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feel as thoguh our nation, our world, is closer than ever, to Christ, with KFC's recent announcement that they are to turn birds into wine.,

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DMack
11 hours ago
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Victoria, BC
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Introducing GOG Wallet, the simplest way to pay

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Pay with one click, avoid additional bank fees, and track your gaming budget!



Today, we're rolling out the GOG Wallet, a highly-requested quality-of-life feature aimed at gamers who frequently face international bank fees, use pre-paid debit cards, or prefer the extra convenience and control over their budget.

The GOG Wallet is designed to be user-friendly and flexible: top-up your Wallet with any amount between 5 USD and 500 USD (or the local equivalent) using any payment method; if you're using a pre-paid card, or you're just a bit short on Wallet funds, you can easily combine GOG Wallet funds with other payment methods during checkout. It's easy, fast, and totally safe.

Additionally, any store credit earned with the Fair Price Package (if a product costs more in your country than in the US, we always make up the difference) will now be automatically added to your GOG Wallet funds. Nobody likes to take time out of their gaming to do math, so we're doing it for you!



To kickstart your GOG Wallet and learn about the details, make your way to www.gog.com/wallet.

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DMack
11 hours ago
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Oooh baby, now that they have a fake money concept like steam, the door is open for promotional events to fill that wallet up with fake money (like steam)
Victoria, BC
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Mahjong Is Now Available For Xbox One

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Content: Mahjong
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Play a Zen game! Rediscover the famous traditional Chinese game. Find all the matching pairs of tiles, being careful not to become blocked in, to get to the end of each level. Concentration and perceptiveness are needed to finish the gorgeous boards that we have produced for you. Traditional Mahjong with all its depth and captivating beauty. 70 levels with varying difficulty and brand new puzzles. Customize your games with different graphic styles. Compare scores with your friends and players from around the world.

Purchase Mahjong for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: –
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Website: Mahjong
Twitter: @BigbenBenelux





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DMack
1 day ago
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at last it is available
Victoria, BC
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1 public comment
denismm
1 day ago
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Calling this game "Mahjong" is like calling Klondike "Cards". 😡

11 Feet, 8 Inches: Infamous “Can Opener” Bridge Continues to Catch Trucks

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Can opener bridge sign by Jürgen Henn (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Eleven foot eight dot com is an oddly specific domain with a correspondingly niche focus: the website revolves entirely around footage of a particular train bridge in North Carolina. This bridge has been nicknamed “the can opener” for its uncanny ability to regularly scrape the tops off of oncoming trucks. It has been involved in hundreds of accidents over recent years, despite what appear to be ample warning systems.

Located in Durham, the bridge was completed in 1940 and simply not designed to accommodate trucks above a certain height. Area resident Jürgen Henn noticed the high frequency of collisions and in 2008 decided to install a camera on a nearby building to document them. Since then, he has captured, edited and posted over 100 videos of collisions, mostly of amateur drivers in rental trucks or RVs.

The state, railroad and city have all considered or taken actions to reduce accidents involving the bridge. From the perspective of each party, the problem is as well-solved as it can be.

The state has prominently posted a pair of signs, flanking the street, that indicate the height limit of 11′ 8″ (a few inches less than the actual clearance). Clearly, though, these do little to prevent accidents.

By installing a crash beam to keep trucks from hitting the bridge itself, the railroad protects its infrastructure, freight and passengers. Their concern is not with trucks on the road but trains on the rails above.

The city has installed a supplemental array of warning mechanisms, including three “Low Clearance” signs posted at each of three intersections in advance of the bridge. Until recently, an “Overheight When Flashing” sign (with blinking orange lights) was also posted directly in front of the bridge. Trucks, however, continued to crash into the beam, so the sign was removed and a new strategy implemented.

new versus old sign
Replacing old sign with new system, image by Jürgen Henn via 11foot8

An LED display was swapped in for the old combination of sign and lights. This display activates when attached sensors detect an oversize vehicle approaching. The sign sits alongside a new stoplight that is likewise tied into the sensor system. The light turns red to give truck drivers time to see the warning sign and consider their options. Despite even this latest sophisticated intervention, however, the bridge continues to claim and maim trucks.

Since no amount of warnings seems sufficient, other solutions have been considered and rejected, including: raising the bridge, lowering the street or redirecting truck traffic entirely. Unfortunately, raising the bridge would require a lot of money and regrading on both sides. Lowering the street is impractical because a sewer main runs below. Redirecting overheight traffic from the area entirely would be impractical, since many trucks need to approach the intersection then turn on the street running parallel to (but just before) the bridge.

In a way, the bridge represents a perfect storm of variables conspiring against a complete and permanent design solution. The railroad, state and city have all done what they can and called it a day.

stopsign

What remains is a flawed piece of infrastructure that exists in a sort of bureaucratic void. It seems to be waiting for either an extreme event or someone to come along with an ingenious alternative solution.

Meanwhile, 11foot8 continues to dutifully document the bridge, which, like numerous other too-low overpasses around the world, seems unlikely to stop causing accidents anytime soon.

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DMack
1 day ago
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Our treasured vicious internet bridge hits the bigtime on this most erudite of podcast [website]s
Victoria, BC
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nlvivar
16 hours ago
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Sometimes, if you're having a bad day, watching the 11'-8" videos is the only way to recover.
Oakland, CA

The Incredible Ruins of 12 Abandoned Islands

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Of all the many places around the world that have been abandoned by their inhabitants and left to slump into obscurity and ruin, islands seem among the most unlikely. What’s not to love about an island? Yet there are dozens of isles scattered throughout the world's oceans that have been deserted by their residents and left all but forgotten.

Frozen in time with nothing but a story to tell, many of these ghost islands have taken on an eerie and enticing second life in their desertion and disrepair. Here are 11 abandoned islands in the Atlas, each of which has a intriguing story behind its decline.

1. Mitsubishi's Gunkanjima Island

NAGASAKI, JAPAN

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(Photo: Jordy Meow/CC BY 3.0)

Once the most densely populated place in the world, this tiny island off the coast of Nagasaki is now a ghost town that’s been completely uninhabited for more than forty years. Gunkanjima was developed by the Mitsubishi Corporation in the early 1900s, which believed—correctly—that the island was sitting on a rich submarine coal deposit. By 1941, the tiny island was producing 400,000 tonnes of coal per year, powering Japan’s industrial expansion. A city grew up around it so dense it inspired the nickname “island without green.”

Then the coal ran out. Mitsubishi closed the mine, and everyone left. The island has been a ghost town ever since.

2. Suakin Island Ancient Ruins

SUAKIN, SUDAN

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(Photo: Bertramz/CC BY 3.0)

For 3,000 years, the port on the island of Suakin was strategically crucial to powerful empires. Located on the Red Sea in Northern Sudan, the port was originally developed during the 10th century B.C.E. and offered an outlet to the Red Sea for trade and exploration. As Islam spread, it became an outlet for Africans on pilgrimage to Mecca. The island remained prosperous throughout its existence and developed into a rich, gated island port, the height of medieval luxury on the Red Sea.

However during the 19th century, Suakin became a hub for the slave trade from Eastern Africa, and this would be the grand island's its undoing. As the slave trade diminished, the port became increasingly unnecessary. By the 1920s, Suakin was falling into complete disrepair. Only crumbling ruins of the once great coral city exist today. 

3. Poveglia Plague Island

VENICE, ITALY

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The Poveglia hospital. (Photo: Chris 73/CC BY-SA 3.0)

This small forbidden island less than half a mile from Venice was used as a plague quarantine station, or "lazaretto" at the turn of the 18th century. The tiny island is said to have hosted over 160,000 infected souls living out their final days and hours there—so many that there are whispers that 50 percent of the soil consists of human remains. 

With a past like this, it's not surprising that Poveglia and its abandoned structures are believed to be haunted, attracting the attention of ghost hunters and paranormal investigators. The island remains for now strictly off-limits to visitors.

4. No Man's Land

NETTLESTONE, ENGLAND

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(Photo: Colin Babb/CC BY-SA 2.0)

No Man's Land exemplifies the strange fates of "Palmerston's Follies", a series of mammoth fortifications built in Victorian times to defend the coast against perceived threats of invasion from France. The most expensive and extensive fortifications ever built in peacetime, these sea forts were outdated by the time they were completed. As deterrent, perhaps they worked, for the French never did invade.

After serving as a defense station against submarine attack in WWI the fort was decommissioned and the artificial island transformed into a luxury resort that unfortunately never took off. The hotel was bought for£6 million but contaminated water in the hotel pool caused an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease and the business went south. Faced with financial troubles and the possibility of losing the island he did the logical thing: packed up his bags, grabbed the keys, and locked himself into the fortress, where he lived until his eviction in 2009. Future plans for the now-empty, seemingly cursed island are unknown.

5. Disney's Discovery Dcovery Island

BAY LAKE, FLORIDA

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(Photo: BestofWDW from USA/CC BY 2.0)

Disney's abandoned animal island was almost the coolest attraction ever. Disney opened it as a lush zoological park as the island was home to a number of exotic animals. When the attraction was closed in 1999, the remaining animals were moved to Disney World's new Animal Kingdom resort, yet the island was simply left to nature, its buildings deteriorating.

Today, the island remains abandoned and off-limits. However some brave urban explorers have managed to infiltrate the island take pictures of what remains. Disney has threatened to ban these adventurers from all Disney properties just for setting foot on Discovery Island, making the whole kingdom seem a little less than magic. 

6. McNab's Island

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA

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Rifled cannons. (Photo: Luke J Spencer/Atlas Obscura

This Canadian island is a veritable garden of decay with countless abandoned structures and ruins dotting the landscape, from military installations to private homes to a soda factory.

Settled by Peter McNab in the 1780s, the family occupied the island until 1934, and virtually no settlements were established since. In fact McNab Island has lain mostly abandoned since World War II and is now mainly an impressive collection of abandoned structures of all sort—among them three abandoned military forts, a cholera quarantine epidemic potters field, ruins of old family homes from the islands few inhabitants, a family burial plot, a former soda pop factory that ran bootleg booze during prohibition, a shipwreck cove, a beach where English redcoats hung navy deserters during the Napoleonic Wars.

7. Deception Island

ANTARCTICA

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Abandoned hangar and fuselage. (Photo: Unknown author/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Considered one of the safest harbors on Antarctica, a famous refuge from storms and icebergs, Deception Island has been coveted—and then deserted—by many nations. The dilapidated shells of buildings, boats and equipment marking the island remain as proof of its productive years as a Norwegian-Chilean whaling station and home of several scientific stations.

The thing is, building and operating expensive equipment on an active volcano is risky business.In the 1960s, the island had apparently had enough, and kicked everyone off: Erupting twice in two years, it demolished research centers and buried everything left behind in ash. Today visitors can bathe in the volcano’s natural hot springs surrounded by ruined giants of industry.

8. Carnegie Mansion Ruins

ST. MARYS, GEORGIA

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(Photo: Lyndi&Jason/CC BY-SA 2.0)

In a glaring 19th-century example of the privileged 1 percent, the prominent Carnegie family owned 90% of Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia, including a gigantic 59-room Scottish mansion on the south shores the family used as a lavish winter getaway in the late 1800s.

The estate flourished until the 1920s, but was left abandoned during the Great Depression. It sat decaying until 1959, when a fire gutted the mansion, leaving only a skeletal and crumbling group of ruins. Today, many of those ruins still stand as a ghostly reminder of the wealth the island once contained.

9. Ross Island

SOUTH ANDAMAN, INDIA

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(Photo: Biswarup Ganguly/CC BY 2.0)

Originally established by British colonialists, this 18th century settlement on Ross Island in the Andaman archipelago is now abandoned entirely. The residential structures remain, old houses, a church, a bazaar, stores, a large swimming pool and a small hospital, though their brick is slowly being overtaken by the roots of wild ficus plants.

The island was inhabited initially in 1788-89 after Archibald Blair's survey of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.It wascontrolled by the British until March 1942, when Japanese troops invaded and took control of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands including Ross. Remnants of bunkers constructed by the Japanese remain.

10. Dry Tortugas

KEY WEST, FLORIDA

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Fort Jefferson moat and wall. (Photo: NPS Climate Change Response/Public Domain)

Juan Ponce de Leon first stumbled upon this stretch of islands in 1513, back when they were nothing more than clusters of coral inhabited by sea turtles. Upon his discovery, de Leon named the islands "Las Tortugas" (meaning "the turtles"), and is said to have subsisted off 160 of these very animals while on his journey through the high seas. Dry Tortugas soon became a popular shipping corridor, but despite the passageway's popularity, it also became the site of hundreds of shipwrecks, earning the island the nickname, “ship trap.” To this day, a large collection of sunken treasures still lies beneath the surface waters.

Of all the Dry Tortugas treasures, though, Fort Jefferson remains the crown jewel. It was to be a practically indestructible hexagonal fortress, complete with a massive 420 heavy-gun platform. Though after thirty years of construction, Fort Jefferson was never fully completed, 16 million bricks were laid, making it still one of the largest coastal forts ever built. The fort was abandoned by the Army in 1874. In later years it served as a coaling station, quarantine hospital. Today the Dry Tortugas are considered to be one of America's most remote and least visited national parks. 

11. Stilt Village of Ukivok

NOME, ALASKA

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Deserted stilt village of Ukivok on King Island. (Photo: Captain Budd Christman, NOAA Corps/Public Domain

Located on tiny King Island off the coast of Alaska, the stilt village of Ukivok was once the winter home of sea-faring natives who have left it abandoned for the last half-century. Despite being left for ruin for over 50 years, this ghostly Alaskan village still clings to a steep cliffside.

A local Inupiat population calling themselves the Aseuluk ("People of the Sea") built a small village on one of the slopes using a precarious arrangement of stilts and huts, and the cliff village was in use until the mid-1900's when the population was forced to migrate to mainland Alaska. However the unlikely village still remains, clinging to the seas-swept slope of King Island, essentially left as though they would return the next year.

12. San Giorgio in Alga

VENICE, ITALY

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(Photo: Andy Hay/CC BY 2.0)

The island of San Giorgio in Alga off the Venetian coast (awesomely translated as, "Saint George in the seaweed") has lived a number of lives since humans first made their mark here as early as 1000 CE. Once a hotbed of monastic reform and a base of operations for Nazi frogmen, since the end of WWII it has been abandoned, and today is just an empty isle dotted by crumbling buildings. All of the old military and religious artifacts have been removed finally allowing it pass into its latest phase as a lovely ruin. 

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DMack
3 days ago
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Almost all of these have 360-degree panos on Google Maps, or at least really high res aerial imagery.
Don't miss Ross Island and Gunkanjima (which has lots of streetview coverage!)
Victoria, BC
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looks like a "whos Who' of my dreadful follower list https://t.co/IvoOlKSbep

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DMack
3 days ago
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Victoria, BC
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