埃菲尔铁塔,法国巴黎 Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (© Susanne Kremer/eStock Photo)

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埃菲尔铁塔法国巴黎 Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (© Susanne Kremer/eStock Photo)

与铁娘子一起庆祝新的一年 Celebrate another year with The Iron Lady

Eiffel Tower, France

Locally, it's called 'La dame de fer,' which translates to English as 'The Iron Lady.' To the rest of the world, it's the Eiffel Tower, a landmark nearly synonymous with all things Parisian. It's one of the most recognizable structures in the world and the most visited monument with an entrance fee. The Eiffel Tower took 500 workers two years, two months and five days to complete. It stands at 1,063 feet tall, an amazing achievement for a time when structures of this size were unheard of. For that, we're joining the world in celebrating the Tower's 133rd birthday.

Depending on the temperature, the Eiffel Tower can actually shrink by about seven inches. On a particularly windy day, if you look closely, maybe you'll notice of the natural swaying movement near the top. That wind also gets collected by turbines on the second level which convert it into electricity for the tower's shops and restaurants. There's also a rainwater collection system that's used for the toilet tanks. The Eiffel Tower gets a fresh paint job roughly every seven years. Originally it was dark red, then yellow, but has been 'Eiffel Tower Brown' for the past 54 years. It takes around 16,000 gallons of paint to get the job done.


在当地,它被称为“La dame de fer”,英文翻译为“铁娘子”对世界其他地方来说,这就是埃菲尔铁塔,一个几乎与巴黎所有事物同义的地标。它是世界上最知名的建筑之一,也是参观人数最多的纪念碑,只需交纳入场费。埃菲尔铁塔了500名工人两年零两个月零五天建成。它有1063英尺高,在这种规模的建筑闻所未闻的时候,这是一个惊人的成就。为此,我们将与全世界一起庆祝塔楼的133岁生日。


风景秀丽的加勒比海岸,哥伦比亚 Caribbean coast near Buritaca, Colombia (© Nicholas Hills/Getty Images)

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风景秀丽的加勒比海岸,哥伦比亚 Caribbean coast near Buritaca, Colombia (© Nicholas Hills/Getty Images)

哥伦比亚的加勒比海岸线 The Caribbean coastline of Colombia

Northern coast of Colombia

Central America becomes South America at the shores of Colombia, the northernmost country in South America. Colombia is the only country in South America that has coastline on both the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Seen here is a stretch of beach near Buritaca, on the Caribbean side of Colombia. This region of Colombia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. It is also among the country's most ecologically diverse with jungle, desert, and the highest coastal mountain range in the world, the Sierra Nevada.

Colombia's colonial history began in this region when Spanish conquistadors landed in 1499. Within 50 years, the Spanish had established the kingdom of Granada beginning a rule that would last nearly 300 years.




河内藤园里梦幻的紫藤花,日本北九州市 Wisteria blooms at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan (© Steve Tan C K Photography/Getty Images)

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内藤园里梦幻的紫藤日本北九州市 Wisteria blooms at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan (© Steve Tan C K Photography/Getty Images)

日本的紫色天堂 Japan's purple paradise

Kawachi Fuji Garden

Today we're taking a trip to a Japanese purple paradise. This photo captures just one of over 22 different varieties of wisteria planted at the Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan. Hundreds of wisteria plants were meticulously cultivated to form tunnels that bloom, with shades of blue, white, purple, and pink. The walkable tunnels open into large domes of wisteria vines for visitors to sit under and bask in the fragrant flowers. An overlook gives visitors an impressive view of not only the flowers but also the surrounding valley and its bamboo groves.

The private garden wasn't necessarily intended to be a tourist destination. Founder Masao Higuchi just wanted to leave something behind as proof that he lived in this world. Work began on the garden in 1968 and in 1977 the garden was open to the public. If you want to see the garden, plan accordingly. It's only open for two brief periods a year: the wisteria season between late April and early May and the equally impressive maple season. In Autumn more than 700 maple trees change color, bringing another blast of color from mid-November to early December.



私人花园不一定是旅游目的地。创始人Masao Higuchi只是想留下一些东西作为他生活在这个世界上的证据。这座花园于1968年动工,1977年向公众开放。如果你想看看花园,就相应地规划一下。它一年只开放两个短暂的时段:4月底至5月初的紫藤季节和同样令人印象深刻的枫季节。秋天,700多棵枫树变色,从11月中旬到12月初,又一次带来了色彩的爆发。

陶尔米纳古剧院,意大利西西里岛 Ancient theatre of Taormina in Sicily, Italy (© Antonino Bartuccio/eStock Photo)

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陶尔米纳剧院意大利西西里岛 Ancient theatre of Taormina in Sicily, Italy (© Antonino Bartuccio/eStock Photo)

戏剧演出 The play's the thing

Theatre of Taormina in Sicily

What better place to celebrate World Theatre Day than the Ancient theatre of Taormina, an amphitheater built in the Hellenistic style of the Greeks in the third century BCE. The venue was later expanded by the Romans and is one of the signature sights in the Sicilian town of Taormina. And if you look in the upper-right corner of the photo, that's Mount Etna giving a performance of its own, spewing a little ash and smoke.

The theater is still in use, hosting operas, theatrical productions, and concerts. The beauty of this town, built into a steep hill overlooking the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna, is said to have inspired writers and thinkers both ancient and modern, from Plato to D.H. Lawrence and Truman Capote.

Since 1962 World Theatre Day has been celebrated every March 27th by theatre professionals, organizations, universities and theatre lovers across the continents. Each year a speaker is selected to deliver a message about the importance of theatre and its value to humanity.





劳特布龙嫩山谷,瑞士阿尔卑斯山 Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps (© Leonid Andronov/Getty Images)

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劳特布龙嫩山谷瑞士阿尔卑斯山 Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps (© Leonid Andronov/Getty Images)

托尔金笔下瑞文戴尔的原型 Tolkien's Rivendell inspiration

Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps

For Tolkien Reading Day, we're visiting the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps, which is believed to have inspired the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit.' Like Tolkien's mythical Elf settlement, Lauterbrunnen Valley has a bit of storybook appeal, with an unusually narrow valley floor hemmed in by steep Alpine cliffs and dotted with numerous waterfalls. The valley remains a popular tourist destination.

The Tolkien Society organized the first Tolkien Reading Day in 2003 to celebrate and promote his works. They selected March 25 as it is the day that the Dark Lord Sauron was defeated, and the Black Tower destroyed in 'The Lord of the Rings.' Tolkien's writing continues to provide fodder various entertainment forms, with Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' debuting in 2022.




雷暴下的大峡谷国家公园,亚利桑那州 Grand Canyon National Park during a thunderstorm, Arizona (© spkeelin/Getty Images)

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雷暴下的大峡谷国家公园亚利桑那州 Grand Canyon National Park during a thunderstorm, Arizona (© spkeelin/Getty Images)

天气预报的重要性 The importance of weather prediction

World Meteorological Day

Did you check the weather forecast today? Does it look like rain? Will it turn colder? What's the outlook for the weekend? These may be some of the most frequently asked questions anywhere. Given our reliance on weather prediction, let's tip the rain hat to the world's weather experts on World Meteorological Day, celebrated each March 23 by the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The 2022 theme for World Meteorological Day is 'Early Warning and Early Action. Hydrometeorological and Climate Information for Disaster Risk Reduction.' That's a mouthful, but it essentially boils down to the importance of predicting high-precipitation weather events and mitigating or preventing the damage caused by them.

Worldwide, floods cause more than $40 billion in damage each year. They're the most common type of natural disaster. In the United States flash floods claim more lives than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning. But with accurate predictions and appropriate warning systems, people living in an area likely to flood can know the severity of upcoming threats and plan accordingly. Thanks to the study of hydrometeorology, forecasts can predict the impact days and even weeks in advance. Long-term projections can even give an idea of what's coming several months from now. And we thought that weather app was just to tell us whether or not we'll need an umbrella.





千泉州立公园的瀑布,美国爱达荷州 Waterfall in Thousand Springs State Park, Hagerman Valley, Idaho (© knowlesgallery/Getty Images)

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州立公园瀑布美国爱达荷州 Waterfall in Thousand Springs State Park, Hagerman Valley, Idaho (© knowlesgallery/Getty Images)

什么是地球上最珍贵的资源? Earth's most precious resource?

World Water Day

You can almost hear the crash and feel the spray of this pristine cluster of waterfalls in southern Idaho. Could there be a better place to celebrate World Water Day? Since 1993, the UN has dedicated March 22 to advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources and bring attention to topics relevant to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Each year has emphasized a different aspect of this critical resource, with themes like 'Valuing Water,' 'Water and Climate Change,' 'Water and Jobs,' and 'Why Waste Water?' This year's theme is 'Groundwater—Making the Invisible Visible.'

Groundwater surfaces in spectacular fashion here at Thousand Springs State Park, located in a beautiful corner of Idaho—the aptly named Magic Valley. The springs here are fed by the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, one of the largest aquifers in the United States, about the size of Lake Erie. The groundwater in the aquifer travels from its source just 1 to 10 feet per day and can take 150 to 250 years to flow into Thousand Springs and the Snake River.




圣三一教堂,英国埃文河畔斯特拉特福 Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, England (© James Osmond/Getty Images)

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圣三一教堂英国埃文畔斯特拉特福 Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, England (© James Osmond/Getty Images)

吟游诗人的安息之地 Resting place of the Bard

World Poetry Day

'How like a winter hath my absence been / From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! / What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen! / What old December's bareness everywhere!'

So begins William Shakespeare's chilly Sonnet 97. Today we celebrate World Poetry Day with a wintry look at the final resting spot of Shakespeare: Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Though he was better known for his plays, the Bard of Avon began his literary life as a poet, penning 154 sonnets in total. The first 126 are addressed to a 'fair youth,' the final 28 to a mistress known as the 'Dark Lady.'

UNESCO created World Poetry Day with the aim of 'supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.' The day was long celebrated on October 15 to honor Roman poet laureate Virgil on his birthday, and many countries continue to mark the occasion on that day. There's never a bad day to indulge in the poetry of Dickinson, Neruda, Angelou, or whoever's writing stirs your heart.





日落时的悬日现象,美国芝加哥 Chicagohenge sunset, Chicago, Illinois (© Razvan Sera/Amazing Aerial Agency)

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日落时的悬日现象,美国芝加哥 Chicagohenge sunset, Chicago, Illinois (© Razvan Sera/Amazing Aerial Agency)

城市网格传递了这一天象 The city grid delivers this celestial phenomenon


During the fall and spring equinox, the celestial phenomenon known as Chicagohenge occurs when the sun rises or sets directly between the buildings lining Chicago's west- and east-facing streets. The city's almost perfectly aligned grid is responsible for the event.

During the equinox, the northern and southern hemispheres receive an equal amount of sunlight, and the sun rises and sets directly to the east and west. As it happens, Chicago's grid is aligned with the cardinal directions on a compass, a handy fact to know anytime you're walking in the city.

It might be easy to lose touch with the natural cycles of the planet when you live in a concrete jungle, but at least twice a year, Chicagohenge reminds city dwellers exactly where this third rock from the sun is spinning.





洒红节期间售卖的五彩粉末 Multicolored powders for sale during Holi (© Nuno Valadas/Getty Images)

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洒红节期间售卖的五彩粉末 Multicolored powders for sale during Holi (© Nuno Valadas/Getty Images)

五彩缤纷的节日 A holiday as colorful as the season

Holi festival

The ancient Hindu festival of Holi will find revelers caked in these colorful powders by the day's end. Also referred to as the Festival of Spring, the Festival of Love, and the Festival of Colors, Holi symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and celebrates the beginning of spring, the end of winter, and the blossoming of love in all forms. It's a time for affirming friendships, burying old grievances, and letting romance bloom.

But the real fun of Holi is the audience-participation portion, for which the holiday is most famous. Celebrants sprinkle and smear one another with brightly colored powders, typically made by coloring rice flour or corn starch with food dye. Water is tossed into the mix by way of water guns and water balloons and the resulting scene is of other-worldly, kaleidoscopic revelry.

Although chiefly celebrated in India, Holi has spread around the world, along with the Indian diaspora. In a festival marked by singing, dancing, eating, frolicking, and non-stop merriment, it's easy to see why word spread quickly.