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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Babel Burj

The Burj Khalifa or the Khalifa Tower just opened, in one of the Gulf States, Dubai. It is a combination office and luxury apartment building.

It is now the tallest manmade structure in the world, and not just by a few feet so as to grab the record but by a whole lot. The above linked article has an interesting diagram that tells the story.

My modest and now severely outdated standard of excessive building height remains governed by the Washington Monument, where it is considered a considerable physical feat to climb to the top by the stairs -- in one day, that is. But this thing seems to be more than twice as tall! Unbelievable!

The Burj Khalifa is not named after Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, an enterprising soul who leads Dubai and is directly responsible for all the construction extravagances there.. He unexpectedly bestowed that honor instead on the ruler of an adjacent Gulf State, Abu Dhabi, which has a lot of oil, and Sheikh Khalifa was generous enough to drop a lot of dough on Dubai, to help it with its debts, because lately, and unsurprisingly, Dubai has been a big pain in the posterior for the economies of other countries by being slow to repay loans.. I say "unsurprisingly" because Dubai has already become noteworthy for other architectural curiosities as well, that you won't see anywhere else -- manmade islands modeled, among other things, into the form of a palm tree, and a huge hotel shaped like a windjammer. See the Discovery Channels for detailed programs on how they look and how it all was built. Of course you have to be rich, maybe filthy rich, to go to Dubai to enjoy these things, because it is all for the luxury crowd, which to my mind pretty much drops the essential usefulness of all these undoubted architectural, engineering, and construction feats to close to nothing. But I suppose you could go to sneak a peek at these marvels if you were into being a slave laborer.

All I know is that the Lord will not like this latest pinprick in the heavens, and He probably already has certain corrections in the works. The Good Book suggests that. I don't know whether Allah was willing, though some of His admirers have been known to go on ahead with whatever they want to do, regardless. As for Buddha and the gang that used to dwell at the top of Mt. Olympus, I suspect that they will have only one word for it all: "Hubris."

Meanwhile, have I told you yet about my combination pumphouse\root cellar? Now that's a trick! It is set about five feet into the ground, measures 8 by 12 feet, and....


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