jeudi 1 décembre 2011

BASEL




Basel is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany. With 830,000 inhabitants in the tri-national urban agglomeration as of 2004, Basel is Switzerland's second-largest urban area.

TIBETAN MONKS

Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India. It is the state religion of Bhutan. It is also practiced in Mongolia and parts of Russia and Northeast China. Texts recognized as scripture and commentary are contained in the Tibetan Buddhist canon, such that Tibetan is a spiritual language of these areas.

A Tibetan diaspora has spread Tibetan Buddhism to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity. Among its prominent exponents is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The number of its adherents is estimated to be between ten and twenty million.

CYCLING



Cycling in the Netherlands is a common and popular method of both transport and also recreation. The country is well equipped with cycle-paths and other segregated cycle facilities. The network reaches all parts of the nation and into the bordering nations of Belgium and Germany. The cycling surface quality is good and the routing tends to be direct with gentle turns making it possible to cycle at speed for considerable distances. Cycleways come with their own sets of rules and systems - including traffic signals/lights, tunnels and lanes.

BEIJING


In 1986, China set the long-term goal of providing compulsory nine-year basic education to every child. As of 2007, there were 396,567 primary schools, 94,116 secondary schools, and 2,236 higher education institutions in the PRC. In February 2006, the government advanced its basic education goal by pledging to provide completely free nine-year education, including textbooks and fees. Free compulsory education in China consists of elementary school and middle school, which lasts for 9 years (ages 6–15); almost all children in urban areas continue with three years of high school.

As of 2007, 93.3% of the population over age 15 are literate. In 2000, China's literacy rate among 15-to-24-year-olds was 98.9% (99.2% for males and 98.5% for females). In March 2007, the Chinese government declared education a national "strategic priority"; the central budget for national scholarships was tripled between 2007 and 2009, and 223.5 billion yuan (US$28.65 billion) of extra state funding was allocated between 2007 and 2012 to improve compulsory education in rural areas.

In 2009, Chinese students from Shanghai achieved the world's best results in mathematics, science and literacy, as tested by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance.

MUSSELS


Humans have used mussels as food for thousands of years and continue to do so. About 17 species are edible, of which the most commonly eaten are Mytilus edulis, M. galloprovincialis, M. trossellus and Perna canaliculus. Although mussels are valued as food, mussel poisoning due to toxic planktonic organisms can be a danger along some coastlines. For instance, mussels should be avoided along the west coast of the United States during the warmer months. This poisoning is usually due to a bloom of red tides, which contain toxins. The dinoflagellates and their toxin are harmless to mussels, even when concentrated by the mussel's filter feeding, but if the mussels are consumed by humans, the concentrated toxins cause serious illness, such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.

THE WALL



Before the Wall's erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin, from where they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the wall prevented almost all such emigration. During this period, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with estimates of the resulting death toll varying between 100 and 200. The last person to be shot while trying to cross the border was Chris Gueffroy on 6 February 1989.