Archive for July, 2008

Underground Town

The town is called Coober Peddy, and is located in the Outback in Australia.  The area’s claim to fame is the series of old Opal mines, which make up tunnels that not only can be toured, but can also be lived in! 

From Wikipedia:  The harsh summer desert temperatures mean that many residents prefer to live in caves bored into the hillsides. A standard three-bedroom cave home with lounge, kitchen, and bathroom can be excavated out of the rock in the hillside for a similar price to a house on the surface. It remains at a constant temperature, whereas surface living needs air-conditioning, especially during the summer months, when temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

The local golf course – mostly played at night with glowing balls, to avoid daytime temperatures – is completely free of grass and golfers take a small piece of “turf” around to use for teeing off.

Inside these opal mines can not only be found comfortable housing, but bookstores, churches, and a Comfort Inn as well!

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Lego Sculptures

Made by the artist Nathan Sawaya

Not by Nathan Sawaya (I don’t think):

As seen at Boardwalk Disney…

And…drumroll please…the world’s largest lego tower…

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Funny Tombstones

Yes I know – you have probably seen most of these before, as they are all over the internet. But, I figured that I would give them another whirl. After all, we forget about these things on occasion, so it’s nice to rehash them. And I’ve also taken the liberty of consolidating them from several different websites.

I would also like to provide a disclaimer that I respect the deceased. However, if I had a last name like “Weed” or “Livengood”, and I was dead and had a tombstone, I would hopefully be happy that I obtained a small bit of notoriety after I had passed away, and be able to laugh along with these jokers.

So here they are:

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On July 4 I will be moving out of my hotel and into an apartment on Mt. Adams, a small mountain that sits within the city limits of Cincinnati. After choosing this location, I soon discovered that this mountain once had a funicular system, which was established at some point in the 1800’s, and dismantled in 1948. The funicular was attached to the streetcar system that ran throughout the city, and as a result of its success, 4 more were installed in other parts of the city that contained hills [the guy in the bookstore told me 6 more, so there may be a dispute involved here – I’ll correct myself when I get the info]

Anyway, what you will see below is not this particular funicular system, but a group of pictures I have collected over the years of funicular systems and other interesting transportation systems found around the world. I was first inspired by these unique transport systems when I studied abroad in Switzerland back in 1999. However, my interest was re-emphasized when I visited Lisbon, Portugal, the city of 7 mountains. Although Lisbon is much more elegant and people-oriented than Cincinnati, the same concept existed within Cincinnati, which is why I love this fabulous city. It is much more accessible than Lisbon, and the people here speak English.

On to the pictures…

Quebec Funicular

This one is not officially a funicular – rather, it’s a subway system built on a really steep hill. I can’t remember where this is located, but it’s neat.

Once again, this is not a funicular, but it’s a similar system. Seen at some shopping centers with more than once floor (such as Target), it’s used to transport shopping carts to the next floor, without passengers. It’s pretty fun to use!

An incline for a miniature golf course in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Montmartre in Paris

Other funiculars of whose location I was too lazy to look for, but are interesting anyway…

And last for now, the most inspiring to me, the urban funicular, one of many found in Lisbon…

Please feel free to share any links to other interesting funiculars, or similar modes of transport, that you have found. I’d love to see them!

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