A building with a road through it!

I was intrigued and amused to read an article about the Gate Tower Building in Osaka, Japan. It’s a 16-story office building with an expressway off-ramp driven clear through it! The Sun reports: The fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the building are taken up by the Umeda Exit of the Ikeda Route of the Hanshin Expressway system. The highway is the tenant of the floors and actually pays rent. Gate Tower Building, Osaka, Japan (image courtesy of Wikipedia) The lifts in the building pass through the floors without stopping, floor 4 being followed by floor 8. The motorway does

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If this is ‘fashion’, I’m determined to stay unfashionable!

I can’t for the life of me even begin to understand the so-called ‘fashion’ world. My astonishment, perplexity and downright disgust at this colossal waste of time and resources were renewed today when I came across an article about the latest fashion show by Italian designer Gianni Molaro. Just look at these examples of what he inflicted on the models who paraded them down the catwalk! There are more pictures at the link. I’ve heard it said that most fashion designers are sadists who hate women, and most of those who wear their ‘creations’ are masochists who hate themselves. Garments

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Doofus Of The Day #565

Today’s award goes collectively to the senior managers and policy-makers at the New York City Department of Education, for allowing this state of affairs to exist (let alone continue!). In a defiant raspberry to the city Department of Education — and taxpayers — disgraced teacher Alan Rosenfeld, 66, won’t retire. Deemed a danger to kids, the typing teacher with a $10 million real estate portfolio hasn’t been allowed in a classroom for more than a decade, but still collects $100,049 a year in city salary — plus health benefits, a growing pension nest egg, vacation and sick pay. Mayor Bloomberg

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Multiple blasts from the past!

I was intrigued (and amused) to come across the Questionable Advice and Advertisements blog on Tumblr. It reproduces old (sometimes very old) advertisements and snippets of advice from newspapers, illustrating how society once saw its needs and priorities. I’ve interspersed a few examples with the text below. The author describes it thus: Although the specifics change over time, the tendency to use shared cultural references to connect with the people in our lives isn’t a new one, and vintage advertisements are a great source of these references – they have a wide audience that crosses many class divisions and are

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A time-lapse view of Earth from space

This video is a time-lapse series of photographs taken from the International Space Station between August and October last year. It gives a very different perspective on our lives down here on this little mudball. If you’d like to learn more, a full list of the shooting locations is given at the video’s home page (scroll down to view it). Peter

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Oh, boy! A gun blog meme!

Via Tamara, I learned of a challenge from Robb Allen over at Sharp As A Marble. Robb asks: What 5 firearms would I purchase, should price nor practicality be an issue? He gives his list, then challenges his readers: What about you? What 5 guns do you lust after? Well, how can I resist a challenge like that? Of course, my answers are going to seem rather strange to those who get excited about ‘plastic fantastic’ pistols and ‘poodle-shooters‘. If practicality and price are of no concern, I’m going to get historical – and expensive! Here are my five selections,

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“The State of Surveillance Technology”

That’s the title of a long and very interesting article over at Casey Research. The author goes into detail about various surveillance technologies, many of which you’ll probably already have heard about: but what struck me particularly was his analysis of the costs involved in surveillance, and how technology has made it much more affordable to keep tabs on our past activities, as well as what we’re doing now. Here’s an excerpt. It is already technologically feasible for governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders – every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction,

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Some great aviation footage

This video clip, taken from the cockpit, shows Airbus airliners landing and taking off at various South American airports. It’s a fascinatingly different look at the process, particularly the vista of the towns and cities spreading out as the aircraft nears the airfields, and the way the pilots use the side-mounted control sticks of the Airbus to maneuver the plane. You can see clearly how even large movements of the stick are translated by the flight control computer into relatively smooth aircraft movements. (I’m not at all happy to think that the computer can override pilot input to that extent,

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Remembering a hero of the French Resistance

I was greatly moved to read a BBC interview with Raymond Aubrac, one of the heroes of the French Resistance during World War II. The subject of the interview wasn’t M. Aubrac, however; it was perhaps the greatest of French Resistance leaders, a man very little known outside France, but whose courage and leadership rival anyone else in the pantheon of heroes of the world. That man was Jean Moulin. Jean Moulin and the Cross of Lorraine, symbol of the French Resistance(image courtesy of Wikipedia) I’ve known of M. Moulin since my teens, when I first came across a book

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