Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cheetah Pictures

For infomation on the differences between Leopard and Cheetah click "HERE"
For Facts on Cheetah click "HERE"

African Wild Dog Facts

Alternative Name: Cape Hunting Dog

Latin Name: Lycaon pictus

Status: Endangered.

Lifespan: 12 years.

Weight: Both male and female 20kg to 25kg.

Wild dogs take preference to areas with few trees and short grass. They are found in savannah, woodland and grassland biomes, as well as hilly areas.

Diet and feeding:
Prey species include medium to small sized antelope such as waterbuck, impala, springbok and duiker as well as wildebeest and warthog.

Of all the large land predators, the wild dog is the most successful hunter with an average of 80% of its attempted hunts resulting in kills. Wild dogs hunt very efficiently as a pack and rely more on stamina than they do on strength and speed.

Once the prey has been targeted, the dogs then take turns in chasing after the animal at a fairly constant speed of 60 km/hour. The running prey is often forced into the direction of other members of the wild dog pack, who wait ahead to have their turn in chasing after the prey.

The hunted animal, exhausted from all the running slows down or stops, giving the wild dogs the opportunity to grab hold of it with their powerful jaws which they then use to tear off chunks of flesh resulting in the prey dying from loss of blood and shock.

After a successful copulation the female has a two-and-half-month gestation period. The pups are born underground, usually in old abandoned aardvark burrows. The average litter size varies from 7 to 10 young, with as many as 20. The large litter sizes may be as a result of the very high mortality rate of wild dog pups due to various diseases contracted by domestic dogs and predation by lion, hyena and leopard.

The young suckle for roughly three months but are capable of feeding on meat at 2 to 3 weeks of age. After a successful hunt, the adults then return to the den to feed the young by regurgitating the meat.

Other interesting facts:

Wild dogs have very large home ranges, ranging from 200 square kilometres to over 1000 square kilometres.
Their home rangers may extend into farm areas where they are seen as a threat to life-stock and are often destroyed for this reason.

Wild dogs are highly endangered and many attempts in breeding projects have been unsuccessful with most puppies dying in captivity.

A sad fact is that at a certain stage in time, wild dogs were seen as brutal animals in the way that they hunted and how could such a cruel animal be left to live?, resulting in may of them being destroyed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Baboon Facts

Chacma baboon

Latin Name: Papio cynocephalus ursinus

Lifespan: Both males and females live up to 18 years.

Weight: Males 32kg, females 15kg.

Chacma Baboons are found throughout southern Africa, except in the very arid regions.

Diet and Feeding:
Baboons are omnivorous feeding on a variety of fruits, leaves, grasses, roots, tubers, tree gum, insects, spiders and scorpions. They will also hunt prey such as reptiles, birds and other mammals.

During the Impala (Aepyceros melampus) lambing season, Chacma baboons have been known to run in and snatch the new-born lambs to feed off them.

Just below the tail, on the rump area are horny epidermal callosities. With females in oestrus, the callosities swell up substantially and serve as clear signal to the males of their breeding condition.

The dominant males herd and mate with the females in oestrus. The Alpha male does most of the mating.

Young males that have no dominant ranking within the troop have no mating rights. Mature females in most cases won’t give them the opportunity to mate unless the social bond between two is very strong. This type of mating is not tolerated by the dominant males and could prove very dangerous for the young male if caught in the act.

After a successful copulation from one male or a number of different males, the female then goes through a 6 month gestation period and gives birth to a single offspring. Females can give birth at any time of the year.

Youngsters are totally weaned from 6 to 8 months and share a very strong bond with their mothers. In the fist few weeks after birth the mother carries her baby in her hands and arms and as the baby grows it then holds onto its mother by the hair and hangs under her belly while walking. As the youngsters legs get stronger, it then moves onto the mothers back, using her raised tail as a back-rest.

Interesting Facts on the Chacma Baboon:

The canines of a mature Chacma baboon are longer than those of the lion.

Leopard will often hunt baboons, but young and inexperienced leopard can be killed by baboons when mobbed and bitten from different directions by a number of large dominant male baboons.

Young Vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) and baboons will on occasion play together, but as adults baboons will hunt Vervet monkeys.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Miss..

Painter Julian Paltenghi is showing works from his studio at the restaurant Le Theatre, at 4 rue Eugene Pelletan, Tarascon, until March 30th. The show opens Friday Feb. 27 with a vernissage beginning at 7 p.m. and all are welcome. Le Theatre is open evenings only, from 7 p.m., and is closed Thursdays and Sundays. The restaurant is offering a 15€ dinner special for those who attend the vernissage

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Once a summer home for the Avignon Popes, La Maison, in a 600-year-old mas just minutes from St. Remy, is quintessential Provence. Thirteen sun-drenched guestrooms (no two alike) have soft color-washed walls, French country antiques, subtle Moroccan touches (lanterns, tiles) and stunning mountain or garden views. In the dining room, chef Christian Peyre turns out highly regarded modern French/

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chuncheon Myeongdong Winter Sonata Korea Drama

Chuncheon (Chuncheon-si 춘천시) is the capital of Gangwon Province, South Korea. The city lies in the northeast of the country, located in a basin formed by the Soyang River and Han River. There are some large lakes around the city, most notably Lake Soyang and Lake Uiam. The area is renowned for its small river islands, such as Sangjungdo, Ha-Jungdo, Bungeo Island, or Wido.

The city is now a popular destination for East Asian tourists as it was featured in the popular Korean drama serial, Winter Sonata.

Winter Sonata is a romantic and popular korean drama series starring Bae Wong Joon and Choi Ji Woo.

There are so many places and sites used for casting Winter Sonata. Some of the famous places such as Myeongdong Street in Chuncheon, Namiseom Island,

Namiseom Island Winter Sonata

Winter Sonata scene in Nami Island , Chuncheon

Chuncheon Winter Sonata

Chuncheon Winter Sonata

This is the Myeongdong street in Chuncheon. However it was not as happening as the Myeongdong in Seoul. But it was famous for being the filming sight of "Winter Sonata". As I did not watch the Korean drama, I was told by my friend that Chuncheon Myeongdong was the place where the lead actor and actress were supposed to meet. Unfortunately, the actor met with an accident on the way and was not able to turn out for the appointment. I guess that was the point when the sad story started.

Chuncheon Myeongdong Winter Sonata

Chuncheon Myeongdong Winter Sonata

The two palm prints belong to the lead actor and actress of Winter Sonata. Chuncheon Myeongdong is located at the heart of Chuncheon city and it is just beside the City Hall of Chuncheon. We arrived at the place after taking a 10 minutes taxi ride from Namchuncheon station.

Chuncheon Myeongdong Winter Sonata

Chuncheon Myeongdong Winter Sonata

Watch Winter Sonata drama tour (Nami Island and Chuncheon) video here

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Fight to Save Cezanne's Countryside

The family of Paul Cézanne is “horrified” to learn that the SNCF is thinking of building an ultra-fast train track at the foot of Mount Sainte-Victoire, which Cezanne painted 87 times and has come to symbolize his genius.

“I feel under attack,” Philippe Cézanne, the great grandson of the famous post-impressionist, told The Guardian in a story that appears today. “The soul of Cézanne is in these

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nile Crocodile Facts

Latin name: Crocodylus nioloticus

Lifespan: 80 - 100 years, seldom more.

Length and weight:
Mature Nile crocodiles average 4 to 5 meters in length with exceptionally large specimens reaching 6 meters. Large adults can weigh over 1000 kg.

Crocodiles are found in most game reserves throughout Africa, taking preference to rivers, lakes and wetlands.

Diet and Feeding:
Their diet varies quite considerably depending on its age or size. Hatchlings prey mainly on insects, frogs, small fish and crabs. As they grow larger they then start preying off larger fish like catfish as well as birds.

Adults over 3 meters in length prey on birds, fish, various antelope species, monitor lizards, snakes, other predators including lions, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs as well as other crocodiles.

Crocodiles are opportunistic predators and help clean water sources by feeding off any carrion they may find.

Animals caught by crocodiles are normally dragged under water, causing suffocation. Larger prey species, too large to be dragged under water often die from a loss of blood and shock as a result of a number of different crocodiles gripping and tearing off flesh at the same time.
When feeding off large prey, the crocodile, using its powerful jaws and gripping teeth, thrashes the prey around until small enough pieces to swallow are torn off.

Crocodiles feeding on the same animal under water grab hold of the prey with a tight grip and then spin their bodies in order to break pieces of flesh off.

Nile crocodiles are sexually mature at about 12 – 14 years. Fertilization is internal with mating taking place in the water.

When the female is ready to lay eggs, she then looks for a suitable nest site with sufficient cover.
A hole is excavated in a sand bank above the flood-line and after depositing a clutch of between 20 and 80 eggs she then fills the hole up with sand again.

The female is highly protective over her nest and defends the eggs from being eaten by predators such as monitor lizards, water mongoose, baboons and monkeys. During this period she does not eat but will on occasion drink water.

The eggs incubate for 3 months and on hatching the young make high-pitched cheeping sounds, which attracts the mothers’ attention to the nest.
The female then digs open the nest and using her jaws, she gently cracks open any unhatched eggs, once done she then carefully carries the hatchlings in her mouth to the river. The young crocodiles stay with their mother for about 2 months before leaving on their own.

Only 2% of crocodiles reach full maturity as a result of being preyed on by monitor lizards, water mongoose, catfish and birds of prey.

Black Rhino Facts

Alternative Name: Hook-lipped Rhinoceros

Latin Name: Diceros bicornis

Status: Endangered

Lifespan: 40 years

Both male and female adults average from 800 to 850 kg, with large adults reaching up to 1000 kg.

Black Rhinoceros are found in dry arid areas as well as savannah and woodland areas with sufficient shrubs and trees to hide in, in the heat of the day.

Black rhino are browsers, feeding off a wide variety of shrubs and trees. Toxic plants such as the Tamboti Spirostachys africana with its high latex content are also eaten, having no harmful effects on the animal.

The black rhino has a very prehensile upper lip that is used to pull off leaves, shoots and thin branches while feeding.

Breeding takes place at any time of the year. The female can conceive her first calf at 7 to 8 years of age. A bull will ascertain if a cow is in oestrus by taste-testing the females’ urine otherwise known as “flehmen”.
After a successful copulation, the female has a gestation period of 15 months and gives birth to a calf weighing in at about 40 kg.

The calf suckles off the mother for 12 – 13 months and is fully weaned at 14 months. When the cow is ready to give birth to her next calf, she then chases the older calf away to be on its own or temporarily join up with other adults or youngsters in the area. The calf is usually chased away at 2 to 4 years of age.

Black Rhinos do not defend territories but do have home ranges in variable size that they scent-mark in. The bull scent-marks by either spraying urine onto vegetation or by defecating in certain spots called middens. Middens, which vary in number, are large collections of dung left by one bull or a number of different adults over a period of time. The bull after dropping his dung scrapes it into the ground with his hind legs and then spreads the dung further by dragging his feet as he walks away from the midden. Dung stuck under the bulls’ feet helps to further spread his scent as his walks through the area.
The purpose of a midden is to possibly convey information to other adults in the area by the different smells left in the midden.

The black rhinoceros has very weak eyesight but to compensate for that it has a very keen sense of smell and good hearing.

Of the two species of rhino found in Africa, the black rhino is the far more aggressive species. There are however fewer incidents of black rhino injuring or killing people, owing to its much lower population.

The white rhino having a higher population results in more frequent encounters with humans and although not considered as dangerous, accidents have been recorded.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Visiting the famous wine villages of the Southern Rhone Valley-- Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras and others--can be a bit daunting if you don’t know the area, don’t know much about wine or don’t know which labels you love. Some tasting rooms are open to the public during normal hours; others require an appointment. And some vineyards don’t offer tasting at all. The Southern Rhône

Gwangju Korea Nightlife Tourist Attractions

Gwangju  or Kwangju ((광주, 光州) is the sixth largest city in South Korea. Gwangju is best known for the Gwangju Massacre of May 1980, in which at least 207 (the number is disputed) students were killed by army forces suppressing a pro-democracy demonstration.

In Korea, Gwangju is famous for its local cuisine as is the province of Jeolla.

For your information, Gwangju is the sister city of Medan city, Capital of North Sumatera Province, Indonesia.

Travellers coming to Gwangju can experience a slower paced experience than Seoul, whilst still getting the bali bali (hurry hurry) lifestyle of Korea. It's also a good hub for touring the surrounding province of South Jeolla.

Gwang Ju Attractions & Heritage :
1. 8 sights5 delicacies
2. Downtown Zone
3. Mt.Mudeung Zone
4. Gasa Culture Zone
5. May 18 Democratic Uprising
6. Jungoe Park Culture Belt
7. Traditional Culture Zone
8. Beyond Gwangju

Things To Do in Gwangju
1. The Gwangju World Cup Stadium
2. Gasa Literature Museum
3. Gwangju Lake
4. Gwangju Foreigners' Night
5. World Cup Stadium
6. Kimchi Festival
7. May 18 National Cemetery
8. Gwangju Folk Museum
9. May 18th Cemetry

Gwangju World Photonics Expo 2010

The Gwangju World Photonics Expo 2010 held in Sangmu Citizen’s Park in Geumnam-ro in Gwangju is the world’s most innovative light-themed festival.

The Expo’s slogan “Light, Opening the Future” is further subdivided into three major programs: light-themed exhibitions, industrial exhibitions/conference and the Light Festival. To add to the fun, visitors can experience the beauty and mystery of light firsthand by participating in variety of events located throughout the area’s 10 exhibition halls/pavilions. Although there’s plenty to see, the expo aims at providing visitors with a variety of hands-on experiences to encourage them to take a more active role in the festivities. In particular, the “Light Science Experience Pavilion” is the ideal place for students to come and explore the scientific principles of light.

* The Light Festival (from April 9~13, 2010 / 19:00~24:00)
- Opening Event: April 9, 2010 (18:30~22:00) / Minju Gwangjang (Democratic Square)
- Lighting on the streets of Gwangju / Gwangjucheon Stream, Geumnam-ro, Wedding Street, Chungjang-ro
- Light Show / Culture Complex Station
- Exterior Lighting Display – March of Light, Opera of Light / Gwangju Post Office

Gwangju Folk Museum
Gwangju Folk Museum. The 5.18 Cemetery is a powerful testament to the price of democracy and the horrors that happen under an extremist government.

Gwangju Nightlife
Gwangju Nightlife. So many neon ligths.

Gwangju Worldcup Stadium
Gwangju Worldcup Stadium

Gwangju City Street
Gwangju City Street.

Gwangju Downtown
Gwangju Downtown

Watch MBC Gwangju World Photonics EXPO 2010 - Super Junior - It's You & Sorry Sorry video here

Sunday, February 1, 2009

In Memory of Marcel Guillot (1915-2009)

My next-door neighbor died yesterday, aged 94. After suffering a long time with bronchitis—he hadn’t left the house in three weeks—he finally agreed to go to the hospital; I can only imagine how hard his relatives pushed to make that happen. Fiercely independent, he’d lived happily on his own since his wife died many years ago. The couple had no children but Marcel had lots of attentive