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Titanic Memorial Cruise Retraces Doomed Journey

It is 100 years since the ill-fated British passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, collided with an iceberg that resulted in around 1514 deaths. Now the journey of the doomed ship is being retraced aboard the MS Balmoral to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the liner. The Titanic Memorial cruise is a 12-night voyage with the same number of 1,309 passengers excluding the crew aboard the MS Balmoral. Included in the passenger list are relatives of the survivors, historians and authors apart from people fascinated by the Titanic story.

To recreate the environment, meals provided on the cruise are from the Titanic’s original menu. There will also be a five-piece Grupetto band from Belgium hired by the organisers to play era style music in honour of the Titanic’s musicians who are said to have played until the ship sank. The cruise from Southampton however left two days earlier than the Titanic as it cannot steam as fast as the latter. The ship will trace the same path as the Titanic that is, via Cherbourg in north-west France and Cobh on the south coast of County Cork, Ireland, to exactly the spot where the liner sank 100 years ago.

183 Titanic Memorial Cruise Retraces Doomed Journey

Newlyweds Mary Beth Crocker Dearing (L) and Tom Dearing of Newport, Kentucky pose while wearing period costume before boarding the Titanic Memorial Cruise in Southampton, England April 8, 2012. The cruise is to retrace the voyage of the ill-fated Titanic liner, which hit an iceberg and sank 100 years ago on April 15, 1912. (Reuters)

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Easter Markets Alive with Decorated Eggs and Easter Goodies

The Easter holiday is just around the corner and celebrations are already on. Easter egg hunts, the fun part of Easter celebrations, have already started and will be held at parks and places of worship throughout the week. Easter markets around the world are well equipped with decorated eggs to meet the growing demand. Hundreds of Easter processions and community get together would be part of the holy week of 1 to 8 April.

112 Easter Markets Alive with Decorated Eggs and Easter Goodies

A boy looks at painted Easter eggs at an Easter market in the western Austrian city of Innsbruck March 29, 2012. (Reuters)

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Earth Day Around the World

15 Earth Day Around the World

Romanians perform fire stunts during an event to mark Earth Day in Bucharest. (Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press)

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Celebrities Come Together for Observing 2012 Earth Hour

For the 2012 Earth Hour, a number of celebrities including supermodel Miranda Kerr, transformer star Isabel Lucas and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar have come together to observe the event and inspire people to take much needed action for the environment.

The first Earth Hour event started in the year 2007 when WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action. Around 2.2 million people took part in the event and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off to show their support for the initiative.

Over the years, the initiative has witnessed the involvement of people across the globe with many celebrities and known faces taking active part in the event.

1193 Celebrities Come Together for Observing 2012 Earth Hour

Supermodel and VS Angel, Miranda Kerr, who is the global ambassador for Earth Hour 2012, has asked people to take part in “I Will If You Will” Challenge to do something positive for the environment.

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Virgin Boy Eggs: Eggs Soaked In Children’s Urine Still Local Chinese Delicacy

Every culture has its own unique cuisine, and the rituals to make local delicacies that are thousands of years old are still passed on through families and via street vendors today. Dongyang, in the Zhejiang province of China, however, may have one of the most unique foods that has carried over to modern times: virgin boy eggs, hard-boiled eggs soaked and boiled in the urine of boys under the age of ten.

In this small coastal town, the eggs are considered a delicacy, and urine for making them at home and for street vendors to use is collected through buckets left outside the boys’ bathrooms in Dongyang primary schools. Vendors who sell the eggs, like 51-year-old Ge Yaohua, claim the “fragrant” eggs have miraculous healing properties, promoting better circulation, increasing stamina and preventing heat stroke.”

“They are good for your health,” Ge told Reuters. “Our family has them for every meal. In Dongyang, every family likes eating them.”

Many Dongyang residents, both young and old, believe these stories, and are happy to carry on a tradition passed down for many generations.

1179 Virgin Boy Eggs: Eggs Soaked In Childrens Urine Still Local Chinese Delicacy

In order to prepare virgin boy eggs, eggs must be soaked in a pot of urine and then boiled in the same liquid. (Reuters/Aly Song)

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Day Without Meat

350 Day Without Meat

Animal rights activists from the group ‘Animal Equality’ stage a protest during a “Day Without Meat” event in Barcelona, Spain. (Manu Fernandez/Associated Press)

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New Robinson Crusoe Discovered on Greek Islet

Is it possible for man to live all alone? Sostis, a 60 year-old former sailor, is the only human inhabitant of the volcanic islet of Palaia Kameni located in the caldera of Santorini. He owns a dog, poultry and lives in a 10sqm house. The drooping economy has affected the lives of many.

Greece’s economy is in recession for a fifth consecutive year and is seen contracting by 4.3 per cent this year as the government imposes austerity measures in exchange for financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

1126 New Robinson Crusoe Discovered on Greek Islet

Sostis enters the Saint Nicolas church on March 17, 2012 on the volcanic islet of Palaia Kameni located in the caldera of Santorini. (Reuters)

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Las Fallas Fire Festival: Insanity, Fun and Pyrotechnics at the Iberian Peninsula

Spain is known for its spectacular fiestas. The Las Fallas fire festival of Valencia is the boldest, hottest, craziest and loudest festival celebrated anywhere in the world.

A pyromaniac’s delight, the Las Fallas fire festival literally jolts you out of your sleep and the mad euphoria is unlike what you may have felt anywhere else. The festival displays one of the best pyrotechniques in the world.

This carnival of bonfires take place between March 15 to 19 annually to honor St. Joseph, the father of the nation. The fiesta Las Fallas brings millions from across the world to Valencia to make it an internationally recognized event.

Las Fallas marks the onset of spring in Valencia. The festival dates back to the pre-Christian era.

The highlight of the festival is burning down of huge fallas and impressive fireworks. Fallas are huge effigies or monuments erected all over the streets in Valencia in different shapes and themes. These colorful ninots, meaning puppets or dolls, are made out of cardboard and papier-mâché and are filled with fire crackers and paraded in the streets before they are placed in specific corners in the streets. These fallas are burned in the afternoons of the festival days, triggering fireworks that last for hours, leading to a literal earthshaking experience, amid crazy cheering crowds.

630 Las Fallas Fire Festival: Insanity, Fun and Pyrotechnics at the Iberian Peninsula

Papier mache figures are burned during the Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain. (Alberto Saiz/Associated Press)

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Iditarod 2012: Dallas Seavey Becomes Youngest Winner In History

Dallas Seavey has become the youngest winner ever of the “Last Great Race,” the Iditarod dog-sled mush across Alaska.

“I had five lead dogs on this team, and I had to have every single one of them to do their parts of the race,” Seavey said, reported the Associated Press, shortly after crossing the finish line in Nome.

Seavey, who turned 25 on March 4, the day the race officially started, travelled for nine grueling days, four hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds with nine dogs pulling his sled to the finish line approximately 7:29 p.m. Tuesday. After 1,000 miles from the starting point in Anchorage, Seavey and his dogs were exhausted.

“It’s just now hitting me,” said Seavey, according to Reuters. “About four miles ago, I just crashed.”

The ice, combined with the frigid temperatures and windy conditions, forced many mushers to slow down. But Seavey’s dog, Guinness, who acted as a lead dog for short time, kept trudging through the Alaskan wilderness.

196 Iditarod 2012: Dallas Seavey Becomes Youngest Winner In History

Musher Dallas Seavey of Willow, Alaska, runs his dogs down Front Street to the finish line, winning the 40th annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska March 13, 2012. Seavey, competing against both his father and grandfather, won the race on Tuesday, becoming the youngest musher crowned champion of the storied Alaska event. (Reuters / Oscar Edwin Avellaneda-Cruz)

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St Patrick’s Day: Celebrations Around the World

Festivals and parades across the world marked St Patrick’s Day to pay tribute to Saint Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland. In Central Dublin, an estimated 500,000 people gathered on Saturday for the St Patrick’s Day parade. Bands from Britain, the United States and Russia joined Irish volunteers in the two-hour procession through Ireland’s capital city, reported the Associated Press. Dublin City went even greener for the festival with all venues turned to green lights to create a citywide illumination for the duration of the Festival from 16 March -19 March.

183 St Patricks Day: Celebrations Around the World

Street performers leap as they make their way down O’Connell Street in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. Police estimate a half-million spectators lined the route of the parade, the biggest of more than 50 across Ireland. (Shawn Pogatchnik/Associated Press)

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World Naked Bike Ride in San Francisco

A naked protest against the dependence on fossil fuels by riding bikes across San Francisco was held during the “World Naked Bike Ride” on March 10. According to the organisers, it aims to defend the right of cyclists to ride on the streets in safety. It also claims to “Celebrate free-body culture, bicycling as an alternative to cars and a generally greener way of living.”

165 World Naked Bike Ride in San Francisco

A naked cyclist holds his bicycle up during the “World Naked Bike Ride” on Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenue March 10, 2012. The event aims to defend the right of cyclists to ride on the streets in safety, according to organisers. (Reuters)

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Jews Celebrate Purim, the Festival of Survival

Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar every year by the Jewish community all over the world. It tells the story of how Jews survived a plot by the anti-semitic Haman, the prime minister of ancient Persia, present-day Iran, to kill them. Purim is the remembrance of the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” according to the Chabad.org.

Jews mobilised and killed several of their enemies on the 13th day of Adar and they rested and celebrated on the 14th day. Purim falls on 8 March, 2012.

711 Jews Celebrate Purim, the Festival of Survival

Israeli youths take part in an annual Zombie Walk procession ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in Tel Aviv March 6, 2012. (Reuters)

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Lathmar Holi: It’s Playtime for Men and Women in an Indian Village

0 Lathmar Holi: It’s Playtime for Men and Women in an Indian Village

The Holi festival of colors is a riotous celebration of the coming of spring and falls on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March) every year.

In addition to celebrating spring, Holi commemorates various events in Hindu mythology and is a time of disregarding social norms and indulging in general merrymaking. During Holi, Hindus attend a public bonfire, spray friends and family with colored powders and water, and generally go a bit wild in the streets.

According to one tradition which has its roots in Hindu mythology, men from Lord Krishna’s village of Nandgaon are beaten by the women of Barsana, home of Lord Krishna’s lover Radha. It is said that Lord Krisna’s relatives used to tease Radha and her friends, and were beaten by them in return. Even to this day, marriage between men and women from the two villages are discouraged. (Photography by Kevin Frayer/Associated Press, Reuters)

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Woman from Iconic Tsunami Photo Reunited With Family

Born in the city of Ishinomaki, Yuko Sugimoto lost her husband and child when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake completely destroyed the place. The photograph, which was taken on March 13, 2011, showed Sugimoto looking in the direction of the kindergarten where her 4-year-old son Raito used to go. The kindergarten was partly submerged and surrounded by piles of debris.

It was only when she found her husband that both began the hunt for their lost child. They found their child the very next day. He and some other children had been rescued by the military from the roof of the kindergarten the morning after the tsunami.

It has been a year since the devastating earthquake and although much of the debris in the region has been removed by restoration operations, life for Sugimoto and her family has still not returned to normal. The house they built four years ago was submerged nearly upto its second floor and they lost most of their belongings. What remains is a 31-year-mortgage of around 25 million yen ($310,000) they still have to pay.

1344 Woman from Iconic Tsunami Photo Reunited With Family
A woman looks at the damage caused by a tsunami and an earthquake in Ishimaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck the area March 13, 2011. (Reuters)

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House of Lemon, Wolf Riding Tricycle and Other Weird Snapshots from Around the World

1303 House of Lemon, Wolf Riding Tricycle and Other Weird Snapshots from Around the World
A visitor looks at an elephant made of snow and ice at the Central Botanical Garden during winter in Minsk, February 12, 2012. REUTERS/Julia Darashkevich. (Reuters)

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