Friday, October 22, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Snuggling up to a fully grown male lion seems foolish enough. To then climb on its back is surely suicide.
But as you can see, Kevin Richardson enjoys doing just that – and insists his actions are perfectly safe.
The animal behaviourist claims he shares such a profound bond with the fearsome beasts that he can even spend the night curled up with them.
The 34-year-old runs a conservation park near Johannesburg in South Africa where he also keeps cheetahs, leopards and hyenas.
He befriends the animals by talking to them and treating them with ‘love and respect’ – to the extent that they consider him part of their pride.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320646/The-man-turns-lions-pussycats-The-Lion-Whisperer-takes-risky-ride.html#ixzz12doQdgg3
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This is the extravagant £630m ($1bn) home built by a billionaire Indian tycoon to house his family-of-four in Mumbai.
With 27 storeys, Antilia will be home to Mukesh Ambani and features a health club with a gym and dance studio, a ballroom, at least one swimming pool and a 50-seater cinema.
Towering above the Mumbai skyline, the 37,000sq ft property is 570ft high and also boasts three helipads on its roof, space for 160 vehicles on its lower floors and nine lifts.He will employ 600 staff at the property and his family will live in the top floors, where they will enjoy views of the Arabian Sea.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Designed by Steven Holl, the massive 1,296,459-square-foot Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China floats above the surface using just eight legs. To give you an idea of how impressive this is: The building's as long as the Empire State Building is tall.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
At about 19 minutes short this lecture is worth every minute. Thanks to my friend Carla Tourin for sending me this amazing video. I sobbed my way through! Stunning.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/today-in-pictures/0,31511,2006018,00.html#ixzz0v5wIbLti
Saturday, July 17, 2010
On a 55-acre property in the remote hills of Malibu, Calif., an old Boeing 747 is taking on a new life as the "Wing House."
- PHOTOS: Green homes across the USA
"It speaks to repurposing and reuse," Hertz says of the commercial aircraft, which was mothballed along with hundreds of other old planes in the California desert.
The first class cabin deck is now a guest house, and the lower half of the fuselage, which formed the cargo hold, serves as the roof of the "Animal Barn" intended to house endangered species.
The process wasn't easy. The remote location necessitated a lot of infrastructure work, including an access road. Due partly to the unique nature of the structure, Hertz says 17 government agencies had to sign off on permits, a process that took about 18 months.
He says they had to register the roof of the house with the Federal Aviation Administration so pilots flying overhead would not mistake it as a downed aircraft.
Hertz, who's been involved in green building since the late 1970s, incorporated sustainable features such as an 11 kilowatt solar array. The house also has a cistern for irrigation, plenty of daylighting, non-toxic materials and highly efficient equipment such as a ductless LG heat pump.
"We've created strategic openings to promote cross ventilation," says Hertz, who is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and an accredited professional with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.
All this doesn't come cheap. Hertz says the home, which has about 3,000 square feet of interior space and 5,500 square feet of roof, will cost about $2 million.
Incidentally, the house is built on the site of designer Tony Duquette's eclectic Epcot-esque estate, which burnt down in the nineties. The property was formerly owned by famous designer Tony Duquette and still has many of the "recycled" structures that he installed, although the former residence was destroyed in a fire.
Check out this video:
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Not so fast, Pisa! UAE lays claim to world's furthest leaning tower
(CNN) -- Chalk another record to the United Arab Emirates' collection.
The Capital Gate building in the desert kingdom's capital, Abu Dhabi, has been certified by Guinness World Records as the "World's Furthest Leaning Man-made Tower."
How far does it lean? Nearly five times farther than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
The 35-story Abu Dhabi building has an 18-degree slope, compared with four degrees for the freestanding bell tower.
But unlike the tower in Pisa, the Capital Gate building has been deliberately engineered to slant.
The floor plates are stacked vertically up to the 12th floor, after which they are staggered over each other by between 300 mm to 1,400 mm -- giving the tower its lean, the owners said.
"It is a signature building which speaks to the foresight of the emirate," said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon al Nahyan, the chairman of the building's owner, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.
The mixed-use building will be ready for occupancy at the end of the year. It is featured in a new National Geographic documentary, called "Megastructures."
In January, Dubai -- one of seven emirates that make up the UAE -- unveiled the world's tallest skyscraper: the $1.5 billion, 160-story Burj Khalifa, which has a height of more than 800 meters (2,625 ft).
Friday, May 21, 2010
KPF Pen Chinas Future Tallest Skyscraper
|Published on 19-05-2010 by Skyscrapernews.com|| |
The scheme is being built by and for the insurance company that have lent their name to it as its new headquarters with the first eleven floors of the building serveing as a new shopping centre.
The building will reach a grand total of 648 metres in height making it the tallest building in the Peoples Republic beating Gensler's under construction Shanghai Tower by 16 metres. It also marks the latest part of the on going competition between Shenzhen and Shanghai for the tallest skyscraper in the country - something they have been battling away at since the early 90s.
The building height though reaches its pinnacle thanks to a an elegant spire coming off a tapering top quarter meaning that the Shanghai Tower will continue to have a taller roof.
Helping the structure are two super columns on each side of the tower that have been engineered by Thornton Tomasetti - these are required as the taller a building the greater the area that the faces of it can take up, and thus the greater the load that the wind can put on it. It's also for the purpose of reducing wind loading that supertall towers such as the Ping An IFC are usually aerodynamically styled.
If the Ping An IFC does go ahead, then the scheme is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The largest land mammal also has the longest pregnancy among mammals, averaging a staggering 22 months. Elephants usually give birth to one calf, who will rely on the mother's milk for four to six years. One would think that years of devotion to her calf and the protection of the herd would lead to a healthy adult elephant, but in reality, very few calves live to adulthood.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
(Wired) -- Early demand for the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle is strong, with 6,635 people reserving cars in just three days -- a figure that represents more than 10 percent of the Leafs Nissan will build in its first year of production.
Nissan started taking reservations for the four-door, five-passenger EV on Tuesday afternoon, and almost instantly people were signing up to get one. The Nissan Leaf, which will cost $25,280 after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, rolls into showrooms in December.
"We had 2,700 reservations in the first three hours," said Dave Mingle, Nissan's senior director for customer management and business strategy. "It exceeded what we expected, though we knew from what the hand-raisers were telling us this is an exceptionally passionate crowd."
The hand-raisers he's referring to are the 117,000 people who registered at the Leaf website to get a place in line once the reservation system opened. Those who have made reservations paid $99 to make sure they're on the list when the Nissan Leaf starts appearing at dealerships.
Mingle said interest has been strongest in the "smile states" of the East and West coasts and the South. TheLeaf will be available only in selected areas to start -- California, Oregon, Seattle, Phoenix-Tucson and east-central Tennessee -- but Nissan plans to roll it out nationally by the end of 2011.
Not every car will be delivered in December, of course; they'll be delivered as they're available.
Nissan has the capacity to build 50,000 Leafs in the first year, but it is not yet known how many of those are slated to arrive in the United States.
Given that more than 3,700 people in Japan have reserved Leafs, about 20 percent of the first year's production is spoken for. EV advocates have said Nissan has priced the Leaf so competitively -- it's comparable to the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius -- that it could have trouble meeting demand.
That remains to be seen, of course, and Nissan isn't making any predictions. But it's pleased with the demand so far.
"It's been pretty fast and furious," Mingle said.
And by the way, Nissan insists the plural of Leaf, at least as far as the car goes, is Leafs.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Okay, if you're a Northern Californian you've gotta go to the Legion of Honor to this exclusive one-time exhibition of Cartier creations for Americans.
Particularly the spectacular standout 3 pieces that were part of The Duchess of Windsor's collection: the Flamingo pin, the cabochon Sapphire Panther (my favorite of all of her jewelry pieces) and the bib thing-ie (above). These three pieces were part of the most famous and triumphant jewelry auction in history which was held in Geneva by Sotheby's in 1987. The sapphire diamond clip sold for $1,026,667. The ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and diamond Flamingo clip sold for $806,667 and the bib necklace sold for $605,000. That historic sale went on to raise a total of $50million. The Duchess of Windsor left her entire estate, valued at approximately $90million, to the Pasteur Institute in the second largest bequest in the Institute's history. All of which has been used to fund the Pasteur's research overthe last two decades which has included AIDS and other of our most pervasive diseases of our modern times.
The above is the famed Tutti-Frutti piece designed for Mrs. Daisy Fellowes. Other exciting pieces: Princess Grace's necklace and engagement ring on loan by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Elizabeth Taylor's Cartier ruby and diamond necklace, and Marjorie Merriweather's Indian carved emerald brooch with one emerald dating from the Mughal era. GO see this exhibit.
The exhibition runs through May 9 (it was extended) so hurry. For more information, visit: cartier and america
I am President of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor Historical Society, Inc. If you're curious about the Windsors please check out the Society's website at www.ddows.org
All photos above are courtesy of the San Francisco Fine Art Museum, except the black & white photos of the Windsors and the Duchess of Windsor Jewelry auction catalogue. These are from the personal collection of Mark Gaulding.