Thursday, January 31, 2008

Worst Building In History

I saw this on yahoo and just in case you missed it, Yahoo news has a link to an article called "The Worst Building In History" it's pretty interesting. And here's a You Tube video. It's in North Korea, and this 3,000 room nightmare has been VACANT for decades.

Esquire Article

A picture doesn't lie -- the one-hundred-and-five-story Ryugyong Hotel is hideous, dominating the Pyongyang skyline like some twisted North Korean version of Cinderella's castle. Not that you would be able to tell from the official government photos of the North Korean capital -- the hotel is such an eyesore, the Communist regime routinely covers it up, airbrushing it to make it look like it's open -- or Photoshopping or cropping it out of pictures completely.

Even by Communist standards, the 3,000-room hotel is hideously ugly, a series of three gray 328-foot long concrete wings shaped into a steep pyramid. With 75 degree sides that rise to an apex of 1,083 feet, the Hotel of Doom (also known as the Phantom Hotel and the Phantom Pyramid) isn't the just the worst designed building in the world -- it's the worst-built building, too. In 1987, Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers put its first shovel into the ground and more than twenty years later, after North Korea poured more than two percent of its gross domestic product to building this monster, the hotel remains unoccupied, unopened, and unfinished.

Construction on the Hotel of Doom stopped in 1992 (rumors maintain that North Korea ran out of money, or that the building was engineered improperly and can never be occupied) and has never started back up, which shouldn't come as a shock. After all, who the hell travels to beautiful downtown Pyongyang? It would make sense if the hotel were in South Korea, where Americans are allowed to travel and where projects like the Busan Lotte Tower and the Lotte Super Tower now rise thousands of feet above the formerly modest skyline.

With Pyongyang's official population said to range between 2.5 million and 3.8 million (official numbers are not made available by the North Korean government), the Ryugyong Hotel -- the 22nd largest skyscraper in the world -- is a failure on an enormous scale. To put it in context, imagine if the John Hancock Center (1,127 feet tall) in Chicago (population 2.9 million) was not only completely vacant, but unfinished with zero hope of ever being completed.

You may not be able to actually live there, but the building now has its own virtual real estate managers, Richard Dank and Andreas Gruber, a pair of German architects and self-described "custodians of the pyramid's diverse manifestations." The duo run, which they describe as an "experimental collaborative online architecture site." Sad you can't visit the building in real life? Log on, view the detailed 3-D models, and "claim" a subsection for yourself.

I know, I know, I know

You've already heard a lot about oil, but this is an interesting video I found on the Foreign Policy website with important people saying different things.

I really take issue with that dude at the end, it's actually the same dude at the beginning, but at the end he makes this BOLD statement. I just completely disagree and I think he talks that way because he's as old as the crusty-acean period.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

This Is Why

You Tube really stuns me sometimes, I love the creative people out there

Teaching Stint

I'm teaching for a couple of weeks until my deal gets settled and I head back to the USA. My friend is on the board here at a private HIGH SCHOOLERS. A big huge class full of them...and sixth graders. I'll have four classes. Hm, it should be interesting. I live for interesting!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of the Greatest Movies Ever!

During this brief blog's some entertainment. If you have any way, you've got to see this movie. The cast is amazing and there are so many great lines.

Murder By Death- a Neil Simon deal.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where I Grew Up come you don't really like where you grew up?
Well, here's a story from MSNBC for you to chew on.

Sheriff: Dad Duct-Taped Packers Jersey To Boy
updated 4:53 p.m. PT, Thurs., Jan. 17, 2008

PORTAGE, Wis. - A Wisconsin man faces charges of abuse after a woman on Monday reported that her 7-year-old son was forced to wear a Green Bay Packers jersey. According to a release from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Matthew Kowald, 36, of Pardeeville, Wis., told his son to wear the jersey and when the boy refused, he restrained the 7-year-old for about an hour.

The boy's mother told sheriff's deputies that Kowald also used the tape to attach the jersey to the boy during that time.

In an interview with Madison radio station Z-104, Rebecca Kowald, the boy's mother, said that the incident, which happened during the Packers game on Saturday, upset her son and scared her to the point where she felt unable to call police until Monday. She also said that the boy was "having a bout with his dad," and that her son is, in fact, "a true Packers fan."

[well, gee that's the important part and of course it had to be written into the article here- ME]

She said the boy became stubborn when he and his father began arguing. She said that her husband refused to let her cut the boy free from the tape, telling her, "He's not hurt. Sit down and shut up."

Rebecca Kowald told Z-104 that her husband was "very inebriated" when the incident happened.

Kowald was arrested and initially charged with two felony counts -- causing mental harm to a child and false imprisonment. He was also charged with domestic disorderly conduct. The felony charges were dropped and Kowald was released later in the week, but the suspect is not being allowed to see his children.

Boy oh boy do I not miss home this football season. Sorry guys (you know who you are).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crippled And Dazed

If you opened an electronic device and studied the inside, you might think about the person who designed it. Wait, even if you use one of Steve Jobs' new releases without opening it to see the inner workings, you may wonder at the designer. We've got some pretty amazing devices out nowadays.

I think of the DNA strand. Actually, when I was in biology class in college I listened to lectures about cells many times with my mouth half gaping open. The inside of our bodies is amazing. We've got these larger parts, heart, lungs circulatory system, bones, intestines, really meaningless apart from the whole. Also further into the cellular make up of these larger's mind boggling the functions, actions and purposes of this cellular activity. And even smaller...dna.

I mean who are we kidding by ignoring these things? Nothing on the inside of my body resembles anything on the outside. Not in any way. Why are these little devices used to create a whole being that could, on any given day, just sit on the couch and watch the telly and eat junk food? I really want to stress the point here, that we resemble nothing of our insides. When I was in biology class I wrote a little poem on my lab notebook

Tiny spheres of matter
without will
yet surpassing me in measured purpose.

If we're a direct succession to millions of nature's modifications, why on earth are we such radically different beings than our building blocks? I mean if we're nothing but modifications of building blocks -what's with the complete difference from outside of my body to inside?

It is inexcusable to look a the human body and not see that all parts work in concert for the purpose of the whole. The human brain is absolutely beyond our comprehension and without the rest of the body, would die.

This has all formed *spontaneously* *accidentally* and without purpose so that I can live and love and create, or destroy or be lazy...or laugh at Kermit the Frog riding a bicycle? What a radical departure from rna transcription. Why? And why do I ask why? I don't believe that cellular respiration asks why, or longs to laugh. What do cells long to worship, or wonder about? Why would those things come together to form a being that does?

To say that forces in the universe accidentally formed people is illogical. Why? Because I'm a person. How does something personal come about from the non-personal? It's nature?

One must personify nature so much, that we're back at square one. Who is this nature? Why is the nature of nature a personal one?

Look, I understand rejecting theological orthodoxy, but to reject the idea of design is delusional. The question that I like honest hearted people to get to is, "why have we been abandoned?"- that's the valid question and a good place to start on a spiritual journey.

When we look around, if we're not delusional: we're crippled and we're dazed.

The only way I could get this song was this tribute to John Lennon, but here's someone who was creative and questioning and does well representing mankind and his plight.

Amazing Race Asia Video!

Here you go beloved. This one's a little old, but it shows the Philippines! Marc and Rovilson win like every leg, and like I said in my last entry, I'm mad that they're on the show. Marc actually hosts a sports show out here. This is NOT a celebrity edition. Nothing personal against them, they're nice and funny- I just don't want elite celebrity types on AR.

There's even a part on here where one of the teams show the camera that Marc's face is on one of the maps there on some advertisement. I was so excited to see them in the Philippines, I especially know the bus situation, I've been on those buses! Yes, you pay once you're already on...a contestant asked.

This is the Philippines!

Well I posted the prisoners dancing in the past, and I said that video really shows a lot about the people in the Philippines. Well...
American Idol is back this season, and's another video that IS the Philippines. It's more insight into the national character if there is such a thing.

Watch the whole thing. I love the whole Napoleon Dynamite thing about American Idol, where people believe in themselves, and they might not get in the competition, but they end up getting some dreams fulfilled. It's interesting. This is the spirit of the people here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wish You Were Better

You know, yesterday was strange, I actually felt like I had been hit in the stomach with a cannonball. It was painful depression. Some of my friends here live in almost abject poverty (we have relatively 'clean' water) and their life is getting worse by the ticking clock. I have GOT to get this deal finished, it's taking forever, when I get that money I can help in a substantial way. I don't talk about my day to day life much on here, or I haven't so far, a lot of it is perplexing so I haven't addressed it yet. I'm so tired of seeing good people suffer. People here can work and work and work and not have enough money to eat let alone pay any bill or rent, or transportation. Heavy sighs. And back home I've got this friend living with someone psychotic and that's hard too. I'm looking forward to that ending for her. On the world front Bush is trying to really quickly get peace going between Palastine and Isreal before he leaves office and then last night the breaking news story was that for some reason Isreal did an air strike against Gaza. The news reports it and banners it as "airstrike against Hamas". The week before Bush was in Saudi rattling his saber against Iran. World events aren't physically depressing to me, but they're not so great either. And then sometimes I think about boys. And then I try not to. But in that department, here's a good role model:

I was thinking this week about one of my favorite movies, Say Anything. So here's something from that. Quite enjoyable.

Gents, take note of the parking lot scene. (Just a tip.)
"No English tips, I won't give you any tips of any kind!"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Umm, yeah...

I know it's been forever. But I'm closing a deal here. I'll be back soon with all kinds of crazy posts. I HATE to predict 2008 as good for me...because I thought the same thing last year...but...

Now I feel superstitious and that's a yucky feeling.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008