In the heart of the mythical Elqui Valley in Pisco, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, 500km north of Santiago in central Chile, lies a magical place that allows for star-spangled dreams beneath the clear pure sky. Combining stargazing and specialized astronomic tours with night-time horseback riding, meditation and even tarot readings, Elqui Domos is a hotel quite like no other.
It was completed in 2005 to fulfil its owners’ desire to observe and enjoy the grandeur of the one of the world’s most star-filled skies. It is one of only seven astronomic hotels around the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, offering breathtaking views of the magic skies draped over the Elqui Valley (the valley is renowned for its sharp, clear skies, as it happens to sit under one of the clearest atmospheres in the world). The lack of rain and pleasant weather all year round set the perfect conditions for astronomic tourism, where guests can gather to enjoy a unique chance to liaise with the stars.
The world’s most powerful artificial tornado is part of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Though popular enough with visitors that the staff will bring out smoke generators to make it visible, the tornado was not built as an attraction - It’s actually part of the building’s fire protection system. The modern open design of the museum meant that conventional smoke removal systems were inadequate. Instead vorticity is generated in the central lobby with 144 wall-mounted jets. The angular velocity created by the jets is strongest at the middle, in the vortex core, due to conservation of angular momentum - exactly the way a spinning ice skater speeds up by pulling his arms in. The core of the vortex is a low pressure area, which draws outside air toward it - this is how the tornado pulls in smoke when there is a fire. The fan on the ceiling provides the pressure draw necessary for the smoke to be pulled up and out of the building at a supposed rate of 4 tons per minute. See the tornado in action here. (Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz Passion; submitted by Ivan)
“The symbolic forms which Mr. Betts has evolved through his system of Representation resemble, when developed in two dimensions, conventionalised but very scientifically and beautifully conventionalised leaf-outlines. When in more than two dimensions they approximate to the forms of flowers and crystals. …. The fact that he has accidentally portrayed plant-forms when he was studying human evolution is an assurance to Mr. Betts of the fitness of the symbols he has developed, as it affords presumptive evidence that the laws he is studying intuitively admit of universal application.”