Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Things I've Never Seen Before, Behind Bolted Doors, Talent and Imagination

The flu/cold/whateverthefuckyouwanttocallit has won. So fine we're sick. All of us. And it's fabulous. Copious amounts of medicine, bodily fluids, flushed cheeks. It's all just dandy.

So what's a sick nerd to do? Well, she finds an article on a non-profit Swiss organization that wants a new set of the seven wonders of the world and does massive amounts of research because:
A. she's a nerd
B. she likes research
C. she likes to share information with people (meaning you, right there, yes, you! sittting at your computer. I like to share information with you)

The original seven wonders of the ancient world are the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus; the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Of these, only the Pyramids of Giza still stand.

Now, I can understand why someone would want a new list -- it would certainly drum up more tourism and finance restoration projects. But some of the 21 finalists are really out of place, in my opinion. But I'll let you make up your mind for yourself.

In alphabetical order, the 21 finalists for the new seven wonders of the world are:

1. Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Acropolis of Anthens is the best known high city of Greece. The earliest artifacts date back to Middle Neolithic era (approximately 7000 B.C.).

2. Alhambra, Granada, Spain
The Alhambra ("The Red Castle") in an ancient mosque was built between 1248 and 1354.

3. Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia
Built in the early 12th century, the Angkor Wat is the largest and best preserved temple in Cambodia. Appearing on the national flag, the Angkor Wat is the only one to have remained a religious center (first Hindu, then Buddhist) since it's construction.

4. Chichen Itza Aztec site, Yucatan, Mexico
From about 600 in the middle of the Maya Classic Period, Chichen Itza was a major city in the Yucatan. It contains many stone buildings including temples, palaces, stages, markets, baths and ballcourts.

5. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Proposed in 1921 and inaugurated in 1931, Christ the Redeemer is a large Art Deco style statue overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro.

6. Colosseum, Rome
Construction began on the Flavian Amphitheatre (original name) in 70 A.D. and was completed in 80. Originally able to hold 50,000 spectators for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. The last recorded games were held in the 6th century, well after the fall of Rome in 476.

7. Easter Island Statues, Chile
The Moai (Easter Island Statues) are monolithic carvings from compressed volcanic ash. The best accepted theory is the Moai were carved beginning 1000 A.D. by Polynesian colonizers. About one-fifth of the nearly 900 Moai are erected on the island. In addition to representing ancestors, the Moai are thought to have their own life force once erected on their ceremonial site.

8. Eiffel Tower, Paris
Built between 1887 and 1889 as an entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair marking the centennial of the French Revolution.

9. Great Wall, China
The Great Wall is the world's longest man-made structure built between 220 and 200 B.C. to protect various dynaties from raids. Additions have been added as recently as 1640 A.D.

10. Hagia Sophia church, Istanbul, Turkey
Nothing remains of the church built on the same site, which was destroyed by fire in the 4th century. A second church was erected but destroyed by riots in 532. The Hagia Sophia was then built and dedicated in 537. The Hagia Sophia was originally an Eastern Orthodox church, converted to a mosque in 1453 and converted into a museum in 1935. It is commonly referred to as the eighth wonder of the world.

11. Kyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan
The Kiyomizu-dera is a Buddhist Temple dating back to 798. The temple takes it's name from the waterfall within the complex, literally meaning pure water.

12. Kremlin/St.Basil's, Moscow
Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and built between 1555 and 1561, Saint Basil's Cathedral is a multi-tented church on the Red Square in Moscow.

13. Machu Picchu, Peru
Rediscovered in 1911 by an American archeologist (although it was never forgotten by locals), Machu Picchu is the most famous symbol of the Inca Empire. Believing to be dated to the 1400s, Machu Picchu was a country retreat for nobility.

14. Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Germany
Built in the late 19th century, the Neuschwanstein Castle is the most photographed building in Germany and one of its busiest tourist attractions.

15. Petra ancient city, Jordan
Famous for the stone structures carved into rock, Petra is thought to date back to the Horites (cave dwellers) and predecessors of the Endomites. It has been inconclusive if Petra is mentioned in the Old Testament, for Petra is commonly identified as Sela which means rock.

16. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Consisting of three main pyramids -- Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Cheops and Pyramid of Khafre -- as well as many queens pyramids, the Great Sphinx and other smaller buildings, the most active phase of building the pyramids was the 25th century B.C.

17. Statue of Liberty, New York
Gifted to the United States by France in 1885 as a commemorative of the centennial of the United States and as a gesture of friendship between the two nations. The Statue of Liberty stands in the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor.

18. Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom
Located eight miles north of Salisbury, Stonehenge is believed to be erected between 2500 and 2000 B.C. although the circular earth bank and ditch is thought to be dated to 3100 B.C.

19. Sydney Opera House, Australia
Ground broke in 1959 and the Sydney Opera House was not completed until 1973 at the cost of $102 million. It is one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world.

20. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Built between 1631 and 1654 as a mausoleum for the wife of Emperor Shāh Jahān, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures, with the mausoleum being the most familiar part of the conglomerate.

21. Timbuktu, Mali
Located 15 km north of the Niger River in Mali in West Africa, Timbuktu rose to fame as a trading post connecting Africa to Europe. It became a metaphor for distant exotic lands ("from here to Timbuktu") and is thought to be dated to 10th century.

You can vote (you! yes, you!) for your choices of the new seven wonders of the world at

And no I haven't been compensated at all for this post (although it would be nice). This is just what nerds do. Especially when they have a Journalism degree. And they are sick. Like me.


laeroport said...

Well I've been to 4 of those 21. Does that make me special?

And my husband proposed in front of one of them. At sunset. Pretty great.

And your Stonehenge link goest to the Sydney Opera house. Fix it quick, you nerd!

And feel better! All of you!

capello said...

Fixed! (thank you)

I've only been to one. I feel like a big loooooooser.

kristi said...

Cool. This gives me something to do instead of all the overdue tasks I should really be doing. And Nicky just asked the other day, "Why do they keep calling things the 8th Wonder of the World? They said that about King Kong, and now they're saying it's something else. Which is it?" I'll have to show him the links.

I hope you are better soon, sweet nerd.

laeroport said...

You forget I've got ten years on you, my dear!

monica said...

ha, I've clocked 5 and have to admit... I had already been to the website and had voted too.

And I wasn't even sick.

I guess that makes me a nerd too, right?

manda said...

And that's why I love you like I do.
Now get better quick.

LLA said...

I'm so sorry that you are feeling hideously. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I am so jazzed that you did up this list for us!

I've been to exactly one of these. And honestly - it's the sucky one: I don't really think that the Statue of Liberty merits mention on this list. Yes, it's cool. Yes, it's a national symbol and point of pride. But I don't think that it merits "7th Wonder" status. (now I'm ducking, as people start throwing things at me and calling me a dirty stinky liberal lefty who hates my country...)

There are a number of these that I want to see - and I hope to see #14 - or as we call it around here "Count CrazyVonCrazystein's castle" ('cause we can never remember it's real owner...) - in the next year or so.

Is there a possibility for a write-in candidate? I couldn't help but notice that the SunSphere (Knoxville's ermaining monument to the 1982 World's Fair) didn't seem to be on the list...

Feel better!

Alicia A. said...

Holy crap! That's the most educational post EVER!

I'm off to vote now...

Alicia A. said...

p.s. i've never been to any...


kirsty said...

I've only been to one :(

And I've got a cold, too. I'm not competitive or anything, but I bet my snot's greener than your snot.

PamKittyMorning said...

I've only been to 2. And your comment today on my blog cracked me up.

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I've only been to one and it was in our country. Guess I'm a loser too. But now that I know these ARE the 7 wonders, I will get busy.

Hope you feel better soon.

babybug said...

great list! thanks for all the links :)
hope everyone gets well soon. take care.

angela said...

Get well soon you!
Well I guess we need the 7 wonders of the modern world...since the ancient ones are about gone.
I've only been inside of 2 of those,but been close enough to see 4 of them! Am I special now? Interesting list.
nerds rock.

lera said...

oh my! i hope the germs leave your house quickly, even though the damage is already done.

your post was very interesting reading. did you happen upon the article by mistake or were you intentionally trying to research this???

estea said...

you are awesome.

when I'm sick I watch crap and eat ice cream.

i heart you, nerdgirl.

you need anything today? seriously, I'm picking up the kids at 2:30 and would gladly drop you by something. you want some ice cream?? rice dream?? email me if you think of something.

MéLisa said...

I agree with LLA about the Statue of Liberty not being on the list. I would also nix the Sydney Opera House, Eiffel Tower & Christ the Redeemer. For me for it to be a Wonder of the World it should have been built a bazillion years ago & make be think how in the heck did they built that without the aid of power tools & heavy equipment??!!! But hey that is just me, guess I ask a lot of my Wonders.

I am said to say that I have only been to one of those & would you believe I took a ton of picture only to realize later that there was no film in the camera? It was pre-digital. Yeah that has been a joke for years.

Poor Nerd! I hope that you feel better soon! Although I don’t mind a little education with my blog perusing. Thanks!