Tag Archives: new zealand

Lord of the Rings Inspired Hotel Lets Fans Stay in a Hobbit Treehouse Right in the U.S.

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Photo Credit:Lisa Duncan via Trend Hunter,   vrbo.com

If you’re a fan of Middle Earth, you no longer have to travel all the way to New Zealand to experience living in your very own Hobbit house. This Lord of the Rings inspired hotel allows fans to stay in a hobbit treehouse in the beautiful Black Hills of western South Dakota.

The rental property is owned by Gordon Mack, a man who was inspired by the popular Lord of the Rings films. It sits 16 feet above the ground and has rounded doors and windows, with an interior space that is absolutely amazing. ‘Ring’ fans are sure to be in paradise. It includes incredible details like: Elvish-language signs; a mask worn by Sauron; and a gauntlet with the gold ring. You can even get especially cozy by popping on some Hobbit-feet slippers that are custom tailored for just about every size and age group.

treehouse hobbit2

To stay in this unforgettable abode, you’ll have to book the country house that it’s attached to known as the Chateau De Soleil. Ideal for a family reunion or other get togethers, the four-bedroom building can accommodate up to 16 people at a time. The kids, or the kids at heart can enjoy the treehouse.

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by Revcontent

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Sophisticated 600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand

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This turtle was carved on the hull of a 600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand. Turtles are rare in pre-European Maori art. The engraving might be a nod to the Maori’s Polynesian ancestors, who revered the seafaring reptiles. (Tim Mackrell, Conservation Laboratory, The University of Auckland)

Sophisticated oceangoing canoes and favorable winds may have helped early human settlers colonize New Zealand, a pair of new studies shows.

The remote archipelagos of East Polynesia were among the last habitable places on Earth that humans were able to colonize. In New Zealand, human history only began around 1200-1300, when intrepid voyagers arrived by boat through several journeys over some generations.

A piece of that early heritage was recently revealed on a beach in New Zealand, when a 600-year-old canoe with a turtle carved on its hull emerged from a sand dune after a harsh storm. The researchers who examined the shipwreck say the vessel is more impressive than any other canoe previously linked to this period in New Zealand. [The 9 Craziest Ocean Voyages]

Separately, another group of scientists discovered a climate anomaly in the South Pacific during this era that would have eased sailing from central East Polynesia southwest to New Zealand. Both findings were detailed Sept. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Canoe on the coast

The canoe was revealed near the sheltered Anaweka estuary, on the northwestern end of New Zealand’s South Island.

“It kind of took my breath away, really, because it was so carefully constructed and so big,” said Dilys Johns, a senior research fellow at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

The hull measured about 20 feet long and it was made from matai, or black pine, found in New Zealand. The boat had carved interior ribs and clear evidence of repair and reuse. Carbon dating tests showed that the vessel was last caulked with wads of bark in 1400.

Johns and colleagues say it’s likely that the hull once had a twin, and together, these vessels formed a double canoe (though the researchers haven’t ruled out the possibility that the find could have been a single canoe with an outrigger). If the ship was a double canoe, it probably had a deck, a shelter and a sail that was pitched forward, much like the historic canoes of the Society Islands (a group that includes Bora Bora and Tahiti) and the Southern Cook Islands. These island chains have been identified as likely Polynesian homelands of the Maori, the group of indigenous people who settled New Zealand.

The boat was surprisingly more sophisticated than the canoes described centuries later by the first Europeans to arrive in New Zealand, Johns told Live Science. At the time of European contact, the Maori were using dugout canoes, which were hollowed out from single, big trees with no internal frames. In the smaller islands of Polynesia, boat builders didn’t have access to trees that were big enough to make an entire canoe; to build a vessel, therefore, they had to create an elaborate arrangement of smaller wooden planks.

The newly described canoe seems to represent a mix of that ancestral plank technology and an adaptation to the new resources on New Zealand, since the boat has some big, hollowed-out portions but also sophisticated internal ribs, Johns and colleagues wrote.

The turtle carving on the boat also seems to link back to the settlers’ homeland. Turtle designs are rare in pre-European carvings in New Zealand, but widespread in Polynesia, where turtles were important in mythology and could represent humans or even gods in artwork. In many traditional Polynesian societies, only the elite were allowed to eat turtles, the study’s authors noted.

Shifty winds

A separate recent study examined the climate conditions that may have made possible the long journeys between the central East Polynesian islands and New Zealand. Scientists looked at the region’s ice cores and tree rings, which can act like prehistoric weather stations, recording everything from precipitation to wind patterns to atmospheric pressure and circulation strength. [10 Surprising Ways Weather Changed History]

Because of today’s wind patterns, scholars had assumed that early settlers of New Zealand would have had to sail thousands of miles from East Polynesia against the wind. But when the researchers reconstructed climate patterns in the South Pacific from the year 800 to 1600, they found several windows during the so-called Medieval Climate Anomaly when trade winds toward New Zealand were strengthened.(That anomaly occurred between the years 800 and 1300.)

“There are these persistent 20-year periods where there are extreme shifts in climate system,” the study’s head author, Ian Goodwin, a marine climatologist and marine geologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, told Live Science. “We show that the sailing canoe in its basic form would have been able to make these voyages purely through downwind sailing.”

Goodwin added that a downwind journey from an island in central East Polynesia might take about two weeks in a sailing canoe. But the trip would take four times that if the voyagers had to travel upwind.

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Personal jetpack

Personal jetpack gets flight permit for manned test

Published August 13, 2013

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    A model stands next to a newly developed personalised jetpack in Christchurch, New Zealand, pictured August, 2013. Authorities have issued a permit allowing manned test flights of the gadget. (AFP/Martin Aircraft Company Limited)

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    A personal jetpack developed by Martin Aircraft Company with a pilot strapped in place, pictured August 2013. The personal flying machines are to cost an estimated $150,000-$200,000 when they go on sale. (AFP/Martin Aircraft Company Limited)

WELLINGTON (AFP) –  The New Zealand developers of a personalized jetpack said Tuesday that aviation regulators have issued the device with a flying permit, allowing for manned test flights.

Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Coker said the certification was a significant milestone in the development of the jetpack, which the company hopes to begin selling next year.

“For us it’s a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we’re now in a position to commercialize and take forward very quickly,” Coker told AFP.

The jetpack is the brainchild of inventor Glenn Martin, who began working on it in his Christchurch garage more than 30 years ago.

Inspired by childhood television shows such as “Thunderbirds” and “Lost in Space”, Martin set out in the early 1980s to create a jetpack suitable for everyday use by ordinary people with no specialist pilot training.

His jetpack consists of a pair of cylinders containing propulsion fans attached to a free-standing carbon-fibre frame.

The pilot backs into the frame, straps himself in and controls the wingless jetpack with two joysticks.

While the jetpack’s concept is simple enough — Time magazine likened it to two enormous leaf blowers welded together — fine-tuning it into an aircraft that is safe and easy to use has been a lengthy process.

Coker said the latest prototype, the P12, incorporated huge design improvements over earlier versions.

“Changing the position of the jetpack’s ducts has resulted in a quantum leap in performance over the previous prototype, especially in terms of the aircraft’s maneuverability,” he said.

Coker said a specialized version of the jetpack designed for the military and “first responder” emergency crews such as firefighters should be ready for delivery by mid-2014.

A simpler model aimed at the general public is expected to be on the market in 2015.

The price of your own personal flying machine is estimated at $150,000-250,000, although Coker said the cost was likely to come down over time.

It comes with a rocket-propelled parachute if anything goes wrong.

In May 2011, a remote control Martin jetpack carrying a dummy pilot soared 5,000 feet above the South Island’s Canterbury Plains as its creator watched anxiously from a helicopter hovering nearby.

The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority said the jetpack had now been issued with an experimental flight permit for development test flying, which allows someone to pilot the aircraft.

It said the test flights would be subject to strict safety requirements, with flights not allowed any higher than 20 feet above the ground or 25 feet above water.

The flights are also limited to test areas over uninhabited land.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/08/13/personal-jetpack-gets-flight-permit-for-manned-test/?intcmp=features#ixzz2covQt9lb

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The Hobbit Bar

reposted from thechive.com

New Zealand opens a real-life Hobbit bar (12 Photos)

DECEMBER 14, 2012

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Read more at http://thechive.com/2012/12/14/new-zealand-opens-a-real-life-hobbit-bar-12-photos/#Trs6je5Gw0qCp37u.99

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