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Showing posts from April, 2017

Happy World Penguin Day!

Happy World Penguin Day! By Damien Martin

One by one, they waddle out of the surf and onto the beach. Two or three wide, they scuttle on, hunched forward, headed home after a long day. Occasionally, one bumps into the neighbor in front. It’s starting to get dark, after all, and they’re in a rush. It’s not always easy being a little penguin. This rush hour traffic jam takes places every evening at sunset on Australia’s Phillip Island, about 2 hours outside Melbourne. And, yes, Little penguins is the official name for the world’s smallest penguin species, standing between 1 and 1½ feet tall. For the best view of the Penguin Parade, you need one of the 300 daily tickets for the viewing platform at Summerland Beach. The tiered seating offers 180-degree sightlines as the penguins march from their fishing waters to their sand dune burrows. You can also get an up-close view from underground window (limited to 70 people), watch from an elevated tower (10 people) or head off in a small group (limi…

Happy 2,770th birthday to Rome!

Today Rome celebrates its 2,770th birthday by Damien Martin
It began as a small farming community on a hilltop and worked its way up from to regional power to caput mundi, “the head of the world.” Over the centuries, it’s been saved by sacred geese, the last man standing in a battle between two sets of triplets and a Brutus or two. Today, Rome celebrates its 2,770th birthday, and in a lot of ways, it looks better than ever. Thanks in large part to private sponsorship, landmarks such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps have been refurbished in recent years, beautifying a city that welcomes between 7-10 million guests annually.

La Città Eterna, “the eternal city,” has been many things to many people over time. It was the world’s first metropolis, surpassing 1 million residents in the 2nd century AD, and saw its population drop to around 30,000 at its low point a few hundred years. The Forum, power center of an empire that ruled a quarter of the world’s population at its height…