e-Visa service planned by next March
Arrangements have been made to issue electronic visas for visitors to Iran prior to their arrival, announced the Head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Mohammad Soltanifar.
The service, he added will be available in the year to mid-March 2017.
He listed other steps taken to promote the tourism industry as extending airport visa validity period from 15 to 30 days and visa waivers by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Also other measures have been undertaken such as launching new flights, purchasing aircrafts and renovating the air fleet, he said.
Soltanifar said that 33 four- and five-star hotels have been constructed across the country, adding 800 one- to five-star hotels and hotel-apartments are also under construction.
He described the presence of foreign investors in Iranian tourism market as a good sign.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said e-visa facilities would become operational in September.
He added that currently, visa is issued in five days. With the launching of e-visa process, the procedure would be reduced to 24 hours, he said.
Iran has visa waiver programs with Armenia and Georgia, he pointed out.
By Mousa Bidaj
Poems that run in the street
They sleep in the streets
They lose their dreams
They live on the smell of dust
Drink off water fountain
Damn all those
Poems by the furnace.
Wear blue, it is beautiful
Purple much more,
Green takes you to gardens,
Yellow to the Fall,
Pink embarks you on a boat,
Stay away from two:
Of white that is unwritten
And of black
That fades you out in the streets.
By Fariba Yousefi
I am this
Who sits here
Face to face with you
Not expecting a hint.
The world becomes brown
The world becomes a coffee, bitter
The world becomes a coffee, sweet
Theses shapes look not like you and I
The search yields no results.
My pointing finger
Just scratches the coffee mud
Slugged in the cup end
White and brown
Brown and white...
You read my cup!
I write with my feet
By Alireza Qazveh
My blood is the cry of bravo, bravo!
And my sight is a new criticism
My hands a modern style
I write with my feet
In my bones, rains turn into rainbow
And in my brain, all poem books turn into one line
My heart still reads poetry
Behind the expanse of my chest
And my dreams are all poems and
My awareness is all poems.
Spring in elevator
In the blackout
Spring got stuck;
It was raining in the elevator!
Well, when no light,
Moon sticks high to the sky
Orbit and Meridian, then stick low to the Earth,
Take all sticking easy!
Yet, the rain and lighting are damn serious
And also, the fact that sometimes
Spring gets stuck
in the elevator!
Nissan Motor Company said it was developing fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology using ethanol as a hydrogen source in what would be an industry first, and planned to commercialize its system in 2020.
Paleontologist discovers new species of 200 million-year-old marine reptile
A new type of ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile alive at the same time as the dinosaurs, has been identified by a Manchester paleontologist from a fossil found in an old quarry in Nottinghamshire.
Similar-shaped to dolphins and sharks, ichthyosaurs — often misidentified as ‘swimming dinosaurs’ — swam the seas of Earth for millions of years during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The Nottinghamshire fossil is from the earliest part of the Jurassic Period — 200 million years ago — and only a handful of ichthyosaur species are known from this period, making the discovery very significant. It is also the first time a species of this geological age has been found outside of Dorset and Somerset, reported Science Daily.
Dean Lomax, a paleontologist and honorary scientist at the University of Manchester, examined the specimen after seeing it on a visit to Leicester’s New Walk Museum, which acquired the fossil in 1951, and spotted some unusual features.
The specimen is relatively complete, consisting of a partial skeleton including a skull, pectoral bones, limbs, pelvis bones, ribs and vertebrae. However, the bones are disorderly — it appears that the carcass ‘nosedived’ into the seabed before it became fossilized, which may have restricted previous study.
“When I first saw this specimen, I knew it was unusual,” said Lomax . “It displays features in the bones — especially in the coracoid (part of the pectoral girdle) — that I had not seen before in Jurassic ichthyosaurs anywhere in the world. The specimen had never been published, so this rather unusual individual had been awaiting detailed examination.”
Dr. Mark Evans, paleontologist and curator of Natural Sciences at New Walk Museum, said: “Parts of the skeleton had previously been on long-term loan to ichthyosaur specialist and former museum curator Dr. Robert Appleby, and had only returned to the museum in 2004 after he sadly passed away. He was clearly intrigued by the specimen, and although he worked on it for many years, he had identified it as a previously known species but never published his findings.”
Lomax has named the new species Wahlisaurus massarae in honor of two paleontologists (Professor Judy Massare and Bill Wahl) who have contributed significantly to the study of ichthyosaurs, and who first introduced him to studying them.
“Both Judy and Bill have been tremendous mentors for me. They have significantly contributed to paleontology, especially the study of ichthyosaurs, and I cannot think of a better way to remember them by naming this new ichthyosaur in their honor. Their names will be set in stone forever, pun intended!”
The specimen is the first new genus of ichthyosaur from the British Early Jurassic to be described since 1986. Thousands of specimens from this time are known, and many of these have been examined — and continue to be re-examined in light of new knowledge and technologies. However, as the specimen is from a practically unknown location for the discovery of ichthyosaurs, any new discovery could be of real scientific significance. This new species is also important for our understanding of ichthyosaur species diversity, and their geographical distribution during the Early Jurassic.
Archeologist claims he’s found ancient Greek kings’ throne
A Greek archeologist believes he has found a fragment of the lost throne of the rulers of Mycenae, famous from ancient myth and the story of the Trojan War.
Christofilis Maggidis, who heads excavations at the site in southern Greece, said that the chunk of worked limestone was found two years ago, in a streambed under the imposing citadel.
He told a press conference in Athens that the royal throne was among sections of the hilltop palace that collapsed during an earthquake around 1,200 BCE, ABC News reported.
Greek Culture Ministry officials have distanced themselves from the identification, citing a separate study that ruled the chunk to be part of a stone basin.
But Maggidis said the find was unmistakably made for sitting on, and would have been no use for holding liquids as it is made of porous stone.
“In our opinion, this is one of the most emblematic and significant finds from the Mycenaean era,” he said.
Mycenae flourished from the mid-14th to the 12th century BCE and was one of Greece’s most significant late bronze age centers. Its rulers are among the key figures of Greek myth, caught in a vicious cycle of parricide, incest and dynastic strife.
The most famous of all, Agamemnon, led the Greek army that besieged and sacked Troy, according to Homer’s epics. It is not clear to what extent the myths were inspired by memories of historic events.
No other thrones have been found in mainland Greece’s Mycenaean palaces. An older, smaller example was found in the Minoan palace of Knossos, on the island of Crete.
Maggidis said other parts of the throne may lie be beneath Mycenae, and hopes to secure a permit to fully excavate the streambed.
The precise type of stone used has not been found anywhere else in the palace of Mycenae, although a similar material was used extensively in the citadel’s massive defensive walls and in the magnificent beehive tombs where its rulers were buried.
Population policy to impact emissions targets
Current immigration rates into Australia, and associated projected population growth, will make greenhouse gas emissions targets even more difficult to achieve in the future, a University of Adelaide-led study has found.
Published in the journal Asia and the Pacific Policy Forum, Professor Corey Bradshaw (University of Adelaide) in collaboration with Professor Barry Brook (University of Tasmania), examined the relative contribution of different immigration policies to Australia’s future population size and emissions trajectory. Australia’s natural population growth is below replacement, so both its recent past and future increases in total population size result from net immigration, Physorg reported.
The researchers investigated how much Australia needs to reduce its per capita emissions to achieve future emission reduction targets under six different immigration scenarios: Zero net immigration; ‘business-as-usual’ net intake of 215,000 people/year; constant proportional immigration of one percent of the total population; total net intake of 20,000 and 100,000 a year; and doubling the net total immigration.
“Australians are among the highest per capita greenhouse gas emitters on the planet, exuding a whopping 25-27 tons of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalents) per person per year,” says Professor Bradshaw, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute. “By way of comparison, the French emit 5.2 tons, the Chinese 6.7 tons, the Canadians 14.1 tons and the Americans 17.0 tons ― our emissions record is appalling.”
The researchers looked at the current national targets of five percent reduction on year 2000
emissions by 2020, and 26-28 percent reduction on year 2005 emissions by 2030, as well as an earlier, no longer in place, target of 80 percent reduction on year 2000 emissions by 2050.
They found that achieving the 2030 target of 27 percent reduction (the median of 26-28 percent) would require a drop in per capita yearly emissions to between 12.5 and 17.4 tons by 2030, depending on the immigration scenario.
“We’ll need to achieve massive reductions in our per capita emissions, regardless of which immigration policy we follow,” says Professor Brook, professor of environmental sustainability at the University of Tasmania.
“If we maintain constant proportional net immigration of one percent, we would have roughly 10 percent more emissions by 2030 than if our population remained stable. To meet the 2030 target we would need to get down to 15 tons of emissions per person by 2030 and, even at zero net immigration, that figure would be 12.5 tons. That’s under 14 years from now.
“We need a rapid energy revolution if we want any chance of stemming emissions to meet our targets.”
The 80 percent reduction by 2050 would require a drop to three to five tons emissions per person, equivalent to reducing per capita output by six to 10 times relative to today’s
“Australia has no credible mechanisms in place to achieve these goals,” says Professor Bradshaw. “That will require substantial policy changes across population, energy, agriculture and the environmental sectors.”