Thursday, April 30, 2009

"The sun comes up . . . "

The sunrise as seen from Princeville, Kauai.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

New Zealand's unusual Treehouse restaurant

This unusual restaurant started life as an ad campaign for Yellow, a New Zealand company similar to the Yellow Pages. The idea was to build a restaurant in a tree using only resources listed in the company's directories.

Ad campaign aside, the result is breathtaking: a graceful pod that glows about 30 feet above the ground.
(Lucy Gauntlett)

All that beauty and history too

Downtown Honolulu is the site of the Iolani Palace, built in 1882 for Hawaii’s last monarchs and open to the public.

"Collar and Bow" lawsuit is dismissed under a confidential agreement

The Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen sculpture, "Collar and Bow," the gigantic sculpture that architect Frank Gehry envisioned extending a lighthearted greeting from the concert hall's doorstep will not happen. The rendering above shows how it might have looked.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

“The pack with legs"

Legendary mountaineer Norman Clyde roamed the high Sierra from his home in Independence and in the 1920 and ‘30s recorded more than 130 first ascents, and topped out on every 14,000-foot peak in California (all but one are in the Sierra). His legendary Sierra Club High Trips attracted notables such as Ansel Adams and the top climbers and mountaineers of the day. “The pack with legs,” is how Clyde has been described, a testament to his ability to traverse all types of terrain with an 80-pound pack. The Norman Clyde exhibit at the Eastern California Museum, which will run from mid-April 2009 until Fall 2009, will review those well-known aspects of Clyde’s life, but will also delve into lesser-known events that shaped the rugged mountaineer. The Museum is located at 155 N. Grant Street, in Independence, and is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends and weekdays. Call 760-878-0258.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Santa Barbara welcomes the Dalai Lama

Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery meticulously arrange millions of colorful grains of sand as they construct a traditional Tibetan sand mandala at UCSB's University Art Museum as a way to honor the Dalai Lama, who is visiting the campus Friday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Ripper the Friendly Shark"

Tom Kennedy helped popularize the whimsical Art Car movement with elaborate vehicle conversions such as Ripper the Friendly Shark, a Nissan Sentra to which he added shiny fins, teeth and a swishing tail. Kennedy, a San Francisco artist whose whimsical wheeled sculptures and colorful personality helped popularize the fringe Art Car movement died April 12. He was 48.

The Architecture of Coachella

At the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Gerard Minakawa's Bamboo Starscraper topped 90 feet.

"Hot Stuff"

The Flaming Lotus Girls' Serpent Mother, aglow in the night at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The structure was large enough to require a visit from the local fire marshal.

"the music never stopped"

Pop music is the wallpaper of our lives. And the delicate floral patterns designed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David define the lovesick mood of a bygone easy-listening era.

Actually, the music never stopped, as the theatrical celebration “Back to Bacharach and David” makes clear. The show, which opened Sunday at the Music Box @ Fonda, keeps pulling out the timeless hits, like a magician yanking endless multicolored scarves from the same canister.

The Return of Dan Brown's "Robert Langdon"

Dan Brown's new book, "The Lost Symbol," will hit shelves Sept. 15, it was announced Monday by his publisher, Doubleday. Brown is the man behind the runaway bestsellers "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons." With 81 million copies in print, "The Da Vinci Code" is the bestselling hardcover adult novel of all time.

"The Lost Symbol" will again feature protagonist Robert Langdon and will continue Brown's historical-religious- conspiracy-thriller tradition. In a new twist, Brown has amped up the action -- the entire novel takes place in 12 hours.

"This novel has been a strange and wonderful journey," Brown said in a statement. "Weaving five years of research into the story's 12-hour time frame was an exhilarating challenge. Robert Langdon's life clearly moves a lot faster than mine."

The news of "The Lost Symbol" is particularly exciting for booksellers, who've been looking forward to Brown's follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code" since its publication in 2003.

-- Carolyn Kellogg John Dickerson joining CBS

Missing the Mark

Tourists who think they're putting a hand or foot in each of four states at the Four Corners area are apparently missing the mark -- by about 2.5 miles.

National Geodetic Survey officials say the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of the real spot.

The only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together was first plotted -- inaccurately, as it turns out -- by the government in 1868 during the initial survey of Colorado's southern border.

Monday, April 20, 2009

High Hopes and Good Luck !!!

This is what fear looks like . . .

Before Madoff there was Ponzi

The Pulitzer Awards had a rocky start. For one thing, the Pulitzer organization -- a board dominated by newspaper editors -- wasn't sure exactly what kind of work to honor. Great novelists and playwrights came easily to them, with Eugene O'Neill, Edna Ferber, Willa Cather, Sinclair Lewis and Thornton Wilder among early winners. Picking exemplary journalism was tougher. Indeed, there were no recipients for the public service award in 1917 and 1920, and no reporting prize in 1919.

That's where Charles Ponzi (shown above) comes in. In search of a model, the Pulitzer board began focusing on watchdog journalism: public-minded reporting aimed at exposing governmental or private malfeasance. And the hallmark entry in 1921 was from the Boston Post, whose editor, Richard Grozier, had grown suspicious of the charismatic Italian immigrant who promised to double investors' money in 90 days. Pulitzer jurors cited the Post for "pricking the Ponzi financial bubble, in investigating his claims to be operating in foreign exchange and throwing doubt on him at a time when the public officials were inactive and other newspapers were either ignoring him or treating him as a genuine financial wizard."

The paper had used local experts to analyze Ponzi's supposed strategy -- the purchase of obscure international postal-rate conversion instruments, which actually had no investment value. And the Post spread word of his fraud convictions in Canada and in Georgia -- and mug shots -- across its front pages.

The Post's Pulitzer honor awakened papers around the country to the value of tough, courageous journalism. In half a dozen cases over the next few years, Pulitzers were awarded to journalists who took on the Ku Klux Klan -- including Southern editors who challenged vicious and powerful KKK leaders in their communities.

Then, in 1927, a Pulitzer public service award honored an Ohio editor who made the ultimate sacrifice. In his coverage, Don Mellett of the Canton Daily News exposed the underworld of mobster Jumbo Crowley. One evening, the pesky watchdog was gunned down outside his house.

The Pulitzer citation to the Daily News -- noting the subsequent conviction of individuals -- credited the paper's "brave, patriotic and effective fight for the ending of a vicious state of affairs brought about by collusion between city authorities and the criminal element."

Such stories set the tone for generations of journalists -- among Pulitzer winners through the Depression, World War II and, perhaps most notably, the Vietnam era. It was then that Pulitzers cited Seymour Hersh's exposure of the My Lai massacre (winning in 1970), the New York Times' analysis of the top-secret Pentagon Papers (1972) and the Washington Post's Watergate coverage (1973).

Magnificence in the Making

The state's budget crisis had brought construction of the $125-million 1,700-seat Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge to a temporary halt in December, sparking concerns that completion might be delayed. But in March, workers were back on the job.

Sam Huleis, a senior project manager for the builder, said his crew was racing to get back on track. "We're running on all cylinders right now," Galland said.

The performing arts theater is one of the largest building projects underway in the San Fernando Valley. Work is expected to be completed by summer 2010, with a grand opening scheduled in early 2011, university officials said.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hawaiian Adventure started in 1889

With nearly 400,000 visitors each year, Bishop Museum serves as one of Hawai'i's top destinations, providing hands-on educational experiences to help residents and visitors appreciate and embrace Hawai'i's rich culture. By combining education, history, and culture, the Museum strives to fulfill a mission that was set with its founding in 1889, ?to study, preserve and tell the stories of the cultures and natural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific. The Bishop Museum was originally designed to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The Museum has since expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photos about Hawai'i and other Pacific cultures. Daily programs let visitors discover more about Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures through live, interactive presentations and exhibit tours. Planetarium shows showcase Polynesian skies and how voyagers navigated using the stars to sail the Pacific. Or experience one of the interactive traveling exhibits. Updated schedules and information is available at In the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center, visitors can control volcanic eruptions, pilot a deep sea rover, see lava melting demos, or walk-through the vivid environment of the Hawaiian Origins Tunnel. At the core of the Center?s theme is Hawai'i's unique lands, surrounding oceans and skies which it highlights through highly interactive displays, creating a connection between the science and the wonders themselves. Bishop Museum also houses prestigious research facilities, the Hawai'i Sports Hall of Fame, native gardens, changing cultural exhibits featuring contemporary Native Hawaiian artists and intriguing storylines, and more. Authentic Hawaiian and Pacific books and gifts can be purchased in the Bishop Museum Shop, including books published by Bishop Museum Press. See the heritage of Hawai'i come to life at Bishop Museum.

Las Vegas -- Looking good

David Eichman of Los Angeles caught this shot during a March trip to Las Vegas. "I thought it captured the crazy colors of the Strip," he says. It was taken from the House of Blues' Foundation Room patio at the top of Mandalay Bay. He says he is not a big fan of the city but usually goes once a year to see a show or try a nice restaurant. "I must admit that the view of the Strip in this picture is amazing, and I can almost believe my mother, who said that she thought Las Vegas was such a beautiful city." He used a Canon PowerShot SD1000.
(David Eichman)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors

There's no better way to shake off the stress of the workweek than mingling with a mob of walking corpses. Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors features movie screenings and Q&As with "Godfather of Gore" Herschell Gordon Lewis and "The Evil Dead" creator Sam Raimi plus fanboy vendor booths, a prop auction, a vampy fashion show, a zombie walk and an "art ghoullery" filled with gruesome work by masters of the genre like Clive Barker. With wandering crowds and stimulus overload, Fangoria is a little like Coachella but with less heatstroke and more dismembered rubber limbs. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., L.A. Fri.-Sun. $20-$25 per day.

"Goodness had nothing to do with it"

Charlotte Chandler's gift at getting legendary show business figures to open up about themselves is unique. For her book, "She Always Knew How," Chandler not only got the last major interview with Mae West -- not long before her death in 1980 at 87 -- but also what is almost certainly the most extensive interview West ever gave.

It's not that "She Always Knew How" is full of surprises, but that its depth and breadth brings West to life as thoughtful, caring and reflective, a woman of resilient character, self-knowledge and shrewdness in regard to human nature and in sustaining a career over eight decades.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Getting caught up in a cyclone"

The Coney Island Cyclone is one of the most famous attractions in Brooklyn, New York. The first rides of the historic roller coaster began on June 26, 1927. Over 80 years later, the Cyclone is still thrilling thousands of riders each year.

For decades the Cyclone in Coney Island has been the cornerstone of a great trip to the beach, boardwalk, amusements and more! From great food and drinks, to terrific people and more Coney Island has been and continues to be a destination for great family fun!

Brothers Jack and Irving Rosenthal commissioned the legendary Vernan Keenan to design, and Harry C. Baker to construct, the preeminent wooden-tracked roller coaster. The design had to be exceptionally tight and steep because of the relatively small ground space that was available for the attraction. The construction of this masterpiece began on a historical site which was significant in the world of roller coasters -- the Cyclone graces the place which contained the world's very first roller coaster, LaMarcus A. Thompson's Switchback Railway.

The legendary site of the Cyclone also once had the world's first successful looping roller coaster, Loop The Loop. With power supplied by the Eisenberg Brothers of Brooklyn, signs from Menheimer and Weiss of New York City, steel from the National Bridge Company, also of New York City, and lumber from Cross, Austin & Ireland, located in Long Island City, the Cyclone quickly became Coney Island's number one attraction and over 80 years later still is!

When the Rosenthal Brothers left Coney Island to operate their newest property, Palisade Amusement Park, they turned over the operation of the Cyclone to Chris Feuchts, who lovingly maintained and ran the ride for decades. Eventually, ownership of Cyclone was acquired by the City of New York, and it was operated by the City's Parks Department.

The Cyclone was (and still is) the top attraction in Coney Island on June 18, 1975 when Dewey and Jerome Albert, owners of Astroland Park, contracted to operate the Cyclone under an agreement with New York City. The world class roller coaster was completely rehabilitated and opened to enthusiastic crowds on July 1st of the same year. Since that time, Astroland Park has invested millions of dollars in the upkeep of the Cyclone – many believe the roller coaster continues to improve and run better year after year!

Every roller coaster enthusiast around the world has heard of, has ridden or hopes to ride The Cyclone. This historic roller coaster graces virtually every "top roller coaster" list and publication. Roller coasters may have gotten bigger and faster, but they have not gotten any better than The Cyclone. Time Magazine quoted Charles Lindbergh as saying that a ride on the Cyclone was more thrilling than his historic first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Emilio Franco, a mute since birth, regained his voice on the Cyclone, uttering his first words ever -- "I feel sick"! In April 2001, singer Nikki Lauren became the first person ever to present a live musical performance in the Cyclone's historic loading station.

An official New York City Landmark since July 12, 1988, Cyclone was listed in the New York State Register of Historic Places on June 31, 1991. National Historic Landmark status followed, on June 26, 1991. On April 14, 1992, Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden issued a citation to Jerome Albert and the late Dewey Albert for their operation of both Astroland and the Cyclone, saluting them for being the primary energizing force in the regeneration of the Coney Island Amusement District.

The Cyclone, now faster than ever, is the heart and soul of Coney Island, birthplace of the American amusement industry, and going strong for over 150 years! Planned renovations at Coney Island may mean that this will be the last summer for the Cyclone.

General Motors puts show cars on the block

The Buick Blackhawk show car is a hand-built custom 2+2 convertible developed to celebrate Buick's 100-year anniversary in 2003. It's built from modified components and panels taken from various Buicks from 1939 to 1986. It includes a retractable carbon-fiber top, which is stored inside the deck-lid. The interior is hand-tooled using many 1996 Riviera pieces. It is powered by a 1970 vintage 455-cubic-inch Buick GS Stage III V8 engine. It produces 463 horsepower and 510 foot pounds of torque. The body is steel. This is a true show car and would not be street-driven unless modified and certified. GM executives say in a better market, it might bring $200,000 plus, but the current environment makes it a wild card at the auction.

"One Singular Sensation"

New York -- Dancer Rachelle Rak climbs "up a steep and very narrow stairway" to a dressing room at the Broadhurst Theatre to await the worst news of her professional life: She will not be getting the role of Sheila in the Broadway revival of "A Chorus Line," an ambition she has poured her whole life into, not to mention the rigorous eight months of the audition itself. "It's all good," she gamely tells Jay Binder, the casting director, as she fumbles for her dance bag, only too aware that cameras are recording every humiliating moment.

Indeed, those cameras recorded more than 500 hours of the audition process for the revival of the landmark musical created by the late Michael Bennett. The result is the new documentary "Every Little Step," which opens Friday. The $2-million movie about actors auditioning for a musical is a multilayered, fugue-like celebration not only of what it means to be a professional dancer on Broadway but also of the iconic musical that captured it so well.

"I thought to myself at the time, 'Why did I ever sign that waiver?' " recalls Rak, looking back to January 2006 and commenting on the fact that the Actors' Equity union had given permission for cameras to film auditions for the first time ever. "But now I think: Why not? If the audience is able to see all the joy, passion and heart that I put into the audition, then why not the pain and disappointment too. That's all part of the story."

As delineated in "Every Little Step," that "story" started on a snowy night in January 1974 when Bennett gathered 22 dancers for an all-night soul-baring session that would become the basis for the longest-running American musical in history. The documentary kinetically interweaves the casting of the revival -- winnowed from 3,000 applicants -- with rare archival footage and interviews with the original creators, including star Donna McKechnie, composer Marvin Hamlisch, and Bennett associate and friend Bob Avian.

Part of the old "Miracle Mile"

Designed by renowned Los Angeles architects John and Donald Parkinson, the Bullocks Wilshire building operated as a luxury department store for more than 60 years, opening in 1929. In 1994, Southwestern Law School purchased the aging Art Deco structure, and set out to convert it into a dynamic academic venue, while retaining its historic character. A decade later, the gleaming property features cutting-edge scholastic, professional and social resources that represent the heart of the Southwestern community.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"aerodynamic showstopper"

At the Cartier International Indian Concours 2008, the winner of the Best of Show trophy, was a voluptuous 1939 Delahaye 135 Roadster bodied by those most extravagant of pre-War Parisian coachbuilders, Figoni & Falaschi. Shipped to Bombay in 1939 with an almost identical sister car by a Frenchman escaping the conflict in Europe, this sensational, aerodynamic showstopper remained in India when its owner left and has been in the same Maharaja's family ever since: the current prince swapped it with his older brother in 1958... for a used Willys Jeep.

"where memories are made"

This is what baseball should be. Take the family out to the ballgame, without financial guilt. The Arizona Diamondbacks sell tickets for $5, hot dogs for $1.50, sodas for $1.50. That's $32 for a family of four. "They're not big hot dogs," Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said. Hey, they're not great seats, either. But you're in the ballpark, where memories are made and lifelong allegiances are nurtured.

Baseball lost sight of the common fan amid the gold rush of the past decade, the rush to build palaces (like the new Yankee Stadium shown above) that spit out gold from luxury suites and dugout seats and baseline clubs. It is too bad baseball needed a recession to realize the pendulum had swung too far toward the rich, too far from the kids. But baseball woke up to its greed this spring, frightened into action by the prospect of plummeting attendance. Commissioner Bud Selig welcomed the new season by instituting a fan value program in which every team will offer discounts and promotions, with a special emphasis on families and children. "I'm really proud of the clubs," Selig said.

However, in view of the average price of a ticket, it appears that we could focus on families and children a good bit more. Listed below we have the average price per ticket at major league stadiums for 2008 and 2009. Teams listed from highest to lowest for 2009:

Team ---- 2009 ---- 2008

New York Yankees $72.97 $41.40
Boston Red Sox 50.24 48.40
Chicago Cubs 47.75 42.49
New York Mets 36.99 34.08
Chicago White Sox 32.28 30.28
Philadelphia Phillies 31.10 28.14
Washington Nationals 30.63 25.00
DODGERS 29.66 29.66
St. Louis Cardinals 29.43 29.32
Houston Astros 28.73 28.73
Detroit Tigers 27.38 25.28
Seattle Mariners 25.53 25.29
Oakland Athletics 24.31 29.20
Baltimore Orioles 23.42 23.85
San Francisco Giants 23.28 22.06
Cleveland Indians 22.12 25.72
Minnesota Twins 21.70 20.68
Milwaukee Brewers 20.98 19.88
ANGELS 20.05 20.78
San Diego Padres 20.01 27.43
Colorado Rockies 19.50 19.50
Texas Rangers 19.41 18.01
Kansas City Royals 19.38 17.54
Cincinnati Reds 19.19 19.41
Toronto Blue Jays 19.10 28.73
Florida Marlins 19.06 18.69
Tampa Bay Rays 18.35 17.23
Atlanta Braves 17.05 17.05
Pittsburgh Pirates 15.39 17.07
Arizona Diamondbacks 14.31 15.96
MLB average 26.64 25.43

Source: Team Marketing Report

The "most spectacular yacht ever built"

Pelorus is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and is probably the most spectacular yacht ever built The yacht contains five star dining, sports centers, diving center, submarines, personal watercrafts, theatre, pool, and everything else you would imagine on a state-of-the-art luxury yacht. The distinct look of Pelorus is its battleship like lines and hull design.

The "glazed diamond shaped pinnacle"

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Dubai will be the tallest structure on Palm Jumeirah and is expected to be completed in summer 2011. The skyscraper will have 399 freehold residential apartments and a 378-room hotel. It is a 62-story, stainless steel and glass masterpiece of architecture. It will also be a huge challenge for engineers. The towers stand on a four-story bisected podium structure converging at the 40th-floor to create the building’s glazed diamond shaped pinnacle.

"spectacular phenomenon"

Near Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, an underwater volcano has been shooting smoke, ash, steam, etc for thousands of feet, and the good thing is the islanders are not threatened by this. Still, it remains such a spectacular phenomenon that scientists just had to inspect it and make a photo shoot. Pictures from

You can't beat Natural Beauty

Angel falls is the tallest waterfall in the world, measuring 979 meters. It is located in the Canaima National Park, in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State, Venezuela.

Sunset Extroidinaire by Julie Zickefoose

Spectacular "Spectacular"

The Palm Jumeirah is a Palm-shaped artificial island situated off the Jumeirah coast of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It was entirely created using land reclaimation which will artificially create a total of 520km of beachline. It is also currently the world’s largest man-made island.

The recent opening party for the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah was incredibly spectacular. It has been said to have been the world’s biggest firework display, a milion rocket firework display with 100 computer-guided rockets makes it 7 times bigger than the opening of Beijing Olympics, which was the largest firework display until this spectacular came along.

"Green Mean Machine"

The Globetrotter by Harsha Ravi is a lightweight plastic vehicle of the future packed full of ecological innovations. It takes less energy to produce and runs mostly on solar power. Creative environmental strategies include a nano-paper battery and solar absorbing nano-paint, airless tires and a composite car body using mostly corn-based materials. For his efforts, Ravi won the Australian Young Designer of the Year Award for “innovation, intelligence of design, visual impact and form, functionality, quality, ergonomics, semantics, safety, and environmental considerations.”

"A Hole in One"

Chandelier Tree is a three hundred foot Redwood tree in California which had a hole carved into it nearly a century ago. While such an intrusion on a magnificent tree would likely not be tolerated today at the time the novelty was considered worthwhile so that a car could pass right through a six foot hole at the base.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Perhaps . . . the greatest

Daniel Libeskind’s tower design

A pair of high-rise projects planned for the Figueroa Corridor downtown jumped into the headlines this week, as if out of nowhere. The first, set to replace the Wilshire Grand hotel and office complex at Figueroa Street and Wilshire Boulevard, will be designed by AC Martin Partners, the big local firm. It has an estimated budget of more than $1 billion. The other, proposed for a site near the southern edge of South Park, across from the Los Angeles Convention Center, is by Daniel Libeskind, best known for his Jewish Museum in Berlin and his much-altered master plan for the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Daniel Libeskind’s tower design is shown above.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Going "GREEN'

The Empire State Building already glows green, for holidays like Saint Patrick’s Day. Now, the iconic skyscraper is GOING green, with a major environmental makeover that is expected to cut its carbon emissions by 38 percent. Iain Campbell is with Johnson Controls, which helped plan the retrofit.

“If all commercial buildings in New York City followed the model developed for this project, there would be a reduction in carbon emissions of over $4.5 million metric tons per annum. Equivalent to that generated by a typical coal fired power plant.”

The $20 million upgrade includes replacing all of the building’s 6500 windows with insulated glass, and adding extra insulation around radiators. Former President Bill Clinton’s Climate Initiative project helped coordinate the makeover. He and Mayor Bloomberg both attended the announcement on the Empire State Building’s 80th floor.

Bloomberg said it could serve as a model for buildings around the world.

The "HMS Bounty" -- it's still there

The Pitcairn islands are best known for being the home of the descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians who accompanied them, an event retold in numerous books and films. Due to infighting, famine and disease, many of the initial compliment of the island perished. Today, Pitcairn boasts only 50 inhabitants (from nine families) and is also notable for being the least populated jurisdiction in the world. The wreck of the HMS Bounty is still visible underwater off the shores of the main inhabited island, and the Tahitian/European descendants speak a unique language: a mix of Tahitian and English known as Pitkern.

"solar architecture"

The Lighthouse is another innovative green skyscraper to be constructed in Dubai. For energy generation, it will have three enormous 225 kilowatt wind turbines (29 meters in diameter), and 4000 photovoltaic panels on the south facing fa├žade. To optimize performance and operational periods, the turbines have windward directional wind vanes or limited yaw.

Designed by the Atkins group, the 400-meter office tower aspires to reduce its total energy consumption by up to 65% and water consumption by up to 40%.

To achieve this goal the building makes use of extensive passive solar architecture, and many low water engineering solutions including recovery strategies for both energy and water.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Preservation in Las Vegas

The Neon Museum has been collecting the old or non-functioning marquees of Las Vegas for years. Formerly located at sign manufacturer YESCO's production lot, the signs were moved to their current location nearly 10 years ago in order to better serve the hundreds of tourists who stopped by and wanted to see the old Vegas relics. Although many of the signs have been relocated downtown to the Fremont Street Experience and East Fremont district, visitors will find that the Neon Boneyard continues to build and preserve it's collection with items from newly imploded or remodeled Las Vegas hotels.

"The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean."

As impressive as Las Vegas is today with its mega-resorts and showgirl shows, some would say its most glamorous era was during the casual days of the Sixties, when celebrities, dressed to the nines, would jump onstage to perform with martinis in hand.

At the Greek Isles, the essence of that is authentically portrayed in Dick Feeney and Sandy Hackett's "The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean."

The two-hour show pays tribute to the original Rat Pack, which included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. Bishop, 86, is the only surviving member of the original Rat Pack.