Category Archives: architecture

Cool Google Street View – Pompeii Ruins

So budget woes have kept you from taking a holiday vacation this year.

Same here for the Squirrel Queen.

For those of us who spend hours watching the Discovery and History channels, this will be a perfect alternative to that whirlwind trip around the world.

Instead of forking over wads of cash to fly your extra bag across the globe, just click on Google Street View’s tour of the ruins of Pompeii.

The tour of the city that Vesuvius stopped in time is cool stuff that can entertain you for hours.

It doesn’t come with a tour guide and you can’t buy tacky souvenirs, but it’s a great trip none-the-less.

Now if I can just  find the baths with all the naughty frescoes they always allude to during shows about those randy Italians.

Here’s more Google fun.

Art on the Plinth

I love projects that involve a ton of people expressing themselves with no censor.

One & Other, along with sky ARTS is giving citizens in the UK a chance to do just that.

For 100 days starting yesterday, every hour on the hour, a different person will stand atop a plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square and create their version of art. All citizens of the UK are welcome to sign up for a chance to create on the spot.

The One & Other site has a livestreaming video to show everyone who’s on top of a spot usually reserved for statues  and what they’re doing.

In the first two hours I popped in, I’ve seen a man inflating balloons and releasing them and the latest is a woman sketching.

Express yourself UK!

Updated: Hello to all my visitors from the One & Other site. Thanks for stopping by.

Squirrel Queen Flickr Meme

I saw this over at Jane Q. Public‘s home and was just curious about doing it for myself.

It’s a Flickr meme. Instead of just typing out your answer on your blog, you head to Flickr and type it into their Flickr’s search box. Once the results pop up, you use only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URLs into the Mosaic Maker (3 columns, 4 rows)… Enjoy!

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you?
12. Your Flickr name?

Here are my answers:

1. Stephanie

2. Crab pasta (but I like mine with alfredo)

3. South Fulton

4. Green

5. Nicole Kidman

6. Beer

7. Machu Picchu

8. Cheese Cake (but I like most all desserts)

9. Mature (because I so often feel immature)

10. Comfort

11. Mellow

12. Squirrel Queen

Holly and Heartbreaktown have also done Flickr memes, but they’ve been a bit more mysterious about their answers.

Photo Credits: 1. Stephanie_35, 2. Crab Pasta, 3. Bo-Peep Motel, South Fulton, Kentucky, 4. Forest Green, 5. Nicole Kidman, 6. Stella Artois, Belgium, 7. Sunrise, 8. Cheese Cake Cupcakes, 9. a3256 A Mature Red, 10. Comfort in the Leaves, 11. Melt into Mellow Scottish view, 12. Close up squirrel

nablopomo-november-2008

Creating Energy Step By Step

Break out the shoe polish and buff up those boots.

Squirrel Queen is going all green right now.

Imagine if every step you took helped generate energy.

They’re floating an idea in the UK to install tiny heel strike generators on the stairs up to the Spinnaker Tower viewing platform.

Eventually they’d like to place the generators into rail stations and malls in order to capture the energy we create with every step we take.

New York Apartment Filled With Mystery

Aunt B was talking about building a house out of sod now that she won’t be signing papers on her dream home.

If she needs an architect, she might want to hire architectural designer Eric Clough.

Clough spent years working on a revamp of an upscale NY apartment for some really rich folks.

They gave him free reign and did he take advantage.

One of the apartment owners asked if he could place a poem he wrote to his wife and children inside a wall during the remodel. From that idea sprang an elaborate puzzle that encompassed nearly every inch of the giant apartment, resulting in secret codes, hidden nooks and crannies, an entire book written to further the adventure and a mystery that took two years for the family to solve. Everything from radiator grills to photos in the bathroom to spindles on a bed turned into clues.

How cool is that?

Tornado Hits The Georgia Dome During SEC Men’s Tournament

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Last night was an odd one for college basketball. Mother Nature can play a role in the outdoor athletics of football in the fall and winter and baseball in the spring and summer, but rarely does she impede the progress of a basketball tourney.

Tornadoes blowing through Atlanta disrupted the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament and I happened to be watching the game as it was played. It was really crazy and I have to commend the announcers for Raycom, led by Tim Brando, for handling the situation with aplomb.

I was getting my March Madness groove on early for most of the day yesterday. I watched parts of the Tarheels and Florida State tangling early on Friday and saw a few minutes of the Kansas win too. I headed to the office for a while before covering a high school baseball game between two teams in my area.

After coming home from the local diamond and warming my chilled body over a warmed-up plate of leftover spaghetti, I turned the TV to more college basketball conference tourney action. I opted to watch the SEC’s quarterfinal round with Alabama and Mississippi State squaring off in a game that was pretty close most of the way through. I thought the big excitement of the game was going to be a leaning 3-pointer by Mykal Riley at the buzzer to end regulation and force overtime.

Wrong!!

While I was watching the announcers and the teams prepare for the OT, I began to notice some static in the video. I thought to myself there must be a storm moving through disrupting the satellite signal. The action began and a whistle for a foul stopped the action with 2:11 left in the extra session. Nothing unusual there.

But then, I heard a rumble and the announcers made note of something happening in the crowd behind them. Cameras panned up and you could see fans streaming up out of the arena.

Not long after the scene went to static. The signal was only completely disrupted for a few seconds but it definitely reminded me of the earthquake in San Francisco that disrupted the Bay Bridge World Series between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants on Oct. 17, 1989.

As players and coaches left the court and headed to the locker rooms, the announcers tried to make sense of what was happening above and around them. The catwalks and light standards above the arena were swaying, cameras pointed out tears in the “skin” of the dome and the surrounding teflon-coated cover flapping in the breeze.

Small bits of debris had fallen on the court and other pieces of what appeared to be paper or insulation were drifting and floating in the wind whipping through the upper areas of the 29-story tall arena.

Brando compared the noise of wind rushing into the arena to a freight train, typical of a tornado. He relayed that he had been in a tornado before and the sound was comparable. At this time, it was not confirmed as tornadic activity, but later reports declared the storm cell a twister.

After a 63-minute delay play was resumed with Mississippi State winning the game. Another quarterfinal contest between Georgia’s Bulldogs and Kentucky’s Wildcats was scheduled to be played after the Mississippi State win, but SEC officials moved that game to Saturday afternoon in a different location. Now the winner of that game must play twice on Saturday – in their quarterfinal game at noon and later on Saturday night in a semifinal contest.

Georgia Tech, located in Atlanta, but not a member of the SEC, was to host the remainder of the conference’s tourney games. The arena on Tech’s campus holds less than half of the fans, so only players, cheerleaders, pep band members, families of the players and credentialed media members and conference representatives could attend. That decision was made to keep crowds of SEC fans from coming into the downtown area, eliminating the need for extra security and keeping citizens out of areas that were damaged and disrupted by the storms.

The CNN building and the Omni Hotel were two of the other well-known structures damaged by the high winds. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reader submitted pics of damage.

The area surrounding the Georgia Dome was littered with pieces of debris and glass.

The shot that forced overtime in the Mississippi State/Alabama game may have saved lives. Should the game have ended in regulation, those crimson-clad fans would have streamed out into the street earlier, coinciding with the arrival of the storm winds. Falling debris could easily have injured fans on the street of Atlanta.

It was really weird to watch as an observer outside the area.

I’ve been covering games before when the power went out. About 20 years ago, storms caused a temporary power outage in Murfreesboro during the state tournaments. That certainly created a sense of unease in the cavernous dark arena mostly filled with strangers. The lights weren’t out long, but it was long enough.

Power never went out in the Georgia Dome, but it was obvious something was wrong with parts of the building swaying, wind roaring through the facility and debris falling from above.

Seeing the catwalks moving, my first thought was of an earthquake, but the description of the noise as a freight train immediately changed that to thoughts of tornadoes.

One of the players, Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough, said after the game during a press conference he heard a loud boom and wasn’t sure if it was a tornado or a terrorist bomb. That’s just part of the era we live in.

I attended the second game the St. Louis Cardinals played immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11. That was another intense fan experience with security at an extremely high level.

The logistics of moving an entire tournament to another arena on about a 13-hour notice must have been crazy both for the conference officials and the media outlets covering the games.

All-in-all, it was one weird night for sports.

Squirrels on Ice

If you’ve got the winter blues, check out the photography of R. Todd King. The images show that ice can be nice.

He’s got amazing pics of sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Fair in China. These are huge creations of art and architecture that are incredible to see during the daylight, but at night they are even more impressive because they are illuminated in colorful hues from within.

All his photography including documentation of trips to Canada, Alaska and other areas is eye-catching, but the shots from China shouldn’t be missed. He attended the Harbin festival three different years. See them all.