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Neolithic village of Skara Brae

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Weird | Comments Off on Neolithic village of Skara Brae

Neolithic village of Skara Brae is one of Orkney’s most-visited old sites and regarded by many for one of the most remarkable monuments in Europe. Skara Brae is a large stone-built Neolithic settlement, it consists of ten clustered houses, and was occupied from roughly 3180 BCE–2500 BCE.

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In the wintertime from 1850, a severe storm shoot Britain making widespread damage and over two hundred deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the land by an big irregular knoll, known in Scottish as a howe, which had been a local landmark. When the storm cleared, local villagers discovered in place of the howe an intact village, albeit without roofs.

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 All house have the same basic conception – a big square room, with a central fireplace, a bed on either side and a shelved dresser on the wall opposite the doorway. On average, the houses measure 40 square metres in size with a large square room containing a hearth which would have been used for heating and cooking. Given the number of homes, it seems likely that no more than fifty people lived in Skara Brae at any given time.

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The dwellings contain a number of stone-built pieces of furniture, including cupboards, dressers, seats, and storage boxes. Each dwelling was entered through a low doorway that had a stone slab door that could be closed “by a bar that slid in bar-holes cut in the stone door jambs”. A sophisticated drainage system was even incorporated into the village’s design, one that included a primitive form of toilet in each dwelling.

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The Grooved Ware People who built Skara Brae were primarily pastoralists who raised cattle and sheep. Childe originally believed that the inhabitants did not practice agriculture, but excavations in 1972 unearthed seed grains from a midden suggesting that barley was cultivated. Fish bones and shells are common in the middens indicating that dwellers supplemented their diet with seafood. Limpet shells are common and may have been fish-bait that was kept in stone boxes in the homes.

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The island’s red deer and boar were as well hunted because their meat and skins. Seal meat was consumed and, on the occasions when they found a beached whale, it is meat would get provided an welcome fiesta. In addition, they, like the generations of islanders that followed it, believably collected the eggs from seabirds as well as harvesting the birds themselves.

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As well as providing meat, the animals, hunted and farmed, provided the skin and bone that was the raw material for the tools and needed for everyday life – needles, shovels, pins, knives, picks and adzes. The flint, or chert, required for their cutting edges, was either “imported” or gathered from the shore.

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For fuel, the villagers probably burned a combination of seaweed and dried animal dung – fuels that remained in use until the 19th century – possibly along with the poor quality peat available to the villagers.

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The village remains under constant threat by coastal erosion and the onslaught of the sand and sea. In addition, the increasing number of visitors to the site annually are causing problems. Steps are being taken, however, to alleviate, or minimise, this damage.

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Amazing Sky lantern

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Weird | 2 comments

Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in some Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern sinks back to the ground.

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In ancient China, sky lanterns were strategically used in wars. However later on, non-military applications were employed as they became popular with children at carnivals. These lanterns were subsequently incorporated into festivals like the Chinese Mid-Autumn and Lantern Festivals. Pingxi District in New Taipei City of Taiwan holds an annual Lantern Festival in which sky lanterns are released.

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Lanna people use sky lanterns all year round, for celebrations and other special occasions. One very important festival in which sky lanterns are used is the Lanna festival known as “Yi Peng” which is held on a full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar. Due to a difference between the old Lanna calendar and the traditional central Thai calendar it coincides with Loi Krathong which is held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.

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During the Yi Peng festival, a multitude of khom loi are launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the sky. The most elaborate Yi Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom. The festival is meant as a time for tham bun, to make merit.

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People usually make khom loi from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up in to the sky. In addition, people will also decorate their houses, gardens and temples with khom fai: intricately shaped paper lanterns which take on different forms.

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It is considered good luck to release a sky lantern, and many Thais believe they are symbolic of problems and worries floating away. In recent times, khom loi have become so popular with all Thai people that it has become an integrated in to the Loi Krathong festival in the rest of country.

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Amazing Hill Figure

Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Weird | 1 comment

A hill figure is a large visual representation created by cutting into a steep hillside and revealing the underlying geology. It is a type of geoglyph usually designed to be seen from afar rather than above. In some cases trenches are dug and rubble made from material brighter than the natural bedrock is placed into them. The new material is often chalk, a soft and white form of limestone, leading to the alternative name of chalk figure for this form of art.

The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long (374 feet), formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. The figure is situated on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in the English civil parish of Uffington, some 8 km (5 mi) south of the town of Faringdon and a similar distance west of the town of Wantage. The hill forms a part of the scarp of the Berkshire Downs and overlooks the Vale of White Horse to the north. Best views of the figure are obtained from the air, or from directly across the Vale, particularly around the villages of Great Coxwell, Longcot and Fernham.

The Long Man of Wilmington is a hill figure located in Wilmington, East Sussex, England on the steep slopes of Windover Hill, 9.6 kilometres (6 mi) northwest of Eastbourne. The Long Man is 69.2 metres (227 ft) tall and designed to look in proportion when viewed from below. The Long Man is one of two main human hill figures in England; the other is the Cerne Abbas giant, north of Dorchester. Both are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

The Cherhill White Horse is a hill figure on Cherhill Down, 3.5 miles east of Calne in the county of Wiltshire, England. Dating from the late 18th century, it is the third oldest of several such white horses to be seen around Great Britain, with only the Uffington White Horse and the Westbury White Horse being older. The figure is also sometimes called the Oldbury White Horse.

The Cerne Abbas Giant, also referred to as the Rude Man or the Rude Giant, is a hill figure of a giant naked man on a hillside near the village of Cerne Abbas, in Dorset, England. The 180 ft (55 m) high, 167 ft (51 m) wide figure is carved into the side of a steep hill, and is best viewed from the opposite side of the valley or from the air. The carving is formed by a trench 12 in (30 cm) wide, and about the same depth, which has been cut through grass and earth into the underlying chalk. In his right hand the giant holds a knobbled club 120 ft (37 m) in length. A 1996 study found that some features of the image have changed over time; notably, the study concluded that the figure originally held a cloak in its left arm and stood over a disembodied head. The figure’s origin and age is unknown. Early antiquarians associated it with a Saxon deity, though there is little evidence for such a connection.

The Osmington White Horse is a hill figure sculpted in 1808 into the limestone Osmington hill just north of Weymouth called the South Dorset Downs, within the parish of Osmington. The figure is of King George III, who regularly visited Weymouth, and made it ‘the first resort’, riding on his horse, and can be seen for miles around. It is 280 feet long and 323 feet high in size and is best viewed from the A353 road. There is a legend that King George was offended that the figure was riding out of Weymouth — a sign that he was not welcome — and never returned.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a zoo located at Whipsnade, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It is owned by the Zoological Society of London, a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats, and is a companion to ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park, London. The park covers 600 acres (2.4 km2), and can be located from miles to the north and from the air because of its large white lion hill figure carved into the side of the Dunstable Downs (part of the Chiltern Hills) below the White Rhino enclosure. The distinctive white lion hill figure was completed in 1933.

The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, approximately 2.5 km (1.6 mi) east of Westbury in England. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the oldest of several white horses carved in Wiltshire. It was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated a previous horse which had occupied the same slope. A contemporary engraving of the 1760s appears to show a horse facing in the opposite direction, and also rather smaller than the present figure. However, there is at present no documentary or other evidence for the existence of a chalk horse at Westbury before the year 1742.

Wye is a historic village in Kent, England, located some 12 miles (19 km) from Canterbury, and is also the main village in the civil parish of Wye with Hinxhill. The parish population was 2,384 (for the entire parish:2001), although the students at Wye College (see below) add to this total.  On the Downs east of the village is a crown (hill figure) carved in the chalk by students in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII.

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Amazing colors of Grand Prismatic Spring

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Weird | Comments Off on Amazing colors of Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring is located in Yellowstone National Park, halfway between the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins. The central location provides dramatic scenery for visitors and residents alike. The spring is approximately 90 meters wide and 50 meters deep and expels an estimated 560 gallons of water per minute. Grand Prismatic Spring is noted for being the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park and third largest in the world.

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A hot spring, the most common hydrothermal feature of Yellowstone, is an area where heated water can easily rise through cracks and fractures in the earth’s surface.  The movement of water is not blocked by mineral deposits.  Very hot water cools as it reaches the surface, sinks, and is replaced by hotter water from beneath.  This circulation of water is fairly continuous and does not result in geyser eruptions. At Grand Prismatic Springs, siliceous sinter is precipitated from the silica-rich water and is deposited along the edge of the pool.  This is represented by the white mineral deposits furthest from the colorful edge of the hot spring.

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The breathtaking colors are attributed to the various species of thermophilic bacteria living in the spring.  The blue water in the center is very hot, but it may support chemotrophic life – a chemotroph is an organism that uses chemicals for a source of energy.

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As you move farther from the heat source of the spring, life begins to flourish.  The cyanobacteria – aquatic photosynthesizing bacteria – that live at the edges of Grand Prismatic Spring cover the color spectrum including yellow, green, orange, red, and brown.

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Grand Prismatic Spring sits on a bed of rhyolitic rock located on the west side of the present Yellowstone caldera.  Rhyolite is a light colored volcanic rock with high silica content.  Water deep in the Earth is warmed by the heat of the magma. This hot water circulates and dissolves some of the silica in the rocks, carrying it in solution to the surface of the hot spring.

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As the mineral-rich hot water flows over the ground and cools, silica compounds come out of solution and are deposited as a precipitate called siliceous sinter, creating the white-grey landscape around the spring.

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There is no obvious sulfur (“rotten egg”) smell near Grand Prismatic spring, so it was concluded that no hydrogen sulfide gas is present.  It is possible however, that hydrogen gas is dissolved in the water, providing energy and electrons for chemosynthetic microbes in the clear waters on the edge of the center pool.

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The spring has a neutral to alkaline pH (8.4).  The temperature of this spring is hottest in the center, reaching a high of 87 degrees Celsius.  As water flows outward from the center, it cools and degasses, creating gradients of temperature and changes in the water’s chemistry.  The topography of the landscape also can affect temperature.  Shallow, dryer areas are cooler than deeper, wetter areas.

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Different species of microbes flourish in specific temperatures and contain pigments suited to their environments.  Bands of colors are created around the pools by these different microbes.

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The blue color of the center pool is created by scattering of blue light, not by microbial pigments, although some chemotrophic organisms may be present in these hot waters.

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5 Buildings So Big They Have Their Own ZIP Code!

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Weird | Comments Off on 5 Buildings So Big They Have Their Own ZIP Code!

5 Buildings So Big They Have Their Own ZIP Code!

Last night I was reading the latest issue of Wired (the only physical magazine I still subscribe to) and noticed a fun little data stream they had posted about places with their own ZIP code. For those outside the United States, ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 1963.

The ZIP codes, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, usually represent a sizable geographic area. However, these five particular buildings are so special they have their own ZIP code! Check them out below and enjoy some interesting tidbits I culled from their respective Wikipedia entries

1. THE WHITE HOUSE

– Its history, and the history of the nation’s capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district “not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac.” President Washington, together with city planner Pierre L’Enfant, chose the site for the new residence, which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
– Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in
– Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the President’s private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge

– It survived a fire at the hands of the British in 1814 (during the war of 1812) and another fire in the West Wing in 1929, while Herbert Hoover was President. Throughout much of Harry S. Truman’s presidency, the interior of the house, with the exception of the third floor, was completely gutted and renovated while the Trumans lived at Blair House, right across Pennsylvania Avenue. Nonetheless, the exterior stone walls are those first put in place when the White House was constructed two centuries ago

– There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
– With five full-time chefs, the White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more than 1,000.
– The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.
– For recreation, the White House has a variety of facilities available to its residents, including a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, and bowling lane.

2. DODGER STADIUM

– Dodger Stadium has been the home ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers team since 1962. Dodger Stadium was constructed from 1959 to 1962 at a cost of $23 million paid for through private financing

– Dodger Stadium is currently the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (behind Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago,) and is the largest ballpark by seating capacity

Architect: Captain Emil Praeger
Capacity: 56,000
Left Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Medium Left-Center – 360 feet (110 m)
True Left-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
True Right-Center – 375 feet (114 m)
Medium Right-Center – 360 feet (110 m)
Right Field – 330 feet (101 m)
Backstop – 55 feet (17 m)

– In addition to those of Drysdale, Koufax, and Sutton, the retired numbers of Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, Walter Alston, Roy Campanella and Jim Gilliam are mounted below the pavilion roofs behind the outfield fence

– Dodger Stadium is the only current MLB park (excluding the most recently-built parks) that has never changed its capacity. It has always held 56,000 fans, due to a conditional-use permit limiting its capacity. Every time the Dodgers add seats, they always remove an equal number of seats in the upper deck or in the pavilion to keep the capacity the same. Through the sale of standing room only tickets, though, the Dodgers’ 2009 home opener managed to draw 57,099 fans, the largest crowd in stadium history

3. FOCUS ON THE FAMILY CAMPUS

– Focus on the Family (FOTF, or FotF) is an American evangelical Christian tax-exempt non-profit organization founded in 1977 by psychologist James Dobson, and is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado
– Focus on the Family is one of a number of evangelical parachurch organizations that rose to prominence in the 1980s. A component of the American Christian right, it is active in promoting interdenominational work toward its views on social conservative public policy
– Focus on the Family’s mission is “nurturing and defending the God-ordained institution of the family and promoting biblical truths worldwide.” Some of the core promotional activities of the organization include a daily radio broadcast by Dobson and his colleagues, providing free resources and family counseling according to Focus on the Family views, and publishing a variety of magazines, videos, and audio recordings
– The group supports the teaching of what it considers to be traditional family values. It advocates school sponsored prayer and supports corporal punishment. It strongly opposes abortion, militant feminism, homosexuality, pornography, legalized gambling, and pre-marital and extramarital sexual activity
– In February 2010, Focus on the Family purchased a 30-second commercial spot during CBS’s telecast of Super Bowl XLIV, featuring 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam. Pam was advised by doctors to have an abortion as she was exposed to amoebiasis, but she carried the pregnancy to term

4. WILLIS (SEARS) TOWER

– Willis Tower, formerly named Sears Tower, is a 108-story, 1451-foot (442 m) skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois.[1] At the time of its completion in 1974, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York

– Currently, Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world as well as the fifth tallest building in the world to the roof

– Although Sears’ naming rights expired in 2003, the building continued to be called Sears Tower for several years. In March 2009 London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, Ltd., agreed to lease a portion of the building and obtained the building’s naming rights as part of the agreement. On July 16, 2009, at 10:00 am Central Time, the building was officially renamed Willis Tower

– In 1997 Toronto-based TrizecHahn Corp (the owner at the time of the CN Tower) purchased the building for $110 million, and assumption of $4 million in liabilities, and a $734 million mortgage. In 2003 Trizec surrendered the building to lender MetLife

– In 2004 MetLife sold it to a group of investors that includes New York investors Joseph Chetrit, Joseph Moinian, Lloyd Goldman, Joseph Cayre and Jeffrey Feil and Skokie-based American Landmark Properties. The quoted price was $840 million with $825 million held in a mortgage

– Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower opened as The Sears Tower Skydeck observation deck on June 22, 1974. It is located on the 103rd floor of the tower. It is 1,353 feet (412 m) above ground and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago

– The restrooms on the 103rd floor 1,353 feet (412 meters) above street level are the highest in the Western Hemisphere

5. THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

– The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark Art Deco skyscraper in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York, The Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building once again became the tallest building in New York City and New York State

– The Empire State Building is the third tallest skyscraper in the Americas (after the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower both in Chicago), and the 15th tallest in the world. It is also the fourth tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. The Empire State building is currently undergoing a $550 million renovation, with $120 million to be utilized in an effort to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure

– The Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using its earlier designs for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio

– Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and construction on the building itself started symbolically on March 17—St.Patrick’s Day—per Al Smith’s influence as Empire State, Inc. president. The project involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, along with hundreds of Mohawk iron workers, many from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. According to official accounts, five workers died during the construction

– At 9:40 a.m.on Saturday, July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted in thick fog by Lieutenant Colonel William Franklin Smith, Jr., crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 79th and 80th floors, where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the side opposite the impact and flew as far as the next block where it landed on the roof of a nearby building, starting a fire that destroyed a penthouse. The other engine and part of the landing gear plummeted down an elevator shaft. The resulting fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. 14 people were killed in the incident.

– Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver survived a plunge of 75 stories inside an elevator, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall recorded

– Over the years, more than thirty people have committed suicide from the top of the building. The first suicide occurred even before its completion, by a worker who had been laid off. The fence around the observatory terrace was put up in 1947 after five people tried to jump during a three-week span

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Amazing Naughtiest Advertisements Ever

Posted by on Dec 28, 2010 in Weird | Comments Off on Amazing Naughtiest Advertisements Ever

Amazing Naughtiest Advertisements Ever

Hey this are ads who you will maybe see while traveling around the world.The same advertising techniques used to promote commercial goods and services can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as HIV/AIDS, political ideology, energy conservation and deforestation.Advertising, in its non-commercial guise, is a powerful educational tool capable of reaching and motivating large audiences. “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest—it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.” Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy.

In the United States, the granting of television and radio licenses by the FCC is contingent upon the station broadcasting a certain amount of public service advertising. To meet these requirements, many broadcast stations in America air the bulk of their required public service announcements during the late night or early morning when the smallest percentage of viewers are watching, leaving more day and prime time commercial slots available for high-paying advertisers.

Public service advertising reached its height during World Wars I and II under the direction of more than one government. During WWII President Roosevelt commissioned the creation of The War Advertising Council (now known as the Ad Council) which is the nations largest developer of PSA campaigns on behalf of government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Hey this are ads who you will maybe see while traveling around the world.All of us are witnesses that advertising industry is getting more inventive and creative in their campaigning each day. People from advertising industry tend to try to attract our attention in every way possible. No matter what, they intend to leave you touched and make you remember images and messages they sent. Surely, the most effective way to get your message across (especially with male population) is being a bit ‘naughty’. That’s why we have compiled a collection of some marvelous examples of the most successful naughty advertising campaigns; part 4 of this attractive photo collection.

Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, ideas, or services. It includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade a target market to purchase or to consume that particular brand. These messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various media. Advertising can also serve to communicate an idea to a large number of people in an attempt to convince them to take a certain action.

Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate related qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers. Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.

Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mass media can be defined as any media meant to reach a mass amount of people. Different types of media can be used to deliver these messages, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages.


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