Topic: North America

The Empire State Building in New York City

The Empire State Building: High ambitions

6.01.2022

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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Niagara Falls: Delicious horror beyond Halloween

Niagara Falls Canada: Halloween 24/7

21.10.2021

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 producers to make this dramatic setting their filming location for ‘Niagara‘. In her role as Rose, the creepy psycho-thriller puts screen goddess Marilyn Monroe through a bloodcurdling cinematic ordeal by evil husband Joseph Cotton alias George, who desperately wants to get rid of his unloved wife. George vanishes and is believed dead, but reappears. Shrouded in a misty waterfall spray and in the presumed privacy of the Rainbow Tower, he 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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Madeline Pickens spends her life saving America's Mustangs. Here with her horse "Paint".

Saving America’s Mustangs

3.01.2020

Madeleine Pickens is a businesswoman, animal welfare activist and philanthropist of European descent. When, in 2008, the Bureau of Land Management declared that the United States government considered euthanasia and/or the sale of more than 30,000 Wild Mustangs to slaughterhouses overseas, Madeleine resolved to establish a sanctuary for endangered native horses. A year later, Madelene testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of H.R. 1018, the Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act. After acquiring the sanctuary in North Eastern Nevada, she saved over 600 Mustangs from slaughter and endeavours to rescue and preserve the Wild Mustang have been an ongoing process. Also, until this day, the sanctuary’s survival relies on Madeleine’s charity foundation „Saving Americas Mustangs“, through which the funding for the Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve could be raised. A series of recurring obstacles had to be overcome before the resort could be run according to plan.

Saving America’s Mustangs is a not-for-profit organisation accepting donations (tax-deductible).

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Longevity in Blue Zones

Longevity: The Blue Zones Methusalem Enigma

7.10.2019

The quality of longevity is being discussed in controversial ways. Whereas the goal set by 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 helplessly wilting 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 since, commonly, just-in-time rarely happens.

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Gadgets

Gadgets: Synthesising the sound of bananas

11.08.2019

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