Straight up, Pisa's tower stabilized

After a decade of effort, eight centuries of leaning may have been stabilized for the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

A team of engineers and workers have been trying to stop the gradually increasing incline since the late 1990s, spending an estimated $40 million in the process.

The lead engineer this week claimed this is the first time in the tower's history that it has stopped moving. It took the excavation of 70 tons of soil from the northern side to get the tower to begin righting itself. In the past seven years, it became 19 inches straighter.

The tower, on which work began in A.D. 1173, was built as the bell tower of a cathedral. The construction continued, with two lengthy interruptions, for about 200 years. It started to lean during its construction despite various attempts to keep it perpendicular to the ground.
The Official Tower Website
Italy Guides: City of Pisa
Restaurants, Cafes in Pisa
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Name that city

This architect's rendering of a skyscraper to be built in a major city is set for:

(a) New York
(b) Dubai
(c) Rio de Janiero
(d) London
(e) Singapore
(f) None of the above

It's Warsaw, so the answer is (f).

The drawing was unveiled this week by architect Zaha Hadid for the Lilium Tower, a planned 790-foot residential skyscraper.

It will face the Stalinist-era Palace of Culture right in the heart of downtown Warsaw. It will join the likes of other modern skyscrapers already in place or in progress -- such as The Metropolitan office tower designed by Norman Foster and completed in 2003, and a large residential tower designed by Daniel Libeskind that is now being built.
Official Website of the City of Warsaw
Dining Out in Warsaw
Welcome to Warsaw
Great Buildings Collection
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'Must-see' spots for kids

Looking for the best spots to take kids on vacation? The editors at Hotel Insider have come up with a list of their top 10 suggestions.

Say the editors, "For children, vacations are a source of learning and growing while exploring the world around. These small excursions provide a lot of fun and relaxation to the child and also rejuvenate them to start afresh when the vacations are over. There are lots of places where the sights are breathtaking at any age and there is something extra special about seeing them as a child."

The top spot on the list is the Ellis Island Museum (above) in New York Harbor.

Go here to read the rest of the list.
• Travel With Kids (International)
• Travel with Kids (Domestic)
• Dowd's Guides

2 more reasons to visit Antigua

If your vacation plans call for a stop in the Caribbean islands-nation of Antigua & Barbuda, you may want to pick up a true rum rarity while you're there.

Antigua Distillery plans to send a pair of new bottlings of its English Harbour rum to market. The company has announced the release of a 10-year, slightly spicy reserve at $199, and a dark, smoky 25-year-old at $399, aged in ex-whiskey and ex-bourbon casks. There are only 90 bottles of the older rum available.

The premium product is named after the Antiguan naval port that now is home to numerous yachts and crusie liners as well as tourists looking for a little water action. If you're curious what the real English Harbour looks like, here's a great view of the spot that was the main anchorage for British Admiral Nelson's Caribbean fleet in the 18th Century:

April L. Dowd photo

A lemon frock and a cold Wadadli (Antigua first-hand)
Time and lava wait for no man
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