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Seven Places To Stay In Dubai (If You Stay In Dubai Seven Times)

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The city of Dubai is poised to become the millionaire playground of the 2010s, with its economy crafted to accommodate businesses and other tourism-specific developments. But Dubai could have all the ritziest clubs and hottest attractions the world over, and still no one would visit if its hotels were not the most decadent, over-the-top establishments imaginable. Luckily, Dubai has risen to the challenge.

Ski Dubai

If one has enough money to vacation in Dubai, it would only be natural to assume that said person can afford to jet off to the Alps for the weekend when the urge to ski comes up. But just in case this is too much of a trek, Ski Dubai has brought the mountains to the desert in the form of 3 football fields of indoor ski trails. Five different ski runs of varying difficulty provide options for everyone, along with tobogganing hills and a bobsled ride. If you get sick of riding the magic carpet shaped chairlifts, you can always head over to the Snow Park, which contains 32,000 feet of snow just for making snowmen or staging snowball fights. Ski Dubai is not a place to stay and so not quite right for this list, but the idea of skiing down to a window and looking out on blazing hot sand is too surreal to resist.

Madinat Jumeirah

Dubai2.jpgThe Madinat Jumeirah hotel is modeled after an ancient Arabic town, right down to the very last detail. The shopping center looks like the bazaar the title hero runs through in Aladdin, and quaint stone bridges crisscross from building to building over the resort's 2.3 miles of fake rivers that come complete with Arabian water taxis to chauffeur guests from their hotel rooms to whichever of the 45 restaurants and bars they choose. And for anyone concerned about office access all the way out there in the desert, fear not: you can bring your fellow desk warriors with you! The Madinat Conference Hall has a maximum capacity of 1,832 persons and has capabilities that would put those efficiency suites on the highway to shame.

BurjDubai.jpgBurj Dubai

One of several Dubai projects in the running for a record in the Guiness Book, the Burj Dubai aims to become the tallest skyscraper in the world. Its projected height is being kept a secret, but numbers being thrown around range anywhere from 2,297 to 2,684 feet tall "“ reaching more than 700 to 1,000 feet highest than the world's current tallest high-rise building, Taiwan's Taipei 101. The first 37 floors of this behemoth will become the Giorgio Armani Hotel, decorated by its namesake, and 56 of the world's fastest elevators will transport residents and guests to any of the four pools, the 15,000 square foot fitness complex, a cigar club, a library, and the world's highest publicly accessible observation deck. Sadly, if you're only just hearing about this now, you won't be able to become the proud owner of one of the 700 apartment suites being built "“ they sold out within 8 hours of becoming available. However, you could always throw down $15 million for your own private island in the shape of your favorite country"¦

The World

Dubai4.jpgRight off the coast of Dubai, 300 artificial islands are being constructed, clustered together to create the shapes of each of the seven continents. The islands, known as "The World," can only be accessed by boat or helicopter, and they range in price from $15 million to as much as $45. The islands are not only for personal use, however "“ the Ireland island is being transformed into an Irish themed resort, complete with a gym, Irish-style pub, spa, and a replica of the Giant's Causeway. If you do decide to snap up a little piece of Africa or Asia, you'll be rubbing elbows with the likes of Tommy Lee, proud owner of Greece, and Angelina Jolie, alleged proprietor of Ethiopia. As their website states, "The World can really revolve around you."

The Hydropolis

Hydropolis.jpgThe Hydropolis is under construction 60 feet below the surface of the Persian Gulf waters off the coast of Dubai, and it holds every imaginable amenity anyone could ever need. Estimates for how much it costs are anywhere between $500 and $600 million dollars, which probably does not include the rumored missile defense system budget. Two clear domes encompass a ballroom and a concert hall, but leaving your suite is not necessary to gaze out on the ocean floor, as all the rooms have clear glass surrounding the bedroom area. Underwater construction is a tall order, but the Hydropolis will not be outdone by other Dubai properties when it comes to amenities; I can't think of any other reason why one would include a cosmetic surgery clinic in plans for an underwater kingdom if the ultimate goal is not to be the most fabulous glitterati getaway in the world.

Burj Al Arab

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burjalarab2.jpgPerhaps the Burj Al Arab has been overshadowed recently by the enormous projects popping up all over Dubai, but we can't leave out a hotel whose 1,000 foot high helipad can be converted into a tennis court, recently used for a friendly match between Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. Every gold-colored surface in the iconic sail-shaped building is 24 karat, and there are a lot of them. A grand will get you the cheapest room for a night, complete with Hermes toiletries, pillow and bath menus, butler service, 24-hour private dining, a complete office setup, and a huge plasma television. And these are not your average ultra-elite suites "“ every guest room in the hotel extends over two floors, so those who want to party can carry on at the bar area downstairs while the children sleep. But if this doesn't seem quite up to par, there's always the Royal Suite, which goes for $28,000 a night and contains an elevator, a rotating four-poster bed, and a private cinema.

Dubailand

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But don't book your plane tickets just yet "“ the gem of Dubai, Dubailand, is still very much under construction, and although it will open in 2010, the resort won't be completely finished until 2018. The $20 billion dollar project will contain Dubai's second indoor ski resort, a water park, an observatory wheel larger than the London Eye, and several theme parks. Two spa resorts, a sport complex with four stadiums, a planetarium, and a Tiger Woods golf resort are under construction, as well as the Falcon City of Wonders, which will include replicas of various landmark structures from around the world, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal. Each of the 31 hotels under construction will have a different theme, like Camelot or Wild West, and the number of hotel rooms will amount to a grand total of 30,000. Dubailand will also contain the Mall of Arabia, on track to become the world's largest mall at 10 million square feet. And by the time construction is completed Dubailand will stretch for 107 square miles, twice the size of all the Disney parks put together. Follow the progress through this photo gallery.

So, have any of you ever been to Dubai? Where'd you stay? What'd you think?

Cassandra Galante is an occasional contributor to mentalfloss.com.

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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