the battlefield of Marathon towards Athens, one more mountainous towards the north whose distance is about 34.5 km (21.4 miles), and another flatter but longer towards the south with a distance of 40.8 km (25.4 miles). It has been argued that the ancient runner took the more difficult northern road because at the time of the battle there were still Persian soldiers in the south of the plain.
In 1876, Robert Browning wrote the poem "Pheidippides". Browning's poem, his composite story, became part of late 19th century popular culture and was accepted as a historic legend.

Marathon in New York


Juanes has said that: "these are your people, young people, people with families, and four or five of them are dying every day." Juanes established the Mi Sangre Foundation to help victims of anti-personnel mines In 2005, he was named by Time as one of the world's 100 most influential people. Juanes has supported current Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, stating that "with this new government of Álvaro Uribe my country seems in better shape." On November 15, 2005, he was honored at the annual benefit gala for Sir Paul McCartney's Adopt-A-Minefield for his work as a Goodwill Ambassador for United for Colombia, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the impact of land mines within Colombia.
On April 19, 2006, Juanes performed before the European Parliament, as part of a campaign to increase awareness against the use of land mines around the world, including in his native Colombia. He was first singer to perform in the hemicycle where the European Parliament holds its plenary sessions. The Parliament gave a symbolic gift of 2.5 million to demine Colombia and to rehabilitate victims of the landmines. In honor of his work and his music, he was given an escopetarra (a decommissioned AK-47 converted into a guitar) by peace activist César López; he later sold it at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills for US$17,000. Juanes held a benefit concert on May 24, 2006 in conjunction with KLVE and Univision which raised roughly US$350,000 to care for injured children and provide prosthetics, wheelchairs, and land rehabilitation.
On July 19, 2006, French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedie awarded Juanes with the highest cultural honor given by France, L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, declaring him "Knight in the order of Arts and Letters" for his work in social activism. In December 2006, work began on a recreational park for the rehabilitation of the handicapped named "Parque Juanes de la Paz" in Medellín. The 68,000 square meter facility will cost COL$10.6 billion, financed in part by the government of Medellín, and is to be completed by May 2007.
Juanes is also an activist for his native Spanish language; he has stated many times that while he respects native Spanish-speaking artists who choose to sing in English (such as fellow Colombian singer Shakira), he himself will never sing in English in order to promote the Spanish language better.


Srinivāsa Rāmānujan (22 December 188726 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician and one of the greatest mathematical geniuses of the 20th century.
1729 is known as the Hardy-Ramanujan number after a famous anecdote of the British mathematician G. H. Hardy regarding a hospital visit to the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan*. In Hardy's words:

I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways." (cube=e3)

The quotation is sometimes expressed using the term "positive cubes", as the admission of negative perfect cubes (the cube of a negative integer) gives the smallest solution as 91 (which is a factor of 1729):
91 = 6e3 + (−5)e3 = 4e3 + 3e3
Of course, equating "smallest" with "most negative", as opposed to "closest to zero" gives rise to solutions like −91, −189, −1729, and further negative numbers. This ambiguity is eliminated by the term "positive cubes".
Numbers such as
1729 = 1e3 + 12e3 = 9e3 + 10e3
that are the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in n distinct ways have been dubbed taxicab numbers. 1729 is the second taxicab number (the first is 2 = 1e3+ 1e3). The number was also found in one of Ramanujan's notebooks dated years before the incident.

*He was referred to in the film Good Will Hunting as an example of mathematical genius.


Genetic evidence shows that northern African peoples (most likely descendants of the Capsian culture) made a significant contribution to the aboriginal population of the Canaries following desertification of the Sahara at some point after 6000 BC. Linguistic evidence suggests ties between Guanche language and the Berber languages of northern Africa, particularly when comparing number systems.
Early European accounts differed in their descriptions of native Canary Islanders. Chroniclers described one group as tall, blonde and blue-eyed, another as being of medium height and a darker complexion, and a third group was said to be of smaller stature. The Guanche population of Tenerife were, according to accounts from the 15th century, tall, powerfully built, with some having blond hair and blue eyes.
Early observations about the appearance of the Guanche peoples led to considerable speculation about their origins. Past theories speculated that the Guanches inherited their fair traits from the Celts, Germanic tribes or some other group originating on the European continent.
The diversity of physical traits observed may indicate that the Canaries were populated over time by more than one single source. The islands were visited by a number of peoples within recorded history. The Numidians, Phoenicians, and Carthaginians knew of the islands and made frequent visits. The Romans occupied northern Africa and visited the Canaries between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, judging from Roman artifacts found on the island of Lanzarote. However, each of these cultures had reached a higher level of technology than the Neolithic culture that was encountered at the time of conquest.


Lessing's fiction is commonly divided into three distinct phases: the Communist theme (1944-1956), when she was writing radically on social issues (and returned to in The Good Terrorist (1985)), the psychological theme (1956-1969), and after that the Sufi theme, which was explored in a science fiction setting in the Canopus series (see below).
Lessing's switch to science fiction was not popular with many critics. For example, in the New York Times in 1982 John Leonard wrote in reference to The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 that "One of the many sins for which the 20th century will be held accountable is that it has discouraged Mrs. Lessing.... She now propagandizes on behalf of our insignificance in the cosmic razzmatazz." To which Lessing replied: "What they didn't realize was that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time. I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He's a great writer." Unlike some authors primarily known for their mainstream work, she has never hesitated to admit that she writes science fiction. She was Writer Guest of Honour at the 1987 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and made a well-received speech in which she described her science-fictional Memoirs of a Survivor as "an attempt at an autobiography."
Her novel The Golden Notebook is considered a feminist classic by some scholars, but notably not by the author herself, who later wrote that its theme of mental breakdowns as a means of healing and freeing one's self from illusions had been overlooked by critics. She also regretted that critics failed to appreciate the exceptional structure of the novel. As she explains in Walking in the Shade Lessing modelled Molly, to an extent, on her good friend Joan Rodker, the daughter of the author and publisher John Rodker.
Lessing does not like the idea of being pigeon-holed as a feminist author. When asked why, she replies:
What the feminists want of me is something they haven't examined because it comes from religion. They want me to bear witness. What they would really like me to say is, 'Ha, sisters, I stand with you side by side in your struggle toward the golden dawn where all those beastly men are no more.' Do they really want people to make oversimplified statements about men and women? In fact, they do. I've come with great regret to this conclusion.
– Doris Lessing, The New York Times, 25 July 1982
When asked about which of her books she considers most important, Lessing chose the Canopus in Argos science fiction series. These books show, from many different perspectives, an advanced society's efforts at forced evolution (also see Progressor and Uplift). The Canopus series is based partly on Sufi concepts, to which Lessing was introduced by Idries Shah. Earlier works of "inner space" fiction like Briefing for a Descent into Hell and Memoirs of a Survivor also connect to this theme.


Quoted statistics of HPV infection vary, with one review finding reported values anywhere from 14% to 90%. The major reason numbers conflict is simply a lack of context. A report of the number of women that have ever been infected by any type will be much higher than the number that are currently infected by one of the high-risk types. The confusion surrounding the issue is highlighted by news coverage of a comprehensive study published in February 2007. Some headlines read "more women than expected have HPV", while others said that infection was "rarer than first estimated". Both are actually true, in context:
The study found that, during 2003–2004, at any given time, 26.8% of women aged 14 to 59 were infected with at least one type of HPV. This was higher than previous estimates. Of the four types prevented by the Gardasil vaccine, however, only 3.4% were infected, which was lower than previous estimates. Of the high-risk types that cause cancer, 15.2% were infected. In the year 2000, HPV infection accounted for approximately 6.2 million of all sexually-transmitted diseases among Americans aged 15-44. It is estimated that 74% occurred to people between ages 15-24.
Genital HPV infection is very common, with estimates suggesting that more than 50% of women will become infected with one or more of the sexually transmitted HPV types at some point during adulthood.
The American Social Health Association projections in 2006 were yet more pessimistic, predicting that about 75% of the reproductive population will have been infected with genital HPV infection in their lifetime. Studies show a link between HPV infection and penile and anal cancer, and the risk for anal cancer is 17 to 31 times higher among gay and bisexual men than among heterosexual men.
Although it is possible to test for HPV DNA in men, there are no FDA-approved tests for general screening, since the testing is inconclusive and considered medically unnecessary



HPV Graphic

HPV Graphic

READING 17: Love in the Time of Cholera. Description of a turn-of-the-century balloon trip

"From the sky they could see, just as God saw them, the ruins of the very old and heroic city of Cartagena de Indias, the most beautiful in the world, abandoned by its inhabitants because of the sieges of the English and the atrocities of the buccaneers. They saw the walls, still intact, the brambles in the streets, the fortifications devoured by heartsease, the marble palaces and the golden altars and the viceroys rotting with plague inside their armor.
"They flew over the lake dwellings of the Trojas in Cataca, painted in lunatic colors, with pens holding iguanas raised for food and balsam apples and crepe myrtle hanging in the lacustrian gardens. Excited by everyone's shouting, hundreds of naked children plunged into the water, jumping out of windows, jumping from the roofs of the houses and from the canoes that they handled with astonishing skill, and diving like shad to recover the bundles of clothing, the bottles of cough syrup, the beneficent food that the beautiful lady with the feathered hat threw to them from the basket of the balloon."

Love in the time of cholera

Love in the time of cholera


Loro Parque (Spanish for "parrot park") is a zoo located on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife. Since 1972 when it opened at the size of 13,000m2 with a mere 150 parrots it has grown to 300 species and sub-species, making 3,000 in total, (700 of which are located in the park) and a vast 135,000m2. This collection is claimed to be the largest in the world. Also, on the subject of records, the park has: Europe's largest Dolphin show pool, the world's largest indoor Penguin exhibition, the longest Shark Tunnel in Europe, the largest Thai village outside Thailand, and is the only place in Europe to feature an Orca Ocean.
The other creatures on display in the park are chimpanzees, sea lions, gorillas, marmosets, pelicans, iguanas alligators, flamingos, jaguars, giant tortoises, tigers, exotic fish, piranhas, sea horses, and various sharks. Shows in the park include sea lions (5 times a day), dolphins (4 times), parrots (The Loro Show - 6 times), nature vision (an indoor cinema playing a 20 minute long film - 9 times) and the Orca Show (3 times). Other attractions include the children's playground "Kinderlandia", Gambian Market, a parrot baby station, a huge parrot museum and many restaurants. For visitors interested in plants, there is a large orchid garden with very rare plants.
Currently, the owners of Loro Parque are planning the construction of another park in the South of the Island, along with "Siam Park", which is a water park that will be the biggest in Europe, it features nearly all of the slides of, it was originally supposed to be finished in December 2006 but is now set to open in December 2007.
The pre-title sequence (narrated by Stephen Fry) of the 2005 movie The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was filmed at Loro Parque.
In February 2006, Loro Parque received four young orca; two males, Keto (born in 1995) and Tekoa (born in 2000), and two females, Kohana (2002) and Skyla (2004)) on loan from SeaWorld. They were subsequently purchased and now form part of the regular aquatic shows. Before coming to the park, animal trainers from Loro Parque visited SeaWorld many times, to get to know the animals, however,in current shows they do not enter the water, because reviewers say "They have not gotten to know the Whales well enough, they need to form a relationship before trusting them enough to brave going into the water with them.
The park considers itself a savior of animals, for example: The tigers and chimps were once illegally owned and beaten, the Gorillas are outcasts of other groups brought in by the park, and they try to bring in other endangered species.



lunes, 21 de enero de 2008