This US city is running for the world's smartest city title.Hey smarty-pants, you must be from Columbus, Ohio.Sure, it’s not a popular pick-up line now, but that could all change in June if Columbus wins the Intelligent Community Forum’s prize for the world’s most intelligent city. It’s one of the 7 final nominees and the only American city to make the cut. ICF founder Richard Bell recently went there to see if the city lives up to its hype.Bell said he’s interested in seeing how education and government serve the community. He’s looking for higher education that’s informed by the needs of business as well as government decisions that serve the majority rather than just the elite. City leaders in business and government are giving Bell tours of education, research, and technology facilities. The other nominees are Taoyuan County and Taichung City - both in Taiwan, Canada also has two nominees Stratford and Toronto, and the final two are Tallinn, Estonia and Oulu, Finland. Past winners include Riverside, California; Stockholm, Sweden; and the Gangnan District in Seoul, South Korea.How do you think your city ranks in intelligence compared to others?
Bridge Engineer Murray Johnson completes the lift of the second bridge span over the Ohio River that connects Milton, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana. Video courtesy of Walsh Construction Company, 2012. Copyright 2013, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Take a tour of Hoi An, Vietnam. When going to Vietnam, consider venturing beyond the beaten path.One option is Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. The town is remarkably well preserved, reminiscent of the South-East Asian trading port that it once was from the 15th to the 19th century. Ideal for pedestrian walking or biking, the area is home to a long list of sites. A stunning architectural beauty is the Quan Cong Temple, which was founded in 1653 and dedicated to a Chinese general.The Old Quarter of Hoi An bears Japanese and Chinese influence with numerous two-storey shops showcasing moss-covered tile roofs and carved wooden facades. The old-fashioned charm sets the area apart, inspiring a romantic element. Cars are banned in the Old Quarter in light of the preservation efforts by locals. With no train station or airport, the best way to get around and experience the area is by walking.Wooden community houses, pagodas and bridges can be seen at every turn.
Check out 7 things to see in Asia before you die.Asia is home to ancient civilizations, spectacular scenery and dazzling cities.Here are 7 things to see in Asia before you die.Number 7 – The Taj Mahal in Agra, India was built in 1648. Its white marble structure dominates the skyline from the river Yamuna. The beautiful floral and geometric designs showcase Mughal and Persian architecture. Precious stones inlaid in the white marble create detailed patterns and intricate calligraphy.Number 6 - The Terracotta Army in China consists of over 8,000 strong soldiers, built by men for conquest after death. The enormous force rests in hundreds of ranks, no two soldiers exactly the same. Besides the infantry, the army consists of hundreds of cavalry and chariots.Number 5 - Tiger's Nest monastery located in Bhutan is a Buddhist temple with a 1200-year history. The monastery is built around a cave where an ancient guru once meditated. Today, it thrives in the remote mysterious cliff side.Number4 – Japan is home to a gorgeous site known as the Bamboo forest. As the name implies, a seemingly never-ending expanse of tall bamboo trees surround picturesque and tranquil walking trails.Number 3 - Halong Bay in Vietnam is said to be one of the most beautiful sights on Earth. Locals work in nearby fields while thousands of limestone mountains spread over a landscape unlike any other.Number 2 - Angkor Wat in Cambodia is a temple complex built in the 12th century, full of ancient statues and stone structures. There are numerous carvings, statues, and other works of religious art all across Angkor Wat.Number 1 – There’s almost too much to see in Bali, Indonesia. Stunning temples amidst inspiring scenery, the ancient art form of Balinese dance, terraced fields and of course the beaches, which are among the best in the world.
A penthouse in Monaco is predicted to be the most expensive in the world.Few places can match Monaco in glamour and luxury.A multi-story penthouse in Monaco is expected to fetch over $387 million when it will go on the real estate market in 2014. Precisely, the property could become the world’s most expensive per square meter. Located inside of the Odeon Tower, which is under construction, the structure will be the Mediterranean coastline's second tallest building, soaring to a height of 557 feet. The upscale penthouse offers panoramic views of the sea via floor to ceiling windows. The luxury home also contains an infinity pool along with a private water slide. The building offers housekeeping and valet services which can be controlled by a touch screen included in the apartments. The structure also houses a cinema, private spas and chauffeured limousines.In 2010, another penthouse in Monaco became famous after selling for $308 million. Encompassing 17,500 square feet, the three bedroom duplex penthouse boasted roof terraces with 15-foot trees, an infinity pool and a double-height library
Check out the countries most and least open to foreigners.Want to travel to a distant place, experience its rich culture, and be welcomed with open arms by its people?Consider going to Yemen.According to a World Economic Forum report on global tourism it’s among the most welcoming countries on the planet. Morocco, Senegal, and Iceland also scored high. The WEF’s compilation process was pretty straightforward. Specifically, they inquired of respondents, “How welcome are foreign visitors in your country?” Finding geographical patterns in the map is not as simple. For example, one of the friendlier countries, Brazil, shares its border with the two least welcoming – Bolivia and Venezuela.Other big differences among neighboring countries include Canada and the United States. While Canada boasts securing one of the top spots, the US ranked 102nd out of the 140 countries polled. Americans don’t consider themselves good tourists, either.Actually, in a survey conducted by Living Social and Mandala Research, Americans ranked themselves the worst. Canadians and Australians agreed.The Irish gave the British the dubious title. The British pointed their fingers at the Germans.
Check out these luxury jaw-dropping pool proposals.There’s nothing that screams success more than a fancy pool.The prominent Dutch design firm, NL architects received a request from a high-end client in 2011.The Canadian entrepreneur, simply referred to as Andrew R. bought a property in Del Ray Beach, Florida and asked for a new home design along with a pool that would easily stand apart from the rest. The first option is called ‘drop blob’ featuring a kidney shaped house. What resides on the roof is a weaving pool surrounded by a forest of plants and trees. Water spills from the edge of the top, down over the home’s glass walls. The second idea is simply called ‘pool house’. The pool again takes up space on the roof on a seemingly simple rectangular shaped dwelling. In actuality there’s multiple pools of differing depths that flow together to make one body of water. The third and final proposal is the ‘sawa’ house. Above the rectangular home is a multi-layered, contoured rooftop pool. Resembling a thick set of stairs, water continuously flows down the steps, which creates a constant waterfall effect. How do you like the designs?
A scion of a prominent publishing family turned her former California dairy farm into a playful family retreat complete with a working olive farm. Julia Flynn Siler has the details on Lunch Break. Photo: Drew Kelly for The Wall Street Journal. Copyright 2013, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Destroyed by the violent Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, many objects and remains were still intact in Pompeii and Herculaneum. WSJ's Paul Levy gets a sneak peek at this much awaited exhibition at the British Museum in London. Photo: British Museum Copyright 2013, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Check out NASA's image of Greenland's sapphire pool.Each year, when temperatures start rising, the sun shines down on the Greenland ice sheet. The end result is gorgeous sapphire-colored ponds. Snow and ice melt, causing water to flow in streams and channels. The liquid then collects in depressions on the sheet’s surface creating so-called ponds and once in awhile, they can be seen from space.Referred to as melt ponds or lakes, they will sometimes disappear rapidly. Images from a NASA satellite shows the development of a stunning, vibrant blue pond in 2010 over three months.The glacial pool resided in southwestern Greenland. By early summer, the water usually collects in two depressions on the ice. By the middle of the hot season, those two ponds mold into one and turn to the bright sapphire color. The lake is also deep enough to float an ice raft. The flowing water from the ice sheet serves as a major interest point for scientists. A study released in 2013 determined glacial melt water from Greenland’s ice sheets contained more iron than was previously believed. Iron is an essential element for the growth of plankton – a key ocean food source.
America has the highest percentage of distracted drivers.More than two-thirds of Americans say that they’ve talked on a cell phone while driving in the past 30 days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently. Additionally, nearly a third of the group surveyed admitted to texting while behind the wheel. European countries also involved in the study fared much better with all of them reporting numbers well below the United State’s just under 70 percent figure. Most notable is Great Britain, reporting a comparatively scant 21 percent of its drivers engaged in mobile phone activities while on the road. Spanish motorists also deserve kudos as only 15 percent of them reported texting while driving. While laws against such activities exist in the majority of states in the US, they do not appear to act as much of a deterrent. Nor do the staggering statistics on accidents caused by distracted drivers. In 2010 a team at the University of North Texas Health Science Center released their research findings concerning the matter. They reported that between 2001 and 2007 almost 16 thousand deaths had resulted from accidents caused by distracted cell phone users. Add in other smart phone activities such as web surfing or status updating and the number of accidents caused by mobile devices skyrockets to an estimated 1 million per year, according to a 2011 study by State Farm Insurance. State Farm also reported that those fiddling with their phones while driving are 23 times more likely to get into a collision.
Grammy-winning British conductor John Eliot Gardiner lives in a 19th-century chapel with a rich history that doubles as a rehearsal space for musicians in the acclaimed Monteverdi Choir. Pia Catton has details on Lunch Break.: John Elliot Gardiner for The Wall Street Journal. Copyright 2013, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Curiosity finds white rock named "Tintina".Although Mars is known as the red planet, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars Curiosity Rover has found a white rock with signs that water existed on Mars in the ancient past. The rock, now dubbed Tintina, broke when it was run over by Curiosity revealed a bright white color due to the presence of water-bearing minerals long ago.The color of the rock shows that hydrated minerals formed at some point, which is evidence of water having been on Mars in the past.Jim Bell, from Arizona State University in Tempe said: "The first time we tried to take the image of Tintina, it saturated the detector, because we had no idea we'd have something so bright.” There have been other surprises during the rover mission as well including unfortunate computer malfunctions like memory glitches and a software file error. Constant contact has been kept with the spacecraft, but the Curiosity rover stopped sending recorded data, and didn’t go into sleep mode as it had been programmed to do.
A $1.5 million luxury vacation tours all UNESCO sites. One company is offering a two-year long trip, which is being referred to as potentially the world’s most expensive holiday.For about $1.5 million, it allows travelers to visit every single UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. VeryFirstTo.com teamed up with tour operation company Hurlingham Travel to initiate the travel venture. Included in the astounding price is overland travel, flights and upscale hotel accommodation. A portion of the money will also be donated to UNESCO. The managing director of the tour company states “This is certainly the most exciting trip we have ever managed and is the most remarkable travel adventure imaginable.” UNESCO recognizes 962 world heritage sites around the globe including picturesque Stonehenge, The Notre Dame Cathedral and The Pyramids of Giza. The website behind the UNESCO trip boasts several other unique offerings including a venture to space. For $105,000 per person, wealthy adventurers can travel away from Earth with only one other human – the pilot of the shuttle.The engines are shut off at one point during the flight, allowing the traveler to take in silent views of our planet.
Taking aim at the bottom of Africa's beer market, SabMiller and Diageo PLC are marketing cheap beer they can afford to produce thanks to specially negotiated tax breaks. Health experts worry it will encourage excessive drinking. WSJ's Devon Maylie reports Copyright 2013, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Are you tired of all the usual vacation spots? Then escape to Afghanistan! Sunshine State is from the Musica for the Poor Album by the Socialist PieRats https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/musica-for-the-poor/id547304785 http://soundcloud.com/socialist-pierats Directed and edited by Peter Habbit http://peterhabbit.com/