Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring is THERE (and here I guess)

Photo from my friend, PC, who prefers to remain Anonymous.   He/She is a wonderful 
designer/artist/film maker/photographer as evidenced in the above.
My friend sent this photo of the glorious advent of the Spring season in the southeast.  

Here, in the Desert of southern California, we're just going through another shade of hell (Wed. it will be 100degrees).  I mean summer.   Unlike the rest of the country, we suffered a hot winter. That is not necessarily a good thing. For me it is sad this wretched unabated heat.  This photo of Spring makes me happy.

It reminds reminds of the great song:  "I Can See Clearly Now the Rain Is Gone."  One of the most amazing cover songs EVER, IMO.   It was done by Holly Cole (Holly Cole Trio).

You must listen.  I hope that I am listening to this song upon my death.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dark Choloocate, Pistschio and Sugar Salt Cookies

Two or three weeks ago I posted a blog with almost amazing cookie recipes.  The amazing cookies shown were all alluring.  To see the original post, click here (March 28, 2014).

In my blog I suggested that I might may try to make them all, as an homage to Julie/Julia   Yesterday I tried this one:

Wee ended up with 24-300 cookes.   They were a perfection bland of dark chox, pistachio, and saltiness.    Our cookie batch did spread out as much as the photo above.    The 8 cookies seemed to crumble--so we added a couple butter.  That seemed help.  But maybe because we live in Palm  Springs the crecipe need moirstoir?

I found this receipt The Huntington-Post and used the hyper link which took me to Two Peas and their Pod

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New TALLEST building in the WORLD begins construction in SAUDI ARABIA

Please click on photos to enlarge!
Photo Source:  Mace Group via The Independent.   Artist rendering of the completed building.
Previously, we featured (click here) a posting on a proposed skyscraper Kingdom Tower (in the illustration below at far left) that if built would be the tallest building, replacing the Burj Khalifa (second from the left in the illustration below).    This will dwarf the Burj by approximately 600 additional feet.

This illustration shows just how much taller this new building will be.  It also shows the tallest buildings in 2020, as currently proposed.  As you can see this thing dwarfs everything.  The taller, the better is m y motto!

Photo source: based upon information from Council of Tall Buildings.

The next architectural achievement is scheduled to begin construction next week in the new Saudi Arabian city Kingdom City in Jeddah.   Once completed, the skyscraper  will be 1km (3,280 feet) high and 200 floors.  That's approximately two thirds of a mile.  Truly Astonishing.   Why is it that mankind can create such astonishing profound achievements when we still act like cave men with our political warring and religious conflict?

The towering structure will feature 98-foot terrace on the 157th floor.

Photo source Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture / dapd, Huffington Post

I don't think it's possible to even truly understand the extraordinary height and accomplishment that this building will be.  The two photos below give just a hint of perspective.  Frank Lloyd Wright proposed in 1956 a mile high tower.  Kingdom Tower seems both inspired in design and certainly in ambition of a mile high.  The original specifications for Kingdom Tower were that it would be a mile high but it has been scaled back….but not by much!

Photo Source:  Looking up at the terrace.  This perspective gives a hint at how massively tall this building will be.

Photo source: Urukia via Huffington Post. Model of Kingdom Tower currently under construction.
Photo Source:   Frank Lloyd Wright Press Conference, October 16, 1956. 

The building is projected to cost US$1.23 billion.  It was designed by American architect Adrian Smith, who also designed the Khalifa tower.  The tower is being built by Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the wealthiest Arab in the Middle East and nephew of King Abdullah.   Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is Chairman of the Board of Kingdom Holding Company who is spearheading the creation of the creation of this new city, Kingdom City.  The overall budget for Kingdom City is currently estimated at US$20 billion.

Kingdom City will be located just north of the the coastal city of Jeddah and essentially creating a new district in the metropolitan area.

Photo source:  The Independent.  Artist rendering of the completed building by Mace Group.

Photo source:  The Independent.  Artist rendering of the completed building by Mace Group

This is such a giant leap for mankind (sorry for the cliche).  Last century it was the US that drove such achievements.  This century it appears to be the Middle East/Asia that is truly pushing mankind forward as far as accomplishment.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A new posting of another of my favorite words: HYPERBOLE

Just finished watching The Wolf of Wall Street? Is it all hyperbole?  That word packs a wollop in the crazy world we live in today.  I find it most often associated in rhetoric from the Christian religious right, the Republican Party/Tea Party (whatever distinction), although it's really not exclusive to them.   Great word….in concept.  In sound.



  [hahy-pur-buh-lee]  Show IPA
noun Rhetoric .
obvious and intentional exaggeration.
an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to betaken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”
Compare litotes.

1520–30;  < Greek hyperbolḗ  excess, exaggeration, throwing beyond,equivalent to hyper- hyper- + bolḗ  throw

2. overstatement.

2. understatement.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A FUNNY new book of ESSAYS by a cute dude B.J. Novak

I watch Ellen DeGeneres faithfully every day.  It is truly the brightest moment of each day.

She had a guest on recently, B.J. Novak.  He is awfully handsome.  He was charming, intelligent and funny.

According to Wikipedia his bio is:
"Benjamin Joseph Manaly "B. J." Novak is an American actor, stand-up comedian, screenwriter, author, and director."

Most of you may know him from television show, The Office. He both acted in and wrote for the funny show.  Currently, he serves as producer on Mindy Kaling's (fellow The Office alumni) series titled The Mindy Project.

Novak's appearance on Ellen DeGeneres was to plug his recently released book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.  The book jacket self-describes it as "an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction."

I just finished the book and enjoyed it immensely.  It is a bit reminiscent of Augusten Burroughs or David Sedaris…..even DeGeneres in print.   There are so many gems in this book.   But two of my favorites included:  "Sophia" (a short story about the world's first sex robot with the capacity to fall in love), "Walking on Egshells" (or:  When I Loved Tony Robbins), and "The Rematch" (the story about two races between a tortoise and a hare).

Some of the stories are funny.  Others are cleverly funny.  A few are poignantly funny.   Some provide great social commentary in the unique way only comedy can.   Read this book.  After all……..if he can be that cute, plus be as smart, funny and articulate as the book reveals, then he deserves success.

To order the book on amazon:    For more information about sexy Mr. Novak:  click here

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I hate to admit that it is the first book that I've read in months (because of school).  I struggled through the Steve Jobs biography.   As much as I was a curious, I think I won't be able to finish it.    As fascinating and admirable as he was he seems to have been a monster too.  I have this weird rule that I will not start a new book until I've finished the book I'm reading.  I've broken that sacred rule now.  The Jobs book may not be finished.   But I'm so glad that I moved on to Novak's erudite and funny book.