Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Transmission 2012

He vowed in his mayoral manifesto to crack down on tall buildings and protect London's 'precious' skyline.

But it seems Boris Johnson is prepared to make an exception to the rule when it comes to sealing his legacy.

The London Mayor is planning a £15million monument intended to rival the Eiffel Tower.

To be built in the Olympic Park in time for the 2012 Games, it has already been nicknamed the 'Piffle Tower' after Mr Johnson's 'inverted pyramid of piffle' comments made when he denied an extra-marital affair in 2004.

Funded by the multi-billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Britain's richest man, the sculpture has attracted designs from some of the country's most famous artists, including former Turner prize winner Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, the designer of the Angel of the North, near Gateshead.

A panel is considering five submitted designs, with the winner likely to be announced within a fortnight. One early submission by Paul Fryer shows the epic scale of the project.

Six times taller than the Angel of the North, his proposed sculpture, called Transmission, is almost 400ft tall and features a translucent structure with viewing decks towering above the Olympic Park.

Its steel frame is inspired by a pylon in a possible reference to Mr Mittal's business. It would be lit at night and powered by solar panels.

... The Piffle Tower is part of an extensive cultural programme planned to celebrate the 2012 Olympics.

Twelve public artworks commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad last week include a three-mile plume of vapour rising from a dock in Liverpool, a giant figure of Lady Godiva to be led in procession from Coventry to London, a small 'island' which will be tugged from the Arctic to England to encourage discussion about climate change, and a pair of 30ft crocheted lions.'

Read more: Here.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Finally, the truth!

'Huge increases in immigration over the past decade were a deliberate attempt to engineer a more multicultural Britain, a former Government adviser said yesterday.

Andrew Neather, a speechwriter who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, said Labour's relaxation of controls was a plan to 'open up the UK to mass migration'.

As well as bringing in hundreds of thousands to plug labour market gaps, there was also a 'driving political purpose' behind immigration policy, he claimed.

Ministers hoped to change the country radically and 'rub the Right's nose in diversity'. But Mr Neather said senior Labour figures were reluctant to discuss the policy, fearing it would alienate its 'core working-class vote'.

... Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said: 'Now at least the truth is out, and it's dynamite. Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock-up but a conspiracy. They were right.

'This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage.''

Read more: Link

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Papal Endgame

'As many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome.

Entire parishes and even dioceses could be tempted to defect after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer a legal structure to Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic Church.

His decree, issued yesterday, is a serious blow to attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to save the Anglican Communion from further fragmentation and threatens to wreck decades of ecumenical dialogue.'

More: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6883151.ece

'A particle God doesn't want us to discover...'

'Explosions, scientists arrested for alleged terrorism, mysterious breakdowns — recently Cern’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has begun to look like the world’s most ill-fated experiment.

Is it really nothing more than bad luck or is there something weirder at work? Such speculation generally belongs to the lunatic fringe, but serious scientists have begun to suggest that the frequency of Cern’s accidents and problems is far more than a coincidence.

The LHC, they suggest, may be sabotaging itself from the future — twisting time to generate a series of scientific setbacks that will prevent the machine fulfilling its destiny.

At first sight, this theory fits comfortably into the crackpot tradition linking the start-up of the LHC with terrible disasters. The best known is that the £3 billion particle accelerator might trigger a black hole capable of swallowing the Earth when it gets going. Scientists enjoy laughing at this one.

This time, however, their ridicule has been rather muted — because the time travel idea has come from two distinguished physicists who have backed it with rigorous mathematics.

What Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, are suggesting is that the Higgs boson, the particle that physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be 'abhorrent to nature'.

What does that mean? According to Nielsen, it means that the creation of the boson at some point in the future would then ripple backwards through time to put a stop to whatever it was that had created it in the first place.

This, says Nielsen, could explain why the LHC has been hit by mishaps ranging from an explosion during construction to a second big bang that followed its start-up. Whether the recent arrest of a leading physicist for alleged links with Al-Qaeda also counts is uncertain.

Nielsen’s idea has been likened to that of a man travelling back through time and killing his own grandfather. 'Our theory suggests that any machine trying to make the Higgs shall have bad luck,' he said.

'It is based on mathematics, but you could explain it by saying that God rather hates Higgs particles and attempts to avoid them.''

More: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article6879293.ece#

Friday, 16 October 2009

'Manhatta Projects reveals New York of 1600...'

A New York exhibition has stripped back the concrete jungle that makes up the Big Apple to reveal the literal jungle that was the city 400 years ago.

Entitled the Mannahatta Project, these images show what Manhattan Island must have looked like in 1609, when the English explorer Henry Hudson first sailed up the river that now bears his name.

Using CGI technology, the team behind the Mannahatta natural history project can now pin point any area of Manhattan's 22 square miles to show what it might have looked like four centuries ago.

Imagining Central Park as a blueberry bog with wolves roaming around what is now the Empire State Building, the computer images display how fast the city that never sleeps has grown up.

"We chose the name Mannahatta because it is what the original inhabitants of the island the Lenape tribe called it,' says Dr Eric Sanderson, who heads up the Manahatta team.

"Translated it means 'land of many hills'.'

More: Link

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Jewish America

'Almost nothing is known about Christopher's mother beyond the fact that Susanna Fontanarossa married Domenico Colombo about 1445 and preceded him in death. Columbus himself was extremely reticent about his family background, and some scholars have cited this as evidence of his possible Jewish descent, which he would have concealed during his dealings with his Spanish supporters. According to two such theories: his mother was Jewish; and his father descended from a Jewish family that left Spain about 1391, settled in Genoa, and became Christians.

We do know that a converted Jew (Luis de Santange), with influence in the Spanish Court, provided financing for his voyage and that his crew contained Jewish members recently converted to Christianity. We also know that his interpreter Luis de Torres, was baptized (from Judaism) shortly before the expedition, and was among the first ashore, when Columbus landed in Cuba on November 2, 1492.'

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6258048/Mahmoud-Ahmadinejad-Funny-you-dont-look-Jewish.html