24 August 2012

Kuala Lumpur twin towers: the world's tallest twin towers

I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last week and had a chance to visit and photograph the Petronas Towers.  At 1,483 feet tall, they were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004, and they remain the world's tallest twin buildings ever built.

Photo taken from the front entrance area of the Petronas Towers
Taken from inside the "skybridge" on the 42nd floor.  It's a double-decker skybridge, with the 41st floor being for tourists while the  42nd floor is reserved for tenants and their guests.  At 558 feet, it is the highest 2-story bridge in the world.  Per wikipedia, the bridge is not attached to the main structures, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds!
The towers at night-time, taken from the rooftop bar at the Trader's Hotel.  A bit of trivia: Some may recognize  these towers from the 1999 film Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.


Helpful Warning? Or too much information? :)


This struck me as kind of funny.  By the way, it's at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore, where I was last week.

02 August 2012

Slovenia and North Korea on top in 2012 Olympic Medal Count

While the US and China are vying for top honors in the 2012 Olympic Medal Count overall, I had been thinking that country-comparisons on total medal count is a bit unbalanced way to look at it since, well, they're both very populous countries!  What if we account for this by weighting the medal count by population...or what about wealth?

Huffington Post did just that here.

As of the morning of August 2nd, it turns out that Slovenia comes out on top in population-weighted medal count:

And North Korea comes out on top in GDP-weighted medal count:

It will be interesting to see how this evolves as the Olympics progress!


01 August 2012

“It’s just this sense that you got something to say,” and other things Bob Dylan didn't really say

The fall of science journalist and author Jason Lehrer was precipitated by his fabrication of one or more quotes by Bob Dylan, among other things.  See this New York Times story for details.

Outspoken author, intellectual, and neuroscientist Sam Harris commented on Lehrer's career cliff-dive in this blog post.  Says Harris, "I consistently meet smart, well-intentioned, and otherwise ethical people who do not seem to realize how quickly and needlessly lying can destroy their relationships and reputations. This is why I wrote a short ebook on the subject. Since it contains more or less everything I want to say in response to the Lehrer debacle, I’m offering the full text of LYING as a free download for the rest of the week."


Note the link to the FREE download (this week only) of Harris's long essay / short ebook, Lying, here.  I read it several months ago and found it to be insightful and compelling.  Here are a couple of endorsements of the book from Harris's website:
This essay is quite brilliant. (I was hoping it would be, so I wouldn’t have to lie.) I honestly loved it from beginning to end. LYING is the most thought-provoking read of the year.
Ricky Gervais

In this brief but illuminating work, Sam Harris applies his characteristically calm and sensible logic to a subject that affects us all—the human capacity to lie. And by the book’s end, Harris compels you to lead a better life because the benefits of telling the truth far outweigh the cost of lies—to yourself, to others, and to society.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History 

13 July 2012

Moscow

Here are a couple of photos of Red Square and the Kremlin, day and night, from my Moscow trip a couple of weeks ago.  Saint Basil's Cathedral is in the background.  It was about 60 degrees warmer than last time I was there -- which is to say it was a perfect 70-something rather than 20 degrees below freezing!  

It's a great run to do laps around the perimeter of the Kremlin (it's perimeter is 1.5 miles).

13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day from NYC!

Happy Mother's Day from New York City!


Heart O X skywriting; photo taken yesterday from my rooftop deck in Manhattan's Upper West Side.

18 February 2012

All Our Ideas website takes crowdsourcing of ideas to the next level

Create a question, Collaborate with others, Discover the best ideas.  All Our Ideas is crowdsourcing of ideas taken to the next level:  its a website that enables groups to collect and prioritize ideas in a transparent, democratic, and bottom-up way. It’s a suggestion box for the digital age.

A research project led by the Sociology Department at Princeton University, All Our Ideas is a free, open-source, platform that businesses, associations, or other informal groups could put to good use.


Thanks to Keir Clarke from Google Maps Mania for pointing out the Beautiful Streets project which is a project inspired by All Our Ideas that is trying to understand people's perception of "what makes a beautiful street, or a pleasant neighborhood? Maybe that’s hard to define, but can you tell a beautiful place from somewhere that’s not so hot?".  It's Hot or Not for urban planning.  


Pretty sure I'll be putting All Our Ideas to use...I just need to decide on which topic or for what purpose to begin.

28 January 2012

Ancient London photos

I meant to post these photos a few months ago.  I had some extra time over the weekend on a September trip to London and decided to explore a few of the more ancient sites of the city, including Temple Church, St Paul's Cathedral, the London Wall, Tower of London, and All Hallows-by-the-Tower.  
Ancient London, Sep 2011