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5 Extreme Travel Destinations For 2014

Adrenaline junkies looking for their next travel adventure may want to consider consulting a new list of extreme destinations for 2014 that includes bungee jumping into the belly of an active volcano in Chile and touring a war zone.

The adventure travel ideas proposed by Cheapflights aren’t for the faint-hearted. But they may set many a thrillseeker’s heart aflutter with trips that span Fiji, Mexico, Africa, Oman and Bolivia.

Here’s a selection of Cheapflights’ adventure travel idea hotspots for 2014:

Swim with the sharks in Fiji
On Beqa Island, divers plunge into the ocean and get to see sharks up close and personal — that is, without the protection of a cage. Divers can expect to meet largely harmless species like the Tawny Nurse Shark and Blacktip Reef Shark. But here’s where the dive description may lose a few people: “The Bull Sharks and the Tiger Sharks however are clearly a class in their own. They are Apex Predators who grow to an impressive size and have a notorious reputation for attacking humans.” Happy diving.

Volcano bungee jumping in Chile
This stunt involves jumping into the mouth of an active volcano from a helicopter, within 700 feet (213 meters) of molten lava, after which you stay suspended upside down traveling 130 km above the simmering crater.

Cycling the Death Road in La Paz, Bolivia
It’s been dubbed the world’s most dangerous road: a treacherous downhill stretch of 64 km that starts on snow-covered plains and descends to the Amazonian jungle. Oh, and it also includes a 3.6-km drop down a sheer cliff face.

Base jumping in Mexico
The Cave of Swallows is deep enough to house a high-rise building and has inspired kamikaze adrenaline junkies to jump into the belly of the earth with a parachute.

Sandboarding in Oman
Desert sand dunes in parts of Oman can run as high 100 meters. Instead of snow, travelers hit the desert slopes with their boards, toboggans or quad bikes.
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10 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Eiffel Tower On Its 125th Birthday

It takes a lot of primping and priming to look good at 125 years old. Just ask the Eiffel Tower, arguably the most recognizable silhouette in the world. It marks the milestone on March 31.

When Gustave Eiffel built the latticed tower for the World Fair in 1889, it was supposed to be a temporary edifice, to be torn down in 20 years.

Today, the iconic French landmark is the most visited, paid monument in the world, attracting more than 7 million visitors a year. Seventy-five percent of them are foreign tourists.

Here are a few fun facts and figures about the Iron Lady:

1. Strange but true: In a commitment ceremony in 2007, an American woman ‘married’ the Eiffel Tower. Erika La Tour Eiffel (she changed her name) suffers from ‘Objectum-Sexual’ a condition in which people fall in love with inanimate objects.

2. Aging requires no small amount of cosmetic touch-ups: Every seven years, the Iron Lady undergoes a paint job that requires up to 60 tons of paint to protect her from rust.

3. The Eiffel Tower will shrink and grow by up to 15 cm (6 inches) with the fluctuating temperatures.

4. Every year, the combined distance traveled by the elevator lifts works out to be about 103,000 km a year — or 2.5 times the circumference of the Earth.

5. Technically, it’s illegal to publish photos of the illuminated tower at night. Permission and rights must be obtained from the “Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.”

6. The tower is open every day. In a country that shuts down every Sunday, the tower is perhaps the only thing open 365 days a year including Christmas.

7. After the French, Italians, Spaniards and Americans make up the biggest visitors to the Eiffel Tower.

8. The tower has its own YouTube channel.

9. Eiffel paid homage to the great French men of science by engraving the names of 72 scientists, engineers and mathematicians on the four sides of the tower.

10. The nightly five-minute light show, which begins on the hour every hour from nightfall until 1 am, requires 20,000 light bulbs.

Johnny Depp Confirms Engagement To Amber Heard

Actor Johnny Depp confirmed his engagement to actress Amber Heard today. While in Beijing to promote his latest movie Transcendence, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor told the Associated Press, “The fact that I’m wearing a chick’s ring on my finger is probably a dead giveaway. Not very subtle.” A source told Us Weekly that Depp purchased the ring in question for Heard, but he’s wearing it because it’s too big for her finger (the ring in question is pictured above).

However, what does the 50-year-old actor think about wedding planning? “I think that I would be better at making women’s shoes than I would be at wedding planning,” he also told the AP. “I can’t plan anything. I’m really bad at that stuff.”

It will be the first marriage for Heard and the second for Depp. He and French actress/singer Vanessa Paradis were in a relationship for 14 years before announcing their breakup in June 2012.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014: About the Exhibition

5 April - 27 July 2014

This major exhibition is a glamorous, comprehensive look at Italian Fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. The story is explored through the key individuals and organisations that have contributed to its reputation for quality and style. It includes both womens and menswear to highlight the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise for which Italy has become renowned.

The exhibition examines Italy's dramatic transition from post-war ruins to the luxury paraded in the landmark ‘Sala Bianca’ catwalk shows held in Florence in the 1950s, which propelled Italian fashion onto the world stage. During the 1950s and '60s the many Hollywood films that were shot on location in Italy had an enormous impact on fashion as stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor became style ambassadors for Italian fashion, fuelling a keen international appetite for luxurious clothing made in Italy. On display are around 100 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses including Simonetta, Pucci, Sorelle Fontana, Valentino, Gucci, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Prada and Versace, through to the next generation of fashion talent.
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In 1951, Giovanni Battista Giorgini launched Italy’s first internationally recognised fashion shows. The following year, he secured the use of the Sala Bianca or ‘White Hall’, an opulent, chandelier-lit gallery in Florence’s Pitti Palace.In 1945, Italy’s post-war government aimed to reinvigorate a country weakened in spirit and in physical and financial ruin. With American aid provided through the Marshall Plan, the swift retooling of Italian factories alongside efforts by the country’s many entrepreneurs helped fashion become a cornerstone of Italy’s post-war recovery.

As clothing designers and textile manufacturers gradually resumed trading, their stylish designs responded to a hunger for glamour after years of wartime deprivation. Italian high fashion and fine tailoring became popular exports.

Valentino posing with models in Rome, July 1967. Courtesy of The Art Archive / Mondadori Portfolio / Marisa Rastellini.


Italy’s reputation for tailored clothing developed internationally thanks to popular images of stylishly dressed Italian actors. Marcello Mastroianni’s trim suits in the 1960 film 'La Dolce Vita' did much to popularise the Italian suit worldwide. Both bespoke garments (made to measure for an individual client) and the increasingly popular ready-made suits were adopted by a growing international clientele.Enthusiasm for Italian tailoring – admired for being light, unstructured and sleek increased in the decades after the Second World War.

A well-tailored suit requires precisely cut fabric and exact fit, along with fine finishing details. The smallest design elements, such as the shape of a pocket or sleeve, often differed from region to region. A Neapolitan suit could be distinguished from one produced in Rome.

Made in Italy

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Italy’s economy had grown rapidly, driven in part by the fashion and textile sectors. In the years that followed, despite social and political instability, Italy’s fashion industry blossomed. Numerous fashion and related manufacturing businesses started up, many of them family-run.

From the early 1970s, the popularity of couture gave way to enthusiasm for manufactured fashion. Milan – with its fashion press, advertising industry and nearby clothing and textile factories – became Italy’s new fashion capital.

‘Made in Italy’ was a marketing campaign that celebrated a rainbow of premium goods: cinema, art, food, tourism, design and, chief among them, fashion. This decades-long, international promotional campaign ensured that ‘Made in Italy’ became the mark of style.

Ankle boots, black leather stiletto heels with gold, white and pink embroidery, designed by Dolce & Gabbana, Spring/Summer 2001. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Cult of the Fashion Designer

The designers in this section are at varying stages on the journey to recognition. Some have the tradition of generations behind them. Others emerged onto Italy’s fashion scene only a few seasons ago. What unites them is a loyal clientele, an emphasis on Italian production, and a place at the top end of fashion, where Italy’s designers continue to find their competitive advantage.Since the mid-1990s, fashion has become ever more international. Many more Italian designers have become celebrities in their own right and solidified their country’s reputation as a global tastemaker. These designers sell a universe of goods across continents, from clothing to furniture to hotel interiors. Some have transformed long-established family firms into international luxury brands. All have a devoted following.

Woman's coat and dress, André Laug, 1960s. Museum no. T.327 to B-1978. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Italian Fashion’s Future

The bright spot in Italy’s generally sober economic outlook is the limitless demand for a taste of Italian style. Italian fashion companies are still influential, even as Italy’s reputation has suffered.

The years since 2000 have been marked by political scandal, immigration tensions and economic problems. Italy’s once famed networks of textile production and related industries are thinning. Its premium fashion houses are increasingly foreign-owned. Chinese factories, workers and consumers are now intertwined with the destiny of the Italian-made.

What will ‘Made in Italy’ mean in future?

Woman's striped suit, Alberto Fabiani, 1967. Museum no. T.322&A-1978. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Fashion show in Sala Bianca, 1955. Archivio Giorgini. Photo by G.M. Fadigati © Giorgini Archive, Florence.

Apple To Release Larger iPhone 6 in September

Apple is to release its newest iPhone in September, with higher resolution and bigger screens, a report said Friday, its latest salvo in the smartphone wars where it has lost global market share to rivals such as Samsung.

The new handset, expected to be called the iPhone 6, is to come in two versions with a 4.7- or 5.5-inch screen, both bigger than the current four-inch panel, the respected Nikkei business daily said, without citing sources.

US-based Apple is ordering its higher-resolution liquid crystal display screens from Japanese electronics giant Sharp, Japan Display and South Korea’s LG Display, it added.

Apple released the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and newer versions in the series last year.

A Japan-based spokesman for the California tech giant could not be immediately reached for comment on the Nikkei report, which was widely picked up by a string of technology news websites.

The Nikkei story comes after Taiwan’s Commercial Times said this month that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. had started producing chips for the next iPhone.

That news fed rumours that Apple is reducing its reliance for parts on South Korean giant Samsung, its main competitor in the mobile phone market and a bitter rival with which it is contesting several copyright court battles globally.

Samsung in February unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor, as it tries to cement its leadership of the multibillion-dollar market.

However, the South Korean giant voiced annoyance after domestic telecoms operators released its latest smartphone ahead of schedule in order to dodge sales restrictions imposed by regulators. The world’s biggest mobile phone maker had planned a worldwide debut of the Galaxy S5 on April 11.

Samsung made about 30% of all smartphones sold globally last year, nearly twice the share of Apple.

A survey by International Data Corporation (IDC) last month said Google’s Android system — used by Samsung among others — extended its gains over Apple’s iPhone in the last quarter of 2013, and Windows Phone grabbed the number three market position.

But other challengers are moving up the ranks with Taiwan’s HTC Corp. having launched an update of its HTC One smartphone while Sony has seen strong sales of its Xperia offering.

Global shipments of smartphones last year topped a billion for the first time, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million shipped in 2012.

Apple, however, had the lowest year-on-year increase of all major smartphone makers even though its 5s and 5c models were available in more countries, according to IDC.

While record iPhone and iPad sales pushed Apple’s fourth-quarter revenue to a new high investors have been concerned over weaker profits in fierce mobile gadget markets.

The California-based tech giant reported net income of $13.1 billion US on revenue of $57.6 billion in the quarter that ended December 28, helped by selling 51 million iPhones.

The profit was the same as Apple reported in the same quarter a year earlier when its revenue was $54.5 billion.

The firm is leaning on the potentially huge Chinese market as its looks to power future growth.

In January, that goal got a boost as China Mobile, the country’s biggest wireless provider, started selling the iPhone to millions of customers nationwide, ending a six-year wait in a crucial market.

China Mobile has a 760 million-strong customer base and its plans to roll out the world’s largest 4G (fourth generation) network have both companies forecasting a fruitful union.

A Sharp spokeswoman declined to comment on the Nikkei report Friday, as the company’s Tokyo-listed shares rose 1.63%, outpacing a 0.5% increase in the broader market.

Celine Dion puts Jupiter Island estate on market for $72.5 million

Celine Dion is putting her Jupiter Island, Florida, compound on the market for $72.5 million. The 5.7-acre property includes an eight-bedroom guest house, a tennis center with a simulated golf range, two pools connected by a private water park, and a beach house with a sleeping loft and massage room.

The elaborate $72.5 million estate was built in 2010, and was designed by Dion and her husband, René Angélil. It is the largest waterfront estate on exclusive Jupiter Island.

Dion is reportedly selling the property because she has extended her Las Vegas contract through 2019.

The Lovely Nam Dger Apartment Displaying A Sleek Swirl-Like Staircase

The Nam Dger Apartment is a contemporary home embedded with industrial elements of décor. Inspiring sobriety and elegance, this particularly beautiful home located in Nam Tower, in the very heart of Tel Aviv, is the work of Gerstner Architects, an Israel-based studio involved in luxury interior design projects. The interior showcases an interesting (and sculptural) swirl-like staircase, made of solid iron. The intriguing item becomes the core of the living room, standing out and making an impression on whoever ends up seeing it, due to its unpolished and industrial look. It also allows vertical circulation throughout the apartment. At a closer look, the staircase defined the neat design adding a touch of contemporary urban wilderness.

When it comes to colours, the designers sticked with neutrals. Nuances of beige, grey, black and white embellish the interior and give personality to it. The apartment is quite compact, so, in order to save some space, the doors have been removed. There are floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the sun to flood the interior with light and warmth. The living space seems more spacious and uncluttered. Somehow, this reminds us of the precious and coquette Scandinavian attic apartments.

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