In September 2012, the Forbes magazine rated the World’s Top 10 Cities For Street Food. We at MapsofWorld are passionate about travel, food, maps, and culture – the choice to take you on this delightful culinary trip was then an easy one. The cities that we take you to, however, are in no particular order, unlike the VirtualTourist survey list published by Forbes.
Our first stop is Mexico City, Mexico. Street food or Antojitos is nothing short of a religion in Mexico City. While in most parts of the world, quantifying love of street food is almost an impossibility, Reforma newspaper in a survey counted over 560,000 street food vendors in the city in 2007 – making it over 8.5 for every Chilango or neighborhood.
Almost every street in the city has a vendor dispensing fruit, vegetable, and mixed juices in glasses similar to the soda cups or glasses elsewhere in the world. Tacos al pastor, made with pork and pineapple are very popular in the city.
Street food in the city has a life of its own, the sheer variety is dazzling - the atole, a thin corn based drink, is a traditional favorite and the tamale, a steamed, corn-dough snack with stuffing goes with it. Camotes (sweet potatoes) and elotes (corn with cheese and spices) are served around every street corner. Churros or doughnuts filled with chocolate are also eternal favorites with those who love sweets. Mexico City offers much by way of inexpensive wholesome foods for tourists.
Braving some of the fiercest weather conditions on the planet, explorer Ernest Shackleton finally decided to call it quits on January 9, 1909. After months leading the Nimrod Expedition across the frozen landscape of Antarctica, he planted the Union Jack in the ice just 112 miles from the South Pole, closer to the bottom of Earth than any man had come up to that point. Read more..
This day in history
We started am ambitious project back in 2012, to document historic events for every single day of the year. With well researched content form our team in San Jose (USA), we focused to highlight the part of history which isn't well know, the events which were'nt popular perhaps, but important nonetheless. This vision has taken shape over last few months and its moving closer to its goal of covering an entire year. To follow updates, be sure to check On This Day
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself" - Josh Billings
Most dog owners are apt to agree. When Paul Tacon published his “Dogs Make Us Human” in Nature Australia his statement, ‘the most widespread form of interspecies bonding occurs between humans and dogs’ did cause quite a stir. And yet he doesn't seem very off-mark. According to the American Pet Products Association there are approximately 78.2 million pet dogs in the US and over 19% American households own at least one dog. Among these a good 12% own 3-4 dogs. $248 is spent by dog owners on veterinary visits each year.
In the UK dogs make very popular pet animals, according to recent estimates there are over eight million pet dogs in the country. A number of different breeds and varieties of dogs are adopted in the country; the majority of dogs are pedigrees. Typically, dogs live about thirteen years.
The MapsofWorld map dedicated to ‘man’s best friend’ shows the top ten countries with the most pet dog population in the world. USA tops the list. The next is Brazil, China, Japan, Russia, and South Africa. These are followed by France, Italy, Poland, and Thailand.
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Of all the products to make their way through the labs of Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla might be the most important to modern life. Born in modern Croatia, the brilliant inventor and scientist died at a hotel in New York City on January 7, 1943. Young Nikola, unable to attend college or find satisfying work, had a nervous breakdown. Soon, however, his prodigious mind would meet with the job that would change his life. His eye for harnessing the power of electricity caught the attention of Charles Batchelor, who personally recommended Tesla to Thomas Edison.
In New York City Tesla soon moved from basic work similar to what he had done in France to some of the most complex issues the Edison Machine Works faced. When he created a vast improvement on the direct current generators manufactured by the company, Tesla resigned in a dispute with Edison over bonuses.
Determined to see his own ideas come to fruition, he started Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing. He quickly developed a patent portfolio of his own, only to be forced out of the company by investors who believed his theories for alternating current (AC) transmission to be impossible. Though broken financially and emotionally, he managed to secure funding for a new venture months later. Untethered and brimming with energy, the inventor turned Tesla Electric Company into the testbed for his thoughts about rotating magnetic fields.
Read More historic events On This Day
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And just before we visit the last destination on our list of most colorful places on earth, we decided to stop at the beautiful South African city of Cape Town. The neighborhood in Cape Town which was traditionally called the Malay Quarter and is now called Bo-Kaap is one of the most colorful parts of the city and the houses here are painted bright, merry colors. The neighborhood is the hub of Cape Town’s Cape Malay culture. Located above the city center, on the slopes of Signal Hill, Bo-Kaap is home to the mid-nineteenth century Nurul Islam Mosque. The locale is a culturally rich one, steeped in history, and known for its attractive cafes.
The Bo-Kaap museum was built in the 18th century and is housed in the oldest house in the neighborhood. The museum showcases the contribution of the early Islamic settlers of Cape Town and displays the early furnishings and antique bric-a-brac from the era. The voorstep of the building – the terrace which is unique to the Cape Muslim culture – of the building has been left intact. With the abolishment of the apartheid, Bo-Kaap saw a real estate boom due to the beautiful colorful houses and quaint streets. It is certainly one of the most colorful places on earth.
Till about 2000, drones were used primarily by the defense forces in the US and across the world to assist with military missions deemed too 'dull, dirty, or dangerous' for men. About 40% US military aircrafts are now drones. The world has, however opened up to the limitless possibilities of deploying commercial drones.
Earlier in February 2012, the US passed a law allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to approve drones to be used for various commercial endeavors. According to the ‘FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012’, the FAA, along with NASA and some other federal agencies has been asked to make way for a complete integration of commercial drones into the US airspace by 2015. This includes the licensing and authorization of commercial drones. In the 51st episode of our FryDayPoll.com series we take a look at how the commercialization of drones can change our world.
In 2012, Myanmar (Burma) saw history unfold. On April 1, the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar (Burma) announced that Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi had been elected to the Pyithu Hluttaw, the lower house of the Burmese parliament. This was a historic victory for iconic champion of democracy who had spent over 15 years under house arrest by the military junta.
Freedom and democracy in the country Burma (Myanmar) was won after a tumultuous struggle against colonial rule. The country celebrates Independence Day on January 4 each year. Independence Day in the country is a national holiday and commemorates Burma’s Declaration of Independence from the British monarchy on January 4, 1948. In 2013, Burma is set to celebrate the country’s 66thIndependence Day amidst much festivity and fun.
The current flag of Burma was adopted on October 20, 2010. The 2008 constitution made way for the adoption of a new flag and a new name. The current ensign has three horizontal bands of yellow, green, and red and features a five-pointed white star at the center. While the yellow color of the top band represents the solidarity of the republic and the people of the nation, the green middle band represents peace and tranquility which Burma aims to achieve. Read more about the national flag of Burma (Myanmar) here.
Towards the close of 2012, MapsofWorld had published a compilation of the important events that changed the course of the world in the year. One of the biggest issues that the world followed with keen interest was the US Presidential Elections. With the dawn of 2013 there’s another presidential elections that the world is watching with bated breath. We wrote about the upcoming German elections here. As a preview, here is a look at the country itself.
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Willemstad is often referred to as the “Jewel of the Caribbean” – with good reason. It is one of the liveliest ports in the Caribbean and is one of the most beautiful as well, with brightly painted houses and tiny, tidy streets. Laidback cafes, souvenir shops, and neat museums – a beautiful city during the day, Willemstad undergoes a queer transformation at night. The pulsating nightlife and the excellent restaurants make it the perfect tourist getaway.
Willemstad is the capital city of Curacao, a country that forms part of the Kingdom of Netherlands. The city center consists of two distinct historic districts – Punda and the Otrobanda. These are divided by the St. Anna Bay. Punda is the commercial hub while Otrobanda, or "The Other Side" is a residential locality. Willemstad is also a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Willemstad is the destination for a round-the-year sunny vacation. A number of the colorful colonial bungalows are available on short leases and the beaches are a delight to the tourists. Diving, swimming, sailing and swimming with dolphins are popular activities in the bay. The Punda District which was once a walled fort is the greatest attraction. Otrobanda, Pietermaai, Punda, and Scharloo districts all together are home to over 765 buildings which have been classified as national monuments.
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In our very fascinating journey through UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world we now land in the culturally rich country of Albania. The city of Butrint forms the core of the historic legacy that Albania grew from. Located to the extreme south of the country in the highlands and surrounded by lush green vegetation, the city was connected to the Ionian Sea and to the Mediterranean region by the Vivari canal. While the city has been inhabited since prehistoric times, it rose to prominence as a commercial port in the 4th century BCE.
At the height of its prominence, in about the 6th century BCE, Butrint was an economic and military hub. Currently what remains at the Butrint National Park are remains of the city’s ancient fortification. The ruins of the 3rd century BCE amphitheater bear testimony to the importance of performing arts and culture in ancient Butrint society. The park also encloses the ruins of ancient Greek temples. A number of cultural and artistic objects have been excavated from the ruins including stunning sculptures and idols of goddesses.
It is believed that Emperor Augustus had commissioned the commissioned the construction of fountains, public baths and gymnasiums here, not totally abandoning Butrint as planned by the Romans.
Systematic excavations were initiated in the early 20th century and following the independence of Albania in 1944, excavations revealed that the splendid city remained almost undamaged. Butrint remains one of the most splendid examples of ancient European civilization.