Richard Branson’s trip to space is about convincing others to come along
British businessman and billionaire Richard Branson has tried a lot of things in his life, from crossing the Atlantic by powerboat in record time to attempting to travel the world via hot air balloon (before crash landing). But his upcoming feat might be his most notable yet: traveling to space — and possibly beating fellow billionaire and space startup founder Jeff Bezos in the process.
This Sunday morning, Branson will join five other people on Virgin Galactic’s first full-crewed flight to space. If all goes according to plan, they’ll travel more than 50 miles above the Earth’s surface on the VSS Unity spaceplane, an airplane-like vehicle that will be carried by a mothership before reaching what NASA considers to be the border between outer space and Earth. The goal is to demonstrate that space tourism really is possible, and during the estimated 90-minute trip, riders will experience weightlessness and see stunning views of Earth.
The company is planning to livestream the flight on its website, as well as on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, beginning at 9 am ET.
Space tourism has long been an aspiration of Branson’s. His terrestrial ventures through the Virgin Group included everything from a record company to air travel, before he founded Virgin Galactic back in 2004, just as the private space industry was starting to become competitive. In 2000, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin, and two years later, Elon Musk founded SpaceX. For more than a decade, these private companies have been racing each other, launching test flights and preparing to send humans — including civilians — to space. At the same time, NASA has increasingly turned to these private space firms for its own work, including help with delivering payloads, training astronauts, and even returning to the moon.
“If you’re going to get people to pay to do this, most people aren’t going to pay to do that if there’s a relatively good chance that they’re going to die,” Janet Bednarek, an aviation historian at the University of Dayton, told Recode. “I think that’s in part why Branson is going on this flight. It’s signaling that this is now safe.”
If Branson successfully launches on Sunday, it will be a new milestone for Virgin Galactic, and one that will move humanity even closer to the age of commercial space tourism.
While SpaceX and Blue Origin have a range of other goals, including delivering payloads to the International Space Station, Virgin Galactic has stood out for its long-time focus on space tourism: the idea that people will be willing to dole out a lot of money for the opportunity to travel to space. “We hope to create thousands of astronauts over the next few years and bring alive their dream of seeing the majestic beauty of our planet from above, the stars in all their glory, and the amazing sensation of weightlessness,” Branson proclaimed in 2004.
At the time, Branson predicted the company could send five-person trips to space for just $200,000, and that thousands of astronauts could be sent to space in the coming years. In 2019, Virgin Galactic became the first space tourism firm to go public, and in June, the company received the first-ever operator license from the Federal Aviation Administration, meaning that it now has permission to fly paying customers. Branson has also launched Virgin Orbit, a parallel company that launches satellites, where SpaceX is also competing.
Sunday’s launch will mean Branson and Virgin Galactic have come out ahead of Bezos and Musk in the private space race. While Branson has insisted he’s not trying to beat Bezos and Blue Origin to get to space first, he did announce his July 11 flight just hours after the Amazon CEO said he would take off on July 20. Bezos seems at least slightly piqued by Branson changing his launch date: On Friday, Blue Origin questioned whether Sunday’s Virgin Galactic flight will really make it to space, since the flight isn’t technically crossing the internationally recognized border, the Kármán line, about 12 miles higher than the NASA-recognized border.
Virgin Galactic’s journey to commercial space tourism has had its share of serious setbacks. In 2014, a test flight of the company’s SpaceShipTwo crashed, killing one co-pilot and leaving the other seriously injured. (The National Transportation Safety Board later attributed the crash to a co-pilot error and “failure to consider and protect against the possibility that a single human error could result in a catastrophic hazard.”) The Virgin Group, the broader conglomerate that includes the airline Virgin Atlantic and the gym Virgin Active, has also had to overcome the financial challenges of the pandemic.
The spaceflight effort faces the question of profitability, too. “There’s a limited number of people who can actually afford to do this,” Bednarek told Recode. “If you’re going to go to scale, you also have to figure out how to bring the cost down, and that’s very difficult to do.”
Earlier this month, Branson said he thinks there’s enough demand for space travel for at least 20 different companies to compete in the industry. Thus far, the company says at least 600 people have made reservations for future Virgin Galactic flights, at a ticket price estimated to cost as much as $250,000. Last year, Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said he thought the company could eventually bring in $1 billion a year in revenue and make spaceflight happen regularly, though he noted that the company would need more space planes and motherships to reach that goal.
And even if we’re still a ways off from widespread space tourism, Branson will soon have company: In just a few days, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is scheduled to journey to space for about 11 minutes in a BlueOrigin rocket, alongside other riders, including his brother Mark Bezos and a still-unnamed auction winner who bid $28 million for a seat on the flight.
From the beginning, New Shepard was designed to fly above the Kármán line so none of our astronauts have an asterisk next to their name. For 96% of the world’s population, space begins 100 km up at the internationally recognized Kármán line. pic.twitter.com/QRoufBIrUJ
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 9, 2021
SpaceX, meanwhile, is scheduled to launch its first “all-civilian” flight later this year. On board will be pilot and billionaire tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who founded the payments processor company Shift4 Payments.
Only a few hundred humans have been to space, but that number seems to be accelerating pretty quickly.
Facebook Allows Group Admins to Designate ‘Experts’ for Their Communities
Facebook is updating groups on its platform with the ability to allow admins to designate specific group members as ‘experts.’ These experts will have a particular ‘Group Expert’ badge — just like how admins and moderators normally have on Facebook groups — to make them stand out from regular members. Apart from allowing admins to pick subject matter experts from their groups, Facebook is enabling them to look for experts who are not yet members but have expertise aligning with the group’s interest.
As a result of the update, Facebook says that admins of “select” groups will now be able to pick specific members as experts who will, once accepted the new role, get the Group Expert badge next to their names in the group. This will make it easier for group members to look for informative posts and comments from specific people.
It is important to note that becoming a group expert doesn’t introduce any additional features or grant you any control of that group separate from other members. However, Facebook notes that group experts will be provided with “ways to seek and share expertise beyond traditional posts and comments.” These will include the ability to host real-time question-and-answer sessions in a text-based format, create live audio rooms, and ask questions for group members.
Group admins will also get the option to look for experts beyond the members available in their groups. Facebook says that it has started to test the new option by giving some people in fitness and gaming the option to identify topics they’re knowledgeable about, such as yoga or a specific game. Group admins will be able to discover these people by searching for these specific topics on Facebook and invite them to join as group experts.
Facebook is also introducing automatic invites to let people with expertise invite their “recently engaged Page followers” to join the groups where they’ve added as group experts.
The new move by Facebook is aimed to make groups a better place for people sharing similar interests. The social media site already has more than 70 million admins and moderators running active groups worldwide. Many of these groups have become a place to share knowledge and skills where subject matter experts could help to a large extent. The addition of experts would also give more time to group admins to mitigate serious issues such as misinformation and hatred within their communities.
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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at [email protected] Please send in your leads and tips.
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Jeremiad Against Fascist Facebook / My Departure
It’s very difficult to leave Facebook. Believe me, I know. I’m sitting in my room typing most days, with all friends and family at least 50 miles away. We chose to move here and love it, but it’s more isolated. So it was tough to leave Facebook, because I loved what relatively little social interaction I could have. Now most of my interactions are with atheists and reactionary Catholics who hate my guts. LOL
[up to this point I hadn’t absolutely decided to leave. Then I did make that decision, because no one could give me a good reason (in my opinion) not to leave]
Farewell to Censorship and Oppression of My Work
1) The Time Has Come / Not About Friends, Whom I Love
I leave out of principle. I love my friends and followers here. This has nothing to do with you. You have supported my work, encouraged me, prayed for me, made lovely comments about my family and new granddaughters and our new country home. I reiterate: this has nothing to do with you. I’m not complaining about people. I don’t want to be misunderstood about that, in an already painful and difficult situation. I’m disgusted with Facebook and its ludicrous and unethical policies, and refuse to be subjected to it anymore. It’s an insult to my intelligence and my vocation and hard work.
2) Tired of “Writing in a Bubble”
Rather, it’s the fact that Facebook is systematically censoring my posts (i. e., through its algorithm and suppression of posts with external links), so that you never see them in your feed. This was expressed over and over in the previous thread: “I never see your posts in my feed.” I can’t express how immensely frustrating this is, seeing that I continue to work my tail off producing apologetics and other theological writings, which then wallow in obscurity because of these outrageous policies.
3) I Tried to Oppose Big Brother, to No Avail!
I sought to overcome this deliberate suppression of my work in every way I knew how, by putting up popular baby pictures, catchy memes, informing my readers that they can make me one of their “Favorites” within the Facebook structure, writing about the pope, sexual issues, and liturgical matters (the three topics that, alone, seem to draw much attention), deliberately omitting links so that posts will be seen in the first place, asking people to sign up on my blog, etc. Nothing has worked.
4) The Final Straw That Broke the Apologist’s Back
The final straw was this past week, when my previous seven blog posts drew an average of five “likes” and one share each. It wasn’t just the holiday weekend. This trend has been getting worse and worse for years now. Facebook is clearly vastly different. Many have noted this. It’s not me just imagining this or engaging in conspiratorialism or what-not. The changes are real, and devastating to those like myself, whose living has directly depended on the Internet and social media. The Internet made my career possible, and continues to sustain it. So here I am, after 24 years of continuous website-writing and blogging, with now over 3,600 posted articles and 50 books published (four of them, bestsellers in the field, and eleven “officially” published) — I think it is the most comprehensive and “encyclopedic” Catholic apologetics blog online — , and Facebook has censored my announcements of posts to such an alarming extent that new announced posts receive virtually no attention, despite having 5,000 Facebook friends and an additional 2,728 followers. This is a disgrace. It ought not be that way, and it literally harms my livelihood, which has always partially depended on generous donations, as well as book and article royalties, and several part-time jobs I have taken on in addition to my full-time Catholic apologetics work since December 2001.
5) Please Take One Minute to Sign Up and Receive Notice of My Blog Posts
Anyone who wants to follow my work can easily do so by signing up to receive notice of my blog posts. It takes one minute to do. Just go to the upper right of the sidebar [if you are reading this, you are already “there”], and sign up to receive notifications of my new posts by simply posting your email address. No one (who is interested) has to miss any new post I write. 90% of what I did here was simply cross-post my new blog articles or National Catholic Register articles. On my Patheos blog, I have complete editorial control. Not one word of any of my articles is ever censored. We do get paid per pageview. It’s not much (believe me: usually only about $50-70 a month), but it’s something, and the more people I can get to sign up and regularly read, the more income I will have, coming from Patheos. So you can help me in that way also. Please go right now and sign up! And thank you beforehand for doing so . . .
6 ) Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees (Wish it Did!)
I continue to be in need of financial support. I was saying for months that I just needed to make it to Social Security. That has certainly been crucial in our budget, but with a new 15-year mortgage, much of it goes straight to that, and we only have a little more than enough to pay our bills every month. So if you value my work, and (especially) if you have been helped by it yourself, please consider supporting it. This enables you to directly participate in my apostolate of apologetics and evangelism. See the details of the many ways you can contribute, including possible 100% tax deduction and the ability to set up monthly PayPal payment / donations. See also my “Literary Resume”: a complete listing of all of my various apologetics credentials, published articles and books, affiliations, etc.
7) E-Mail and Contact / Searching My Blog
My email address is [email protected]
I have never tried to be “inaccessible” as an apologist. On the other hand, I have been very aware of the stewardship of time. My policy, accordingly, through the years, has been to produce apologetics material that is able to provide some sort of answer for just about every major topic that comes up. There is usually no need to write to me personally to ask if I have written about such-and-such topic. My blog has convenient drop-down menus, leading to more than 50 separate topical web pages. And it has an excellent search function on the sidebar (I use it myself all the time). Now, if you use those methods and still can’t find what you are looking for, I’ll be happy to guide you to whatever I have that may be useful.
Facebook has been an outlet for socializing and keeping in contact with friends for ten years, and I loved that part of it. You can still talk to me on my blog, though I ask that you confine yourself to the topic of any given post. I can correspond to an extent, but I have to limit that, for obvious reasons. I can’t writing individually at any length to potentially many hundreds of people. I have to maintain a balance there. Nor have I ever tried to do “personal counseling.” That’s not my thing. I’m a teacher and educator and debater. But I’m “out here.” I’m not disappearing or falling off the radar screen. Facebook is not the sum total of human interaction. It’s only existed since 2004. The Internet itself only goes back about thirty years. We all managed to get along before it arrived. I had a website or blog for 14 years before I joined Facebook in 2011 and got along fine. We used to have very extensive conversations in the comboxes.
8) National Catholic Register
9) 50 Books. I Hope You Will Buy a Few
Here is the link to my books page, with all the information you need about all the books, and all purchase links.
10) My “Personal Page”
This multi-faceted page includes anything and everything you would hope or want to know about me, and has all the collections of baby pictures and family information. I’m a big family man and I believe I am married to the best wife in the history of the world (Judy). I have four wonderful children (all rock-solid Catholics) and now two fabulous daughters-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. My life has been great lately. Just in the last year alone we found our country dream house, became grandparents, and started receiving Social Security.
I’ve tried to make my work as accessible and visible as I could, with very little financial resources to do so. This doesn’t stand or fall based on whether I am on Facebook. I was doing it for 15 years before the Internet existed (engaging in activities like street-witnessing at the University of Michigan all through the 80s: dealing with the “hard cases” then, just as now!), and another 15 years after that before I joined Facebook (three-quarters of the entire length of my ministry is “non-Facebook”). I was published in paper magazines in 1993 before I went online, and finished my first book in 1996, just two months after I entered the world of the Internet. This is why Facebook is not the essence of my work. It’s a matter of perspective.
I’ll miss my friends, but those who want to still be friends are free to seek me out where I continue to be, online, or in person, as the case may be. I’d love to do more things in person, in fact: go back to street witnessing, have more discussion groups, get together with friends in person more often (we are at least fifty miles away from almost all of our existing friends, so it has become more difficult). That would be nice. This doesn’t have to be the “end” of anything. It’s just Facebook. I’m still here (in this world) doing my thing, as I always have. I’m not disappearing or going away; just ending one chapter of my life that has ended up being a farce because it no longer is what it used to be.
If Facebook had simply kept to its original, non-politicized, non-fascist vision, I wouldn’t be writing this post.
I easily raised $5000 on Facebook for three straight Septembers (2012-2014) and then I simply couldn’t in 2015: that’s how much things changed. So I can say for sure that Facebook has literally cost me at the very least $30,000 in lost income (which is a ton for folks as low income as we are), but it’s far more than just that. I would have had a lot more exposure, leading to many more book sales and maybe more financial supporters.
As I said, it’s a matter of personal principle for me to leave Facebook. I don’t think it will affect much, because I get virtually no attention to my posts here. But even if it does, so be it. I have to follow my principles and be true to myself. I have to leave, per my explanations. It’s not fun; I wish it were otherwise, but it’s a necessity.
I had hoped there would be a mass exodus from Facebook, but it didn’t happen. If people had been as harmed as I have been on Facebook, they would have left, just as I have decided to do. We should be sad that Facebook has become a farce and an outrage.
If Trump’s lawsuit against big Tech means that Facebook stops censoring posts, then I would and could come back. I’m not sure it would mean that, though, even if he won the case. They couldn’t ban people, but could still have their notorious algorithm (I’m assuming). It still might not wipe out their algorithm and hostility to links. I don’t think it’s likely to improve the problem that has forced me to leave (following my principles). Seems like we can never unscramble the “Facebook egg”, though: it’s become so corrupt and drunk with the power of trying to control others’ thoughts and expression of them.
I have nothing against these dinky competitors [Parler, MeWe, etc.]; they just have relatively few people, and my screaming need is more exposure for my work, so that doesn’t help me; doesn’t solve the fundamental problem.
I don’t see leaving Facebook as “giving in”, but rather, opposing. I refuse to be subject to their censorship. I’m a writer and this is my living, and I will not subject myself anymore to fascist know-nothingism. In my opinion, Christians and conservatives and pro-lifers should be leaving Facebook en masse. But I understand that it’s where people are and is good for purely social interaction (as long as no one dares post a link with a non-leftist opinion). I couldn’t bring myself to leave till now, so I totally understand people not wanting to leave.
Basically, what I’m doing is going back to the period before Facebook existed. There was such a time (it was founded in 2004)! Blogs were all the rage, and websites before them. No one messed with our freedom of speech or censored our posts.
Eventually, if enough of us reject this nonsense of Facebook, then we can do what we used to do somewhere else. If enough go to MeWe, I’ll give it a shot there. But I can’t link to my posts there. That’s one frustration.
I will not be exploited by left-wing fascists. On my blog I am completely free. Whoever is interested in my work can sign up [upper right sidebar] to receive notices of new posts (takes one minute). I was a full-time Catholic apologist for ten years before I ever got on Facebook, and I was doing Christian apologetics for 30 years. I was fine before it existed and I’m fine now after I have rejected its fascism and censorship of my writing and other expressed opinions (memes, etc.).
Summary: I give various reasons for why I became completely disgusted with fascist Facebook policies of censorship, & suppression of non-left wing, conservative, Christian, & pro-life views.
Marina Bay Sands Now Has Sunrise & Sunset Yoga Sessions On Its 57th Storey Skypark
Skypark Yoga at Marina Bay Sands
Regardless of whether you’ve been clocking in hours doing Yoga With Adriene at home or heading out to yoga studios, you’ll know that nothing beats yoga with a stunning view. Take things up a notch from your usual yoga sesh with a scenic flow at the top of Marina Bay Sands.
Skypark Yoga will be held from 20th July 2021 onwards, during sunrise and sunset for a panoramic detox.
Yoga stretches in the sky
Image credit: Virgin Active
Marina Bay Sands needs no introduction as one of our island’s most picturesque viewpoints. And while some of us have managed to go to the top for a dip in the infinity pool or tipples at the rooftop bars, yoga is now another activity to add to the list.
Image credit: Virgin Active
Sign up for one of the upcoming yoga sessions organised by Virgin Active, for 360-degree views during their sunrise flows at 6.45AM and 8AM. For those who can’t wake up in time, there are also sunset flows held at 6.30PM and 7.45PM to catch the blazing orange sky as you work in those mountain and cobra poses.
Image credit: Virgin Active
It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced yogi or complete greenhorn as there are lessons of varying intensities for everyone to try. Each session lasts 45 minutes, with the usual safe distancing guidelines in place. Participants will be split into small groups of five and the provided yoga mats will be disinfected between sessions.
Image credit: Virgin Active
As an added bonus, headphones will also be handed out so everyone in the class will be able to hear the instructor’s voice clearly throughout the session.
Yoga in the sky at Marina Bay Sands
Release some of those wound up muscles with MBS Skypark’s new yoga flow sessions, with 16 classes available weekly. Prices begin from $30 for public, but you can look forward to discounted rates if you’re either a Sands Reward LifeStyle member ($20) – sign up for free here – or Virgin Active member ($15).
Reserve a slot on Virgin Active’s booking page.
Address: Level 57, Hotel Tower 3, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Skypark Yoga website
More for your yoga needs:
Cover image adapted from Virgin Active
ROSEN, GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. Investors With Losses Exceeding $100K to Secure Counsel Before Important July 27 Deadline in Securities Class Action
NEW YORK, July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —
WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) between October 26, 2019 and April 30, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”), of the important July 27, 2021 lead plaintiff deadline.
SO WHAT: If you purchased Virgin Galactic securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.
WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Virgin Galactic class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-register-2087.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email [email protected] or [email protected] for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than July 27, 2021. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.
WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020 founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs’ Bar. Many of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.
DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) for accounting purposes, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp.’s (“SCH”) warrants were required to be treated as liabilities rather than equities; (2) Virgin Galactic had deficient disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting; (3) as a result, Virgin Galactic improperly accounted for SCH warrants that were outstanding at the time of the business confirmation of SCH, a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), and the Company’s then-private predecessor; and (4) as a result, defendants’ public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.
To join the Virgin Galactic class action, go to http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-register-2087.html or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email [email protected] or [email protected] for information on the class action.
No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor’s ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.
Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-rosen-law-firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.
Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686-1060
Toll Free: (866) 767-3653
Fax: (212) 202-3827
SOURCE Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
Virgin Galactic value falls back to Earth despite successful flight – as share sale plan revealed | Business News
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic saw more than $1bn wiped off its value the day after it completed a successful crewed test flight – as it revealed plans to sell up to $500m in shares.
The New York-listed company had been trading sharply higher in pre-market deals following Sunday’s trip – with billionaire founder Sir Richard on board.
But it crashed back to earth after the details of the sale, representing a big chunk of its outstanding shares, were disclosed in a stock market filing.
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Branson: ‘Everyone would love to go to space’
The share price was down by as much as 12% in Monday trading.
Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “The story might well make its own blockbuster, but Richard Branson’s space odyssey came back to Earth with a bump as the company announced a whip round.
“Virgin Galactic said the fundraising is to enable more successful space flights and the timing of the announcement was carefully managed to take full advantage of the excitement generated by the launch and safe return.”
Sir Richard’s journey upstaged Blue Origin, a rival space tourism venture founded by former Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.
Mr Bezos is due to go into space with his brother Mark next week.
The ventures are underpinned by optimism that technological advancements and falling costs will help grow the market for space travel.
The flight took place on Sunday
Investment bank UBS estimates that it could be worth $3bn a year by 2030.
Virgin Galactic’s share price has surged by more than 80% so far this year and the company was valued at just below $12bn prior to Monday’s market opening.
It has said that it plans at least two further test flights in the months ahead before beginning regular commercial operations in 2022.
Ultimately the company aims to be operating multiple space tourism flights a year, and already has more than 600 customers for the $250,000 (£180,000) seats – including Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio.
‘It was just magical’: Billionaire Richard Branson flies to space aboard his own ship
Swashbuckling entrepreneur Richard Branson hurtled into space aboard his own winged rocket ship on Sunday, beating out fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos.
The nearly 71-year-old Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of about 88 kilometres over the New Mexico desert — enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth — and then safely glided to a runway landing.
“The whole thing, it was just magical,” a jubilant Branson said after the trip home aboard the gleaming white space plane, named Unity.
The brief, up-and-down flight — the rocket ship’s portion took only about 15 minutes, or about as long as Alan Shepard’s first U.S. spaceflight in 1961 — was a splashy and unabashedly commercial plug for Virgin Galactic, which plans to start taking paying customers on joyrides next year.
Branson became the first person to blast off in his own spaceship, beating Bezos by nine days. He also became only the second septuagenarian to go into space. Astronaut John Glenn flew on the shuttle at age 77 in 1998.
I have dreamt about this moment since I was a child, but going to space was more magical than I ever imagined <a href=”https://t.co/Wyzj0nOBgX”>https://t.co/Wyzj0nOBgX</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Unity22?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Unity22</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/virgingalactic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@virgingalactic</a> <a href=”https://t.co/grs7vHAzca”>pic.twitter.com/grs7vHAzca</a>
Bezos sent his congratulations, adding: “Can’t wait to join the club!” — though he also took to Twitter earlier in the week to enumerate the ways in which be believes his company’s rides will be better.
With about 500 people watching, including Branson’s family, a twin-fuselage craft with Unity attached underneath took off in the first stage of the flight. Unity then detached from the mother ship at an altitude of about 13 kilometres and fired its engine, reaching more than Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound, as it pierced the edge of space.
Spectators cheered, jumped into the air and embraced as the rocket plane touched down. Branson pumped his fists as he stepped out onto the runway and ran toward his family, bear-hugging his wife and children and scooping up his three grandchildren in his arms.
“That was an amazing accomplishment,” former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, a one-time commander of the International Space Station, said from the sidelines. “I’m just so delighted at what this open door is going to lead to now. It’s a great moment.”
Virgin Galactic conducted three previous test flights into space with crews of just two or three.
VSS Unity reached:<br><br>A speed of Mach 3<br>A space altitude of 53.5 miles<br><br>Watch the full flight at <a href=”https://t.co/5UalYT7Hjb”>https://t.co/5UalYT7Hjb</a><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Unity22?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Unity22</a> <a href=”https://t.co/Kcgai497Nd”>pic.twitter.com/Kcgai497Nd</a>
The flamboyant, London-born founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways wasn’t supposed to fly until later this summer. But he assigned himself to an earlier flight after Bezos announced plans to ride his own rocket into space from Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Branson denied he was trying to outdo Bezos.
Branson’s other chief rival in the space-tourism race among the world’s richest men, SpaceX’s Elon Musk, came to New Mexico to witness the flight, wishing Branson via Twitter, “Godspeed!”
Bezos’s Blue Origin company intends to send tourists past the so-called Kármán line 100 kilometres above Earth, which is recognized by international aviation and aerospace federations as the threshold of space.
Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of about 88 kilometres over the New Mexico desert — enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth — and then safely glided to a runway landing. (Virgin Galactic)
But NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration and some astrophysicists consider the boundary between the atmosphere and space to begin at 80 kilometres and up.
The risks to Branson and his crew were underscored in 2007, when a rocket motor test in California’s Mojave Desert left three workers dead, and in 2014, when a Virgin Galactic rocket plane broke apart during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other.
Dawn of space tourism
Ever the showman, Branson insisted on a global live stream of the Sunday morning flight and invited celebrities and former space station astronauts to the company’s Spaceport America base in New Mexico.
R&B singer Khalid performed his new single New Normal — a nod to the dawning of space tourism — while CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert served as master of ceremonies.
Before climbing aboard, Branson, who has kite-surfed the English Channel and attempted to circle the world in a hot-air balloon, signed the astronaut log book and wisecracked: “The name’s Branson. Sir Richard Branson. Astronaut Double-oh-one. License to thrill.”
WATCH | Richard Branson hurtles into space:
Richard Branson won the billionaire space race, beating out Jeff Bezos when he travelled into space on his own Virgin Galactic rocket ship Sunday. These private enterprise expeditions may help usher in an era of space tourism. 3:07
Upon his return to Earth, he announced a sweepstakes drawing for two seats on a Virgin Galactic jaunt once tourist flights begin.
Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 reservations from would-be space tourists, with tickets initially costing $250,000 US apiece. Blue Origin is waiting for Bezos’s flight before announcing its ticket prices.
Kerianne Flynn, who signed up in 2011 to fly with Virgin Galactic, had butterflies ahead of Sunday’s launch.
Spectators watch the space flight in New Mexico on Sunday. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)
“I think there’s going to be nothing like going up there and looking back down on the Earth, which is what I think I’m most excited about,” she said. She added: “Hopefully the next generations will be able to explore what’s up there.”
Musk’s SpaceX, which is already launching astronauts to the space station for NASA and building moon and Mars ships, plans to take tourists on more than just brief, up-and-down trips. They will instead go into orbit around the Earth for days, with seats costing well into the millions. The company’s first private flight is set for September.
Musk himself has not committed to going into space any time soon.
90,000 TOP-10 adventures for every taste
The Dominican Republic has many opportunities for outdoor activities, so you can go to this Caribbean country not only for relaxation on the beach, but also for adventure. Diving and rafting, horse riding and hiking, fishing and mountain biking. There will simply be no time to be bored. Go!
Diving . Diving in the Dominican Republic is possible both in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.You can dive all year round: the water temperature never drops below 20 ° C. There are more than 50 diving centers in the country, in which, among other things, Russian-speaking instructors work.
The natural topography of the seabed creates a variety of diving opportunities for both beginners and professionals. Beginners can enjoy watching beautiful coral reefs, tropical fish, sea anemones, sea urchin colonies, starfish and other inhabitants of the Caribbean Sea.Experienced divers will find it interesting to look into the underwater caves and caves and even look for sunken ships.
Surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing . Kite Beach near Cabarete is considered the best place to catch the wave. East winds blow evenly parallel to the coast, forming even waves, and coral reefs protect the lagoon from the rough seas.
Surfers of all levels come to Encuentro Beach to learn from award-winning instructors.On the Samana Peninsula, you can go kitesurfing in Las Terrenas (Punta Popi beach) and surfing in Playa Bonita.
Macau Beach in Punta Cana is known as a popular surfing spot, while Playa Blanca attracts kitesurfing enthusiasts. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the Dominican waters are the perfect place for your favorite activities.
Canyoning . For this adventure, head to the Jimenoa River. It just won’t: there will be a descent through the canyons and jumping into a natural pool, but a guided trip along a winding river among the virgin rainforest of the Central Cordilleras will be remembered for a long time.
Hiking and trekking . Hiking takes place mainly in mountainous areas or in national nature parks. Experts advise exploring Los Haitises National Park. Dotted with mangrove swamps, palm and cotton thickets, picturesque green islands and mysterious caves with rock inscriptions, it will surprise even the most sophisticated traveler
By the way, in Jarabacoa is the “roof” of the entire Caribbean region – the peak Duarte with a height of 3087 m.
Horse riding . There are routes for both beginners and experienced riders. For example, you can ride a horse along the Atlantic coast and visit the beautiful Macau beach.
There are horseback riding in the rainforest. For lovers and newlyweds, romantic horseback riding on the beaches at sunset is organized.
Rafting. For adrenaline rush to the river Yaque del Norte.Just imagine: descending a mountain river with crystal clear water through the jungle. Mind-blowing current, breakneck speed, unexpected turns and rapids among tropical forests. Emotions will last for a whole year – until the next visit to the Dominican Republic.
Speleo diving . The Dominican Republic ranks first in the number of caves per unit of territory. There are more than 5 thousand caves, many of which are filled with water. Lots of stalactites and stalagmites, crystal clear waters, rugged extreme routes and a rare halocline.
Fishing . You can fish on small boats on the reefs or on large yachts to catch big fish in the deep waters of the Atlantic or the Caribbean.
Barracuda, marlin, sailfish and other trophies are found here. Deep sea fishing is also possible at resorts, including Punta Cana and Bavaro. By the way, spinning is also practiced.
Safari . From Puerto Plata to Punta Cana, safaris are a great way to experience the atmosphere of a Dominican village.You can drive up the hills both in huge off-road vehicles and behind the wheel of an ATV or ATV.
In Punta Cana, the safari route passes through small towns such as Otra Banda, where butcher shop owners hang their food on the street, and ends at Macau’s sunny sandy beach. So there will be enough content for photos and videos for Instragram.
Mountain bike . For such “pokatushek” there are several options.Cabarete in El Choco National Park offers routes of varying difficulty levels, including a 50 km endurance ride.
For quieter walks and exploring the local beauty, it is worth choosing the roads of the central mountainous part of the country – from Jarabacoa to Constanta. A pleasant bonus is that on the way you can refresh yourself in cool rivers and waterfalls.
DAY 1.Transfer to Digor gorge, Akhsinta canyon and Uastyrdzhi sanctuary
DAY 2.Trekking to the Karaugom gorge
DAY 3. Trekking to the upper reaches of the Khares river
DAY 4. Jeeping to the villages of Khanaz and Zadalesk, a walk to the dzuar Digori Izad, lunch with an Ossetian family
DAY 5. Hike to the Tana-Tsete glaciers
DAY 6. Climbing Mount Kubus and a walk to the waterfalls of the Digorsky gorge
DAY 7. Farewell to Digoria. Transfer to Mineralnye Vody.
virgin nature – Translation into English – examples Russian
These examples may contain rude words based on your search.
These examples may contain colloquial words based on your search.
And until the city has swallowed up the entire virgin nature , people will walk into the fields with flowers, and give each other bouquets, and weave wreaths, and rejoice at the first snowdrops, feeling the awakening of life everywhere.
And while the city has not swallowed up all virgin nature , people will go to fields of flowers, and to give each other bouquets, both to weave wreaths, and to be pleased to the first snowdrops, feeling awakening of life everywhere.
More like virgin nature !
Relax while enjoying the mountain air while hiking, or discover the virgin nature of the Carinthian mountain slopes on any of the 39 equipped mountain bike trails.
Whether you are longing for days full of relaxation in summer or whether you prefer an active, adventure-packed winter holiday, the Hotel Pulverer offers unique possibilities to create your very own tailored holiday package.
Suggest an example
The Water Paradise is surrounded by beautiful virgin nature .
20,000 hectares of virgin nature , all owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
53,000 acres of virgin wilderness , all but one owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
Dominica is known as an island of virgin nature in the Caribbean.
The Russian hinterland is peace, quiet and wonderful virgin nature .
The Russian countryside is a calm place surrounded by beautiful preserved nature .
It is a magnificent combination of virgin nature and the romantic atmosphere of the old town of Bansko.
Here you can find a marvelous combination between the virgin nature and the romanticism of the ancient town of Bansko.
In addition, some groups of the local population live far in the depths of virgin nature Siberia.
There are even indigenous people groups that live remote from any place in the untouched nature of Siberia.
Bulgaria is one of the hottest countries in Europe with a rich, virgin nature , a favorable climate and a rich cultural and historical heritage.
One of the lowest cost of living in EU. That means you can enjoy an excellent 3 course meal with wine for no more than GBP 5.00 per head.
Visit our guest thresholds are always a great opportunity to relax surrounded by virgin nature , and they come into effect for further work.
Visit our guest thresholds is always a great opportunity to rest, surrounded by virgin nature , and they enter into force for further work.
Curšu Neria is a corner of extraordinary beauty, fishing land virgin nature and dunes, due to its uniqueness, it is included in the UNESCO heritage list.
The Curonian Spit is a patch of land of extraordinary beauty, a region of untouched nature , sand dunes and fishermen which has been entered onto UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to its uniqueness.
In the wilderness areas of , the local population, including the Sami, retains their traditional fishing and hunting rights.
In the wilderness areas , the local population, including the Saami, has maintained traditional rights to fish and hunt.
In view of the relatively small preserved areas in Europe of virgin nature , areas of semi-natural habitat are of particular importance for the preservation of the environment.
Due to the relatively small area of undisturbed natural habitat that remains in Europe, semi-natural habitats are particularly important for nature conservation.
These are areas of virgin nature , which are not under pressure in terms of public water use.
These areas are quite pristine , and there is no pressure to use them for public water supply.
It was built in 1968 as a model for the famous French club Mediterranea. It is a combination of virgin nature and sunny beaches.
It boasts with mineral springs which is very useful for spa and balneotherapy centers of the club hotels.
Situated in a prime location close to Lisbon, and at the same time in the middle of virgin nature , Capuchos Village offers the best of both worlds.
Idyllically situated close to Lisbon downtown, yet situated in a quiet and beautiful region, Aldeia dos Capuchos offers you the best of both worlds.
Yes. White sandy beaches, artfully imitating virgin nature , spacious paddocks … it looks like a zoo in San Diego.
In fact, the virgin nature of the region provides unique research opportunities that are key to studying the phenomena of global change, including global warming and ozone depletion.
The basically pristine nature of the region provides unique opportunities for research that is crucial to the study of the phenomenon of global change, including global warming and ozone-layer depletion.
While this Protocol does not have its own enforcement mechanism and deserves to be strengthened, it should be seen as an important milestone in efforts to protect and safeguard the wilderness of this continent.
Although the Protocol has no enforcement mechanism of its own and needs to be further strengthened, it is considered an important milestone in the efforts to protect and preserve the pristine environment of the continent.
Shirakami Sanchi Mountain Range | Aomori
The Shirakami Sanchi mountain range is bordered by two northern prefectures – Akita and Aomori – and surrounds the largest virgin beech forest in the Land of the Rising Sun.It is one of the first two Japanese sites to be listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in Japan. This tourist paradise is spread over an area of over 130,000 hectares. There is an incredible array of picturesque peaks, lakes, trails, gorges and valleys.
The main attractions are Juniko lakes, Ammon waterfalls and Dairakyo gorge. Aoike Pond is also worth adding to the list – the shade of its blue waters changes depending on the season. Fans of outdoor activities should come to these places.
- Take one of the twelve hiking trails. They all start at Shirakami Sanchi Visitor Center
- Walk to the 400-year-old beech – the so-called Mother Tree
- If you have experience in passing difficult routes – climb Mount Shirakami and to the Juniko lakes
There are trains and buses to the Shirakami Sanchi area, but it is better to rent a car.
From Hirosaki Station in Aomori Prefecture, take the Tsugaru-Toge Konan Bus to Shirakami Sanchi Visitor Center (1 hour).From Akita Prefecture, the same station can be reached by train (approximately 1 hour).
Public transport is also available to some other attractions, such as Juniko Lakes and Ammon Waterfalls. However, on the spot, if you have not rented a car in advance, you will have to move on foot.
Pristine Shirakami forests with beautiful lakes, well-groomed paths, mountain trails and ponds stretch to the horizon.Heard only birds, wild animals, the sound of water and wind. Usually there are few people here – this is the beauty of regions far from central cities.
Many of the local beeches are over 200 years old. Their thick green trunks and gnarled branches are no less majestic than those of their millennial counterparts.
Beauty to choose from
It is worth seeing here Juniko (Jap.”Twelve lakes”, but in fact there are more than 33), three Ammon waterfalls and Aoike pond.
Nearby is the so-called Japanese Canyon – a mini-version of the Grand Canyon in the United States. You can also look at these rock formations up close. Follow one of the hiking trails to the picturesque Dairakyo Gorge – especially worth seeing in the fall.
Except for a few mountaineering trails, most of the World Natural Heritage site in Shirakami Sanchi is unexplored.The outskirts that are not part of the protected area are much more accessible for tourists, but you can still only walk along footpaths. Put on your hiking shoes and go for your adventure!
Where to ask
Shirakami Sanchi will be introduced to you at the Shirakami Mountain Tourist Center as well as at the Shirakami World Heritage Center. The video and most of the information is in Japanese, but some can be found in English as well.
Tours to Cambodia 2021: hiking and outdoor activities
The Kingdom of Cambodia, created on the foundations of the Khmer state, is located among the pristine nature of the tropical jungle. Traveling through this bright and amazing country will reveal many secrets of the ancient civilization, introduce you to hundreds of palaces and ancient temples, the beauty of mountain landscapes and the purest lakes. You will be able to appreciate the uncrowded beaches, climatic conditions ideal for recreation, the aroma of outlandish flowers and herbs, and unusual cuisine.Tours to Cambodia are a fairly new direction of recreation, the benefits of which are known to few. Tourism began to develop here relatively recently after the end of the civil war and the stabilization of the political system. Perhaps that is why the uniqueness, original culture, exoticism have been preserved in the ancient kingdom.
Features of the climate
Cambodia is located in the subequatorial hot and humid zone. The average annual temperature is +25 ° C. But monsoons periodically create extreme climatic situations: the temperature rises above + 35 ° C, gusty winds blow, and strong tropical showers are coming.The dry season, ideal for beach holidays and sightseeing tours, is from late October to late May. The rainy season lasts from June to October.
Popular holiday destinations
The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh, which was called the Asian Pearl at the beginning of the last century. In the colonial part of the city are the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, the main hill of Phnom Penh with the Van Phnom Pagoda located on it.
One of the main attractions of the kingdom is the city-temple of Angkor, built in the first half of the 12th century.It has preserved several temple complexes and other historical buildings that attract tourists from many countries. The city is included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
The most popular resort is Sihanoukville. It is famous for its incredibly beautiful golden beaches and historical monuments. Not far from Sihanoukville is Koh Rong Island with white sands, where you can go fishing, diving, travel by boat.
There are many state, religious and national holidays in this country.Many of them are accompanied by costume processions, theatrical performances, and festivals. To visit the Kingdom at this time means to fully immerse yourself in its culture and become a full-fledged participant in exotic performances.
Types of tours to Cambodia
Adventure Club offers a journey through the most iconic places of the Kingdom of Cambodia, which we will make, moving on foot, by boats, boats, buses, tuk-tuk. Accommodation – in guesthouses, hotels, hostels, bungalows on the shores of the Gulf of Thailand.
Peculiarities of travel in Cambodia
To travel to this country, Russians need a visa, which can be done at the embassy in Moscow or upon arrival at the airport. The cost of a visa is $ 30. Dollars in this country are accepted everywhere, but change is given in local currency – riels. You can get to Phnom Penh by plane from Moscow through Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, with a transfer in China. There are no direct flights.
The tour price in Cambodia includes:
- all transfers, starting from the meeting point of the group to the end point of the route, – buses, boats, tuk-tuk;
- accommodation in hostels and hotels;
- group first aid kit;
- services of an instructor who also acts as a guide;
- excursions on routes.
The tour price in Cambodia does not include: air tickets to the meeting point and back, meals on the route, airport transfers, visa payment, insurance, pocket money.
While hiking in the Kingdom of Cambodia, accompanied by an experienced instructor, you will get acquainted with an original and interesting country, visit popular and little-promoted places, you will be able to move away from civilization and completely immerse yourself in the local exoticism.
Maldives (maldivskie-o-va) – resorts, tours and holidays in the Maldives!
Maldives – is the dream of any traveler looking for heaven on earth.Beach holidays in the Maldives are considered a benchmark throughout the world. It is enough just to pronounce this magic word “Maldives” and the imagination itself gives out an ideal picture filled with serenity and tranquility: a bright blue sky, a virgin white beach, a spreading palm tree and an endless calm ocean. This place beckons you. And here it is really always warm and good, regardless of the season, although the climate during the Russian summer is considered more humid.
What hotels in the Maldives! Secluded bungalows located directly above the water, or comfortable villas with their own clear pools.All of them are made from natural materials and represent an ideal place for eco-recreation in harmony with oneself and nature. You will never forget the morning in the Maldives: you open your eyes to the sun and involuntarily smile, leave your room and feel the touch of a light fresh breeze on your skin, dive into the clear waters of the warm ocean and forget about everything in the world. Fantastic locations for the most romantic movies, but above all for your relaxation.
Without a doubt, the holder of a trip to the Maldives can safely consider himself the happiest person on the planet.
The capital of the Maldives is the city of Male. It is the smallest capital in the world – only two square kilometers. However, if you want to know the life of local residents from the inside, to feel the spirit of this country, its history, then you must definitely visit it. Here is the main mosque of the country – the Great Friday Mosque with huge golden domes, the green Jumuri-Maidan Park and the National Museum. In addition, it is here that people go to buy souvenirs. But most tourists do not rest on this island, but on resort islands – where there are no other attractions besides the beach and the ocean.What else do you need?
Thanks to the direct contracts of Carlson Tourism with hotels in the Maldives, you can be sure of the most attractive price for tours with luxury accommodation. Tours to the Maldives can be found both for discerning tourists and for those who dream of getting to these paradise islands in any way. The last ones are advised to pay attention to offers in the low season – the price tag drops to 50%. The most popular among connoisseurs of luxury holidays are tours to the Maldives for the New Year!
Hotels in the Maldives are mainly presented in the 5 * and 4 * categories.Almost all of them have direct access to the ocean and their own coastal strip. It is noteworthy that by purchasing tours to the Maldives with 3 * accommodation, you will not lose the quality of a beach holiday – all natural recreation areas are equally good. Large turtles and dolphins swim to the beaches of some hotels in the Maldives. And in the Vaadu region, you can observe a fascinating phenomenon – luminescent microorganisms illuminate the water, like millions of stars.
The fact that Russian citizens do not need a visa to this country also speaks in favor of buying a voucher to the Maldives.You can get to the islands from Moscow by direct Aeroflot flights. Travel time will be 8.5 hours.
Which island to choose?
Nearly 300 islands offer tourist services in the Maldives archipelago. They are united into about 20 atolls, as a group of islands usually forms one lagoon. The most famous of them are: South and North Male, Haa Alifu, Raa, Baa, Fafu and Daalu. In order not to be mistaken with the choice and not to leave for an eco-village instead of a party resort, contact the specialists of Carlson Tourism.
Here are some guidelines for choosing an island when buying a Maldives tour: the islands of Huwafen Fushi and Kurumba are close to the airport. The largest and most developed Maldivian island is Gan. You will feel a romantic atmosphere at Kudafoluda, and lovers of exotic will appreciate Konrad Rangli Island – there you can rent an underwater room with a transparent ceiling and walls. For bungalows in the water, you have to go to Sun Island, and for luxury hotels – to Kuda Huraa.
You can travel between the islands by the local dhoni boat, speedboat or domestic aircraft.
Note that when planning a vacation in the Maldives, you need to remember to take a first-aid kit with you – it will be difficult to find medicines on most of the islands.
What to do while on holiday in the Maldives
1. No matter how obvious it sounds – to relax and enjoy nature. Break away from the hustle and bustle and forget for a while that you are a “super responsible and active top manager”. Don’t know how to relax? – The Maldives will teach you this useful activity.
2.Arrange photo sessions. It is no secret that many girls seek to buy tours to the Maldives for the sake of photographs from the paradise islands, which friends and acquaintances will envy. Local landscapes are literally made to be admired by all lenses in the world. Uniquely beautiful shots will be obtained during sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
3. Play a wedding or honeymoon. Want the coolest Maldives vacation photos? Then grab a white dress, a soul mate and go to the coral islands.Hotels in the Maldives have already honed their skills in organizing romantic ceremonies so that you don’t have to worry about anything else. There are even underwater weddings in the range of wedding services. A sea of flowers, champagne, a gorgeous beach and a loved one nearby – these are the ideal conditions for the birth of a happy family.
4. Go diving. Tours to the Maldives are bought by the most fanatical divers in the world. The secret is that the underwater kingdom of the Indian Ocean is rich in rare inhabitants, caves and even sunken ships.And most importantly, the islands consist of a variety of coral reefs, which can be explored endlessly.
5. Go surfing. Surfers have chosen local beaches four decades ago. At the same time, the beaches, popular among them, are never crowded. But the waves, according to the pros, always fit perfectly under the board. Of course, if you go at the right time – in late summer and early autumn. Novice surfers during their holidays in the Maldives are better off trying their hand at the sandy Male Beach.
6. To fish. Many fishermen consider aquatic hunting in the Maldives to be royal. Here you can stumble upon a unique specimen, and if you are not lucky with an interesting catch, you can always profit from tuna.
7. Enjoy local cuisine. Indian food will delight gourmets. Their main ingredients are fish and rice, seasoned with hot spices and an abundance of curries. Wine is especially appreciated on the islands. Of course, restaurants and hotels in the Maldives will offer you a menu of various cuisines of the world at the highest level.Michelin chefs are frequent guests in gastronomic establishments for tourists.
8. Relax in the SPA. Wellness culture is very well developed in the Maldives. And to take care of your health and beauty – from skin care to Ayurveda – you will be with the best specialists in the world.
Do’s and don’ts while on holiday in the Maldives
When purchasing tickets to the Maldives, remember that this is a Muslim country. This means that sunbathing topless and drinking alcohol in public places is prohibited.You cannot import alcohol – everything purchased in Duty Free will be asked to leave at customs. For religious reasons, the consumption of pork is not encouraged on the territory of the state.
Also, according to local laws, you do not need to touch, damage, and even more so take shells and corals with you.
On the map
We won’t leave him anyway, because he is good (Ello) / Habr
This summer I met with one of the pioneers of the it industry – Jeron Lanier, he talked about virtual reality technologies.Lanier is an outspoken critic of online advertising business models, and when Facebook bought the Oculus Rift, it was kind of a sign. “With a new platform, there is a chance to create a new economic model,” Lanier said.
The dream of an alternative to permanent Facebook in general explains the strong interest in Ello, a social network 3 months old, the whole idea of which is to hate the idea of online advertising in any of its manifestations. The service has only a website, and gained some fame thanks to reviews from artists and LGBT supporters who did not become friends with Facebook due to the inability to use pseudonyms.Ello was hit by a hurricane of press attention and mentions on social networks, after which the registration queue (you need an invite) increased to 1 million people.
This social. network has a kind of chance, the ability to create a profitable service based not on the sale of your personal data. This is the idea behind the “creators’ manifesto,” which suggests a “better way.” Gathering and selling information about you and your friends, and outsourcing all of these links, seems unethical and intimidating to the creators of Ello.Under the guise of a free service, users pay a high price in the form of intrusive ads and lack of anonymity.
Now, at an early stage in its life, Ello is just a simple social. a network with a clean and simple design and minimal feature set. You can create posts, post photos and write replies to other users. Ello resembles a blank slate, no one knows what exactly the idea of an ad-free social network will result in, where your data will remain only yours.
What a beast this is Ello
At the moment, how many functions are performed in Ello can be described in one word – “wonderful”.After logging in, you will see the site divided into two parts. On the left, there are large round avatars of the people you follow, arranged in a shapeless and inexplicable order, and all you can do with them is click on the userpic and go to the profile. The second half of the page is, of course, a feed with posts of these same people, which are displayed in their virgin form, regardless of their length and content.
This is a hodgepodge of ordinary pictures, gifs and text, but Ello say they don’t mind nsfw, so take it for granted.Replies to posts get into your feed even if the person you are subscribed to answers to an unfamiliar user, but you do not receive any notifications about replies to your posts, they simply do not exist, at all. As in any new social network, all the so-called testers are doing is discussing the site as a whole: someone shares links to interesting accounts or throws different tips (for example, shift + 1 will make your “friends” userpics fill the screen entirely) or just complain the lack of functionality (no blacklists or even private messages, yet).
Ello is just beginning to form. The site is full of bugs, the search for example does not work at all, and Ello itself loves to crash from time to time – however, not as often as it could, despite the speed of its growth. There are no applications for smartphones yet, but there is a mobile version of the site, which works tolerably well with the little functionality that it provides.
The founders say that over time, users will be able to pay for additional chips, some kind of in-app purchases, $ 1.99 per Emoji or the ability to have multiple accounts at the same time.They need to somehow pay back the 435,000 green presidents they got from FreshTracks Capital, a Vermont-based venture capital firm. The creators hope that over time, Ello will grow into a fully functional and lively alternative to the already existing social. networks.
However, the likelihood that Ello will bend is high, but what if they are lucky? What if they succeed?
Toy robots, bicycles, and now social networks
Ello is invented (so to speak) by a group led by Paul Badnets, a 47-year-old artist and designer.Previously, he successfully went to Kickstarter with the
unusual toy store project, a custom bike creation service. Badnets and his friends were looking for a place to discuss common projects and (all of a sudden) they didn’t like the existing social media. And then they took the design studio
Berger & Föhr
, combined them with the developers from the
and began to make Ello, the first version of which was teased by
back in April
, in July the invitations to the test began to be sent out, and everything started spinning.
Paul Badnets himself.
On the last Thursday of September, various masses of LGBT supporters began to sail away from Facebook in the direction of Ello, as it is vital for them to post under their assumed names, and the rules of the Lizobniga do not allow such liberties. Ello began to receive up to 4 thousand requests for invites per hour (the power of lgbt, okay), this figure increased 10 times per day and the pace did not decrease until the next Monday, in any case, such data came from the company.The information noise about Ello has spread quite strongly in Germany, since they are especially advocating the protection of personal information, while sources from Ello said that most of the new arrivals are users from the United States.
Along with the popularity of the network, skepticism about Ello’s promises of being ad-free, secure and free of charge grew. Andy Bayo (writer and festival organizer) was one of the first to write about his concerns about what Ello’s founders are supposedly aiming for and where they started.Back in January, the company received the same $ 435,000 investment, and the deal itself was announced only in March. The point is that social. It will be extremely difficult for the network to pay this money if it does not suddenly start to grow exponentially (in order to pay for functions that really do not yet exist, users are still needed). Meanwhile, writer Queen Norton spoke about the myriad of social media challenges they face as they grow. “There is too much code, the monetization model does not work as it should, the hosting does not stand up and much, much more.”
So what does Ello need to be successful? They need money, and the sooner the better. They will urgently need to hire more staff, and not only, in order to cope with the upcoming difficulties that Norton described. However, these guys declined a request for an interview with the author of this text, referring to being busy, so they probably know what awaits them.
A series of failures
Much of the skepticism about Ello stems from one fact: social media based on the idea of protecting your data has never been popular.People shout that they do not want their data to “merge” somewhere, but at the same time they continue to share their life stories with Facebook. At the launch of Google+, both the lack of advertising and the so-called “Circles” were considered its most important aspect, when you could share certain content with certain people and only with them, however everyone knows that Google lives on your data, and the social. the
network, after the departure of its main ideological creator from the
company, is only kept afloat, but does not develop as actively as at the very beginning.You can also recall Path, social. network for mobile devices which is already 4 years old. But Ello’s closest ideological ally is probably Diaspora, whose founders raised $ 200,000 on Kickstarter with promises to create exactly the same thing as Ello. And then these people left the project less than two years after it was launched.
Early interest in Ello is based on the effect of novelty, because in addition to this, the newly-minted social. there is nothing on the network. Some users are those who want to stake out successful nicknames, while others are just wondering what’s what.Someone has a chance to rebuild everything, maybe find a new audience or escape from the pressure of brands and advertising present in any other social media. media. And for some it is just a place where he can do nothing.
There is little functionality, but it is hoped that it will be exactly the way users want it to be. What is interesting in such projects is not that they continue to appear and disappear one after another, but that each subsequent one continues to attract us and makes us believe that this project will be different, that such a utopian model is possible.