Topic: North America

The Empire State Building in New York City

The Empire State Building: High ambitions

19.06.2017

What’s feasible?

1929: „How high can you go so it won’t fall down?“ John Jakob Raskob (one of the executives representing the Empire State, Inc.) is said to have asked the architects of the prestigious new edifice, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon. The main objective being to devise the highest building not only of New York City, but of the entire world. Initially they had hoped that 80 daring storeys should suffice. Yet, there was a fierce my-skyscraper-is-higher-than-yours competition going on in NYC in the first third of the 20th century and construction of the rivalrous Chrysler building was already in full swing when Raskob’s project just got started. Walter Chrysler’s building did become the tallest one, albeit temporarily. In the end, he was outraced by just a few metres of the finest Art Deco architecture shining brightly at 350, Fifth Avenue.

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Longevity in Blue Zones

Longevity: The Blue Zones Methusalem Enigma

30.12.2016

The „quality“ of longevity is being discussed in controversial ways. Whereas the set goal for the ones optimistic of their (ever-)lasting physical and mental stamina is reaching an age of biblical extent, others would rather see themselves passing away at the height of their beauty, wit and grit – just in time, so to say. For them, the outlook on being left wilting helplessly in a forlorn nursery home or as an undead vegetable plugged to the wonders of life-prolonging contraptions, is utterly unbearable. Not to hope for heavenly conditions on earth seems the more realistic approach as well as being aware that, commonly, just-in-time rarely happens.

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Niagara Falls: Delicious horror beyond Halloween

Niagara Falls Canada: Halloween 24/7

30.10.2016

The Niagara Falls represent one of the most impressive wonders of nature of our day and rightfully enjoy their reputation as an untamed – and untamable – site of awesome beauty. Reason enough for Hollywood movie-makers to choose this dramatic setting as their filming location for ‘Niagara‘, in which screen goddess Marilyn Monroe is put through a bloodcurdling cinematic ordeal. In her role as Rose, she suffers nerve-racking distress induced by husband Joseph Cotton who, alias intimidating George, hatches an evil plan while carrying an eerie look on his face throughout the creepy thriller. George vanishes and is believed dead, but he reappears. Shrouded in a misty waterfall spray and in the assumed privacy of the Rainbow Tower, he brutally strangles Rose to death. But there is a witness…
Fictional Hollywood stories aside: what comes now is REAL! The Nightmares Fear Factory is ‘the scariest and best haunted-house attraction in Niagara Falls Canada’.

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Pretty fish in orange and yellow: A coral reef inside the George Aquarium in Atlanta.

The Georgia Aquarium: Pause with Jaws

5.05.2016

Swimming against the tide can be a tiring affair, even if only meant as a literal term. When on the look-out for extraordinary venues for discerning business or private functions, the variety on the locations platter has grown so rich that the final decision often represents more of a helpless surrender than that of earnest determination. Opting for something lying completely off the beaten track, narrows down the confusing kaleidoscope of choices considerably and ideally alleviates avoidable worries. Ever thought of going aquatic big style? If so, aquariums may be the trump up your sleeve.

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Gadgets

Gadgets: Synthesising the sound of bananas

29.03.2016

Assumedly, the main purpose of a banana (cucumber, zucchini, etc) is to be relished at some stage. Yet, young American inventors Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum have contrived a new means of putting them to use: by eliciting from them authentic musical sounds, like for instance, those of a piano.

A dollop of wobbly jello does work as well and a great number of other materials also prove to be conductive: most fruits and vegetables, shrimp or pizza pie (although some may consider that a bit yucky). Plants will do fine and play-doh (given a certain degree of moisture) and metal objects such as foil, cutlery or pots. Even simple thick lines drawn on a smooth surface with a soft graphite pencil can do the trick – so can live people. What in God’s name are we talking about? A kit called MaKey MaKey.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes