SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –
On March 21, Egyptian bride Manal Abu Shanar (shown above) took an unusual route to her wedding in the Gaza Strip (map): a smuggler's tunnel.
Her Palestinian groom, Emad al-Malalha, told Reuters that Egyptian officials did not give Shanar permission to enter Gaza, part of the Palestinian territories, at a designated crossing point.
The couple resorted to their backup plan, the underground route. Hundreds of tunnels, up to half a mile (0.8 kilometers) long, burrow beneath the border of Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
The tunnels are part of an enormous illegal smuggling operation that imports food, medicine, and construction materials—as well as weapons and drugs—into the territory.
Smugglers have used the Gaza tunnels since at least 1982, when the city of Rafah was divided between Egypt and Gaza. Traffic increased after Israel instituted a restrictive blockade six years ago.
Now a lifeline for the residents of Gaza, the tunnel economy involves tens of thousands of people. As much as two-thirds of the region's consumer goods are brought through the tunnels. (See "The Tunnels of Gaza" in National Geographic magazine.)-www.shafaqna.com/English
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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The Hindu festival known as Kumbh Mela, often referred to as the world’s largest gathering of humanity, peaked on Sunday at the meeting of the Yamuna, Ganges, and mythical Saraswati rivers. The festival in the northern Indian city of Allahabad sees tens of millions of pilgrims bathe in the Ganges to wash away sins. Pilgrims and saints pray as they soak.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A northeast blizzard dumped up to three feet of snow overnight Friday and brought hurricane-force wind gusts to areas between New York and Maine.
The storm, dubbed “Nemo” by The Weather Channel, triggered evacuations along the Massachusetts coast and left hundreds of thousands without power. In this shot, Steve Hull digs his car out from a snowdrift in Portland, Maine on Saturday. (Read: What is a Blizzard, Anyway?)
Heading out into the snow with your camera? Share your pictures with us, and we’ll post the best ones here.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The European Space Agency (ESA) announced January 31 that it is looking into building a moon base (pictured in an artist's conception) using a technique called 3-D printing.
It probably won't be as easy as whipping out a printer, hooking it to a computer, and pressing "print," but using lunar soils as the basis for actual building blocks could be a possibility.
"Terrestrial 3-D printing technology has produced entire structures," said Laurent Pambaguian, head of the project for ESA, in a statement.
On Earth, 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, produces a three-dimensional object from a digital file. The computer takes cross-sectional slices of the structure to be printed and sends it to the 3-D printer. The printer bonds liquid or powder materials in the shape of each slice, gradually building up the structure. (Watch how future astronauts could print tools in space.)
The ESA and its industrial partners have already manufactured a 1.7 ton (1.5 tonne) honeycombed building block to demonstrate what future construction materials would look like.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Multicolored Sun
The sun is more than meets the eye, and researchers should know. They've equipped telescopes on Earth and in space with instruments that view the sun in at least ten different wavelengths of light, some of which are represented in this collage compiled by NASA and released January 22. (See more pictures of the sun.)
By viewing the different wavelengths of light given off by the sun, researchers can monitor its surface and atmosphere, picking up on activity that can create space weather.
If directed towards Earth, that weather can disrupt satellite communications and electronics—and result in spectacular auroras. (Read an article on solar storms in National Geographic magazine.)
The surface of the sun contains material at about 10,000°F (5,700°C), which gives off yellow-green light. Atoms at 11 million°F (6.3 million°C) gives off ultraviolet light, which scientists use to observe solar flares in the sun's corona. There are even instruments that image wavelengths of light highlighting the sun's magnetic field lines.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Winner: Grand Prize and Nature
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – An Indochinese tigress named Busaba shakes herself dry after a swim at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand. Titled "The Explosion!" the photo was the winning entry in the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest.
The Indochinese tiger—found in parts of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia—is one of six tiger subspecies, all of which are endangered or critically endangered. It's estimated that only about 350 Indochinese tigers exist in the wild.- www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: National Geographic
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Do you want beautiful product photos? Or, are you a nature buff and you want bright, clear photos of your favorite flower? Whatever your reason this article will help you to do just that.
“Get up, get down, get ready, get steady, get close and get very personal”.
I use this mantra when taking close-up shots AKA macro photography.
I’ve spent many years trying (and failing miserably) to get that perfect close-up photo. I’ve made every error under the sun, including but not limited to:
Getting too close so the camera won’t focus
Moving too far away so I get a big chunk of background in
Not holding the camera steady enough so photos come out blurry
And many more…
After making every error you can think of I’ve finally managed to crack it – to get that elusive clear, crisp close-up shot. Hallelujah – Praise the lord!
Now, before I begin, I’d just like to say I’ve been using the magnificent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S lens on a Nikon D5000 camera using natural light (no artificial lighting here I’m afraid) but the principles apply to most modern cameras. The results however will vary depending on which camera and lens you’re using.
Onwards and upwards – here’s a list of things I do to get that perfect shot.
Place your object somewhere near an open window so you get natural light with soft shadows. Notice how I said near, not at the window – ½ meter to 1 meter should do it.
Open the aperture as far as it will go. On my lens it’s f1.8 but, you should open it as far as it will go on yours.
Have a reasonably fast shutter speed so you don’t get motion blur.
Hold the camera very steady, ideally using a tripod if you have one so you don’t get motion blur.
Move as close to the object as you can whilst being able to maintain auto-focus. If you have manual focus and know how to use it then you’ll be able to get even closer.
If you don’t have manual focus or you don’t know how to use it then use your zoom to get even closer.
Hold steady and fire!
Now there is a cautionary note here – at aperture f1.8 you will only get 1 point (and a small surrounding area) in focus. The rest of the photo will be out of focus. If that’s your intention then great, but if you want the whole thing in focus you should close your aperture a little to f2.5 upwards. This will however mean that you will need to decrease you shutter speed a little to compensate. This will result in you having to hold the camera even steadier.- www.shfaqna.com/English