Oroumieh Lake Now Becomes Solid Salt

You’re considered to be very lucky if your were able to take a picture of Iran’s largest salt water lake Oroumieh before it turned into solid salt. The lake is the third largest in the world and has been considered to be one of the most visited tourist spot of the country. Tourists love boating in the lake and take pictures which also gave the local residents extra income.

Sad to say, the lake is now turning into salt and tourists are already getting bored in visiting the place. It caused a domino effect to the nearby establishments as well. They might be closing soon due to losing income. Boatmen also gave up their job end up placing their boats at home and left with only memories of the time that the lake was still deep. Right now the deepest part of it is only 2 meters.

Aside from the tourism issues, nearby farms are also threatened because sometime storms carry the salt far afield. It would then damage the century old farm of apples, grapes, walnuts, almonds, onions, potatoes, as well as aromatic herbal drinks.

The salty winds not only will affect surrounding areas but also can damage farming in remote areas. -Masoud Mohammadian

He is an agriculture official in the eastern part of the lake. It is approximately 370 miles (600 kilometers) northwest of the capital Tehran.

Reports pointed the blame to a decade-long drought, consumption of water of the feeding rivers for farming, construction of dams and lot more.

The government is now trying to save the lake through a cloud-seeding program to increase rainfall in the area, a lowering of water consumption by irrigation systems, and supplying the lake with remote sources of water.

Pope John Paul II Sculpture Gained Negative Criticisms

The Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi has come up a design that would symbolize the recently beatified Catholic leader Pope John Paul II. The statue was placed outside Rome’s Termini train station wherein a lot of people pass by to notice. However, people wasn’t able to appreciate its appearance. It gained so much criticisms and being described as having ‘little resemblance. Even other people thought that the figure looks more like Italy’s wartime dictator Benito Mussolini than of the Pope.

Even the Vatican criticized the figure and in their official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano they wrote: ‘The result is not what was intended and his face on the top of the statue bears little resemblance and already there has been much criticism… it makes him look like a tent… it looks like a bomb has hit..’

The figure stands 5m (16ft) tall wearing a large cloak which falls to the ground on three sides, leaving a gaping hole at the front. According to the sculptor, the idea was to present a message of universal love and welcome from the blessed Pope John Paul. “I didn’t think about resemblance. I wanted a work that would harmonise the head with the body and the cloak,” Rainaldi said.

He is very disappointed of the negative reactions that the statue gained. He was even surprised of how the Vatican reacted to it that in fact he had shown the original design sketches to Benedict’s Culture Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

Rome’s Cultural Commission president Federico Mollicone also ridiculed the figure and said, “It’s a permanent and sacrilegious mud stain on his memory.”

Planking Which Has Gone Viral Claims Life of a Man in Brisbane, Australia

The death of a man in Australia is being attributed by police authorities to a new internet craze called “planking”, said reports.

According to the report released by authorities, a young man from Brisbane who performed a planking stunt fell from the seventh floor of an apartment building and died on the spot.  Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett in an interview detailed the incident saying,

“This morning we have seen a young man take this activity a step further and attempt to plank on a balcony. Unfortunately he has tragically fallen to his death.”

Planking is the act of lying flat on the floor with arms placed against the body.  This is usually made by “plankers” on dangerous places and situations.  They also photograph these acts and immediately share their photos on social networking sites.

On Facebook, the official page of Planking Australia had already reached more than 10,000 fans.  The page is also loaded with hundreds of photos of members showing their exploits.

This new internet craze alarmed police authorities in Australia warning “plankers” of the risks they are facing.  They revealed that they also have arrested a number of “plankers” in the last two weeks who violated state statutes because of their exploits.

Image credit: nypost.com

Djokovic Grabbed Another Clay Title From Nadal

The Serbian champ Novak Djokovic has remained unstoppable in his collection of titles this year. He has dominated the Rome Finals and just grabbed the 5-year old title from the world’s top seeded Rafael Nadal. In Djokovic’s career, this win would be marking his 37th for this year alone and 39th overall. He is chasing to the record of Guillermo Vilas of 46 consecutive wins, set in 1977.

Djokovic’s performance in the Rome Finals has been that superb after making Nadal appeared to be doing all the chasing and the second best in the match. The Serb didn’t let the match entered the 3rd set and ended it with the official score of 6-4 6-4. He once defeated the “Clay King” (Nadal) in Madrid Open and now he’s adding the Rome Masters in the list.

Djokovic’s winning streak started in the Australian Open last January followed by Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Belgrade and Madrid. His last match to get into the finals of Rome Masters has been so thrilling after he rallied a 3-hour game against Andy Murray. However, it didn’t affect his game against Nadal. No trace of tiredness has been spotted on him.

“Whatever the conditions I needed to step into the court and take chances and be aggressive. That’s really the only way against Nadal on clay,” Djokovic said.

The Spaniard praised and congratulated his opponent. “He’s doing amazing things, he’s very tough mentally and physically. Every week he’s winning matches, he’s playing fantastically, he’s doing a lot of things very well and he has a lot of confidence,” said Nadal.