Category The World Around Us

Why are the Petronas Towers famous?

Petronas Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Now the world’s tallest twin structures, the 88-storey buildings were designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates with both towers joined at the 41st and 42nd floors (175m above street level) by a 58 metre-long, double-decker Sky Bridge.

Standing 452 metres tall, the Petronas Twin Towers retained its world-title claim to fame until 2004 when Taipei’s 101 was built, measuring 508 metres tall. Today, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (opened in 2010) retains the spot as the world’s tallest building. Located in the KL city centre, the Petronas Twin Towers’ architecture is Islamic-inspired and the buildings primarily house the corporate headquarters of the Petronas Company and other offices.

The towers were designed by Argentine architect César Pelli. A distinctive postmodern style was chosen to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres (98 ft) below the surface.

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Petronas Philharmonic Hall, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.


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What are famous skyscrapers?

Superman may be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but most people are amazed when they see them from the ground. Skyscrapers first appeared during the late 1800’s in Chicago and New York, U.S.A. Builders could fit more offices in one area by building upward. The 10-storey Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built from 1884 to 1885, was the first skyscraper with a metal frame.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe became famous for his glass and steel skyscrapers. His most famous structure in the Seagram Building in New York City, U.S.A. This skyscraper has bronze walls and bronze-coloured windows.


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What are National Monuments?

Around the world, thousands of buildings, statues, and parks helps us remember the past and honour people who made a difference in the world. These places are called national monuments.

One of the world’s famous monuments is the Statute of Liberty in New York Harbor, U.S.A. This majestic copper sculpture of a woman holding a torch towers 46 metres. A stairway inside the statue lets visitors look through Liberty’s crown. For immigrants who enter the U.S.A. through New York Harbor, the statue is a symbol of freedom and opportunity. The statue was a gift from France to the U.S.A. in 1885.

At Dinosaur National Monument in the U.S.A., tourists can see fossils of prehistoric reptiles. This national monument in Colorado and Utah also has canyons cut by the Green and Yampa rivers.

One of the greatest battles ever won by the British navy is remembered with a huge statue of Admiral Horaito Nelson in Trafalgar Square in London, England. Nelson was killed in the battle, but his statue has become one of the world’s famous landmarks.

In the centre of Hiroshima, Japan, a huge sculpture stands near the ruins of a building destroyed during a nuclear bomb attack. The ruined building, and the sculpture, known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, a part of Peace Memorial Park. The monument serves as a reminder of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city during World War II.


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What are the ancient wonders of the world?

Did you know that there are monuments, tombs, and huge walls that were built hundreds or even thousands of years ago? Sometimes only small parts, or ruins, of these places remain. But you can still visit them today.

In England, tourists and scientists alike are amazed by Stonehenge, a group of huge, rough-cut stones set in circles. Scientists believe that ancient people built Stonehenge as a gathering place. Much of the monument is gone, but scientists think that when it was first built, an earth wall about 98 metres across circled it. Thirty blocks of grey sandstone stood like guards 4 metres above the ground.

Another wonder from long ago is the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt. Pyramids were built by Egyptians about 4,500 years ago as tombs for their kings. The Great Pyramid contains more than 2 million stone blocks.

In Peru, you can visit the ruins of Machu Picchu, once a walled city on the top of a mountain. It was built during the late 1400’s by the Inca and was probably a home for the Inca royal family.

The longest structure ever built is the Great Wall of China. Its main part stretches more than 8,850 kilometres. The wall was built to protect the northern Chinese border against enemies. Most of the wall that stands today was built in the 1400’s.

Another famous ruin is the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. The structure was completed in A.D. 90. From that time until 404, the Colosseum was a place where people could watch fights between gladiators who were slaves or paid fighters. Battles between men and wild animals and other events entertained Romans. The Colosseum was later abandoned. Many of its stones were used to build other structures.

The Colosseum was the largest outdoor theatre in ancient Rome. It could seat about 50,000 people. It is made of brick and concrete and is surrounded by 80 entrances.

The Parthenon is a famous ruin on top of a hill in Athens, Greece. It was constructed between 447 and 432 B.C. The Parthenon was a temple built to honour the Greek goddess Athena.

The Parthenon is shaped like a rectangle. It stands about 18 metres high. When the Parthenon was built, it had many brightly coloured statues and sculptured panels that showed stories from ancient Greece. Today, many of those statues are at museums in Athens and in London, England.


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What are modern wonders of the world?

People have built many incredible structures. Some soar to dizzying heights. Others cross huge lakes or rivers. Here are just a few modern wonders you can see around the world.

The Eiffel Tower is a huge iron tower in Paris. Built for a world’s fair in 1889, the tower rises 300 metres. You can take stairs or lifts to the top. The Eiffel Tower was the highest structure in the world for many years.

In Toronto, Canada, stands the CN Tower, one of the world’s highest free-standing structures. The communications and observation tower stands 553 metres high. It was completed in 1976.

In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opened in Japan. Its main suspension span, the world’s longest, stretches 1,990 metres across the Akashi Strait. The bridge took about 10 years to build.

The Channel Tunnel is an undersea railway that connects the United Kingdom with France. It opened in 1994. Fast electric trains carry cars and buses, people and goods through the tunnel, under the English Channel. The journey can take less than 35 minutes.

The Suez Canal waterway joins the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea in Egypt. It is 190 kilometres long and 19.5 metres deep. When the canal opened in 1869, ships travelling between England and India no longer had to sail around Africa. This shortened the trip by 8,000 kilomteres!

Another famous canal was built between North America and South America to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. When the Panama Canal was finished in 1914, it shortened the trip between New York City, New York and San Francisco, California, by 14,500 kilometres. Ships no longer had to sail around South America.


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Which kind of clothes people wear in hot climate?

You are midway through your soccer game, and the sun is beating down on you. Sweat drips off your forehead. To keep cool, you are wearing a T-shirt and short.

In warm places, people wear clothes made of a lightweight material, such as cotton or linen, to stay cool. Many of the clothes in warm regions are white or light-coloured, because these colours reflect the sun’s rays. Darker colours absorb heat from the sun, so they make a person feel hotter.

A man rides a long-legged camel across the Sahara. The sun burns bright and hot. This man is a Tuareg. He rears animals in the desert. A light blue robe covers him from shoulders to ankles. The loose folds of the robe shield him from the hot sun. They also let air flow around his body, helping to keep him cool. He has a long cloth wrapped around his head. Part of the cloth can be pulled over his mouth and nose to keep out blowing sand. Just as your lightweight clothes keep you cool in the hot sun, this man’s clothes protect him from the weather.


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Which kind of clothes people wear in cold climate?

Brrrrrrr, it’s cold outside! You have to go out and play. What do you wear to keep warm? Perhaps you wear a heavy coat, hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, and warm boots.

Some people must wear warm clothes most of the time. People in northern Canada, Greenland, and other places that are far north live in climates that are cold most of the year. In these cold regions, people wear heavy clothes made of fur or wool.

An Inuit man wears clothes made from animal skins. A hooded jacket, or parka, protects the top part of an Inuit’s body. Can you guess what he wears under his jacket? Another jacket! He also wears two pairs of trousers to protect his legs. The heat from his body stays between the two layers of clothes, and this helps to keep him warm. Thick fur mittens protect his hands, and he wears sealskin boots on his feet.


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What is an Airport?

The day has finally arrived! You are at the airport and about to board the plane that will take you on your dream holiday. There are many things you need to do at the airport before takeoff.

At the check-in counter, an airline worker checks you in, tells you which seat is yours, and gives you a boarding pass. Your luggage is put onto a moving belt. It carries your suitcase through rubber flaps in the wall to large bins that are wheeled to the plane. You are told which departure gate your plane will leave from.

At the security check, you and other travellers may also pass through a gate that has special machines. The machines make sure nobody is carrying anything dangerous.

At the departure gate, another airline worker takes your boarding pass. You are ready to board the plane.

You may have to walk through a tunnel or upstairs to get to the plane. When you enter the plane, a flight attendant helps you find your seat. There is a bin above your head in which to put your coats, small bags, or toys. Of course, you fasten your seat belt!

Suddenly the plane’s engines roar to life. The plane is moving! Slowly, at first, then faster and faster down a long paved path called a runway. Finally, you’re up in air! Sit back and enjoy the ride.


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Why do people fly?

Aeroplanes and helicopters are two ways to get far in a hurry. They carry people and goods thousands of metres above the ground.

The first thing you might notice about an aeroplane is its wings. When an aeroplane starts moving, the special shape of its wings helps it rise in the air and fly. Under the aeroplane wings are its engines. The fastest planes have jet engines that help them travel halfway around the world – from Chicago, Illinois, to Kolkata (Calcutta), India – in about 15 hours! Sometimes people can watch a film, listen to music or eat a meal or a snack while flying in the clouds.

Helicopters do not have the same type of wings that aeroplanes do.  A helicopter is powered by whirling blades that lift it into the sky. Helicopters are not as fast as most aeroplanes, but they can change directions and land more easily. They can fly forwards, upwards, and sideways. They can also hover, or stay in one place in the air.

The world’s largest passenger aeroplane, the Airbus A380, made its first commercial flight in 2007. The Airbus can seat more than 525 passengers.


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Why do people travel by train?

They can move people at speeds of more than 320 kilometres per hour. They carry goods weighing thousands of tonnes across a continent. Almost every country has them, and many children collect toy models of them. What are they? Trains!

Every day, in many places throughout the world, trains carry thousands of people along railway tracks. People who want to travel from one city to another use trains. Many people who live in one town and work in another take a train to work. Some trains make longer trips. They have beds for sleeping and serve meals in dining cars.

Subways are underground city trains that zoom people from place to place. Elevated trains crisscross a city on tracks that are built above the streets.


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