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Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States. The largest of the three is Horseshoe Falls, also known as Canadian Falls, which straddles the international border of the two countries. The smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie within the United States. Bridal Veil Falls is separated from Horseshoe Falls by Goat Island and from American Falls by Luna Island, with both islands situated in New York.

Part of the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 50 m (160 ft). During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 (six million cubic feet) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate. Niagara Falls is famed for its beauty and is a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.

Niagara Falls is located 27 km (17 mi) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, and 121 km (75 mi) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path over and through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Dayton, OH, USA

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Dayton is the sixth-largest city in the state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County. A small part of the city extends into Greene County. The 2019 U.S. census estimate put the city population at 140,407, while Greater Dayton was estimated to be at 803,416 residents. This makes Dayton the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Ohio and 63rd in the United States. Dayton is within Ohio’s Miami Valley region, just north of Greater Cincinnati.

Ohio’s borders are within 500 miles (800 km) of roughly 60 percent of the country’s population and manufacturing infrastructure, making the Dayton area a logistical centroid for manufacturers, suppliers, and shippers. Dayton also hosts significant research and development in fields like industrial, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering that have led to many technological innovations. Much of this innovation is due in part to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its place in the community. With the decline of heavy manufacturing, Dayton’s businesses have diversified into a service economy that includes insurance and legal sectors as well as healthcare and government sectors.

Along with defense and aerospace, healthcare accounts for much of the Dayton area’s economy. Hospitals in the Greater Dayton area have an estimated combined employment of nearly 32,000 and a yearly economic impact of $6.8 billion. It is estimated that Premier Health Partners, a hospital network, contributes more than $2 billion a year to the region through operating, employment, and capital expenditures. In 2011, Dayton was rated the #3 city in the nation by HealthGrades for excellence in healthcare.

Dayton is also noted for its association with aviation; the city is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force and is the birthplace of Orville Wright. Other well-known individuals born in the city include poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and entrepreneur John H. Patterson. Dayton is also known for its many patents, inventions, and inventors, most notably the Wright brothers’ invention of powered flight. In 2007 Dayton was a part of the top 100 cities in America. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, Site Selection magazine ranked Dayton the #1 mid-sized metropolitan area in the nation for economic development. Also in 2010, Dayton was named one of the best places in the United States for college graduates to find a job.

On Memorial Day of 2019, Dayton was affected by a tornado outbreak, in which a total of 15 tornadoes touched down in the Dayton area. One was a half-mile-wide EF4 that tore through the heart of the city causing damage.

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Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Windsor is a historic market town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England, close to London. It is the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British monarch.

The town is situated 21.7 miles (34.9 km) west of Charing Cross, central London, 5.8 miles (9.3 km) southeast of Maidenhead, and 15.8 miles (25.4 km) east of the county town of Reading. It is immediately south of the River Thames, which forms its boundary with its smaller, ancient twin town of Eton. The village of Old Windsor, just over 2 miles (3 km) to the south, predates what is now called Windsor by around 300 years; in the past Windsor was formally referred to as New Windsor to distinguish the two.

Windlesora is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. (The settlement had an earlier name but this is unknown.) The name originates from old English Windles-ore or winch by the riverside. By 1110, meetings of the Great Council, which had previously taken place at Windlesora, were noted as taking place at the Castle, referred to as New Windsor. By the late 12th century the settlement at Windelsora had been renamed, Old Windsor. Wikipedia

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Daytona Beach, FL, USA

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Daytona Beach or simply Daytona is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. It lies approximately 51 miles (82.1 km) northeast of Orlando, 86 miles (138.4 km) southeast of Jacksonville, and 265 miles (426.5 km) northwest of Miami. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, it had a population of 61,005. It is a principal city of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area, which was home to 600,756 people as of 2013. Daytona Beach is also a principal city of the Fun Coast region of Florida.

The city is historically known for its beach, where the hard-packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard-packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, and the old Daytona Beach Road Course hosted races for over 50 years. This was replaced in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR.

Daytona Beach hosts large groups of out-of-towners during the year, who visit the city for various events, notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 race in August, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, and the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.

The area where Daytona Beach is located was once inhabited by the indigenous Timucuan Indians who lived in fortified villages. The Timucuas were nearly exterminated by contact with Europeans through war, enslavement, and disease and became extinct as a racial entity through assimilation and attrition during the 18th century. The Seminole Indians, descendants of Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, frequented the area prior to the Second Seminole War.

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Twelve Apostles Victoria

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The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Seven of the original eight stacks remain standing at the Twelve Apostles viewpoint, after one collapsed in July 2005. Though the view from the promontory by the Twelve Apostles never included twelve stacks, additional stacks—not considered part of the Apostles group—are located to the west within the national park.

The limestone unit that forms The Twelve Apostles is referred to as the Port Campbell Limestone, which was deposited in the Mid-Late Miocene, around 15 to 5 million years ago.

The Twelve Apostles were formed by erosion. The harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then become arches that eventually collapse, leaving rock stacks up to 50 m (160 ft) high. The stacks are susceptible to further erosion from waves. In July 2005, a 50-meter-tall (160 ft) stack collapsed, leaving seven standing at the Twelve Apostles viewpoint. Due to wave action eroding the cliffs, existing headlands are expected to become new limestone stacks in the future.

The stacks were originally known as the Pinnacles, and the Sow and Pigs (or Sow and Piglets, with Muttonbird Island being the Sow and the smaller rock stacks being the Piglets), as well as the Twelve Apostles. The formation’s name was made official as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having had eight stacks.

In 2002, the Port Campbell Professional Fishermens Association attempted to block the creation of the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park at the Twelve Apostles site. The association approved of a later decision by the Victorian government to prohibit seismic exploration at the site by Benaris Energy, believing such exploration would harm marine life. Wikipedia

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Darmstadt, Germany

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Darmstadt is a city in the state of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine-Main-Area (Frankfurt Metropolitan Region). Darmstadt has around 160,000 inhabitants, making it the fourth-largest city in the state of Hesse after Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, and Kassel. Other major and local cities in the surrounding area are Frankfurt am Main and Offenbach, Wiesbaden and Mainz, Mannheim and Heidelberg.

Darmstadt holds the official title “City of Science” (German: Wissenschaftsstadt) as it is a major center of scientific institutions, universities, and high-technology companies. The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) are located in Darmstadt, as well as GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research, where several chemical elements such as bohrium (1981), meitnerium (1982), hassium (1984), darmstadtium (1994), roentgenium (1994), and copernicium (1996) were discovered. The existence of the following elements were also confirmed at GSI Centre for Heavy Ion Research: nihonium (2012), flerovium (2009), moscovium (2012), livermorium (2010), and tennessine (2012). The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) is an international accelerator facility under construction. Darmstadt is also the seat of the world’s oldest pharmaceutical company, Merck, which is the city’s largest employer.

The Mathildenhöhe, including the Darmstadt artists’ colony, a major center of the Jugendstil artistic movement, referring both to the group of artists active in the city in the late 19th and early 20th century, as well as the buildings which they designed, together with the Russian Chapel in Darmstadt, was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2021.

Darmstadt was formerly the capital of a sovereign country, the Grand Duchy of Hesse, and its successor, the People’s State of Hesse, a federal state of Germany. As the capital of an increasingly prosperous duchy, the city gained some international prominence and remains one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. In the 20th century, industry (especially chemicals), as well as large science and electronics (and later, information technology) sectors became increasingly important, and are still a major part of the city’s economy. It is also home to the football club SV Darmstadt 98. Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse), the wife of Nicholas II of Russia, as well as Maria Alexandrovna (Marie of Hesse), the wife of Alexander II of Russia, who were related, were born in this city. Wikipedia

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El Salvador

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El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador (Spanish: República de El Salvador), is a country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador’s capital and largest city is San Salvador. The country’s population in 2021 is estimated to be 6.8 million.

Among the Mesoamerican nations that historically controlled the region are the Lenca (after 600 AD), the Mayans, and then the Cuzcatlecs.Archaeological monuments also suggest an early Olmec presence around the first millennium BC.In the beginning of the 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the Central American territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City. However, the Viceroyalty of Mexico had little to no influence in the daily affairs of the isthmus, which was colonized in 1524. In 1609, the area was declared the Captaincy General of Guatemala by the Spanish, which included the territory that would become El Salvador until its independence from Spain in 1821. It was forcefully incorporated into the First Mexican Empire, then seceded, joining the Federal Republic of Central America in 1823. When the federation dissolved in 1841, El Salvador became a sovereign state, then formed a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898.

From the late 19th to the mid-20th century, El Salvador endured chronic political and economic instability characterized by coups, revolts, and a succession of authoritarian rulers. Persistent socioeconomic inequality and civil unrest culminated in the devastating Salvadoran Civil War from 1979 to 1992, fought between the military-led government backed by the United States, and a coalition of left-wing guerrilla groups. The conflict ended with the Chapultepec Peace Accords. This negotiated settlement established a multiparty constitutional republic, which remains in place to this day.

While this Civil War was going on in the country large numbers of Salvadorans emigrated to the United States, and by 2008 they were one of the largest immigrant groups in the US.

El Salvador’s economy has historically been dominated by agriculture, beginning with the Spanish taking control of the indigenous cacao crop in the 16th century, with production centered in Izalco, and the use of balsam from the ranges of La Libertad and Ahuachapan. This was followed by a boom in use of the indigo plant (añil in Spanish) in the 19th century, mainly for its use as a dye. Thereafter the focus shifted to coffee, which by the early 20th century accounted for 90% of export earnings. El Salvador has since reduced its dependence on coffee and embarked on diversifying its economy by opening up trade and financial links and expanding the manufacturing sector. The colón, the currency of El Salvador since 1892, was replaced by the United States dollar in 2001.

El Salvador ranks 124th among 189 countries in the Human Development Index. Despite high rates of poverty and gang-related violent crime, El Salvador has the second-highest level of income equality in Latin America, El Salvador is one of the least complex economies for doing business, and is the 34th happiest country in the world according to the Happy Planet Index. Wikipedia

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Dallas, TX USA

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Dallas is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. With a 2020 census population of 1,304,379, it is the ninth most populous city in the U.S. and the third-largest in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people.

Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were initially developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton, cattle, and later oil in North and East Texas. The construction of the Interstate Highway System reinforced Dallas’s prominence as a transportation hub, with four major interstate highways converging in the city and a fifth interstate loop around it. Dallas then developed as a strong industrial and financial center and a major inland port, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways, and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. In addition, Dallas has DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) with different colored train lines that transport throughout the Metroplex.

Dominant sectors of its diverse economy include defense, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Dallas is home to nine Fortune 500 companies within the city limits while the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex hosts twenty-two Fortune 500 companies, the second-most in Texas and fourth-most in the United States. Over 41 colleges and universities are located within its metropolitan area, which is the most of any metropolitan area in Texas. The city has a population from a myriad of ethnic and religious backgrounds and one of the largest LGBT communities in the U.S. WalletHub named Dallas the fifth most diverse city in the United States in 2018.

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Wharariki Beach, South Island, New Zealand

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Wharariki Beach is a beach on the Tasman Sea, west of Cape Farewell, the northernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand.

The north-facing sandy beach is accessible only via a 21-minute walking track from the end of Wharariki Road. The road end is approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from the nearest settlement, the small village of Pūponga. A camping ground is located along Wharariki Road, but the area surrounding the beach is devoid of any development. Wharariki Beach is bordered by Puponga Farm Park, with the wider area more or less surrounded by the northern end of Kahurangi National Park.

The beach is flanked to the east and west by cliffs, but due to the flat topography of the area behind it, the beach area and the grassy dunes behind it are quite exposed to winds.

Wharariki Beach is perhaps best known for the Archway Islands, featured frequently in photos in New Zealand landscape calendars. It is also the default lock screen image and one of desktop wallpapers on Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. Wikipedia

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Cambridge, UK

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Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 55 miles (89 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, the population of the Cambridge built-up area (which is larger than the remit of Cambridge City Council) was 158,434 including 29,327 students. Cambridge became an important trading center during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.

The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209. The buildings of the university include King’s College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, and the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city’s skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, and the chimney of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Anglia Ruskin University, which evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, also has its main campus in the city.

Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen with industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university. Over 40 percent of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world includes the headquarters of AstraZeneca, a hotel, and the relocated Royal Papworth Hospital.

The first game of association football took place at Parker’s Piece. The Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fair are held on Midsummer Common, and the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The city is adjacent to the M11 and A14 roads. Cambridge station is less than an hour from London King’s Cross railway station. Wikipedia

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