The television network station TNT (Turner Network Television) recently launched an international print advertising campaign that asked readers/potential viewers “to imagine how life becomes more interesting when you add some drama to it.” One of the advertisements caught my eye because it involves a crowded elevator….and a skunk! Yes,TNT, that would cause a lot of drama! Guaranteed.
Hundreds of Tetris fans had a little fun recently with a big version of the classic video game. If you are not familiar with Tetris, the game challenges players to rotate and arrange falling shapes into complete rows. Using a joystick, players were able to move images of supersized shapes displayed on two sides of the 29-story Cira Centre through hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. Thats a 100,000 -square-foot (9,300-square- metre) playing surface – possibly a world record! The event helped kick off Philly Tech Week and celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the game. Looks like a lot of fun!
The May issue of Vanity Fair includes Scarlett Johansson on the cover, some beefcake photos of a ripped Neil Patrick Harris, and a feature on the tall-building boom going on right now in New York City, with each tower thinner, taller and more expensive than the last. Amazingly, a 96th-floor residence in one of them — 432 Park Avenue — sold for US$95 million. So, being a mere millionaire wouldn’t necessarily guarantee one a spot in one of these stylish high rises. Should all the towers be built, they promise to reshape the Manhattan skyline. Centered around Midtown – 57th Street in particular — they include 225 West 57th Street, which would be the tallest residential building in the U.S. at 1,423 ft. tall.; the Robert M. Stern-designed 220 Central Park South at 920 ft. tall; the already complete and occupied 157 57th Street at 1,004 ft. tall; the 1,397-ft.-tall, 60-ft.-wide 111 West 57th Street; 432 Park Avenue, which at 1,396 ft. would be 150 ft. taller than the Empire State Building; the Jean Nouvel-designed 53 West 53rd Street that features a tapered, modern profile and would stand 1,050 ft. tall; and the “short” building, 520 Park Avenue, which would stand 700 ft. and 51 stories. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, 157 57th Street has eight elevators that travel at maximum speeds of 8.13 mps.
I saw this story over at the Elevator Radio Show website and thought that our reading audience would enjoy it. As you know, the population of most urban areas is very large and continues to grow. Many times there are not sufficient amounts, or forms, of transportation available. This particular combination typically spells inconvenience when trying to commute. So, many forms of transportation continue to get larger, more efficient and apparently unusual.
Here’s your guide to unusual modes of inner-city transport as compiled by theguardian.com. It just so happens that several forms of vertical transportation make this list – from large outdoor escalators to the world’s largest urban cable car.
“I Love Chile,” part of an English-Spanish media conglomerate dedicated to all things Chile, recently published on its website a column by German correspondent Carolin Dudda about Valparaiso’s disappearing ascensores, also known as funiculars or cliff railways. Reflecting the colorful and eclectic 19th and 20th-century architecture that surrounds them, the lifts have been used for more than 130 years to carry residents to their hillside homes. Today the few remaining — five out an an original 31 — are mostly used by tourists. Dudda recommends going to ride one as soon as possible, before they all fall victim to disrepair and changing times.
It was revealed today by everyone from People Magazine to Perez Hilton that a seemingly innocuous news piece about members of a tour group getting stuck on an Illinois state Capitol elevator during a tour on March 30 had the privilege, some would say, of being stuck with Australian actor Jesse Spencer. Well known for playing Dr. Richard Chase on the American medical drama “House,” Spencer currently stars in the TV drama “Chicago Fire.” That’s fitting, since the story, published today on Elevator World’s website, had a lot to do with the Springfield Fire Department, who Spencer ended up calling when he and fellow passengers felt the Capitol building’s elevator contractor was taking too long too arrive. Spencer was among about 25 passengers who were freed by the fire department, which Spencer was gracious enough to pose for a photo with after the rescue. Today, he tweeted the photo with the caption, “Thanks Springfield FD saved us from an elevator at the Capitol Building. Stuck for an hour, I muscled the doors open.”
Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Elevators will play a crucial role in the unveiling of Ford Motor Co.’s new Mustang convertible high above the streets of Manhattan on the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observatory. In recognition of the iconic and top-selling car’s debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, the feat, scheduled in mid-April, replicates a similar one of nearly 50 years ago when Ford technicians carefully sliced the car into three pieces in order to be able to transport it via elevators to the observatory floor, then reassembled it. No portable crane can reach the 86th floor, and the building’s spire makes helicopter transport not feasible. That leaves the elevators as the only option. Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak spoke about the challenges in Ford’s press release about the event. “Like all good craftsmen, our team is measuring twice and cutting once to make sure we can get this Mustang up in the elevators,” he said. “Working from computer engineering data, team members preparing the display car have found just the right places to make the cuts so everything can be loaded onto custom-made racks that can be rolled into the elevators.” The 103-story, 1,250-ft.-tall Empire State Building was built in 1931 and stood as the world’s tallest building for more than 40 years. It houses 73 elevators. The new Mustang convertible will be on display from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16-17.
Fast Company, a business magazine that focuses on technology, business, and design, recently published an article titled 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Elevators. Well, I am pretty sure that our readers know many of these, such as:
There are now 900,000 elevators in America. About the same number of new elevators–914,000–were sold in the world in 2012. (58% of those new elevators went to China.)
But, did you know this?
In the early 1900s, people worried vertical transport would make us sick. Doctors used to fret over “elevator sickness,” a condition caused by the sudden movement of internal organs as an elevator came to an abrupt stop.