StarScrapers

August 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

There are just some images that immediately cause a person to pause.The image above is of the design for the tallest structure in the world. The building measures in as 1000 meters high, or 3,280 feet. It’s going to smash the record of the current tallest building by 170 meters. Designed by the architecture firm of Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, this ozone piercing building will be the newest in a  long line of humanities towering ambition to live above the clouds. This rendering of the tower is pure beauty, leaving aside the actual mechanics and science of the building that will need air traffic control, and it inspires like only architecture can.  

If you think this is amazing, check out the video for the tallest building in the universe.

Really Great Soccer Stadiums of the World

May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Champions League Final is happening Saturday. Since the 2006 World Cup I’ve been a futbol fan. Call me a socialist, un-american, blah blah blah. Soccer, futbol, is a great sport to follow. Besides the athletes, my greatest appreciation comes from my opinion that the playing surface hasn’s shrunk in comparison to the athletes that play on it. The field has remained challenging. While I look at the NBA, baseball, boxing – I see all these fields looking smaller and almost acting as a constraint to the athletes of today. The soccer pitch allows so much room for runs, long balls, precise passes, and thundering strikes. A goal or a good corner kick is so much more exciting then seeing a seven footer dunk a ball on a ten foot rim and then taking two steps to be on the other side of the half line.

I don’t have much skin in the big game, but it is showcasing two of the best teams in the world right now. This is great because there wasn’t an unexpected club from the awful Bundesliga slipping into the final this year. This year, it was truly the two best teams, both peaking, set to meet. I only wish one of those teams was AS Roma. If you are looking for me saturday you can find me busy finding a place to watch the match. Most of my love is for AS Roma and early morning ESPN3, sometimes the two not cooperating together. I’ll have to cheat on the Serie A this week and find a large television set in a good bar filled with some biased fans cheering for teams I only wish had Totti and De Rossi. The summer will be long for my soccer fix, I’m hoping MLS can conjure up some passion.

In honor of this years Champions League, and to get this promised post of really great stadiums off the ground, I’ve compiled my four favorites.  Images are below.They range from De Moura’s Braga stadium, an example of architecture and sport at it’s finest, to the angled grass field somewhere in the Ukraine. The characteristic that marks all of the stadiums, besides being for soccer, is that they are site specific. They all use the site in great ways, and instead of looking for a flat piece of post industrial brownfield they just built a field on water, or in an old quarry, or on a sloping hill by the highway. I love them for it.

Incredible Soviet Monuments

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

With the whole Soviet era well in the rear view it seems appropriate that we, as rabid hungry eye candy consumers of everything anyone has ever made, should turn our attention to the remnant over scaled pieces of art from the Soviet empire

Just like we look upon Stonehenge or the Easter Island Rapanui statues in a sort of cocked headed wonderment, I think the newly documented installations of the Soviet people can cause this same reaction. What in the world were they besides some lesson Leon Krier would like to show, a surplus of concrete needed to be made, or some way to commemorate some event that has already been forgotten. My best guess would be the Soviets desire to have large commissions given to artists and architects trying to find a”national” Soviet idenitifier in shapes and forms.  Maybe they were successful, one thing is sure – they are very interesting.

Take a look at the full 25 Here

How to Attach a Movie Screen to a School Bus

April 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wanted to share an update to the Blue Starlite Drive-in.  Since we began showing the movies on E.6th in Austin we’ve had to laboriously piece together the screen for every showing.

Our screen is a great 9′ x 22′ heavy white tarp that is secured on all four sides with elastic ball straps. The original frame was of 1″ metal conduit that stood the screen roughly four foot from the ground.

Setting up and breaking down after every show was, of course, not fun. Every week I felt we were slowly making the screen’s support weaker and making matters worse was the screen still needed to be anchored to something solid so as to not blow away. And the screen just sat way too low to the ground, seeing that we wanted to fit more cars onto our drive-in lot.

Always looking to improve on the drive-in experience we looked towards a solution with what we had on hand.  So, add in an old school bus that was on site, some clever changes to our frame, and some tie-downs and sandbags we found ourselves the improvement!

Here are some photos:

With some recommissioning of the existing screen frame we anchored the screen to the bus, making successful a number of things.  One, is the screen doesn’t need anchoring. Two, it sits up higher. Three, the setup time is so much quicker and easier (with a little getting over my fear of heights and having to stretch a bit).

I’m super proud of this little move, and after finishing the second week – it has to be pulled out of the bus or fly away.

Kirill Yeskov: The Last Ringbearer

April 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last week I stumbled upon a piece of writing by a Russian scientist. No, I didn’t get into nanobots or the latest theories on quantum particle combinations. It was a book about the Lord of the Rings. What got me to this place was my falling into a cavernous “google wormhole” after finding out Mr. Jackson has finally begun filming  JRR Tolkien’s two part The Hobbit.

You can find the translation of Mr. Yeskov’s here: at ymarkov: The Last Ring-Bearer.

What this is, are new tales of the events immediately following the great battle near the conclusion of Return of the King. The work however is not following much in the rulebook of Mr.Tolkien. In Tolkien land the good guys were Gandalf, Aragorn, and generally the immortal elves. In Yeskov’s world he wrote the ugly and repulsive Orc and goblin as the heroes. The people of Mordor and it’s subjects were scientific people who had embraced the industrial revolution and all the benefits of medicine, thought, and reason. Yeskov exposes Gandalf as a mastermind of deceit to the archaic West, framing him as using old myths and legends to justify destruction of the much more civilized people of Mordor. All that was good in Aragorn, Arwen, and the soldiers of Rohan is turned on its head. Aragorn is the conniving murderer of the king of Gondor while Arwen is the princess of cowardly and lazy elves. The West, Gandalf being the charismatic leader, becomes hell bent on destroying the East and sending them back to living in caves and trees just like the Dwarves and Elves. The East, led by Saurun and Saruman, uses medicine, military discipline, and reason in their actions to defend themselves against the West and their crazy beliefs in magic potions, swords, and fairy tales.

Although it’s not structurally well written to anything near Tolkiens level, Yeskov creates a brilliant back story of two Orcs following the great battle. As they try to return home to their land, which is now overrun with creepy elves and confused men, they are enlightened by a Ringwraith and come to uncover the conspiracy of Gandalf and the elves. The whole story, about 270 pages, just reinforced in me that history is written by the winners, even in a fictional world.

The work is simply great just for the premise, I enjoyed it and the parallels that can be made to our own non-fiction worlds.

If Star Wars Was Real (It’s Not?!)

March 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

 

Came across this site (Star Wars Was Real) via another site (The Cool Hunter) – down the rabbit hole – and had to write a blurb on it. I had to, because it’s well – cool.  The premise of the site is to use old photos, adverbs, celebrities, and events to then photoshop a touch of Star Wars iconography into the past. Not only crushing the two worlds of George Lucas and our own, but the whole time warping between our own 1940’s and a Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

It’s great, and clever. Some posts have Emperor Palpatine running the oil industry, Boba Fett involved in the JFK assassination, and the Imperial Army somehow being involved in the Allies victory over the Germans in WWII. They might have also been involved on the side of the Nazi’s, but it’s a little foggy (like the amazing image of the AT-AT phantom looming over a deserted freeway loop). Regardless, most of the posts are from three years ago – so once again I’m last to know what’s cool.

Good thing I have learned not to care about being cool. Really – I don’t care.

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