Tsavo Man Eaters

The Tsavo region lies to the south of Kenya close to the borders with Tanzania in the basin of the Tsavo river close to where it meets the Athi River. The Tsavo region had been inhabited for thousands of years by hunter-gatherers, and later by the Kamba people moving through the region herding their livestock or looking for honey. The region achieved notoriety in 1898 during the building of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway, when a pair of lions terrorized the railway workers building a bridge. During a 10-month period the lions killed at least 28 people. The ordeal was put to an end by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, who was in charge of the bridge-building, after extensive stalking and baiting. The stuffed body of the two lions can be seen today in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

In March 1898 the British started building a railway bridge over the Tsavo River led by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson. Called the Uganda Railroad, it was to stretch from Mombasa on the coast of modern-day Kenya to Lake Victoria, and later into Uganda. During the next nine months of construction, two maneless male Tsavo lions stalked the campsite, dragging Indian workers from their tents at night and devouring them. Crews tried to scare off the lions and built campfires and bomas, or thorn fences, around their camp for protection to keep the man-eaters out, to no avail; the lions leaped over or crawled through the thorn fences. After the new attacks, hundreds of workers fled from Tsavo, halting construction on the bridge. Patterson set traps and tried several times to ambush the lions at night from a tree.

After repeated unsuccessful endeavours, Patterson got his first breakthrough on 9 December 1898 when he managed to put a bullet on the first lion. The shot struck the lion in its back leg, but it escaped. Later, it returned at night and began stalking Patterson as he tried to hunt it. A shot through the heart eventually killed the lion. The second lion was killed twenty days later. Patterson had to fire at least nine times before it was dead. He claimed it died gnawing on a fallen tree branch, still trying to reach him.

The lions were enormous in size. The first one measured nine feet, eight inches from nose to tip of tail and stood three feet nine inches high. It took eight men to carry the carcass back to camp. After 25 years as Patterson's floor rugs, the lions' skins were sold to the Chicago Field Museum in 1924 for a sum of US$5,000. Today, they are on permanent display along with the original skulls.

The exact number of people killed by the lions is unclear. Patterson’s figure of 135 victims is believed to be exaggerated. The actual number is likely around 35, arrived by analyzing samples of hair and bone of the lions.

The man-eaters’ notorious exploits have been immortalized in no less than three Hollywood films, including the 1996 movie The Ghost and the Darkness where Val Kilmer played the daring Patterson.

The first of the two Tsavo man-eating lions shot by Lt. Col. Patterson.

The second man-eater from Tsavo shot by Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson.

The man-eaters’ den.


China Grand Canyon

These pictures of great sandstone walls were not taken at the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, but rather in Keziliya Mountain, about 70 km north of Kuqa in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. The Keziliya Grand Canyon, also called the Tianshan Grand Canyon being located at the south foot of the Tianshan Mountain, is about 5.5 km long from east to west and was formed due to erosion by flash flooding over thousands of years, just like its bigger brother in Arizona. The canyon is characterized by oddly-shaped rocks, pinnacles, rugged cliffs and deep ravines. These have been given various names such as “Skyworth Valley”, “Sacred Snake Valley”, “Skyscraper Cave Valley”, “Rock of tenterhook”, “Swan Peak” and “Lover’s Peak”, to name a few.

The width of the canyon varies along the length. While the broadest point is 150 feet (50 meters) wide, the narrowest place is 1.3 feet (0.4 meter), just barely enough for a single person to squeeze through sideways. The deepest cut in the canyon is about a 100 meters deep.

About 1,400 meters into the canyon, and 35 meters high up, is located the cave of “a Thousand Buddha”. The cave was built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the murals here are very precious in the study of the art history.


Bikini In Zero Gravity

Her fans would already say she's out of this world. And that certainly proved to be the case as Kate Upton posed under zero gravity conditions for a one-off photoshoot for Sports Illustrated's 50th edition.

Clad in a tiny gold bikini, the model swung upside down and all around as she was photographed in a Zero Gravity Plane at the Space Coast Regional Airport at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

She's out of this world! Kate Upton poses in her tiny gold bikini as she spins around an aircraft in zero gravity conditions on a photoshoot for Sports Illustrated

Her blonde curls swung around her face as the 21-year-old model floated in space - in conditions perfected to allow astronauts to train for their missions.

Kate attempting to keep her curves inside her tiny swimsuit as she twisted and turned, while assistants threw accessories her way. Water droplets floated around her face as she smiled for the camera.

With a hair stylist to keep her locks under control, make-up artist, photographers, videographers and editors all onboard, there was a crowd watching as grinning Kate proved ever the professional.

Defying gravity: Water is spurted into the air on the shoot to demonstrate the remarkable conditions at Cape Canaveral in Florida

The shoot took place on a specially modified Boeing-727, known as G-FORCE ONE, which performed a series of 17 parabolas – 13 zero gravity and four replicating lunar gravity – as Upton bounced and soared through the plane for the cameras.

The weightless experience was not simulated.  ZERO-G is the first and only FAA- approved provider of commercial weightless airline flights for the public.

Quite an achievement: With a hair stylist to keep her locks under control, make-up artist, photographers, videographers and editors all onboard, there was a crowd watching as grinning Kate proved ever professional

'The ZERO-G experience was really exhilarating for everyone involved,' MJ Day, senior editor of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, said. 'We have been almost everywhere in the past 50 years with SI Swimsuit, but we have never done anything like this. 'It was certainly the most out-of-the-box shoot. 'Once again, Kate surprised us all with how she handled modeling in weightlessness.'

Cheeky girl: Kate shoots a smile at the camera as her perfect curves are put on display

Keeping them under control: The beauties curves threatened to spill out of her swimsuit

While fan favourite Kate has covered the previous two editions of the magazine, the editors obviously realised they needed a new direction this issue.

But while Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge featured on the magazine's cover, Kate still made an appearance - on the back. Posing in a tiny pink bikini, she showed just why she has become so popular.

Back in fashion: This year Kate has scored the rear of the magazine, following her covergirl spots the last two years


Qasr Al Haj - Oldest Save Deposit Box in the World

One of the finest example of Berber architecture is “Qasr Al Haj”, located on the Tripoli-'Aziziya-Al Jawf route in Libya about 130 km from Tripoli. Built with bricks and clay, this circular earth-colored building is featureless from the outside, with a door that leads to the large courtyard inside. Surrounding the courtyard are rows of small windows arranged in three stories that looks like open catacombs stacked one on top of another, or a fortified village at best.

Qasr is an Arabic word for “castle,” and haj meant a pilgrimage. The haj is the annual pilgrimage undertaken by Muslims to Mecca, a trip that ideally has to be done by all Muslims at least once in their lifetime. During the 12th century, the Qasr Al Haj was a place where pilgrims who went on the haj stored their things before they went, like modern airport locker rooms or bank vaults, so they won’t be weighed down with too many things during their trip.

Qasr Al Haj was later used as communal granary and olive oil storage rooms, for villagers who did not have enough space at home to store these staples. The building originally comprised of 114 chambers, that corresponded to the number of chapters in the holy Koran. Each family had a space in that Qasr where they could keep food and grains for safe keeping. The qasr was in use even as late as the 1960s.


Climbing 2nd Tallest Building in The World

Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov have gained a lot of notoriety with the video above this week.

The video, released on Wednesday February 12, 2014, has already been viewed over 8 million times. It shows the duo (who together are OnTheRoofs), climbing the still under-construction Shanghai Tower. Upon its completion in 2014, it will stand approximately 632 metres (2,073 ft) high and will have 121 storeys. Following its topping out on 3 August 2013, it became the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates.

Raskalov says the pair started their ascent on January 31st, which not coincidentally was the first day of China’s Lunar New Year, a major holiday in China. It took them about two hours to get to the 120th floor by foot and then they spent an additional 18 hours on top of the building sleeping and waiting for better weather.

While the video above documents their ascent, both are keen photographers and took the time to capture some amazing shots of the bustling metropolis below.