Sunday, October 14, 2012

Giant Vegetables at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, one of Britain’s most prestigious gardening shows, took place last weekend – September 14 to 16. The show offered thousands of gardeners, landscapers and horticulturists a chance to celebrate this year’s successes and look forward to the new growing season. The show featured the battle of the giants where gardeners from across Britain show off colossal vegetable and flower crops in hopes of earning a coveted award from the judges.
Weightlifter Jonathan Walker prepares to lift a marrow weighing 119lbs 12oz (54.3kg) above his head after it won the Giant Marrow Class in the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. The marrow was grown by Peter Glazebrook from Newark who took six first prize awards in the Giant Vegetable classes at the show.
Giant vegetable grower Peter Glazebrook with his world record onion. It weighed in at 18lbs 1oz (8.16kg), beating his previous world record by almost two ounces. He won all six classes in the giant vegetable competition during the show at The Great Yorkshire Showground.
Peter Glazebrook wheels in his prize-winning giant cabbage, which weighs 81lb 6oz (36.74kg)
Visitors look at carrots in the Giant Vegetable competition.
Displays of seasonal fruits and prize winning apples.

The Moving Island of Schiermonnikoog

Schiermonnikoog is a small island off the coast of the Netherlands that has been continuously moving to the south and the east, due to the combining effect of tidal current, prevailing wind and the sea. Just 762 years ago the island lay roughly 2 km to the north of its present position, and it had a significantly different shape. If you work out the math, that is 2.62 meters per year, on average.
The island doesn’t actually move. The sea erodes the island at one end and deposits fresh slit on the other causing the island to shift position and assume a slightly different shape each passing day. There is not much to see in the pictures though and my searches for satellite images documenting the movement of the island drew a blank.
The name ’schiermonnikoog’ is derived from the monks who used to live on the island. "Monnik" means "monk" and "schier" is an archaic word meaning "grey", referring to the colour of the monks' habits. "oog" translates as "island". The name Schiermonnikoog therefore translates as “island of the grey monks.”
The island is small – measuring 16 km by 4 km wide and is the site of the Netherlands' first national park. The only village on the island is also called Schiermonnikoog, and about a thousand people permanently reside on the island. Because the island is small and flat, residents have to take out a special license to keep their own cars and only 200 islanders own cars here, making the few streets the island have virtually car-free.
Tourism is the main source of income on Schiermonnikoog. The island houses a campground, a ferry pier, a tidal harbour for small vessels and approximately 15 hotels and hundreds of vacation houses and apartments. Up to 300,000 people visit the island every year, staying in the 5,500 beds available in holiday homes, apartments and hotels.
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Horizontal Waterfalls in Talbot Bay, Australia

The Horizontal Falls or Horizontal Waterfalls are located in the Talbot Bay in the Kimberley region of western Australia. Although called waterfalls, this natural phenomenon actually consist of a pair of openings or gorges in the McLarty Range through which massive amount of water are pushed by tidal waves, creating temporary waterfalls up to 5 meters high. When the tide changes, so does the direction of the flow.
The twin gaps are located on two ridges running parallel approximately 300 meters apart. The first and most seaward gap is about 20 meters wide and the second, most spectacular, gap is about 10 meters wide. When the rising or falling tide occurs, the water builds up in front of the gaps faster than it can flow through them. This in turn creates an amazing waterfall effect as the water rushes through and then down to the lower levels on the other side of the ridgelines. The process is reversed and it is repeated again in the opposite direction.
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The tides in this area have a 10 meter variation which occurs over six and a half hours from low tide to high tide and vice versa. On a slack tide it is possible to drive boats through the two gaps to the bay behind.
The waterfall phenomena has been described by David Attenborough as "one of the greatest natural wonders of the world".
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Terrifying Yet Beautiful Pictures of Fire Tornadoes

Terrifying Yet Beautiful Pictures of Fire Tornadoes

Film-maker Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film and Television was filming a wildfire in Curtin Springs, Australia, when a small twister touched down causing it to build into a spinning flame. Just 300-meters away was a 30-meter high fire swirl which 'sounded like a fighter jet' despite there being no wind in the area.
The so called fire tornado or fire whirls generally form when superheated air near the surface of a large fire zone rises rapidly in an airmass where sufficient horizontal or vertical vorticity (spin in the atmosphere) is also present. Much like a dust devil or whirlwind, the rapidly rising air above a wildfire can accelerate and turn the local vorticity into a tight vertical vortex, now composed of fire instead of dust.
Most of the largest fire tornados are spawned from wildfires. They are usually 10-50 meters tall, a few meters wide, and last only a few minutes. However, some can be more than a kilometer tall, contain winds over 160 km/h, and persist for more than 20 minutes. The tornado that Tangey caught on camera reportedly lasted for more than 40 minutes.
An extreme example of fire tornado is the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake in Japan which ignited a large city-sized firestorm and produced a gigantic fire whirl that killed 38,000 in fifteen minutes in the Hifukusho-Ato region of Tokyo. Another example is the numerous large fire whirls (some tornadic) that developed after lightning struck an oil storage facility near San Luis Obispo, California on April 7, 1926, several of which produced significant structural damage well away from the fire, killing two. Thousands of whirlwinds were produced by the four-day-long firestorm coincident with conditions that produced severe thunderstorms, in which the larger fire whirls carried debris 5 kilometers away.
Video of the fire tornado Chris Tangey recorded below.
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Fire tornado at a training fire Long View Fire Dept. Photo credit
Fire tornado just south of Seminole, Okla., during the December wildfires in 2005. Photo credit
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A popular photo of unknown origin.
A fire tornado captured on camera on the night of 14 September 2004 near the southern Argentinean town of Ushuaia. Photo credit
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