(December 2011) The price for transportation by ship in declining. A surplus in capacity is to blame according to a number of economic publications: banks and investors are putting their money in shipping; new engines allow higher bulk in form of more containers than ever before. Currently shipping companies are involved in fierce competition, so much so, in fact, that they are not even able to pass rising diesel costs on to the customer in all cases according to the report. And it seems that over one third of ships are currently in dry dock.

Marble plates and bowls by Spanish InMármol Company (Spanish).

The City of the Dead in Peru’s Marcahuamachuco enjoy the protection of a Global Heritage Fund’s concept to open it for visitors while protecting it from damage. The secret site stems from sometime between 700 and 300 BC and is often endearingly referred to as Machu Picchu of the North. It can be reached by road from Trujillo. Machu Picchus’s fantastic stonemasonry work is convincingly show in a photo stream. Clicking the thumbnail pictures turns the pages of the album.

Millstones were the theme at a scientific congress in Norway.

More than 55% of deceased Germans chose cremation in their last will according to a study by the consumer organization Aeternitas. 15 years ago cremation was preferred by an estimated 15% of the population (German).

Vietnam is enjoying a strong economic development. A seminar organized by IMM Carrara gives insight into investment opportunities (Italian).

The Golan-Hights has its own Stonehenge, a gigantic stone circle by Rujm al-Hiri (Rogem Hiri). According to a new theory examining the four subset circles, these were not a calendar but a burial site for an ancient culture. 42,000 tons of basalt stone were deposited there by man. It is thought that the rings were up to 10 m high at the time of completion.