Thursday, April 30, 2009

Peru Region

Peru is divided into 25 regions and the province of Lima. Each region has an elected government composed of a president and a council, which serves for a four-year term.[44] These governments plan regional development, execute public investment projects, promote economic activities, and manage public property.[45] The province of Lima is administered by a city council.[46]
j i m mm mmm mmmm

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Machu Picchu

Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire.

The Incas started building it around AD 1430 but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Since it was not plundered by the Spanish when they conquered the Incas, it is especially important as a cultural site and is considered a sacred place.
-Teacher Karl

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Peru-Nazca Line

The Nazca Lines are a series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches more than 80 km (50 miles) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana in Peru. Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, these are largely believed to have been created by the Nazca culture between 200 BCE and 700 CE. There are hundreds of individual figures, ranging in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks or orcas, llamas, and lizards.
The lines are shallow designs in the ground where the reddish pebbles that cover the surrounding landscape have been removed, revealing the whitish earth underneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes, and more than seventy are natural or human figures. The largest are over 200 m across. Scholars differ in interpreting what the lines were for but generally ascribe religious significance to them. "The geometric ones could indicate the flow of water or be connected to rituals to summon water. The spiders, birds, and plants could be fertility symbols. Other possible explanations include: irrigation schemes, giant astronomical calendars, or landing for spaceships.[1]"
The dry, windless, stable climate of the plateau has preserved the lines to this day, for the most part. Extremely rare changes in weather may temporarily alter the general designs.
One theory of the purpose of the lines is that the Nazca people's motivations were religious and that the images were constructed so that gods in the sky could see them. Kosok and Reiche advanced one of the earliest reasons given for the Nazca Lines: that they were intended to point to the places on the distant horizon where the sun and other celestial bodies rose or set. This hypothesis was evaluated by two different experts in archaeoastronomy, Gerald Hawkins and Anthony Aveni, and they both concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support an astronomical explanation.
In 1985, the archaeologist Johan Reinhard published archaeological, ethnographic, and historical data demonstrating that worship of mountains and other water sources played a dominant role in Nazca religion and economy from ancient to recent times. He presented the theory that the lines and figures can be explained as part of religious practices involving the worship of deities associated with the availability of water and thus the fertility of crops. The lines were interpreted as being primarily used as sacred paths leading to places where these deities could be worshiped, and the figures as symbolically representing animals and objects meant to invoke their aid. However, the precise meanings of many of the individual geoglyphs remain unsolved as of 2009.
Henri Stierlin, in his 1983 book [3], linked the Nazca Lines to the ancient textiles found wrapping mummies of the Paracas culture. The lines and trapezes may have been used as giant, primitive looms allowing for the fabrication of the extremely long strings and wide pieces of textile that are typical of the area. In this theory, the figurative patterns (smaller and less common) have only ritualistic purposes.
Some, such as Jim Woodmann, have proposed that the Nazca Lines presuppose some form of manned flight in order to see the figures properly and that a hot air balloon was the only possible available technology. Woodmann actually made a hot air balloon using materials and techniques that he believed would have been available to people at the time, in order to test this hypothesis. The balloon flew, after a fashion, but there is no evidence in support of Nazca-era hot air balloons, [4] and Woodman's work has been rebutted.[2]

more information:


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Geography, People, and Economy of Malaysia

Malaysia is divided into two geographical regions: Peninsular Malaysia which shares borders with Thailand and Singapore; and Malaysian Borneo, which shares the island of Borneo with Brunei and part of Indonesia.

Malaysia is divided into three political regions: West (Peninsular) Malaysia, Sarawak, and Sabah. The last two are on the island of Borneo.


Area: 329,748 sq. km. (127,315 sq. mi.); slightly larger than New Mexico.

Cities: Capital--Kuala Lumpur. Other cities--Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Johor Baru, Shah Alam, Klang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Miri, Petaling Jaya.

Terrain: Coastal plains and interior, jungle-covered mountains. The South China Sea separates peninsular Malaysia from East Malaysia on Borneo.

Climate: Tropical.


Nationality: Noun and adjective--Malaysian(s).

Population (2008): 27.5 million.Annual growth rate: 2.0%.

Ethnic groups: Malay 53.3%, Chinese 26.0%, indigenous 11.8%, Indian 7.7%, others 1.2%.

Religions: Islam (60.4%), Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity (9.1%), Hinduism (6.3%), other/none (5.0%).

Languages: Bahasa Melayu (official), Chinese (various dialects), English, Tamil, indigenous.

Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--90.1% (primary), 60.0% (secondary). Literacy--93.5%.

Health: Infant mortality rate (2007)--6.7/1,000. Life expectancy (2007)--female 76.4 yrs., male 71.9 yrs.

Work force (10.89 million, 2007): Services--57%; industry--28% (manufacturing--19%, mining and construction--9%); agriculture--15%.


(2007) Nominal GDP: $154.3 billion.

Annual real GDP growth rate: 5.9% (2006); 6.3% (2007).

Per capita (GDP) income: $5,610.

Natural resources: petroleum, liquefied natural gas (LNG), tin, minerals.

Agricultural products: palm oil, rubber, timber, cocoa, rice, tropical fruit, fish, coconut.

Industry: Types--electronics, electrical products, chemicals, food and beverages, metal and machine products, apparel.Trade:

Merchandise exports--$185.0 billion: electronic products, manufactured goods, petroleum, palm oil, liquid natural gas, apparel, timber, rubber.

Major markets--U.S. 15.6%, Singapore 14.6%, Japan 9.1%, China 8.8%.

Merchandise imports--$154.0 billion: electronic products, machinery, chemicals, manufactured goods, petroleum products.

Major suppliers--Japan 13.0%, China 12.9%, Singapore 11.5%, U.S. 10.8%.

For more information from the US State Department:
-Teacher Karl

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Capital of the federation of Malaysia


Long, long ago in 1857 some 87 sailing Chinese mineral prospectors struck tinat the confluence of Klang and Gombak rivers and christened the spot as Kuala Lumpur, which meant "muddy river mouth". In contrast, there standstoday a modern, civilised city, leaving far behind the history of its tin trade.
It is the Capital of the federation of Malaysia. Getting there isquite easy with around 40 airlines flying to and from the KL international airport at Sepang. By road, rail and sea too it is easily accessible. The main port-of-call for cruise liners is Port Klang, 41 km from KL. The city is dotted with sky-scapers. The world's tallest building, 88-storey, 452-metre Petronas Towers,is here.
The other places of interest are Chinatown and its night markets for food,Merdeka Square ( the site of original settlement), Sultan Abdul Samed Building ( a major landmark, houses the Supreme Court), Masjid Jamek, Railway Station, National Zoo where sea lion can be seen, Central Market, Petronas Art Gallery, Menara KL ( the tallest tower of Asia, one can go up for a panoramic view of the city), National Museum, National Mosque, National Art Gallery, the popular Lake Gardens, Deer Park and Butterfly Park. Chinatown, Jalan Pudu Lama and Jalan Bukit Bintang are places where budget hotels are available.

Written by:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Malaysia Sabah

The western part of Sabah is generally mountainous, containing the three highest mountains in Malaysia. The most prominent range is the Crocker Range which houses several mountains of varying height from about 1,000 metres to 4,000 metres. At the height of 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and the mountain is the fourth tallest in Southeast Asia behind Hkakabo Razi of Myanmar (5881 m), Puncak Jaya (4884 m) and Puncak Trikora (4750 m) of Papua, Indonesia . The jungles of Sabah are classified as rainforests and host a diverse array of plant and animal species. Kinabalu National Park was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2000 because of its richness in plant diversity combined with its unique geological, topographical, and climatic conditions.[13]
Lying nearby Mount Kinabalu is Mount Tambuyukon. At a height of 2,579 metres, it is the third highest peak in the country. Adjacent to the Crocker Range is the Trus Madi Range which houses the second highest peak in the country, Mount Trus Madi, at a height of 2,642 metres. There are lower ranges of hills extending towards the western coasts, southern plains, and the interior or central part of Sabah. These mountains and hills are traversed by an extensive network of river valleys and are in most cases covered with dense rainforest.
The central and eastern portion of Sabah are generally lower mountain ranges and plains with occasional hills. Kinabatangan River begins from the western ranges and snakes its way through the central region towards the east coast out into the Sulu Sea. It is the second longest river in Malaysia after Rejang River at a length of 560 kilometres. The forests surrounding the river valley also contains an array of wildlife habitats, and is the largest forest-covered floodplain in Malaysia.[14]
Other important wildlife regions in Sabah include Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, Tabin, Imbak Canyon and Sepilok. These places are either designated as national parks, wildlife reserves, virgin jungle reserves, or protection forest reserve.
Over three quarters of the human population inhabit the coastal plains. Major towns and urban centers have sprouted along the coasts of Sabah. The interior region remains sparsely populated with only villages, and the occasional small towns or townships.
Beyond the coasts of Sabah lie a number of islands and coral reefs, including the largest island in Malaysia, Pulau Banggi. Other large islands include, Pulau Jambongan, Pulau Balambangan, Pulau Timbun Mata, Pulau Bumbun, and Pulau Sebatik. Other popular islands mainly for tourism are, Pulau Sipadan, Pulau Selingan, Pulau Gaya, Pulau Tiga, and Pulau Layang-Layang.

information from:


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Malaysia Culture

*Bergendang (Drumming)
In the traditional musical performances of the Malay community in Sarawak, it is the womenfolk who play the gendang or drums. Seated behind a screen, they drum out their beats in rhythm to songs sung by young maidens and dances performed by men.

*Wayang Kulit (Shadow Play)
Wayang Kulit is a traditional theater art-form using puppets and shadow-play to tell the epic tales of the Ramayana. The puppets are made of buffalo hide and mounted on bamboo sticks. There may be as many as 45 puppets - handled entirely by a single master puppeteer, known as the Tok Dalang.
*Maggagong (Gong Ensembles)
Brass or bronze gong ensembles form an inherent part of Sabah's ethnic music. The melody varies from district to district. The Kadazan Dusun group include six songs and a drum called the sopogogungan (Penampang) in their musical composition while the Bajau from Kota Belud add kulintangan, a set of kettle-bedded gongs.
*Bunga Malai (Garland Making)
Flowers form an integral part of the cultural heritage of Malaysian Indians for religious occasions, weddings, moving house, or welcoming an important guest. Flowers, holy basil, and the leaves of the margosa or mango tree are strung together to form a malai or garland. They are done in different styles to suit each particular occasion.
*Sumpit (Blow Pipe)
The tribal people of Sarawak are known for their magnificent hunting skills. They are aided by the sumpit, a six-foot long wooden blowpipe with a poisoned or a barbed tip. One quick puff sends the dart (sometimes twenty-yards away) to the victim, usually a wild pig, deer, or bird.

*Silat (The Malay Art of Self defense)
Silat, the Malay art of self-defense combines a series of supple movements, which enables a person to defend himself under provocation. The aim of silat is to instill confidence in oneself in the face of adversity. Occasionally, a keris (small dagger) may be used.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Russia Questions

Here's your questions for this week, T2:

1) What is the Kremlin?

2) What is a Czar (Tsar)? What are some examples?

3) Who was Catherine the Great?

4) What is the significance of Lake Baikal?

5) What are Russia's five biggest cities?

6) What countries were part of the Soviet Union?

7) What is Russia's tallest mountain?

8) The River Volga flows into which seas?

Try to answer in your own words.
-Teacher Karl

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Russian cuisine

Russian cuisine derives its rich and varied character from the vast and multicultural expanse of Russia. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of plentiful fish, poultry, game, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provided the ingredients for a plethora of breads, pancakes, cereals, kvass, beer, and vodka. Flavourful soups and stews are centered on seasonal or storable produce, fish, and meats. This wholly native food remained the staple for the vast majority of Russians well into the 20th century.
Russia's great expansions of territory, influence, and interest during the 16th-18th centuries brought more refined foods and culinary techniques. It was during this period that smoked meats and fish, pastry cooking, salads and green vegetables, chocolate, ice cream, wines, and liquor were imported from abroad. At least for the urban aristocracy and provincial gentry, this opened the doors for the creative integration of these new foodstuffs with traditional Russian dishes. The result is extremely varied in technique, seasoning, and combination.
From the time of Catherine the Great, every family of influence imported both the products and personnel - mainly German, Austrian, and French - to bring the finest, rarest, and most creative foods to their table. This is nowhere more evident than in the exciting, elegant, highly nuanced, and decadent repertoire of the Franco-Russian chef. Many of the foods that are considered in the West to be traditionally Russian actually come from the Franco-Russian cuisine of the 18th and 19th centuries, and include such widespread dishes as Veal Orloff, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Kiev, and Sharlotka (Charlotte Russe).

Post by Cathy / From Wikipedia