The Hoover Dam Bypass

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There’s not much to say about these images of the Hoover Dam Bypass except expletives mixed with a dozen shades of amazement.

It’s not the longest or the tallest or the biggest or the complexest, and still, it’s stunning:

These images of the bridge: called the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge – were shot in September 2009, as the 1,060-foot twin-rib concrete arch advances towards its late 2010 opening. The $240 million, 2,000-foot bridge is part of a larger project, a 3.5-mile corridor that begins in Clark County, Nevada, and ends in Mohave County, Arizona.

Ten Places You Must Visit Before You Die

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 10) New York City, USANew York is one of those cities you have to visit at least once. Although the Big Apple might not seem like something you’re interested in at first, it’s something spectacular. Just think: you’ve got great shopping, great eats and great people with personality. Drop by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and check out the permanent collection. My favourite is the Costume Exhibit! Once you’re done at the MET, head down to Times Square.It’s not all about the main sights either: check out a movie, catch a show, take a walk through the park or admire the scenery. Your trip won’t be complete without a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. But hurry, they’re already building a new Yankee Stadium, set to open in 2009.While in Paris you can spend your day sipping hot coffee as you stroll alongside the Seine, or you can walk around the downtown area, taking in the local busy scene and shop in the many little boutiques.The Louvre will always be my favorite museum; it used to be a luxurious residence for the royals! Notre Dame is another of Paris’ gems; go there at night to see it light up the Seine. But let’s not forget that Eiffel Tower, which will never cease to amaze! The first thing which comes to everyone’s mind when Egypt is mentioned are the Pyramids, which are not to be missed. Hit them up old school with a camel ride. Explore Khan El-Khalili, Cairo’s fantastic bazaar: from tea, to carpets to anything imaginable, can be found among the shops. Practice your haggling skills; you’re going to need them! Catch this twilight experience from May to July. Like Paris’ Louvre, the Hermitage is not to be missed. Their permanent collection is enormous and features some of Europe’s greatest pieces of art. While you’re there, don’t forget to take in the rooms, and halls themselves; this once was the winter home for Russia’s ruling family! Check out Carnival for a great expression of Creole culture: from food to dance, you’ll find it all here the week before Lent. Make sure you enjoy the country’s calypso music and I dare you to try to limbo! With a beautiful warm climate and a great vibe, Trinidad and Tobago make the top 10!5) FijiA country of 322 islands, Fiji is one of the greatest exotic honeymoon spots in the world. But you don’t have to be a honeymooner to experience Fiji’s beaches, rainforests, coral reefs, and everything else it has to offer. Be sure to treat yourself to some locally grown fruit, as it doesn’t taste any sweeter or fresher anywhere else! Beqa Lagoon is not to be missed because the barrier reef provides fish in every colour; you can’t help but be mesmerized. Try snorkeling or Scuba diving to see the underwater sights, or visit Horseshoe Bay Beach, which has been called “one of the finest beaches in Fiji” by expert Patricia Schultz, author of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die.If you love gardens, Taveuni Island, nicknamed the Garden Island is the place to be to see how volcanic soil has invigorated the local flora and fauna.4) Morocco
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Even if you only go to Morocco to eat, you will leave a happy traveler! Due to Morocco’s long history and the influence of outside civilizations, Morocco is a lovely blend of all sorts of spices, cultures and religions. Be sure to try the couscous.

If you haven’t seen Casablanca, the Moroccan city is a must-see! While exploring one of the world’s largest artificial ports, be sure to take in the Hassan II Mosque. Half of the mosque is actually build over the sea; there’s a glass floor for whorshipers who want to pray over the ocean!

If you’re up for it, arrange a trek into the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, to experience Morocco’s best.

3) Alaska, Anchorage and Beyond!

The cold shouldn’t keep you from seeing Alaska. The beauty of the landscape is a strong draw. Mount McKinley, and the surrounding Denali National Park should be among every tourist’s must-see Alaskan sights. A two-hour drive north of Anchorage puts you among the six million acres of wildlife reserve. Just imagine all the Alaskan wonders you’ll see on the tundra.

For another Alaskan cultural experience, check out the Iditarod, a dog-sled race across the country, starting in the capital Anchorage, which takes place in early March. If you’re interested, you can bid for a spot on one of the sleds to experience the rush of the first 11 miles!

2) Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro
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With the nickname “The Marvelous City,” there’s little doubt why Rio de Janeiro makes the list! Clear, turquoise water, white, sandy beaches and a great tourist friendly atmosphere will never make you want to leave. Check out Ipanema Beach for great surfing and even better sunsets!

Be sure to plan your trip to coincide with Carnival to experience Rio at its best. With the world’s largest Carnival celebrations you’ll find great food, spectacular samba music and the marvelous spirit of Rio! Put some time aside to visit Corcovado, the mountain gracefully looking over the city; a 38-meter statue of Jesus overlooks the entire city and it is prominently featured, no matter where you are!

1) Tokyo, Japan

At the top of the list, we find, mega-metropolis Tokyo. With a population of about 12 million people, the “Eastern Capital” is really a city that never sleeps. You have to be an early riser to catch the action at the world’s largest wholesale fish market; activity in the market all but ceases by 11 a.m.. Be sure to catch the auction starting at 5 a.m., which is perfect for jet-lagged tourists.

Later on in the day, visit the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor and his family, for a glimpse of lush gardens and beautiful buildings. Don’t miss Mount Fuji. Although not in Tokyo, it can be seen on a clear day! Take some extra time to visit the extraordinary sight If you’re brave, take a hike and join the few who have conquered the mountain!

Bonus: Your Home Town as an Adult

This might seem a little odd in a list of places you must visit before you die, but it’s always important to go back to your roots. Living in a city, town, or mega-metropolis is a completely different concept than exploring it as a tourist. Chances are, you’ve never played the tourist in your hometown. What is your city known for? Narrow a list down to the top five.

Visit old favourites: the city zoo, the best Thai restaurant in town or the city’s famous monuments. And be sure to see something new. If you’ve never been to that old drive-in theater downtown, it’s time to go see a movie. Explore how your hometown has changed from your youth.

Oil Spills in the Black Sea (video)

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A Russian oil tanker broke apart in the northeastern Black Sea. The accident may become the worst environmental disaster to hit the region in years.
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November 12, 2007

© 2007 National Geographic (AP)