#FlagFact Friday: The flag of Bhutan reflects the country´s name in the local language (Druk Yul), which means "country of the thunder dragon". This name is linked to the Buddhist monastery Druk, which was reportedly founded in the country in the 13th century. The diagonal divides the flag into yellow and orange parts. Yellow color refers to the secular side of life, whereas orange indicates the strength of the Buddhist religion in the country. The white dragon stands for purity and the jewelry in his talons refer to the great wealth of the country. The dragon stares away from the left part of the flag and his body copies the diagonal line. The current form of the flag was adopted in 1960, however it has been used since the 19th century in a slightly modified form.
This week's Hero Highlight features William Kamkwamba. He is a Malawian innovator, engineer, and author. Due to local famine, his family couldn't afford secondary school fees, so William was unable to attend school for five years. He continued his education on his own by checking out and studying books from his local lending library and was inspired by an American textbook called USING ENERGY. He gained fame in his country in 2002 when he built a wind turbine to power multiple electrical appliances in his family's house in Wimbe, 32 km east of Kasungu, using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard. He wrote the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind that later became a movie under the same title that is available to stream on Netflix. William graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and has completed projects such as water pumps for irrigation, secondary school scholarships, and the Wimbe Primary School. His foundation Moving Windmills works to pursue rural economic development and education projects in Malawi, Africa.
Bio-luminescent sea plankton that shines bright blue during the night makes the sea area at Vaadhoo Island look like the Sea of Stars. The dinoflagellates glow the magical blue after oxygen is introduced to the water. Interestingly, the glow is a defense mechanism against predators. Further, even if the phytoplankton are eaten by fish, the luminescence continues, thus making the fish as targets to other predators. The sea of stars of Vaadhoo Island Maldives attracts millions of tourists every year. The tourist footfall seams to be only increasing after the sea was featured in several Bollywood and Hollywood films.
The flag of Nicaragua consists of three horizontal stripes - the top and bottom stripe are blue and the middle stripe is white. Inside the center of the white stripe, and at the center of the flag, is the country's coat of arms. The colors of the Nicaraguan flag originate from the flag of the former federation of the United Provinces of Central America. The two blue stripes represented the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea; while white symbolizes peace. A modern interpretation indicates that the color blue symbolizes justice and loyalty; while the color white represents virtue and purity. The coat of arms features an equilateral triangle which represents equality. Inside the triangle are five volcanoes, which represent the five members of the federation. The triangle also contains symbols of liberty and peace - represented by a red Phrygian cap, white rays and rainbow.
The ancient city of Petra, Jordan is an architectural masterpiece. Built into the side of a rock cliff, Petra was carved as early as 312 BC. Petra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was unknown to the western world until 1812.
The “Rose City” is a honeycomb of hand-hewn caves, temples, and tombs carved from blushing pink sandstone in the high desert of Jordan some 2,000 years ago. Hidden by time and shifting sand, Petra tells of a lost civilization. Little is known about the Nabateans—a nomadic desert people whose kingdom rose up from these cliffs and peaks, and whose incredible wealth grew from the lucrative incense trade.
The flag of Italy consists of three equal sized vertical stripes - the left stripe is green; the middle one is white; and the right stripe is red.
The Italian flag is based on the design of the French flag. There are different accounts explaining the meaning and history of the green, white and red colors. One account states that the colors of the Italian flag may have been based on military uniforms from Milan. Another one suggests Napoleon Bonaparte replaced the blue of the French flag with green because he liked the color.
Longsheng is named after Longji, which translates to dragon's backbone. The terrace resembles dragon scales as rice fields snake through the mountains. Construction of the terraces began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when construction was completed. The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labor of the Zhuang people.
The flag of Pakistan consists of a dark green background with a white vertical stripe on the left side of it. In the center of the green base lie a white crescent and a five-pointed white star.
Green is a traditional Islamic color and the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols. The white stripe represents the non-Muslim, minority, religious groups in Pakistan. According to modern meaning, the green represents prosperity; white symbolizes peace; the white crescent represents progress; and the white star represents light and knowledge.
This week's Hero Highlight goes to Real Estate Coach, Mentor & Motivational Speaker Brian Buffini. Brian has trained over 3 million business professionals to reach their full potential, but we think he is a hero for the work he and his company have done in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Buffini and Company created Hands of Hope to rebuild several homes in Baton Rouge starting after Hurricane Katrina. They continue to "bring hope and homes to families in need."
Brian and his wife Beverly are raising their 6 children in Carlsbad, CA. "My greatest achievement?" mulls Brian, "You’re looking at it".
The Amazon River is the artery for the largest rainforest in the world. It is the largest river in the world by discharge and one of the largest by length. The surrounding rainforest represents over half of the world's remaining rainforest.