Sunday, 9 September 2007

New York city - Largest municipal government in US!

New York was inhabited by Algonquian, Iroquois, and Lenape indigenous people at the time Dutch and French nationals moved into the region in the very early 17th century. First claimed by Henry Hudson in 1609, the region came to have Dutch forts in Fort Orange, present day Albany, NY, in 1614 and was colonized by the Dutch in 1624, at both Albany and Manhattan; it later fell to British annexation in 1664. About one third of all of the battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New York. The state ratified the United States Constitution in 1788, the 11th state to do so; its own constitution was enacted in 1777.

The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type, which prevails in the northeastern United States, but its diversity is not usually encountered within an area of comparable size. Masses of cold, dry air frequently arrive from the northern interior of the continent. Prevailing winds from the south and southwest transport warm, humid air, which has been conditioned by the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent subtropical waters. These two air masses provide the dominant continental characteristics of the climate. A third great air mass flows inland from the North Atlantic Ocean and produces cool, cloudy, and damp weather conditions.

State parks

New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, was established in 1892 and given state constitutional protection in 1894. The thinking that lead to the creation of the Park first appeared in George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature, published in 1864. Marsh argued that deforestation could lead to desertification; referring to the clearing of once-lush lands surrounding the Mediterranean, he asserted "the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon."

The Hudson River has long been an essential transportation corridor for the state.

The Woolworth Building, in New York City, was one of the world's first skyscrapers (1913).

As of 2006, New York was the third largest state in population after California and Texas, with an estimated population of 19,306,183.

A dairy farm near Oxford, New York.

New York is a major agricultural producer, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products including dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many others. The state is the largest producer of cabbage in the U.S.

The Empire State Building as seen from Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Center

The New York City subway is the largest mass transit system in the world by number of stations.

New York City is home to the most complex and extensive transportation network in the United States, with more than 12,000 iconic yellow cabs, 120,000 daily bicyclists, a massive subway system, bus and railroad systems, immense airports, landmark bridges and tunnels, ferry service and even an aerial commuter tramway.

New York State Capitol Building.

New York's capital is Albany. The state's subordinate political units are its 62 counties. Other officially incorporated governmental units are towns, cities, and villages. New York has more than 4,200 local governments that take one of these forms. About 52% of all revenue raised by local governments in the state is raised solely by the government of New York City, which is the largest municipal government in the United States.


Thursday, 6 September 2007

Norway - Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government.
The monarchy holds a strong position i Norway, and the present monarch, King Harald V, enjoys great popularity.

The Norwegian parliament Stortinget, Oslo.

The 165-member Parliament (Stortinget) is elected under a system of proportional representation by universal adult suffrage for a four-year term.

Location of Norway (orange) on the European continent (white)

History of Norway

Archaeological finds indicate that there were people in Norway as early as the 10th millennium BC (12,000 years ago). Archaeological research shows that they came from either southern regions (northern Germany), or from the north-east (northern Finland or Russia). From there they settled along the coastline.

Photo taken by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (uspn@wikipedia) in August 2004 in Alta, Norway.

In the 9th century it seems that Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair gathered the small kingdoms into one in 872AD with the Battle of Hafrsfjord. He became the first king of a united Norway.

The Arctic Cathedral with surroundings in Tromsø illuminated by the midnight sun.

Northern Norway is known to tourists as the "Land of the Midnight Sun"
North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set between the middle of May and end of July; conversely the sun does not rise between the middle of November and the end of January.

Satellite image of continental Norway in winter

A main indoor activity in Norway is reading. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Norwegians read more than any other population in the world, spending an average of 500 kroner a year per capita on books.

Norway's population of 4.6 million is growing by 0.363% per year. Most Norwegians are ethnic Norwegians, a Nordic/North Germanic people.

Scouts holding Norwegian flags lead a parade on the 17 May, Norway's Constitution Day


Trans-Siberian railway

Trans-Siberian Railway is the most important and the longest railway on the earth with length of the main route is 9288,2 km. I think it's very fantastic trip, wanna go if I have more free time : )

View of Selenga from a hill above railway, in Ulan-Ude limits, Buryat republic, TRS (5635 km), 04.08.2004. Author: Krainov Mikhail (Irkutsk)

Construction started 19th of May 1891 and it was finished 5th of October 1916

China frontier sign - gate above railway, near Zabaykalsk station [Zab], China, CHIN (6663 km), 1986. Author: Book 'Transbaikal rl. 100 years'


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