The best of Prog rock

Monday, July 21, 2014


The Brooklyn Bridge was built between 1869 and 1883 connecting Manhattan with New York's most populous borough, Brooklyn. The bridge is one of the most famous and magnificent landmarks in New York City.
At the time of the construction, Brooklyn - founded by Dutch settlers in the 17th century - was still an independent city. In fact it was even one of the country's largest cities. In 1898, fifteen years after the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn citizens decided, in a close vote, to become a borough of New York.
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started in 1869 and took fourteen years to complete. At the time many saw the construction of such a large bridge as a folly. The driving force behind the whole project, John Roebling, was a German immigrant who had worked for the Prussian government as a bridge and road builder. He launched the idea of building a bridge across the East River after he had taken a ferry across the river that got stuck in the ice.
John Roebling would never get to see the bridge he had designed: he died in an accident. He wasn't the only one to lose his life during the construction: 20 of the 600 workers died while working on the bridge. The son of John Roebling, Washington Roebling, took over the leadership of the project but he suffered from a  serious disease and was on his deathbed during the inauguration on May 24, 1883 when about 150,000 people crossed the bridge. 
The Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of New York's most popular and well known landmarks. The impressive bridge spans the East river between Brooklyn and Manhattan and stretches for a length of 5989 ft, about 1.8 km. The span between the large towers measures 1595.5 ft (486 meters). This made the Brooklyn Bridge the world's largest suspension bridge.
The most noticeable feature of the Brooklyn Bridge are the two masonry towers to which the many cables are attached. The towers with large Gothic arches reach a height of 276 ft (84 meters), at the time making them some of the tallest landmarks in New York. Roebling claimed that the monumental towers would make the bridge a historic monument. He was proven right when the bridge officially became a national monument in 1964.The views of the bridge attract millions of visitors to this bridge each year.
                      Adapted from
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Monday, July 14, 2014


Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to win the 2014 World Cup on July 13 at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The victory adds a historic fourth star to the German crest, thanks to a beautiful effort from Mario Götze.
Germany's bench swarmed the pitch after the final whistle, celebrating their first World Cup title since 1990.
The victory silenced the thousands of Argentine fans who had filled the stadium and descended on Rio for the final. Following the victory, the city's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue was lit with the black, red and gold colors of the German flag..
"It's unbelievable," said Manuel Neuer, who was named the tournament's best goalkeeper. "I don't know how late we'll be celebrating, but we'll still be waking up with a grin tomorrow."

Gonzalo Higuain had Argentina's best opportunities of the first half. After picking up an errant header and firing wide in front of goal in the 21st minute, his successful effort ten minutes later was narrowly ruled offside. Benedikt Höwedes, meanwhile, will have wanted another shot at his header off the post just before the break.
Kramer's surprise start was cut short just past the half hour mark. A collision with defender Ezequial Garay in the Argentina box left the 23-year-old on the ground and clutching his head. He briefly attempted to play on, but was eventually substituted for Andre Schürrle.
Lionel Messi proved most-dangerous for the Argentines in the second 45 minutes, when his trademark left-footed effort inside the box went just wide immediately after the restart. Schürrle and Toni Kroos and late, Götze, all had excellent opportunities to put their side ahead, but heavy touches and weak finishing meant goalkeeper Sergio Romero was never truly tested.
Instead it finished level after 90 minutes, and for the seventh time in World Cup history, the final went to extra time.
Schürrle's stinging effort just after play resumed nearly put Germany ahead, but Romero was there to save from close range. Seven minutes later, Rodrigo Palacio had a near-golden chance on goal after a Hummels error, but his looping effort went wide.
 The deciding goal finaly came in the 112th minute. Working his way down the left flank, Schürrle crossed to a cutting Götze in the center of the box. The Bayern Munich man beautifully trapped the ball with his chest and twisted to fire a left-footed volley across goal and into the net
The magnificent goal proved the decider in the end, as the Germans held on for the final match's final minutes to secure their country's fourth World Cup crown. In winning, Germany have become the first European country to win the World Cup in South America.
"To be the first European team picking up the title in South America is really unbelievable," said captain Philipp Lahm.

The victory was celebrated raucously by Brazilians in the crowd, who had dreaded the prospect of sworn South American rivals Argentina lifting the title in their backyard.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Sonata Arctica is a Finnish power metal band from the town of KemiFinland. It was created as a hard rock band named Tricky Beans, later being changed to Tricky Means and finally to Sonata Arctica, when they shifted to power metal. They often include symphonic metal elements, and their later releases contain several elements typical of progressive metal, as well. The current line-up consists of singer, keyboardist and songwriter Tony Kakko, guitarist Elias Viljanen, bass guitarist Pasi Kauppinen, keyboardist and keytarist Henrik Klingenberg, and drummer Tommy Portimo. All the musicians of the band's history except Portimo also acted as backing vocalists.
During their early career, they recorded three demos which were never sent to a recording label. According to Kakko, the band's first name was based on one of their early songs, which was "about a lady who was tricky and I didn't really know what I was talking about. Their first show was about to take place but they were still unnamed, so they had to come up with something.
In 1997 the band changed their name to Tricky Means, and from that point until 1999 their style was thoroughly worked upon and ultimately was drastically changed, acquiring a strong emphasis on the keyboard melodies and relying on an easily distinguishable rhythm line maintained both by the bass and the guitar. Vocalist Tony Kakko developed a clean singing style which relies both on falsetto and tenor voices. Kakko has stated that the change of sound was influenced by fellow Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. At that time, second guitarist Marko Paasikoski left the band and Pentti Peura was fired. The band finally changed their name to Sonata Arctica, because they thought they wouldn't be able to sell metal albums with the previous name and also because their first label asked them to do so. "Sonata Arctica" was suggested by a friend of the band: "sonata" for the music and "arctica" for their hometown (Kemi, in Northern Finland). 

                                                                                                            Adapted from

Saturday, July 5, 2014


The Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr was ruled out of the 2014 World Cup after suffering fractures to his vertebra in the final minutes of the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia. The young player received a knee in the lower back from Juan Zuniga in a challenge that went unpunished, that is, the Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo took no action. He had to leave the pitch on a stretcher.
"The exam showed he suffered a fracture of the third vertebra" in his back, said team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar. "It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilize it to recover," added the doctor after the player had been taken to hospital.
Many Brazilian fans had gathered outside the hospital in Fortaleza, shouting "Força, Neymar" (be strong, Neymar) when the player was being wheeled into the building. Even the country's president, Dilma Rousseff tweeted: "Like all Brazil I am one of those cheering from the sidelines for our star Neymar to get better."
On the other hand, the Colombian player Zuniga said: "I never meant to hurt a player. It was a normal move. I was playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt."
Take a look at this report from the BBC:

What do you think about all this?