Wonders Chosen By The Press

Credit for this information and the photos goes to Wikipedia.  Many lists have been made of modern day wonders.

In November 2006 the American national newspaper USA Today in conjunction with the American television show Good Morning America revealed a list of New Seven Wonders as chosen by six judges.  The wonders were announced one per day over a week on Good Morning America. An eighth wonder was chosen on November 24 from viewer feedback.

Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It was named after Mount Potala. The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, after an invasion and failed uprising in 1959. Today the Potala Palace has been converted into a museum by the Chinese government.

The building measures 400 meters east-west and 350 meters north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. (more than 16 ft) thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. Thirteen stories of buildings – containing over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues – soar 117 metres (384 ft) on top of Marpo Ri, the “Red Hill”, rising more than 300 m (about 1,000 ft) in total above the valley floor.

Tradition has it that the three main hills of Lhasa represent the “Three Protectors of Tibet.”

Old City Jerusalem

Western Wall Plaza

Arab Market in the Old City

The Old City is a 0.9 square kilometre (0.35 square mile) walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem; it lies within East Jerusalem. Until the 1860s this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem. The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and its Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims.

Traditionally, the Old City has been divided into four uneven quarters, although the current designations were introduced only in the 19th century. Today, the Old City is roughly divided into the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the Old City found itself located entirely on the Jordanian side of the demarcation line. During the Six Day War in 1967, which saw hand to hand fighting on the Temple Mount, the Old City transferred to Israeli control.

Polar Ice Caps

Polar ice packs are large areas of pack ice formed from seawater in the Earth’s polar regions, known as polar ice caps: the Arctic ice pack (or Arctic ice cap) of the Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic ice pack of the Southern Ocean, fringing the Antarctic ice sheet. Polar packs significantly change their size during seasonal changes of the year.
In spring and summer, when melting occurs, the margins of the sea ice retreat. The vast bulk of the world’s sea ice forms in the Arctic ocean and the Southern Ocean, around Antarctica. The Antarctic ice cover is highly seasonal, with very little ice in the austral summer, expanding to an area roughly equal to that of Antarctica in winter. Consequently, most Antarctic sea ice is first year ice, up to 1 meter thick. The situation in the Arctic is very different (a polar sea surrounded by land, as opposed to a polar continent surrounded by sea) and the seasonal variation much less, currently 28% of Arctic basin sea ice is multi-year ice, thicker than seasonal: up to 3–4 meters thick over large areas, with ridges up to 20 meters thick.

 
Annual growth and retreat of the polar ice packs from SeaWiFS images The area of sea ice around the poles in winter varies from the Antarctic with 18,000,000 km to the Arctic with 15,000,000. The amount melted each summer is affected by the different environments: the cold Antarctic pole is over land, which is bordered by sea ice in the freely circulating Southern Ocean.

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is a World Heritage listed, U.S. National Monument encompassing 140,000 square miles (360,000 km) of ocean waters and ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, internationally recognized for both it’s natural and cultural values as follows:

“The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons. It is one of the largest marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world.”

Internet

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast array of information resources and services, most notably the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail.

Most traditional communications media, such as telephone and television services, are reshaped or redefined using the technologies of the Internet, giving rise to services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IPTV. Newspaper publishing has been reshaped into Web sites, blogging, and web feeds. The Internet has enabled or accelerated the creation of new forms of human interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking sites.

The origins of the Internet reach back to the 1960s when the United States funded research projects of its military agencies to build robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer networks. This research and a period of civilian funding of a new U.S. backbone by the National Science Foundation spawned worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies and led to the commercialization of an international network in the mid 1990s, and resulted in the following popularization of countless applications in virtually every aspect of modern human life. As of 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth’s population uses the services of the Internet.

The Internet has no centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; each constituent network sets its own standards. Only the overreaching definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet Protocol address space and the Domain Name System, are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols (IPv4 and IPv6) is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise.

Mayan Ruins


The Mayan civilization was one of the most advance and sophisticated cultures in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of European explorers. It flourished between 300 and 900 AD and once consisted of over 40 cities spread across southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and northern Belize. Many of these Mayan ruins have been designated World Heritage Sites. The Mayan cities, full of magnificent stone temples and pyramids, were primarily ceremonial centers. Most of the Maya lived in rural areas and were farmers who looked to the priests of the cities for direction on the best days to plant, harvest, and marry. The Maya are famed for their impressive knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, which were integral to their religious rituals. They are also known for the practice of human sacrifice, which was a means of appeasing and nourishing the gods.

Great Migration of Serengeti and Masai Mara

The Serengeti ecosystem is located in north-western Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya.  The Serengeti hosts the largest and longest overland migration in the world,  a semi-annual occurrence.  Around October, nearly 2 million herbivores travel from the northern hills toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River, in pursuit of the rains. In April, they then return to the north through the west, once again crossing the Mara River.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in Arizona.  The canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of more than a mile (1.6 km).  Grand Canyon is known for its overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Geologically it is significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon. These rock layers record much of the early geologic history of the North American continent.

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