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The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

Hardly more than a decade after Charles Lindbergh's historic 1927 solo flight from New York to Paris, the world's first transatlantic passenger flights wars regularly departing from La Guardia. Airport's Marine Air Terminal. Designed in the Art Deco style, the Terminal is "modern", serving as an appropriate introduction to air travel, which struck the general public in the 1930s as both glamorous and adventurous. The Marine Air Terminal is the only surviving American airport terminal dating from "The Golden Age of the Flying Boat", when trans-oceanic passenger flights were made aboard giant Pan American Clipper ships, which Vied with ocean liners in providing luxury service.

 

Although these great seaplanes have long since been retired, the Marine Terminal has remained in continuous and efficient use. The main interior space, a two-story circular room is among the most noteworthy Art Deco interiors in New York City. Its pure geometry, marble paneling and fine proportions serve as a magnificent setting for the huge mural "Flight", only recently restored and once again, the focal point of an exceptionally fins design.

 

The history of the Marine Air Terminal coincides with that of commercial aviation in the United States. In the year 1927, two important events gave impetus to commercial airline and airport development. First, the federal government decided to use private contractors for postal transport, and second Lindbergh's transatlantic flight not only captured the imagination of Americans, but inspired faith among potential passengers.

 

At that time, New York City did not possess a municipal airport, although in the same year, plans for the construction of Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn were made. Construction of this airport which proceeded slowly, in part because of the Depression, was not completed until 1934. During the same years, the City of Newark, New Jersey, constructed a large airport, in operation by 1928 which rapidly became the major airport on the eastern seaboard.

 

Designated the official airmail terminus for the metropolitan area in 1929, Newark also became the main passenger airport, serving nearly 100,000 customers per year by 1931. Until the late 1930s, Newark Airport's supremacy remained unchallenged.

 

In 1934, Fiorello H. La Guardia became Mayor of New York City. A reform liberal candidate taking office just after the very worst years of the Depression La Guardia embarked upon a vast municipal transportation improvement campaign, which while bettering the city, also provided thousands of jobs. The scheme involved bridge, highway and tunnel construction, as well as the reorganization and consolidation of the Mass Transit system.

 

Most significantly, La Guardia was staunchly in favor of a New York City airport which could effectively compete with Newark. The location of Floyd Bennett Field was inconvenient to Manhattan, and consequently, la Guardia was convinced of the necessity of a new airport at a new location. Studies of the problem resulted in the selection of a site at North Beach, Queens, where a private airport, Glenn Curtiss, had been constructed in 1929.

 

The Depression had forced the closing of Glenn Curtiss Airport, and the site had been acquired by trie city. It consisted of some 100 acres, sufficiently close to Manhattan, and also, adjacent to Long Island Sound, so that a sea plane base could be included. Like La Guardia's other transportation projects, the airport was to be federally sponsored and funded through the Works Progress Administration. Consequently, plans for the "New York City Municipal Airport" were submitted to the New York City WPA Administrator, Brehon Somervell, and on September 3, 1937, were approved by President Roosevelt.

 

Only six days later, Mayor La Guardia presided over ground breaking ceremonies at North Beach.

 

Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947) had been an enthusiastic advocate of aviation from its very early years onward. While in private law practice, he had as a client Giuseppe Bellanco, a pioneering aviator and flying instructor from whom La Guardia took lessons in 1913 at Mineola, Long Island.

 

Soon after the United States entered World War I, although La Guardia had recently been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he enlisted as a lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. He served as a supervisor of the 8th Aviation Instruction Center at Foggia in Italy, and also flew as a pilot bombardier with the Fifth Squadron on the Italian-Austrian front, attaining the rank of major.

 

La Guardia was an early proponent of the military significance of aviation, and also recognized the potential of commercial passenger airlines. The airport which became his namesake is a fitting tribute to this aspect of the career of one of New York's most colorful and Inspirational political leaders.

 

Construction at North Beach proceeded rapidly. Plans prepared by the Department of Docks, the Works Progress Administration, and the firm of Delano & Aldrich, called first for the filling in of a portion of Bowery Bay, Hikers Island Channel, and Flushing Bay, thereby, more than doubling the acreage of the original site. Initially, some 5000 men were employed, but when building construction began the work force was gradually increased, peaking at 23,000 workers in early 1939.

 

A 558 acre airport with three and two-thirds miles of runways and taxi strips emerged. At a cost of $40,000 000, La Guardia was not only the largest airport in the world, it was also the most costly— "the greatest single undertaking of the W.P.A.". The buildings of this original complex included the landplane hangar, and the Marine Air Terminal. The airport was officially opened on October 15, 1939, with crowds estimated to exceed 325,000 in attendance.

 

Among the 150 airplanes which took part in the festivities were three which circled overhead as the Mayor made his address, skywriting "Name It. La Guardia". This inaugurated a campaign to re-christen the airport, and on November 2 the Board of Estimate and City Council officially agreed upon "New York City Municipal Airport—La Guardia Field."

 

Service was instituted in December of 1939, and by 1940,. LaGuardia had completely eclipsed Newark Airport, It was not until March, 1940, that the Marine Air Terminal was dedicated. At this ceremony, two of the new Pan American Clipper ships were on display. These were the great sea planes which the Marine Air Terminal and its accompanying hangar had been designed to accommodate. The Clipper ships represented both the culmination of the development of seaplanes, and the inauguration of a new era in commercial flying.

 

The first practical seaplane was invented in 1911 by Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878-1930) (in whose honor the original North Beach Airport was named). This was a float plane, with the fuselage supported on struts. A year later he created the first flying boat, with a boat-hull fuselage, the prototype for the clipper ships used at the Marine Air Terminal. Another seaplane designed by Curtiss, the Navy-Curtiss, made the first Atlantic crossing in 1919. Although the majority of early trans-oceanic flights were made aboard land planes, the relative danger of travelling long distances over water, led aeronautic designers to think of seaplanes as safer, and thus better suited to passenger service.

 

Water was also considered convenient and economical as an air base. By the 1930s, Americans led the field in seaplane design. Boeing Aircraft in conjunction with Pan American Airways, developed the Martin 130, the first monoplane flying boat intended for commercial purposes.

 

Soon thereafter, the Boeing 31 with a wing span of 152 feet, a cruising speed of 200 m.p.h., capable of carrying 74 passengers was produced, and with it, Pan American inaugurated the world's first scheduled transatlantic service. The first flight from the Marine Air Terminal by a Boeing 314—the Yankee Clipper—departed on March 31, 1940, carrying a crew of ten, nine passengers, and over 5000 pounds of mail. It landed in Lisbon 18 hours and 35 minutes later.

 

The scheduled Clipper ship routes were New York-Lisbon-Marseilles, and New York-Newfound land-Southampton. The clippers caused a genuine sensation. They were described in the New York Herald Tribune as "breathtaking" in size, and in a Life magazine article by Claire Booth Luce, with the following prediction "Fifty years from now, people will look back on a Clipper flight of today as the most romantic voyage of history." The accommodations aboard these planes were indeed luxurious by today's standards. The two-deck interior featured dining rooms, private compartments and sleeping sections. But this glamorous era was brought to an abrupt halt by World War II.

 

The Clippers were pressed into war service, and functioned as passenger planes on government missions and as freight carriers. By the end of the war, technological advances in land plane; design had made the clippers obsolete, although the age of international passenger flight which they had helped to establish continued to flourish. The Marine Air Terminal was successfully converted to a land plane terminal and at the present time is occupied by Butler Aviation and Air New England.

 

The site of the Terminal today serves as a reminder of Its original use. Located close to the water's edge, the building was planned for the convenience of both passengers and crew. The Clippers taxied in from Long Island Sound, pulled by small motorboats, and docked just outside the Terminal. For maintenance purposes they were hauled out of the water and moved along special railroad tracks into the nearby hangar.

 

The siting of the Terminal was determined by engineering and aeronautical considerations. Its exceptionally fine design is to be credited to the architectural firm of Delano & Aldrich.

 

William A. Delano (1874-1960) and Chester H. Aldrich (1871-1940) formed their architectural partnership in 1903, after meeting when both were employed in the offices of Carrere & Hastings. The two men had previously studied at the Paris Ecole des Beaux Arts and upon their return to this country espoused Ecole teaching methods. Delano taught at Columbia University's School of Architecture from 1903 to 1911, and Aldrich assisted Thomas Hastings in running an atelier based on the Parisian system.

 

Not surprisingly, Delano & Aldrich's work reveals, for the most part, a traditional, conservative approach to design. The architects favored the neo-Renaissance and neo-Federal styles, and were best known for residential work for wealthy clients. What most distinguishes their work is its fineness of execution, care to detail, and over-all refinement. Among their many important commissions are the estate of John D. Rockefeller, Pocantico Hills, the Otto Kahn house at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, the Vincent Astor house at Port Washington, Long Island, and the Charles A. Lindbergh house at Hopewell, New Jersey.

 

In New York City, they designed numerous fashionable town houses on the Upper East Side, among them the Willard Straight house, the Marshall J. Dodge house and the Harold Pratt house, as well as clubhouses, including the Knickerbocker, and Colony Club buildings. In 1935, Charles Aldrich took a leave of absence from the firm to serve as head of the American Academy Rome, a post he held until his death in 1940. Apparently, he was not Involved with the designs of the airport buildings, which ought to be credited to Delano alone. The use of the Art Deco style represents a dramatic departure from the architect's usual approach, no doubt the result of Delano's recognition that a modern building type required a modern style. At the same time the Terminal building was under construction, Delano also served as a member of the Board of Design for the New York World's Fair. He retired from practice in 1950.

 

Soon before his death in 1960, Delano was quoted as saying "You know, in this town, very few of the things you build are left in your lifetime."

 

Delano employed the Art Deco style for all the buildings or the original airport complex. Although these structures possessed the essential components of the style, they should not be categorized among the more flamboyant architectural manifestations of Art Deco in New York City. The Marine Air Terminal relies for its impact primarily upon the crisp geometry of its massing and the symmetry and precision of its design—hallmarks of Delano & Aldrich's work generally—rather than upon vivid polychromy or emphatic "streamlining".

 

Delano, even when he employed a 20th century, non-revivalistic style, did not stray from the principles of Beaux-Arts design as formulated in the 19th century. Thus, the Terminal symmetrically and axially disposed both in plan and elevation, places strong emphasis on the entrance and on ease of circulation, and displays a very clear relationship between the exterior and interior.

 

Yet, within these self-imposed boundaries Delano interpreted the Art Deco style masterfully. Ornament, although used sparingly, is highly expressive of the Terminal's function; the grille work above the doorways in the form of winged globes is a notable example. The interior of the Terminal has marble paneling and paving, but stainless steel, one of the new materials favored in Art Deco circles, also makes a restrained but gleamingly sleek appearance. The apparent simplicity of the Terminal interior design is deceptive. Its spaces contain subtle geometric relationships and are well-scaled, well-planned, and well balanced.

 

The functions of the Terminal are clearly demarcated. The three wings of the building are Intended for easy access and exit while the circular core houses airport related facilities—waiting rooms, mail room health and customs inspection and detention offices originally—in a series of rooms which ring the perimeter of the building. At the center is the great circular room, the equivalent to a railroad station concourse, labeled on the original plans quite simply "Public Space". It is this room and the vestibule leading to it which the Landmarks Preservation Commission designates a New York City Interior Landmark.

 

The main entrance doors give access to a small foyer with a group of four stainless steel doors surmounted by transoms containing winged globes, identical to those on the exterior of the building. Through these one passes into the vestibule which contains a stairway with a handsome simply detailed stainless steel banister. Five stainless steel doors lead into the great circular room at the center of the building. The room rises a full two stories, and is crowned by a skylight situated within the third tier of the building.

 

The power of the room derives from the geometric purity of its form, the richness of its materials, and the grand scale of its vibrantly colored mural. The walls of the room are paneled with dark green marble and contain counters for ticketing and related purposes within each of the 14 bays, which are divided Into groups of four, five and four, by the doorways leading to the wings. These doorways are of stainless steel and repeat the design seen on the exterior and In the foyer, with winged globes set in the transoms. The floor is paved in light gray marble, with a geometrically patterned circle at the center.

 

The original, very handsome wooden benches, with stainless steel propeller blades motifs inlaid in the end panels, have recently been returned to the room, the ceiling of the room is interestingly treated, and is tiered in graduated steps—a motif which echoes the tiered configuration of the exterior of the Terminal—and contains a large circular skylight. The mural is located just beneath the lowest and broadest ceiling tier and is separated from the green marble wall paneling beneath by a narrow stainless steel band.

 

This mural, the creation of James Brooks, today an internationally recognized artist, was, like the entire airport, sponsored by the federal Works Progress Administration. Entitled "Flight", it chronologically depicts man's conquest of the skies, from his earliest primitive yearnings for flight, to his modern aviation achievements. During the early 1950s, a highly misguided refurbishing of the Terminal, resulted in the covering over of the mural. Through the efforts of Geoffrey Arend, author, publisher and aviation-airport buff, a campaign to restore the mural to view was successfully undertaken. on September 18, 1980, "Flight" was officially rededicated.

 

The huge mural, approximately 12 feet high and 237 feet long, encircles the room, functioning as the dramatic culmination of the entire design* Painted on Belgian linen, with shades of intense red and green predominating, it includes figures of varying scale placed against a flat abstract ground. Three abstract panels, located above the three entrances to the room, divided the mural into segments which might be entitled "man's release from earth", "the flight of Daedalus" and "the modern age of flight". Mythical and historical figures—Icarus, Daedalus, Leonardo da Vinci, the Wright brothers, are depicted, as well as typological ones—early man and woman, modern man and woman, pilots, navigators, engineers etc. The figures are boldly foreshortened, and objects rendered in emphatic perspective. A powerful composition, in style it shares much with the Socialist Realism popular in the 1930s, but also includes abstract elements which prefigure the artist's later shift to Abstract Expressionism,

 

Of special interest in the context of the Marine Air Terminal is the final scene of the mural, in which a clipper ship is seen landing and docking.

 

James Brooks was bom in St. Louis in 1906, and presently resides in Springs, New York. After his work with the W.P.A., Brooks turned to Abstract Expressionism and was a member of the circle of artists often termed the New York School. Brooks studied at Southern Methodist University, the Dallas Institute of Art, arid New York's Art Students League. Aside from the Terminal murals, he also executed murals for the Little Falls, New Jersey, Post Office, and the Woodside, Queens, Library. He has taught at a number of schools and universities, among them Pratt Institute, Columbia and Yale. In the early 1960s, Brooks was artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome,, and in 1967, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, In 1963, the Whitney Museum held a retrospective exhibition of his work, which has also been exhibited at the Museum of Modem Art, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

 

The Marine Air Terminal is today the only active airport terminal in the United States dating from the first generation of passenger air travel. That it has continued in effective operation, despite the great changes in commercial' aviation during the past forty years testifies to the quality of its design. With changing uses, the interiors of the Terminal have survived, even if at times they have suffered certain esthetic indignities. The restoration of the mural has returned to the Marine Air Terminal interior all the essential components that make it a truly distinguished, exceptional example of the Art Deco style.

 

This project was funded in part with the assistance of a preservation survey and planning grant authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service; through the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation.

 

- From the 1980 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Station Triangle is located at a depth of around 25m and has been built as a bored rock cavern. The station consists of a 250m long station hall with a central platform, two tracks and two entrances. The shape of the station hall is a result of the technology used to create the rock cavern. In phase 1, a small tunnel was first bored along the station’s centre, along which the massive concrete columns on the platform were then cast. Powerful concrete head beams and foundations extend both below and above the columns to support the overlying strata. On both sides of this centre line, the limestone rock was excavated in the station’s rounded shape during phase 2. The station opened in 2010.

 

The entrances have been introduced into the cityscape in the form of pavilions. To clearly signal the underground station, the two entrances have a uniform design and are built according to the same construction principles, although they have differing geometric shapes. The entrance facades are built entirely of a structural glazing system that includes both transparent and opaque glass. The load-carrying steel structure is self-supporting, with supports only along the periphery of the buildings, and is an essential part of the architectural design.

 

Architects for Station Malmö C Nedre and Station Triangle:

Sweco Architects AB, Malmö, and KHR AS arkitekter, Copenhagen.

Project Manager: Lars Lindahl, Sweco

Design Manager: Nille Juul-Sørensen, KHR

Architects: Lars Nilsson, Sweco (Malmö C Nedre)

Cecilia Spannel, Sweco / Per Kinn, Sweco (Triangle)

Anders Öreberg, Sweco (Signage programme, all three stations)

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

Muttrah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muttrah, (Arabic: مطرح‎) administratively a district, is located in the Muscat province of Oman. Before the discovery of oil, Muttrah was the center of commerce in Oman (Muscat). It is still a center of commerce as one of largest sea ports of the region is located there. Other landmarks include Souq Muttrah, a traditional bazaar and Sour Al-Lawatiah, a small community of houses surrounded by an old wall. To the south lies Muscat District.

Demographics

Muttrah had an estimated population of about 8,000 people when diplomat Edmund Roberts visited in the early 1830s.[1] The district population was 216,578 estimated for 2014, up from 150,124 of the 2010 Census count, and the most densely populated of all districts in the nation

Economy

In the mid 19th century, Muttrah had a vessel repair industry.[1]

Souq Muttrah

The Muttrah Souq

 

Entrance to the Muttrah Souq

Al Dhalam (Darkness in Arabic) Souq is the local name for the Muttrah Souq. The Muttrah Souq is perhaps one of the oldest marketplaces in the Arab world because Muscat is the world's largest natural harbor and has seen immense trade in the age of sail, being strategically located on the way to India and China.[3] It has been named after darkness because of the crowded stalls and lanes where the sunrays do not infiltrate during the day and the shoppers need lamps to know their destinations. The name of the market has been drawn specifically from the part that extends from Al Lawatiya Mosque to Khour Bimba where the place is really full of stores and stalls and the narrow area of lanes does not allow the sunlight to enter. The market was a source of supply for Omanis where they can buy their needs in the 1960s when life requirements were simpler than today. Most of the goods were imported, in addition to local products like textiles, fruit, vegetables and dates.

In the past the market was built from mud and palm leaves, which suit the high temperatures and the hard climate conditions and hence were the best available materials to build the market at that time. Today, the Muscat Municipality has renovated and decorated the market to maintain the popular style but has also introduced modern amenities and redecorated the market heavily to attract tourists and make the shopping experience comfortable for tourists as well as other ordinary shoppers.

The market becomes more crowded and active during Eid seasons when Oman is come from all over the country to buy garments and jewelry.[4]

The main thoroughfare of the souk carries mainly household goods, shoes and ready-made garments. Further inside, you can enjoy the mixed smells of frankincense, perfume oils, fresh jasmine and spices. Enthusiastic shoppers and travellers can also discover a selection of tiny shops (on the side streets and alleyways leading up to the souq) full of Omani silver, stalls of gleaming white dishdashas and embroided kumahs, brightly colored cloth and multicoloured head scarves. Shoppers can even get their hands on old Arabian muskets at these souqs.

Other things sold at the souq include Omani pots, paintings, hookah pipes, framed khanjars (daggers), leatherwork and incense.[5]

Infrastructure

Port Sultan Qaboos[edit]

Commonly called the Muscat Port, Port Sultan Qaboos is one of the main commercial ports in Oman. It is Oman's premier maritime gateway, enjoying a prime location in the politically stable sultanate. Situated in a natural harbour 250 km south of the Strait of Hormuz on the Indian Ocean coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Port Sultan Qaboos' location makes it an ideal hub, not only for the Persian Gulf but also the Indian sub-continent and markets in East and South Africa.

The location of Port Sultan Qaboos offers considerable savings in steaming time when compared to other ports. The port's tariff compares very favorably with others across the region. The already impressive infrastructure, skilled manpower, fast and efficient handling operations and documentation clearance system in PSC will be further enhanced this year.

During the reign of Sayyid Sultan bin Ahmed in the 18th century, Oman's trading activity again increased and the capital area's two harbours — Muscat and Mutrah — diversified, Mutrah was quickly established as a commercial port while Muscat was used for naval operations. The ruler's son Sayyid Said continued to expand maritime commerce although it again went into decline after his death in 1856. Maritime activity was limited to the import of essential items, mainly from India by old-style wooden dhows. Ships had to anchor offshore and sometimes wait for days before cargo could be unloaded manually into small boats.

Muscat Port

This was all to change with the accession of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said who inaugurated a new era of maritime commerce and prosperity in Oman when he established Mina Qaboos (now Port Sultan Qaboos) in 1974.

Port Sultan Qaboos has been operated and managed by Port Services Corporation S.A.O.G. since November 1976. Until 1981, the traffic was essentially conventional cargo. With the advent of containerisation, PSQ developed two of its berths to handle container vessels and these facilities were fully operational by 1983–1984.

PSC embarked on computerization of its operations and back office in 1984. The first system to handle container movements became operational from 1985. Thereafter the computer applications were enhanced to cover all back office operations including invoicing and accounts.

In the early 1990s, the port infrastructure was further enhanced. Two more berths were converted to handle multipurpose vessels including container vessels and were equipped with additional three quay-side gantry cranes. The marshaling yard and empty yard was provided with rubber tyred gantries. On date, the port is an ideal transshipment hub for the upper Persian Gulf and Red Sea ports trade flows.

 

Source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muttrah

  

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

Please View The Canvas Beauty On Black - Click here!

  

Soul

  

The soul, in some religions, spiritual traditions, and philosophies, is the incorporeal or eternal part of a living being, commonly held to be separate from the body. Many philosophical and religious systems teach that humans have souls; some attribute souls to all living things and even inanimate objects (such as rivers); this belief is commonly called animism. The soul is often believed to exit the body and live on after a person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls.

 

The soul has often been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and may be synonymous with spirit, mind or self. Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person. According to psychologist James Hillman, soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death. The words soul and psyche can also be treated synonymously, although psyche has more physical connotations, whereas soul is connected more closely to spirituality and religion.

BY

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul

  

Character

( as seen in the field of the arts )

  

A character is the representation of a person in a narrative or dramatic work of art (such as a novel, play, or film). Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr (χαρακτήρ), the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of "a part played by an actor" developed. Character, particularly when enacted by an actor in the theatre or cinema, involves "the illusion of being a human person." Since the end of the 18th century, the phrase "in character" has been used to describe an effective impersonation by an actor. Since the 19th century, the art of creating characters, as practiced by actors or writers, has been called characterization.

 

A character who stands as a representative of a particular class or group of people is known as a type. Types include both stock characters and those that are more fully individualized. The characters in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (1891) and August Strindberg's Miss Julie (1888), for example, are representative of specific positions in the social relations of class and gender, such that the conflicts between the characters reveal ideological conflicts.

 

The study of a character requires an analysis of its relations with all of the other characters in the work. The individual status of a character is defined through the network of oppositions (proairetic, pragmatic, linguistic, proxemic ) that it forms with the other characters. The relation between characters and the action of the story shifts historically, often miming shifts in society and its ideas about human individuality, self-determination, and the social order.

BY

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_(arts)

 

THE WAY WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES WILL AFFECT THE WAY WE FEEL ABOUT OTHERS, MANY INFLUENCES CAN CONJURE UP MANY REACTIONS IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS IN LIFE, ONE THING HOWEVER IS FOR SURE, THAT TRUE CHARACTER AND PASSION OF THE RESPECTFUL SOUL ARE TIMELESS AND RATHER VERY VERY RARE MY FRIENDS!

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas), are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

 

HISTORY

The towers were designed by Argentine - South American architect César Pelli. They chose a distinctive postmodern style to create a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. Planning on the Petronas Towers started on 1 January 1992 and included rigorous tests and simulations of wind and structural loads on the design. Seven years of construction followed at the former site of the original Selangor Turf Club, beginning on 1 March 1993 with excavation, which involved moving 500 truckloads of earth every night to dig down 30 metres below the surface.

 

The construction of the superstructure commenced on 1 April 1994. Interiors with furniture were completed on 1 January 1996, the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on 1 March 1996, and the first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on 1 January 1997. The building was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on 1 August 1999. The twin towers were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur's race track. Test boreholes found that the original construction site effectively sat on the edge of a cliff. One half of the site was decayed limestone while the other half was soft rock. The entire site was moved 61 metres to allow the buildings to sit entirely on the soft rock. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. 104 concrete piles, ranging from 60 to 114 metres deep, were bored into the ground. The concrete raft foundation, comprising 13,200 cubic metres of concrete was continuously poured through a period of 54 hours for each tower. The raft is 4.6 metres thick, weighs 32,500 tonnes and held the world record for the largest concrete pour until 2007. The foundations were completed within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista. The Petronas Towers' structural system is a tube in tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Applying a tube-structure for extreme tall buildings is a common phenomenon.

 

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb, albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements.

 

As a result of the Malaysian government specifying that the buildings be completed in six years, two construction consortiums were hired to meet the deadline, one for each tower. Tower 1, the west tower (right in the top-right photograph) was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation (JA Jones Construction Co., MMC Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co. Bhd and Mitsubishi Corp) while Tower 2, the east tower (left in the top-right photograph) was built by a South Korean consortium led by the Samsung C&T Corporation (Kukdong Engineering & Construction and Syarikat Jasatera Sdn Bhd). Early into construction a batch of concrete failed a routine strength test causing construction to come to a complete halt. All the completed floors were tested but it was found that only one had used a bad batch and it was demolished. As a result of the concrete failure, each new batch was tested before being poured. The halt in construction had cost US$700,000 per day and led to three separate concrete plants being set up on the site to ensure that if one produced a bad batch, the other two could continue to supply concrete. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. Tower 2 became the first to reach the world's tallest building at the time. When the structure reached about 72nd floor, tower 2 ran into problems. They discovered the structure was leaning 25 millimetres off from vertical. To correct the lean, the next 16 floors were slanted back 20 millimetres with specialist surveyors hired to check verticality twice a day until the building's completion.

 

Due to the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation as a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

NOTABLE EVENTS

On 15 April 1999, Felix Baumgartner set the world record for BASE jumping (since broken) by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

 

Thousands of people were evacuated on 12 September 2001 after a bomb threat was phoned the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Bomb Disposal squads found no bomb in the Petronas towers but they evacuated everyone. Workers and shoppers were allowed to return three hours later, around noon. No one was hurt during the evacuation.

 

On the evening of 4 November 2005, a fire broke out in the cinema complex of the Suria KLCC shopping centre below the Petronas Towers, triggering panic among patrons. There were no reports of injuries. The buildings were largely empty, except the shopping mall, Suria KLCC, because of the late hour; the only people involved were moviegoers and some diners in restaurants.

 

On the morning of 1 September 2009, French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and feet and with no safety devices, scaled to the top of Tower Two in just under 2 hours after two previous efforts had ended in arrest. On 20 March 1997, police arrested him at the 60th floor, 28 floors away from the "summit". He made a second attempt on 20 March 2007, exactly 10 years later, and was stopped once again on the same floor, though on the other tower.

 

COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOWERS

The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the World Trade Center towers were each constructed with 110 occupied floors – 22 more than the 88 floors of the Petronas Towers. Willis Tower's tallest antenna is 75.41 m taller than those of the Petronas Towers, however, in accordance with CTBUH regulations and guidelines, the antennas of Willis Tower were not counted as part of its architectural features. The spires on the Petronas Towers are included in the height since they are not antenna masts. Therefore, the Petronas Towers exceed the official height of Willis Tower by 10 m even though the roof of Petronas Towers at 378.6 metres is 63.4 m lower than the roof of Willis Tower at 442 metres.The Petronas Towers feature a diamond-faceted facade consisting of 83,500 square metres of stainless steel extrusions. In addition, a 33,000-panel curtain wall cladding system resides within the towers. While the stainless steel element of the towers entices the illustrious sun, highlighting the magnificent towers, they are composed of 55,000 square metres of 20.38-millimetre laminated glass to reduce heat by reflecting harmful UV rays.

 

On the top of each tower is a pinnacle standing 73.5 metres tall. The pinnacles were more than just the finishing touches to the height of the towers, each taking over 19 weeks to construct and both being assembled outside the country. One was constructed in Japan and the other in Korea. Each pinnacle is composed of 50 unique parts making up the main components: the spire, mast ball and ring ball. Together these parts weigh 176 tons. While the pinnacles may seem to be an aesthetic feature of the towers to enhance their presence and height, they also play function to aircraft warning lights and are an essential element to the overall Islamic minaret design that the towers embody.

 

The interiors of the towers highlight the Malaysian cultural inspiration to the design through traditional aspects such as fabric and carvings typical of the culture, specifically evident in the foyer of the entrance halls in the towers.

 

The construction of the Petronas Towers turned out to be a multinational effort. The structural design engineers worked out of New York City, while the wind-tunnel consultants and elevator design engineers were from Canada. To meet local safety construction codes, the towers had to be able to withstand 105 km/h winds. To assure this requirement would be fulfilled, the engineers tested the towers twice within a wind tunnel, first by computer simulation and second by building an actual model of the towers.

 

ANCHOR TENANTS

Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

 

FEATURES

SURIA KLCC

Suria KLCC is a 140,000 m2 upmarket retail center at the feet of the Petronas Towers. It features mostly foreign luxury goods and high-street labels. Its attractions include an art gallery, a philharmonic theatre, an underwater aquarium and also a Science center. Suria KLCC is one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.

 

KLCC PARK

Spanning 6.9 ha below the building is the KLCC Park with jogging and walking paths, a fountain with incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children's playground.

 

SKYBRIDGE

The towers feature a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet in towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m above the ground and 58 m long, weighing 750 tons. The same floor is also known as the podium, since visitors going to higher levels have to change elevators here. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the visit was free but in 2010, the tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one which is just a visit to the skybridge or go for package two to go to the skybridge and all the way to level 86. Visitors are only allowed on the 41st floor as the 42nd floor can only be used by the tenants of the building.

 

The skybridge also acts as a safety device, so that in the event of a fire or other emergency in one tower, tenants can evacuate by crossing the skybridge to the other tower. The total evacuation triggered by a bomb hoax on 12 September 2001 (the day after the September 11 attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City) showed that the bridge would not be useful if both towers need to be emptied simultaneously, as the capacity of the staircases was insufficient for such an event. Plans thus call for the lifts to be used if both towers need to be evacuated, and a successful drill following the revised plan was conducted in 2005.

 

There is a two hinged arch that supports the skybridge with arch legs, each 51 metres long, that are bolted to level 29 of each of the towers. After being constructed on the ground, the skybridge was lifted into place on the towers over a period of three days in July 1995 but instead of being directly connected to the towers, the skybridge can shift or slide in and out of them to counterbalance any effect from the wind. Residing on the 41st and 42nd floors, the skybridge connects a conference room, an executive dining room and a prayer room.

 

LIFT SYSTEM

The main bank of Otis Lifts is located in the centre of each tower. All main lifts are double-decker with the lower deck of the lift taking passengers to even-numbered floors and upper deck to odd-numbered floors. To reach an odd-numbered floor from ground level, passengers must take an escalator to the upper deck of the lift.

 

There are 29 double-deck passenger elevators, but there are different sets that service certain floors of the towers, specifically two sets of six of these double-deck passenger elevators to floors 1–23 and 1–37 respectively. Another set of 5 passenger lifts transport passengers to the 41st and 42nd floors where they can switch lifts to reach the upper zones of the buildings, each double-deck passenger lift with the capacity of 52 passengers or, 26 passengers per deck. There are also 6 heavy-duty elevators for utility.

 

From the ground floor, there are three groups of lifts. The "short haul" group of 6 lifts take passengers to floors between level 2/3 and level 16/17. The "mid haul" group of six lifts take passengers to floors between level 18/19 and level 37/38. There is also a set of shuttle lifts that take passengers directly to levels 41/42. To get to levels above 41/42, passengers must take the shuttle lifts, then change to lifts to the upper floors. These connecting lifts are directly above the lifts that serve levels 2 to 38. The pattern now repeats with the upper levels, one set serving levels 43/44 to 57/58 and one set serving levels 59/60 to levels 73/74.

 

Apart from this main bank of lifts, there are a series of "connecting" lifts to take people between the groups. Unlike the main lifts, these are not the double-decker type. Two lifts are provided to take people from levels 37/38 to levels 41/42 (levels 39 and 40 are not accessible as office space). This spares someone in the lower half of the building from having to go back to the ground floor to go to the upper half of the building.

 

The lifts contain a number of safety features. It is possible to evacuate people from a lift stuck between floors by manually driving one of the adjacent lifts next to it and opening a panel in the wall. It is then possible for people in the stuck lift to walk between lift cars. During an evacuation of the buildings, only the shuttle lift is allowed to be used, as there are only doors at levels G/1 and levels 41/42; therefore should there be a fire in the lower half of the building, this enclosed shaft would remain unaffected. Firefighter lifts are also provided in case of emergency.

 

The lift operating chart of the Petronas Towers

 

PL7A-PL7C (Tower 1) & PL8A-PL8C (Tower 2)(Parking & Podium Passenger Lift): P5-P1, C, G, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (PL7A & PL8A non-stop at level 2M)

SL6 (Tower 1) & SL7 (Tower 2) (Parking & Podium Service Lift): P5-P1, 1, 2, 2M, 3-5 (SL7 non-stop at level 2M)

PL14 (Tower 1) & PL15 (Tower 2) (Concert Passenger Lift): G, 2, 2M, 3, 4

A1-A6 (Tower 1) & A7-A12 (Tower 2) (Bank A Passenger Lift): G/1, 8/9-22/23

B1-B6 (Tower 1) & B7-B12 (Tower 2) (Bank B Passenger Lift): G/1, 24/25-36/37

CF1-CF2 (Tower 1) & CF3-CF4 (Tower 2) (Conference Shuttle Lift): 36, 37, 40-42

C1-C6 (Tower 1) & C7-C12 (Tower 2) (Bank C Passenger Lift): 41/42, 43/44-57/58

D1-D3 (Tower 1) & D4-D6 (Tower 2) (Bank D Passenger Lift): 41/42, 59/60-73/74

E1-E3 (Tower 1) & E4-E6 (Tower 2) (Bank E Passenger Lift): 41/42, 75-83

TE1-TE2 (Tower 1) & TE3-TE4 (Tower 2) (Upper Level Passenger Lift): 83, 85-88

S1-S2 (Tower 1) & S4-S5 (Tower 2) (Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-38, 40-84

S3 (Tower 1) & S6(Tower 2) (Lower Level Service Lift): P1, C, G, 2-6, 8-36

F1-F2 (Tower 1) & F3-F4 (Tower 2) (Fireman Service Lift): P1, C, G, 1-6, 8-38, 40-88 (F1 & F3 non-stop at Level 1)

 

SERVICE BUILDING

The service building is to the east of the Petronas Towers and contains the chiller plant system and the cooling towers to keep the Petronas Towers cool and comfortable.

 

TICKETING SYSTEM

In order to visit Petronas towers, visitors must first purchase the tickets. Tickets of adults and children can be purchased via online web portal or at the counter. Discounted tickets for seniors are available for those 55 years of age and above. Queues for tickets can get quite long sometimes. The complete Ticketing System or Automated Fare Collection system is provided by a Malaysian-based solution company called Longbow Technologies Sdn Bhd.

 

IN POPULAR CULTURE

- The towers are prominently featured and mentioned by name in the 1999 film Entrapment, with numerous scenes filmed at the towers, with the climax set on the skybridge.

- The Towers appear in the first episode of the US TV series 24.

- Several scenes of the Bollywood film Don: The Chase Begins Again were also filmed in the Petronas Towers and its skybridge.

- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer!", the towers are visible during the musical number "Summer All Over the World".

- Eidos Interactive has twice used the towers for inspiration in their video games. In the 2002 Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the Malaysia-based levels Basement Killing, The Graveyard Shift, and The Jacuzzi Job all take place in the Petronas Towers. In 2010's Just Cause 2, the fictional Panau Falls Casino is based on the Petronas Towers.

- A 2002 episode of the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures titled "When Pigs Fly" (Season 3, Episode 6), features the towers.

- The towers made its appearance, in the animated series Totally Spies episode titled "Man or Machine".

 

WIKIPEDIA

 

Muttrah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muttrah, (Arabic: مطرح‎) administratively a district, is located in the Muscat province of Oman. Before the discovery of oil, Muttrah was the center of commerce in Oman (Muscat). It is still a center of commerce as one of largest sea ports of the region is located there. Other landmarks include Souq Muttrah, a traditional bazaar and Sour Al-Lawatiah, a small community of houses surrounded by an old wall. To the south lies Muscat District.

Demographics

Muttrah had an estimated population of about 8,000 people when diplomat Edmund Roberts visited in the early 1830s.[1] The district population was 216,578 estimated for 2014, up from 150,124 of the 2010 Census count, and the most densely populated of all districts in the nation

Economy

In the mid 19th century, Muttrah had a vessel repair industry.[1]

Souq Muttrah

The Muttrah Souq

 

Entrance to the Muttrah Souq

Al Dhalam (Darkness in Arabic) Souq is the local name for the Muttrah Souq. The Muttrah Souq is perhaps one of the oldest marketplaces in the Arab world because Muscat is the world's largest natural harbor and has seen immense trade in the age of sail, being strategically located on the way to India and China.[3] It has been named after darkness because of the crowded stalls and lanes where the sunrays do not infiltrate during the day and the shoppers need lamps to know their destinations. The name of the market has been drawn specifically from the part that extends from Al Lawatiya Mosque to Khour Bimba where the place is really full of stores and stalls and the narrow area of lanes does not allow the sunlight to enter. The market was a source of supply for Omanis where they can buy their needs in the 1960s when life requirements were simpler than today. Most of the goods were imported, in addition to local products like textiles, fruit, vegetables and dates.

In the past the market was built from mud and palm leaves, which suit the high temperatures and the hard climate conditions and hence were the best available materials to build the market at that time. Today, the Muscat Municipality has renovated and decorated the market to maintain the popular style but has also introduced modern amenities and redecorated the market heavily to attract tourists and make the shopping experience comfortable for tourists as well as other ordinary shoppers.

The market becomes more crowded and active during Eid seasons when Oman is come from all over the country to buy garments and jewelry.[4]

The main thoroughfare of the souk carries mainly household goods, shoes and ready-made garments. Further inside, you can enjoy the mixed smells of frankincense, perfume oils, fresh jasmine and spices. Enthusiastic shoppers and travellers can also discover a selection of tiny shops (on the side streets and alleyways leading up to the souq) full of Omani silver, stalls of gleaming white dishdashas and embroided kumahs, brightly colored cloth and multicoloured head scarves. Shoppers can even get their hands on old Arabian muskets at these souqs.

Other things sold at the souq include Omani pots, paintings, hookah pipes, framed khanjars (daggers), leatherwork and incense.[5]

Infrastructure

Port Sultan Qaboos[edit]

Commonly called the Muscat Port, Port Sultan Qaboos is one of the main commercial ports in Oman. It is Oman's premier maritime gateway, enjoying a prime location in the politically stable sultanate. Situated in a natural harbour 250 km south of the Strait of Hormuz on the Indian Ocean coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Port Sultan Qaboos' location makes it an ideal hub, not only for the Persian Gulf but also the Indian sub-continent and markets in East and South Africa.

The location of Port Sultan Qaboos offers considerable savings in steaming time when compared to other ports. The port's tariff compares very favorably with others across the region. The already impressive infrastructure, skilled manpower, fast and efficient handling operations and documentation clearance system in PSC will be further enhanced this year.

During the reign of Sayyid Sultan bin Ahmed in the 18th century, Oman's trading activity again increased and the capital area's two harbours — Muscat and Mutrah — diversified, Mutrah was quickly established as a commercial port while Muscat was used for naval operations. The ruler's son Sayyid Said continued to expand maritime commerce although it again went into decline after his death in 1856. Maritime activity was limited to the import of essential items, mainly from India by old-style wooden dhows. Ships had to anchor offshore and sometimes wait for days before cargo could be unloaded manually into small boats.

Muscat Port

This was all to change with the accession of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said who inaugurated a new era of maritime commerce and prosperity in Oman when he established Mina Qaboos (now Port Sultan Qaboos) in 1974.

Port Sultan Qaboos has been operated and managed by Port Services Corporation S.A.O.G. since November 1976. Until 1981, the traffic was essentially conventional cargo. With the advent of containerisation, PSQ developed two of its berths to handle container vessels and these facilities were fully operational by 1983–1984.

PSC embarked on computerization of its operations and back office in 1984. The first system to handle container movements became operational from 1985. Thereafter the computer applications were enhanced to cover all back office operations including invoicing and accounts.

In the early 1990s, the port infrastructure was further enhanced. Two more berths were converted to handle multipurpose vessels including container vessels and were equipped with additional three quay-side gantry cranes. The marshaling yard and empty yard was provided with rubber tyred gantries. On date, the port is an ideal transshipment hub for the upper Persian Gulf and Red Sea ports trade flows.

 

Source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muttrah

  

This image shows the symbiotic system known as CH Cyg, located only about 800 light years from Earth. The large image shows an optical view of CH Cyg, using the Digitized Sky Survey, and the inset shows a composite image containing Chandra X-ray data in red, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in green, and radio data from the Very Large Array (VLA) in blue.

 

CH Cyg is a binary star system containing a white dwarf that feeds from the wind of a red giant star. The material from the wind forms a hot accretion disk around the white dwarf before crashing onto the star. CH Cyg is one of only a few hundred symbiotic systems known, and one of the closest to the Earth. Symbiotic systems are fascinating objects, where the components are codependent and influence each other's structure, daily life, and evolution. They are likely progenitors of bipolar planetary nebulas and they could make up some of the systems that later explode as Type Ia supernovas, spectacular explosions visible across cosmological distances.

 

The image in the inset shows a recent powerful jet in CH Cyg, caught in action by Chandra, HST and VLA. The material in the jet is moving with a speed of over three million miles per hour and is powered by material spinning in the accretion disk around the white dwarf. The detailed structure of the X-ray jet is seen for the first time in this system, showcasing the superb high-resolution capabilities of Chandra. The curved appearance of the jet, shown in the optical by the green arc in the lower right part of the inset, reveals evidence that the direction of the jet rotates. This precession may be caused by wobbling of the accretion disk, in a manner similar to a spinning top.

 

Clumps in the outer jet, seen in X-rays, optical and radio data, provide evidence for powerful mass ejections by the jet in the past, and for interactions with shells of gas formed by the red giant. The jet can be seen as close as 20 astronomical units (AU) from the binary system, where one AU corresponds to the average distance from the Earth to the Sun. The jet extends out to distances as large as 750 AU from the binary, which is about 20 times the distance between the Sun and Pluto.

 

The shape of the jet in CH Cyg shows striking parallels with jets seen in very different astrophysical contexts, such as young stars or supermassive black holes located at the centers of galaxies. Because of its proximity it may be used as a "toy model" to study jet formation and propagation in much more complex and distant systems.

 

In a biological setting, "symbiosis" was originally defined as the "living together of unlike organisms," and describes close and long- term interactions between different species. In this sense, the astrophysical usage is apt because white dwarfs and red giants are very different stars. A red giant is extremely large and bright, with a relatively low temperature, while a white dwarf is small and faint with a high temperature.

 

Symbiosis is usually beneficial or essential to the survival of at least one of the species in the system, for example bees and flowers, birds and rhinos and clownfish and anemones. In the astrophysical context of symbiotic systems, the survival of the hot disk around the white dwarf, where the jet originates, depends on the wind of the red giant. The power, mass and the speed of the jet is closely related to the white dwarf environment including the disk. Once formed, the jet disrupts and shapes the extended envelope and environment of the red giant, as the latter evolves toward the end point of its life as a planetary nebula. However, in some cases, if the white dwarf gains too much mass from the red giant, it may end up being completely destroyed in a spectacular Type Ia supernova explosion.

 

A paper describing the new observations of CH Cyg was published in the February 20, 2010 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters and was led by Margarita Karovska from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). The co-authors are Terrance Gaetz from CfA, Christopher Carilli from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Warren Hack from Space Telescope Science Institue, and John Raymond and Nicholas Lee, both from CfA.

 

Read entire caption/view more images: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2010/m82/

 

Image credit: Inset image: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Karovska et al; Optical: NASA/ STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA Wide field: DSS

 

Caption credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

 

Read more about Chandra:

www.nasa.gov/chandra

 

p.s. You can see all of our Chandra photos in the Chandra Group in Flickr at: www.flickr.com/groups/chandranasa/ We'd love to have you as a member!

Hoboken, New Jersey

 

The Empire State Building is today the best-known symbol of New York City. Its name, Its profile, and the view from its summit are' familiar the world over, and a visit to New York is generally conceded to be incomplete without a trip to the Empire State Building's observatory.

 

The Empire State was the final and most celebrated product of the skyscraper frenzy produced by the economic boom of the 1920s, and'the most prominent of the modernistic towers that created the midtown skyline in those years. Its completion in April, 1931, on the former sits of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, marked the transformation of midtown from New York's preeminent residential area for the social elite into the commercial center of the metropolis.

 

The engineering and construction of the Empire State Building were perhaps the most awesome accomplishments of its creators. Its design, in many ways shaped by the constraints of time, cost, and structure, was the finest work of architect William Lamb, chief designer for Shreve, Lamb 6 Harmon. The slender, modernistic silhouette he created fit the building so well that even today, when it is no longer the tallest, it remains one of the handsomest of New York's skyscrapers.

 

With the decline in construction which accompanied the Depression, and the tendency in the post-war period towards shorter, denser office buildings, the Empire State it 1250 fser remained the world's tallest building until the 1970s, when the Sears Building in Chicago took the title of the world's tallest, end the World Trade Center took the title of New York's tallest. Yet despite the loss of the title which was one of the sources of its original renown, the Empire State Building remains New York's most widely recognized symbol, and the city's quintessential landmark.

 

The Site Development of Midtown Manhattan into the commercial center of New York

 

The site of the Empire State Building was part of a farm, owned by John Thompson, which was acquired In 1827 by William B. Astor. The site remained in Astor hands over a hundred years of development until Its purchase, in 1929, by the Empire State Building Interests.

 

Astor was the second son of John Jacob Astor, founder of the Astor dynasty in America. Using the family fortune, he acquired a great deal of undeveloped property in Manhattan, foreseeing that the northward expansion of New York along the island would eventually make his property worth many times its original price. Over the next fifty years, the area around 34th Street and Fifth Avenue developed first into an outlying rowhouse neighborhood of New York, and then into the city's most fashionable residential area.

 

By the 1850s, Fifth Avenue was lined with the palaces of the Vanderbilts, A.T. Stewart (the "merchant prince," one of New York's wealthiest men), and other millionaires. The Astors themselves moved from Astor Place up to Fifth Avenue in 1859, when John Jacob Astor, Jr., built his house at the northwest corner of Fifth and 33rd Street; shortly thereafter his brother William Backhouse Astor built an adjoining house at the southwest corner of Fifth and 34th Street. The Astor houses soon became known as the central meeting place of New York society, and home to the famous balls thrown by Mrs. Astor for "the four hundred," New York's social elite.

 

Following the traditional pattern of Manhattan growth, the city's hotels, theaters, clubs, and restaurants followed the residential development up Fifth Avenue. By the 1890s, guides to the city identified "the great hotel district" as lying "between 23d and 59th Streets, and Fourth and Seventh Avenues.... in that territory, which is little less than two miles long by a half mile wide, are half of the leading hotels of the metropolis.

 

In 1890, William Waldorf Astor, son of John Jacob Astor, Jr., having decided to move to London, tore down his house and filed plans for the Waldorf Hotel, a thirteen-story building designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh and completed in 1893. in 18S7, the neighboring Astor house having been demolished, the Astoria Hotel was erected by Astor's aunt, and connected to the Waldorf to form the Waldorf-Astoria. The new hotel soon became a major social institution of New York.

 

Forty years later the area was changing again, largely because of the influx of department stores just before and after World War i. During the final decades of the 19th century New York's fashionable stores had clustered in the area called the "Ladies Mile," along Fifth and Sixth Avenues and Broadway between 11th and 23rd Streets.

 

Altman's started the new trend northward by moving in 1906 from Sixth Avenue and 18th Street to Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. Others followed, and by the early 1920s Fifth Avenue was lined from 34th Street north by stores such as Best s, Tiffany's, Franklin Simon, Bonwit Teller, Lord & Taylor and Arnold Constable. Along with the department stores came several tall

 

office buildings, beginning in 1902 with the Flatiron Building at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street.' Rider's New York City Guide noted that "Hotels and restaurants that have long been landmarks, such as the Manhattan, the Buckingham and Sherry's, have disappeared and tall office buildings are multiplying even on the side streets.

 

Newspapers picked up on the changes taking place in the area. Capt. William J. Pedrick, executive vice-president of the Fifth Avenue Association, was quoted extensively on the development of Fifth Avenue; he noted in particular the avenue's new tall commercial buildings: the 15-story New York Trust, the 34-story Squibb Building, the 58-story Salmon Jower (500 Fifth Avenue), and the plans for the Empire State Building.

 

To demonstrate the rate of change on Fifth Avenue, Rider's Guide gave a capsule history of the site across Fifth Avenue from the Waldorf-Astoria: a house belonging to Dr. "Sarsaparilla" Townsend, popularlzer of soft drinks, was replaced in 1867 by the "marble palace" of A.T. Stewart; in the 1890s the house was converted for use by the Manhattan Club; in 1901 it was demolished to make way for the four-story Knickerbocker Trust Building, to which, finally, in 1920-21 were added another twelve stories to create the Columbia Trust Building.

 

The changeover of Midtown Manhattan from social to commercial center was finally consummated by the demolition In 1930 of the Waldorf-Astoria Itself, and the opening on its site the following year of the Empire State Building, a speculative office building and the tallest In the world.

 

A New, Modernistic Midtown Skyline and the Skyscraper Race

 

A new skyline was created for the newly commercial Midtown by the progressively larger office buildings being erected during the 1920s, Since the beginnings of skyscraper development in New York in the last decades of the 19th century, architects had tried to adapt historical sty.es to the modern American invention of the skyscraper. The most successful and famous of these attempts produced the Woolworth Building (Cass Gilbert, 1913), the sixty-story Gothic tower christened the "Cathedral of Commerce." Towards the end of the 1920s, however, under the influence of a "modernism" derived in part from the European Art Deco, New York architects created a new "skyscraper style" which, it has been argued, more fully expressed the nature--the verticality, the metal structure, the sense of an industrial and technological future—of the skyscraper. The series of skyscrapers constructed in midtown, including ;be Chrysler, Daily News, McGraw-Hill, Chanin, RCA (now GE), Fuller, and Empire State buildings, helped Introduce the new modernistic Art Deco style to urban America, and defined midtown's characteristic look for the next several decades, until the new round of skyscraper buildings began in the 1960s.

 

At the same time, the builders of skyscrapers began to reach for progressively greater heights. The WooIworth Building's sixty stories

 

had rested unchallenged for a decade, and Its observatory was considered to have the finest view of New York.

 

In the late 1920s, however, the new commercial buildings began to challenge the title. A 110-story building announced in 1926 by developer John Larkin was never built, but in 1929 two towers, the Bank of Manhattan (927 ft, 70 stories) downtown on Wall Street, and the Chrysler Building (1,050 ft, 77 stories) in Midtown on East **2nd Street, competed in a race to see which would be the new tallest building in the world. The race was heightened by the rivalry between the architects of the two buildings, H. Craig Severance and William Van Alen, who had formerly been partners.

 

Chrysler won by arranging to have the building's spire secretly constructed inside the building and then jacked up through the top at the last minute. Shortly thereafter, however, the Chrysler Building lost Its title to the Empire State Building.

 

The Empire State Building was a speculative office building planned by John J. Raskob, who hired former New York State Governor A1 Smith to be president of the Empire State Company. As an executive of General' Motors, Raskob no doubt considered himself a rival in many ways of Walter Chrysler.

 

According to rental manager Hamilton Weber, the originally planned 86 stories of the Empire State Building were only four feet higher than the Chrysler Building, and "Raskob was worried that Walter Chrysler would pull a trick—like hiding a rod in the spire and then sticking it up at the last minute." Hence, according to Weber, the Idea for the 14-story dirigible mast which raised the building's height to 1250 feet but proved, in the end, to be unusable for its Intended purpose. The Chrysler and Woolworth buildings, seeing there could be no hope of competition with the Empire State, eventually closed their own observatories.

 

The 1920s procession of skyscrapers might have continued producing ever taller buildings: according to a Herald Tribune article discussing the Empire State project in 1930, "Charles F. Noyes let it be known some time ago that he was considering erecting 150 floors over two square blocks in the old mercantile district downtown."

 

The Depression put an end to any such plans, however, and the Empire State Building remained the tallest by far of the city's commercial towers.

 

John Jacob Raskob and Al Smith.

 

The man who conceived the idea for the world's tallest speculative office building was a self-made multi-millionaire industrialist named John J. Raskob.

 

Born Into a poor family in Lockport, New York, Raskob went to work early In life to support his widowed mother and family. He found work as a secretary for a small street railway company in Lorain, Ohio, that happened to be owned by Pierre Du Pont, of the Du Pont chemical industry family.

 

When Du Pont bought the Dallas Street Railway Company In Texas, he made Raskob treasurer, and eventually he took Raskob with him to Wilmington, Delaware, where Du Pont became president of E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Raskob became vice president in charge of finance.

 

Early In the century, Raskob Invested heavily In the newly formed General Motors Corporation, and convinced Du Pont to do the same.

 

In 1915, Du Pont became chairman of General Motors, and in 1918 Raskob became chairman of its Finance Committee. The spectacular growth of the value of General Motors stock made Raskob a multi-millionaire, and one of the wealthiest men in the country. Shortly before the Depression Raskob co-authored an article in the Ladies' Home Journal entitled "Everybody Ought to be Rich."'

 

Aside from his organizational abilities, Raskob's chief contribution to General Motors was the invention of the installment plan for buying automobiles.

 

Like many businessmen of the time, Raskob was interested in politics, and like most millionaires he was a Republican. His entry into politics, however, was as a contributor to the gubernatorial campaign of populist Democratic governor A1 Smith. Raskob was introduced to Smith in New York City in 1926.16 The two men came from similar backgrounds--poor Irish Catholic famlies—and shared a dislike of the Prohibition amendment, an issue in Smith's later campaign for the presidency. They became friendly, and Raskob volunteered generous contributions to Smith's 1926 gubernatorial re-election campaign. Although many of Smith's closest aides distrusted Raskob, they were unable to prevent his appointment two years later as campaign manager for Smith's unsuccessful 1928 race with Hoover for the Presidency, an appointment which resulted in the anomaly of a conservative Republic millionaire becoming Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

 

(One of Raskob's first actions as Chairman was to move thecommittee to offices in the General Motors Building on West 57th Street.)

 

Although Raskob was blamed by some Smith aides for the loss of the 1928 election, and by others for Smith's gradual shift towards a more conservative political philosophy, the relationship between the two men remained strong. When Raskob decided to get into the real estate business, and to build the tallest building in the world, he offered Smith the $50,000 a year job of President of the Empire State Corporation.

 

Al Smith and the World's Tallest Building: Public Relations at the Highest Levels."

 

Raskob's rationale for building the world's tallest building, and for making Governor Smith its president, was never clearly stated, although several explanations have been offered. Unlike its immediate predecessors—the Woolworth Building for Frank W. Woolworth and his company, the Manhattan Company Building for the Bank of Manhattan, and the Chrysler Building for Walter Chrysler and his company—the Empire State was not built to symbolize one man or company: it was not the General Motors Building or Raskob Tower, for instance.

 

The Empire State Building was instead simply a speculative office building, and it was named for New York State, home of the building and the state of which Al Smith had been four times governor. Rather than being a corporate symbol, the building became identified as the world's tallest building and a venture of Al Smith's.

 

The explanation of its height offered by the company in Its various promotional brochures was simply that of a human adventure, carrying on "the Pharaoh's dream":

 

Down through the ages, men have yearned and toiled and planned, that they might build a structure nearer to the skies than ever had been built before. Something of this great desire burned in the souls of the Pharaohs of Egypt, when the Great Pyramid of Gizeh was erected, 451 feet high, equal to thirty-four stories. St. Peter's, at Rome, lifts its dome 435 feet toward the sky. That slender and marvelous minaret in Cairo spears the heights at 280 feet and the Cremona Campanile in Italy rises 396 feet above the earth. The famous Cathedral of Cologne attains an altitude of 512 feet; the Washington Monument is 555 feet high. Then came the era of steel, heralded by the world-famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, 984 feet high, useless except as an awe-inspiring demonstration of what men, steel and machinery can accomplish.

 

The Woolworth Tower was for long the world's tallest building, rising in beautiful Gothic design to a height of sixty stories, 792 feet. The Bank of Manhattan at last surpassed it with its height of 838 feet, only to be in turn surpassed by the 1046 foot elevation cf the Chrysler Building's topmost spire. But Empire State is higher than all these. It carries to triumphant completion the vaulting ambition of the Pharaohs, of Pope Julius when he began the building of St. Peter's.

 

As for bringing ex-Governor Smith into the project, Raskob apparently suggested at the time that he was going to build the Empire State Building to give his old friend a job. Smith, having lost the presidential election and retired from the governorship of New York, faced an uncertain future.

 

His friend, actor and producer Eddie Dowling, recalled being present at the moment of Raskob's offer, the occasion being a dinner thrown by the New York State Democratic party for newly elected Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Smith and Dowling had gone to the men's lounge during a lull in the proceedings, and Smith was telling him of his worries, when Raskob appeared and announced, "Don't worry, A1, I'm going to build a new skyscraper--biggest in the wor!d--and you're going to be president of the company," maintaining that he was doing it all to give Smith a high-paying job.

 

The key to understanding the actual motives behind the height of the building and the involvement of Governor Smith seems to involve a newly developing science that was becoming more and more important to the art of architecture: advertising.

 

Advertising seems to have become an accepted function of office buildings in the 1920s. Arthur Tappan North, writing on the subject, noted:

 

The incorporation of publicity or advertising features in a building is frequently an item for consideration.... This feature, when possessing intrinsic merit, is consonant with and is a legitimate attribute of good architecture. It stimulates public interest and admiration, is accepted as a genuine contribution to architecture, enhances the value of the property and Is profitable to the owner in the same manner as are others forms of legitimate advertising.

 

The Empire State Company in fact launched an extensive advertising campaign capitalizing on several features of the building: its "historic site," formerly that of the Astor Mansion and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel; its convenience ot the two rail terminals in midtown; "a board of directors that inspires confidence;" and its advertising campaign, run by the public relations firm of Belle Moscowitz, former political aide to Al Smith, hit all the leading New York newspapers 'week after week with very clever ads.

 

The value of advertising for the Empire State Building was picked up by the Real Estate Magazine, in an article entitled "Good Publicity Something More Than 'Hitting1 Front Page," in which the Empire State Building was singled out as an excellent example of how it should be done:

 

The Empire State Building has received extensive newspaper attention because of former Governor Smith's connection with the enterprise and through a number of clever creative publicity stunts, notable the mast which will top the building as a mooring spot for Zeppelins duly authorized by official Washington with reporters and cameramen obligingly on hand.-1

 

The two primary subjects of the advertising, however, the two attributes most closely identified with the building, were the involvement of Al Smith, and the building's unmatched height.

 

Al Smith's relationship to the enterprise was frankly stated In the booklet released on May ], 1931> for the building's opening ceremonies:

 

Raskob and his associates selected a leader, a man so well known to the public that his very presence placed the seal of integrity upon their undertaking. He was Alfred E. Smith, four times Governor of New York State, Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.... known and beloved by his countrymen. He became president of Empire State, Inc. even while the mighty structure was only a dream.

 

Lists of the building's board of directors invariably began with Alfred E. Smith, and ended humbly with John J. Raskob. A New Yorker article of early

 

1931 noted that the building was "inevitably associated with ex-Governor Al Smith, fn its earlier stages his picturesque statements made excellent publicity and drew all New York's attention to the steelwork as it grew to dizzy heights."

 

Smith's biographers have noted that his functions at the building were "largely ceremonial.... The staff handled all the rental and maintenance problems, while Smith served as attention getter, greeter, and publicity man delux." To the public, however, the building was Al Smith's, and from the opening ceremonies, when his grandchildren, as representatives of "posterity," cut the ribbon at the main entrance, through the following years of giving tour upon tour to visiting royalty, politicians, sports heroes, and celebrities of every kind, he remained the building's symbol.

 

Similarly, the building's height played a major role in the company's public relations campaign. Besides constantly comparing the building's height to other tall monuments, the company emphasized the extraordinary daring of the construction workers involved in erecting the world's tallest building by commissioning photographer Lewis Hine to document the work.

 

The Company arranged for a special mechanical cage that would enable Hire to be swung out into the air to photograph the most difficult feats. The photographs were then used in advertisements, and put on display in the ground floor store windows.

 

The publicity value of tall buildings was apparently considered to be great enough that it could actually be figured in as a legitimate "expenditure," designed to bring increased prestige and, presumably, income. R.H. Shreve, one of the Empire State Building's architects, wrote in 1930 that the constraints of zoning, wind-bracing, and general costs of a very tall building determine a point...

 

...where the balance begins to swing back and the rate of return on capital investment begins to diminish as the building goes higher, unless the owner gets a markedly greater unit return for the higher space, or charges the decrease in the direct net return to "advertising."

 

Justification for this approach was probably found in the tremendous public interest which developed during the late twenties in skyscraper heights.

 

The New York Sun published a list of the fifty tallest buildings in New York, arranged by height, and shortly afterwards the architectural journal Pencil Points found It necessary to reprint it, in January 1931, noting that "Interest in the heights of New York skyscrapers does not seem to abate, if we may judge by the inquiries concerning them received in this office."

 

A cartoon in the same issue showed an architect with a rendering of a pointed skyscraper and a caption reading: "Enthusiastic Architect: 'You See, This Spike Runs Down the Entire Length of the Building and if Anyone Builds a Taller Building We Can Jack Up the Spike and Still Be the Tallest!"

 

In short, Raskob's strategy was based on an aggressive advertising campaign to market the Empire State Building, a speculative real-estate venture, as the world's tallest building, headed by the world's most popular former politician, with the world's most competent board of directors, on the world's most prestigious site, and the world's most

 

daring engineering feat, with Ai Smith personally conducting the world's famous to see the world's most overwhelming view.

 

If advertising was indeed the goal of the builders of the Empire State Building, they were extraordinarily successful. Twenty years later, Collier's described the effect of the building on the publicity-minded:

 

Douglas Leigh, who makes those superspectacular signs for Broadway, is itching to transform the top into a giant soft-drink bottle, or a glowing cigarette. Human flies want to walk up the front, flagpole sitters want to sit on the lightning rod, and high-wire artists want to traipse through space over to the Chrysler tower at Forty-second Street,

 

The effort spent on public relations paid off much sooner than the building's promoters imagined. Two weeks after the project was announced the stock market crashed, and throughout the early years of the Depression the building remained seriously undertenanted. The Empire State Building was saved from bankruptcy, in part, by the million or so visitors to the observation decks each year who paid one dollar a piece admissions.

 

Shreve, Lamb & Harmon

 

John J. Raskob was no doubt attracted to Shreve, Lamb 6 Harmon by their business-like approach to architecture. Raskob first encountered Shreve S Lamb in 1926 when his company, General Motors, commissioned a new headquarters on West 57th Street from the firm. He must have been impressed by their performance; he may also have considered it an advantage that Shreve, Lamb £ Harmon had been called in as consulting architects for the Bank of Manhattan Building, and therefore had some experience in races for the "tallest building" title, as well as experience working with the Starrett & Eken construction company which built the^Bank of Manhattan and which was later awarded the Empire State contract.

 

Richmond Haroid Shreve (1877" 1946) was born in Cornwall is, Nova Scotia, son of a former Dean of Quebec Cathedral. He studied architecture at Cornell University, graduated in 1502, and spent the next four years on the faculty of the College of Architecture there. While at Cornel! he supervised construction of Goldwiri Smith Hall, designed by the prominent New York firm of Carrere £ Hastings, and at the conclusion of the work he joined the firm.

 

William Frederick Lamb (1883-1952), son of New York builder William Lamb, was born in Brooklyn. After graduating from Williams College in 1904, he studied at the Columbia University School of Architecture, and then went to Paris to study at the Atelier Deglane. Having received his diploma from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1911, he returned to New York and joined Carrere S Hastings. in 1920, both Shreve and Lamb became partners in the new firm of Carrere £ Hastings, Shreve & Lamb.

 

Four years later they broke away to form Shreve & Lamb, and in 1925 they were joined by Arthur Loomis Harmon (1878-1958) to form Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.Harmon, born in Chicago, had studied at the Art Institute there, and graduated from the Columbia University School of Architecture in .1901. From 1902 to 1911 he was a designer in the office of McKim, Head & White, in 1912-13 an associate of the firm of Wall is & Goodwlllie, and then practiced under his own name until joining Shreve £ Lamb. His work alone included battle monuments at Tours, Cantigny and Somme-Py in France, a YMCA in Jerusalem, and the award-winning Shelton Hotel in New York.

 

Of the three architects in the firm, Lamb was generally acknowledged to be the designer, and Shreve the administrator. Shreve was also active as a planner outside the firm's work; he was the director of the Slum Clearance Committee of New York after its formation in 1933, and chief architect of the group preparing plans for the Williamsburg Housing Project, as well as chief architect of the Vladeck Houses on the Lower East Side and also of Parkchester in the Bronx.

 

Shreve, Lamb & Harmon worked principally on commercial office buildings, although they also designed a number of estates and residences in the New York suburbs, and a few apartment houses in Manhattan, Their residential work largely in the neo-Tudor and other popular styles of the 1920s, while their commercial work tended to be spare and functional, reflecting little of the Beaux-Arts ornament for which Carrere & Hastings had been famous.

 

Their buildings in New York, including 500 Fifth Avenue, 14 Wall Street, the Lefcourt National Building, and the Mutual of New York Building, and also their commissions outside the city, such as the Standard Oi! Building in Albany, the Reynolds Tobacco Company building in Winston-Salem, and the Chimes Building In Syracuse, are all similarly designed with unadorned limestone cladding, metal framed windows, and simple set-back massing, occasionally with Art Deco or Streamlined ornamental motifs.

 

The spareness and economy of the firm's designs were a reflection of several architecturai notions gaining currency in the 1920s. As office buildings grew larger and their engineering and financing more complex, the nature of architecture had to adapt to new conditions, Many architects in the 1920s and 1930s, recognizing new constraints, adapted the language of the international Style and functionalist schools of thought and wrote about a new art of architecture.

 

All three architects in the firm wrote on the subject of the changing nature of architecture. Harmon listed the various forces at work on design as: steel construction, congested business areas, the need for light and air, property shape, internal lighting, zoning, the ratio of rentable area to overall area, the cost of steel, wind bracing, and elevators. William Lamb, the partner concerned least with organization and most with design, concurred:

 

An interesting development in the planning of present day office buildings is the change in the conception that the architect has of his work. The day that he could sit before his drawing board and make pretty sketches of decidedly uneconomic monuments to himself has gone. His scorn of things "practical" has been replaced by an intense earnestness to make practical necessities the armature upon which he moulds the form of his idea. Instead of being the intolerant aesthete, he Is one of a group of experts upon whom he depends for the success of his work, for the modern large building with its complicated machinery is beyond the capacity of any one man to master, and yet he must, in order to control the disposition and arrangement of this machine, -have a fairly accurate general knowledge of what it is all about. Added to this he must know how to plan his building so that it will "work" economically and produce the revenue for which his clients have made their investment.39

 

Lamb's design inclinations corresponded very well to the kind of work that Shreve brought into the office. Mrs. Lamb recalls that his tastes in most matters tended to the simple and classical. The architecture he loved best was the spare Romanesque of the southern French cathedrals. Among his contemporaries he greatly admired Raymond Hood, particularly his spare, vertical Daily News Building; HoGd also wrote about the practical side of architecture, dismissing fantastic design as unnecessary. The two men were close friends. Although Lamb's "work had much of the Modernistic to it, his opinion of the flamboyant variety of Moderne represented by the Chrysler Building was rather low—he referred to it once as the "Little Nemo school of architecture," meaning fancy and fantastic, like the comic strip. He never considered his work to be in any way describable as "Art Deco."

 

Precisely because the firm was a well-organized producer of practical and unadorned office buildings, it was able to organize the myriad elements involved and produce a striking, handsome, but still economical design for the Empire State Building, which was above all a creation of business considerations and an unrivalled engineering feat.

 

Conception and Design

 

According to the architects, the Empire State Building was largely shaped by the various economic and engineering considerations involved.

 

The program was short enough—a fixed budget, no space more than 28 feet from window to corridor, as many stories of such space as possible, an exterior of limestone, and completion by May 1, 1931, which meant a year and six months from the beginning of sketches, The first three of these requirements produced the mass of the building and the latter two the characteristics of its design.

 

Planning of the building's layout — involving the placement of elevators, utilities, ventilation, and pipe shafts in such a way as to obtain the maximum amount of rentable office space-~centered on a prototypical plan for the 30th floor, at which point the tower legally began to rise with a zoning-mandated floor-area of one-quarter the lot size.

 

The principles, established by these cooperative investigations, which covered a period of four weeks, together with the owner's requirements... formed the complete program. The "parti" was arrived at in two hours, the evening before a meeting of the owner's corporation. An all-night "charette" produced the next day a series of five or six of the essential plans, an elevation, a perspective, and a fairly accurate tabulation of rentable areas and cube.

 

Lamb described the plan arrived at through the various consultations:

 

The logic of the plan is very simple. A certain amount of space in the center, arranged as compactly as possible, contains the vertical circulation, toilets, shafts and corridors. Surrounding this is a perimeter of office space 28 feet deep. The sizes of the floors diminish as the elevators decrease in number. In essence there is a pyramid of non-rentable space surrounded by a greater pyramid of rentable space....^

 

The massing of the building was to a great extent affected by the elevator system. The elevators were placed in four banks parallel to the building's main axis, with those on the east and west sides being the low-rise group. The low-rise elevators drop off as the building rises, enabling the tower to step back...

 

...from the long dimension of the property to approach the square form of the shaft, with the result that instead of being a tower, set upon a series of diminishing setbacks prescribed by the zoning law, the building becomes all tower rising from a great five-story base.^

 

Elevators and budget were said to be the determining factors of the building's height. The elevator contractor, and Starrett Brothers and Eken, asked independently to calculate the height limit of the building based on their economic priori tie:;, each arrived at a limit of eighty stories plus five for the executive offices.

 

Floor-plan, massing, and height arrived at, the architects turned to the building's exterior. The spare design, based on massing and vertical window strips, was a product of both the building program's practical needs, and Lamb's aesthetic preferences.

 

The exterior is defined almost entirely by a system of vertical strips of windows, projecting slightly beyond the limestone walls, set in continuous vertical metal surrounds, and separated by dull aluminum spandrels; these strips are arranged singly, in pairs, and in sets of three, and run continuously from bottom to top. There is almost no ornamental detail, other than modernistic ripples in the aluminum spandrels and modernistic caps where the window strips terminate at building setbacks.

 

The practical source of the window system was "the last and perhaps_ the most important item in the owner's program-speed of construction."

 

Completion of the building by May 1st was required because that was the traditional day for the signing of new commercial leases in the city, and therefore of crucial importance in the economic planning of a speculative office building. With such a complex building program, construction had to proceed smoothly and as quickly as possible. The advantages of the system were outlined by Shreve in a special article.

 

The total effect of the massing, height, and window-spandrel-wall design is of a very tall tower, rising from a five-story base, and topped by a modernistic spire. The window strips break up the mass of the building, and emphasize its verticality, while the elimination of reveals creates effectively a smooth glass, metal, and stone skin. The expression

 

of the building's taliness is simple arid elegant, the epitome of the kind of design most admired by William Lamb.

 

On the question of the building's style, Lamb wrote:

 

Whatever "style" it may be is the result of a logical and simple answer to the problems set by the economic and technical demands of its unprecedented program.

 

He never thought of it as Art Deco. Much of the ornament can only be described as "modernistic," especially the glass and steel dirigible mooring mast, and in that sense would fall under the generic term "Art Deco" or "Moderne," but the design of the building has little in common with that of the flamboyant Chrysler Building, almost its contemporary and the generally accepted prototypical Art Deco skyscraper.

 

In its reliance on stacked massing, vertical window strips, and simplicity of materials, and in the public insistence by its architects that these elements were largely determined by sheer practical necessity, the Empire State Building seems closer to Raymond Hood's Daily News Building, also contemporary with it.

 

It is quite possible that Lamb discussed his work with his close friend Hood; he admired his work, and the Daily News was Hood's most recent success at the time. The Daily News Building is also riot a purely Art Deco creation, but in some respects an International Style slab; similarly, Hood's contemporary McGraw-Hill Building combines aspects of both, If the Empire State Building, a spare tower on a base with some modernistic details, belongs In a line of succession, it might be that of the News and McGraw-Hill Buildings, followed by the RCA tower in Rockefeller Center, of which Hood was a chief designer.

 

By contrast with the News Building, however, the Empire State is thoroughly symmetrical, and not treated with bright colors. Unlike many skyscrapers, it does not present an overwhelming mass: in midtown, pedestrians are conscious only of its five-story base, which blends into the scale of the area, while from a distance It presents 3 slender silhouette, rising from the center of the metropolis, which Is visible and recognizable from almost every point in the city and some beyond. In this sense, the Empire State Building is in its own class, and its design reflects what it, uniquely, is.

 

Description

 

Although the 1250-foot high Empire State Building is often described as 102 stories tall, that is not quite accurate. The major portion of the building is comprised of 80 stories of commercial office space, with five stories above that for the building's executive offices, and the observatory at the 86th floor. The enormous metal "mooring mast" above the building contains only an elevator encircled by a staircase, and no floors per se; its height, however, is considered by the Empire State Building management to be the equivalent of 14 stories; these, added to the 86 offices floors and two basement levels, produce the figure of 102 stories.

 

The building's tower sits on a five-story base, with facades at the lot line on West 33rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and West 34th Street. The base is a monumental modernistic version of a classical scheme: basement, colonnade, and attic. The basement is formed by the first floor shops and entrances •> the colonnade is approximated by a giant order of molded stone piers piers flanking vertical window strips; and the attic consists of small windows alternating with molded stone panels.

 

The Fifth Avenue facade centers on the building's main entrance which consists of a central pair of doors flanked on either side by a revolving door; a three-story high, three-bay wide set of windows set in modernisticalIy-designed patterns; and an attic story of a pair of windows, all set off from the rest of the facade by two giant molded-stone piers topped by stylized stone eagles above which are inscribed the words EMPIRE STATE. The rest of the facade is comprised of monumental bays, three on either side.

 

Each bay consists of a storefront of chrome-metal and glass at the first floor levei, two three-story vertical window strips separated by a narrow stone mull ton and flanked by a wide stone pier with a modernistic top in place of a capital, and two windows at the fifth-floor level separated by a narrow squat molded-stone mull ion and flanked by wide squat stone piers. These three bays are set off from the central*-entrance bay by a half-bay comprising one vertical strip of windows, and end at either corner with a half-bay set between two monumental stone piers.

 

The identical 33rd and 34th Street facades each comprise three sections of monumental bays, similar to those on the Fifth Avenue facade, separated by two entrance bays. The three sections consist of six, seven, and six bays, slightly emphasising the central section. The two entrance bays on either facade, which project slightly outward, are less elaborate versions of the main Fifth Avenue entrance bay: doors at the first floor level, three vertical window strips, and a three-window attic story, all enframed by a wide stone surround.

 

The two West 33rd Street entrances, however, are actually recessed; these entrances have sets of side doors perpendicular to the building front, and front revolving doors; a moderne light fixture hangs In the center of the recess; the doors are aluminum, set in marble walls.

 

Streamlined metal marquee-type canopies with curving corners project over the entrances on West 33rd and West 34th Streets; each is ringed by three sets of continuous horizontal metal bands. The original storefronts are almost entirely glass-fronted. Each has a black-granite base, a cornice of horizontal molded-aluminum bands framing a black-granite panel, and a central recessed entrance, and each is separated from the next by narrow molded aluminum mull ions topped by modernistic finials.

 

The storefronts form a glass wall which projects three feet beyond the five-story base and forms a banding around it; the continuous black-granite cornices are at the same level as the metal canopies over the 33rd and 34th Street entrances and form a black band course at that level. Several of the storefronts have been unsympathetically altered.

 

The design scheme above the five-story base is determined simply by massing and fenestration. On both the eastern, Fifth Avenue, facade and the western, rear, facade, the tower is dramatically set back above its base, and rises, with shallow setbacks at the 21st and 25th floors, to the 30th floor; from there It rises unobstructed to a .shallow setback at the 72nd floor, then to the 81st floor setback, somewhat more pronounced, which marks the top of the commercial office portion of the building--wi th corresponding elevator banks—and the beginning of the five-story executive suite; a final setback at the 85th floor marks the observatory. Above the tower rises the metal-faced dirigible mooring mast, topped by an enormous television broadcasting antenna.

 

The tower on the east and west facades is nine bays wide from the sixth to the 25th floor, seven bays wide to the 72nd floor, six bays wide to the 81st floor, and five bays wide to the mooring mast.

 

The north (34th Street) and south (33rd Street) facades, wider than the east and west facades, are fifteen bays wide from the sixth to the 21st floor, eleven bays wide to the 30th floor, and nine bays wide to the mooring mast; the nine bays from the 30th floor up are divided into three sections of three bays each: a central section enframed by two projecting side sections; the central section rises unbroken to the 85th floor, while the flanking projecting sections rise to a shallow setback at the 72nd floor and another at the 81st. The various setbacks produce a symmetrical massing that emphasizes the verticality of the building, and creates at the lower levels the effect of a tower rising from a layer of surrounding tapered masses.

 

A fenestration pattern of long vertical window strips is used to break up the mass of the building and emphasize Its verticality. Each window In the vertical strips protrudes slightly from the Indiana limestone cladding of the tower, and is enframed by a strip of nickel-chrome-steel ; each window is separated from the one above by a dull aluminum spandrel with modernistic molding. Where the vertical window strips rise to a setback, they end in simple modernistic metal caps, and begin again above the setback. The three central window strips on the north and south sides end at the 85th-floor level in much larger and more elaborate modernistic metal plates.

 

The strips on most of the building are arranged in pairs, each level comprising two adjacent windows separated by a nickel-chrome-steel mull ion and enframed by nickel-chrome-steel surrounds, each window having an accompanying dull aluminum spandrel; several bays however comprise triple window strips, while others comprise single window strips. The alternation between paired, triple, and single strips Is used to create a horizontal rhythm of vertical lines accentuating the center of each facade.

 

On the east and west facades, all windows are arranged in paired vertical strips, with these exceptions: the outer bay on either side from the sixth to the 25th floor, and the outer four bays on either side from the 21st to the 25th floor, consist of single vertical window strips; the outer bay on either side from the 72nd to the 81st floor likewise consists

 

Sf a single vertical window strip, and also the outer two bays from the 81st to the 84th floods. The arrangement on the wider north and south fronts Is more complicated. The outer two bays, on either side, which rise from the sixth to the 21st floor, are paired vertical window strips.

 

The next five bays on either side, rising from the sixth floor to a shallow setback at the 25th, and projecting out past the central section, are symmetrically arranged with a centra! paired-window strip bay in the center flanked on either side by two single window strips; these bays above the 25th floor setback to the 30th floor are rearranged as two paired vertical strips and a triple strip. The central five bays, from the sixth to the 30th floors, are paired vertical window strips. Above the 30th floor, where these facades are divided into two projecting sections flanking a central section, the latter comprises three paired window strips, while the former are symmetrically arranged as a triple-window strip flanked on either side by a paired window strip.

 

Rising above the 86-story office building is the aluminum, chrome-nickel-steel and glass mast, originally designed to be used for mooring dirigibles but now serving only as a support for the upper observatory tower, and housing for display lights, Four progressively smaller rectangular levels form a base from which springs a cylindrical shaft rising to a conical top. The sides of the levels forming the base are ringed by continuous horizontal metal banding. At each of the four corners of the cylindrical shaft, rising to half its height, Is a set of three overlapping metal wings from which the shaft appears to grow; the four sides of the shaft are formed by continuous glass walls.

 

The top is Jr. three sections: a cylindrical enclosed observation level, still used, of the same circumference as the shaft; a second, smaller cylindrical level surrounded by an open-air observation area, no longer in use, originally Intended as a landing platform for dirigible passengers; and a top section In the shape of a truncated cone--pierced by eight circular openings--which houses the mooring mechanism and beacon lights, and which is topped by a metal mooring pole; each of these three sections is ringed by continuous tubular metal bands. The mooring mast Is now the base for a 200-foot high television antenna, added In 1953, which completes the silhouette of the building as It has been known since that year.

 

Empire State Building: Symbol of New York

 

Following the uncertain first years of the Depression, during -which the half-tenanted building was nicknamed "Smith's Folly*" or the "Empty State Building," the Empire State became a successful commercial office building. The continuing northward trend of Midtown took the prime corporate tenants whom Raskob had hoped to attract away to office buildings north of 42nd Street; the tenancy of the building therefore has since bean largely drawn from the surrounding garment district. Among others housed In the building are the notions, shoe, shirt and hosiery industries, as well as many international corporations and banks.

 

The Empire State Building, however went beyond the aspirations of

 

Raskob for a prestigious and profitable commercial office building. The success of the observatory in drawing crowds of tourists, arid the guided tours by Governor Smith for all visiting celebrities, started a process which helped make the building famous the world over. March 1940 saw the building's four-millionth visitor (actor Jimmy Stewart), and May 1971 its forty millionth. "

 

The Empire State Building's place as symbol of New York derives perhaps equally from its function as a place to visit, from where the most spectacular view of Mew York can be had, and its function as a centrally located landmark, whose slender, pointed silhouette can be seen literally from miles around, marking out midtown Manhattan, the center of the metropolis. The famous silhouette has been reproduced in countless images, and small statues of the. building have been spotted in Far-Eastern bazaars 55 as well as In Times Square tourist shops. The building has figured In television and movies--most famous of these being King Kong—as a symbol of the summit of New York, the greatest creation of a great city.

 

In the 1970s, when the building lost Its title as world's tallest, the office of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon announced a plan to remove the mooring mast above the 86th floor observatory and replace it with twenty stories of office space, to reestablish the building's position as world's greatest skyscraper. The plan—apparently more a public relations ploy than a serious proposal —was quickly forgotten, and indeed would have been counter-productive, as It would have destroyed the silhouette by which the building is known.

 

Despite the loss of Its "world's tallest." title, In fact, the Empire State Building has lost none of Its original distinction or renown. Its design, its history, and perhaps also its position In the center of the city, have all helped it retain Its symbolic significance.

 

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary—May 1, 1981--a special proclamation was Issued by the Mayor of New York, declaring the week of May 1-8, 1981, to be "Empire State Building Week."

 

The Empire State Building remains New York's preeminent landmark.

 

- From the 1981 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

During a line closure for essential maintenance between Regent Centre and Haymarket on February 14th 2010 Metros from the Airport used the spur between Regent Centre and Longbenton and ran to St James via the Coast. This short stretch of line, via the side of the South Gosforth Metro Depot is not normally part of the Tyne & Wear Metro system, and 4087 is pictured bound for St James on that date.

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

 

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

 

Manufacturer:

Rockwell International Corporation

 

Country of Origin:

United States of America

 

Dimensions:

Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. long x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.

(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

 

Materials:

Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass features; payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite; thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

 

The first Space Shuttle orbiter, "Enterprise," is a full-scale test vehicle used for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground; it is not equipped for spaceflight. Although the airframe and flight control elements are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this vehicle has no propulsion system and only simulated thermal tiles because these features were not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. "Enterprise" was rolled out at Rockwell International's assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-long approach-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was used for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

 

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 

• • •

 

Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

 

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight.

 

Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have made it the second space shuttle to fly after Columbia. However, during the construction of Columbia, details of the final design changed, particularly with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the country. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be less costly to build Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been created as a test article. Similarly, Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares instead.

  

Service

 

Construction began on the first orbiter on June 4, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was originally planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A write-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named after the Starship Enterprise, featured on the television show Star Trek. Although Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who during World War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26) that served with USS Enterprise (CV-6)—said that he was "partial to the name" and overrode NASA officials.

 

The design of OV-101 was not the same as that planned for OV-102, the first flight model; the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A large number of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this vehicle, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. Instead of a thermal protection system, its surface was primarily fiberglass.

 

In mid-1976, the orbiter was used for ground vibration tests, allowing engineers to compare data from an actual flight vehicle with theoretical models.

 

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell's plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek were on hand at the dedication ceremony.

 

Approach and landing tests (ALT)

 

Main article: Approach and Landing Tests

 

On January 31, 1977, it was taken by road to Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, to begin operational testing.

 

While at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was used by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle program. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for "Approach and Landing Test". These tests included a maiden "flight" on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems were carried out to verify functionality prior to atmospheric flight.

 

The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to five test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The purpose of these test flights was to measure the flight characteristics of the mated combination. These tests were followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight control systems.

 

Enterprise underwent five free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed under astronaut control. These tests verified the flight characteristics of the orbiter design and were carried out under several aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation problems were revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred.

 

On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its own for the first time.

 

Preparation for STS-1

 

Following the ALT program, Enterprise was ferried among several NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and solid rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

 

Retirement

 

With the completion of critical testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to allow certain components to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour visiting France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (during the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition). It was also used to fit-check the never-used shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Finally, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Post-Challenger

 

After the Challenger disaster, NASA considered using Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the necessary equipment needed for it to be used in space was considered, but instead it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to build Endeavour.

 

Post-Columbia

 

In 2003, after the breakup of Columbia during re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board conducted tests at Southwest Research Institute, which used an air gun to shoot foam blocks of similar size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing leading edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise's wing to perform analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. While the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the impact was enough to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was 2.5 times weaker, this suggested that the RCC leading edge would have been shattered. Additional tests on the fiberglass were canceled in order not to risk damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to determine the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam impact test created a hole 41 cm by 42.5 cm (16.1 inches by 16.7 inches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam impact of the type Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing leading edge.

 

The board determined that the probable cause of the accident was that the foam impact caused a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the leading edge of Columbia's left wing, allowing hot gases generated during re-entry to enter the wing and cause structural collapse. This caused Columbia to spin out of control, breaking up with the loss of the entire crew.

 

Museum exhibit

 

Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian's hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport before it was restored and moved to the newly built Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once again.

Why do Bats Transmit so many Diseases like Ebola?

Bats appear to carry more human-killing diseases than pretty much any other animal, but it’s not entirely their fault, as MinuteEarth explains.

 

Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, Marburg, and SARS are some of the world’s scariest viruses. They can be extremely fatal, like Ebola - which has the capacity to kill 90 percent of the people it infects - and can be extremely fast to spread, like SARS. What binds these terrible viruses together is not only the fact that they're all carried by bats, but also that each of them has surfaced in humans in just the past 50 years.

So what is it about the past 50 years that's suddenly brought all these viruses to the forefront? In the latest episode of MinuteEarth, Kate Yandell explains that because humans and our farm animals have been increasingly encroaching on the territories of wild bats, we’re now in more frequent contact with them than ever before. Plus bats are the perfect carriers of a virus - they love company, and will often roost with hundreds or thousands of their peers in close quarters, allowing the viruses to spread, sometimes even across species.

 

And on top of all of that, infected bats don’t die from the disease, which gives the viruses plenty of time to find a new host. What makes these little mammals more resistant to a virus that can topple an otherwise healthy human being? Flight. Flight might have helped bats gain virtual immunity to viruses, while training the viruses to be virtually immune to us, says Yandell. Watch the latest episode of MinuteEarth above to find out how.

 

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How to keep viruses in the wild from finding humans

Much has been written about the many failures the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa represents: from the genuine lack of access to basic health care in many developing countries to the fact that the front line first response has largely fallen upon the brave volunteers of the nongovernmental sector.

 

This week we have learned that a Spanish dog potentially exposed to Ebola was euthanized out of an abundance of caution, another reminder of how the fates of people and animals are often intertwined. But the animals that need to be much more front and center as we think about Ebola are not domestic dogs, but wildlife.

 

As the human toll and financial costs continue to mount, it is worth taking a moment to consider that the majority of emerging and resurging viral pathogens like Ebola find us through wildlife -- or, more accurately, we find them. How can we most effectively intervene to prevent these tragic disease outbreaks?

 

We likely will continue to invest millions in virus hunting, in cataloging the vast array of pathogens that lurk in wildlife around the world. That is intriguing and challenging work, and such efforts will likely continue to reveal a subset of pathogens we should worry about.

 

It's important to note, however, that while there are likely hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of viruses we don't even know about on land and sea, there are literally only a handful of human behaviors likely to bring humanity into contact with the potentially contagious ones carried by wildlife.

 

How do we encounter viruses carried by wild animals? We kill wildlife and eat or trade their body parts, we capture and trade live wildlife and mix species together in markets, and we encroach upon wilderness areas at increasingly dramatic scales. That's about it. Three pretty straightforward things we can focus on. Of course our potential intervention points require more fine-grained information.

 

We next need to know who needs to eat wildlife. Food security is a basic human right. Many people around the world simply need to hunt to feed themselves and their families. For those people, we then need to identify species that should be avoided if at all possible.

 

If alternative, safe sources of nutrition can be made practically and reliably available, people should simply stop eating bats and primates. This is not the voice of conservation speaking here; it's the voice of public health and common sense.

 

Knowing that bats are uniquely positioned in the animal kingdom as veritable virus factories, we need to know where people rely on access to bats as a food source. There are such places in the world, but there are likely as many if not more locales where bats are a preferred food, but not an essential one.

 

It's important to note that the current Ebola outbreak appears to have originated when a 2-year-old child either touched a captured bat or consumed meat from one.

 

Bats seem to be a unique source of zoonotic viruses (viruses transmissible from animals to people) -- from SARS and Ebola to Nipah and rabies -- just to name a few. Because of this we should work to discourage the capture, killing and consumption of bats, the disruption of their roosting trees, and the establishment of farms right where they defecate and urinate.

 

The same can be said for primates, our closest relatives. We share a lot of diseases with them, and indeed we know that HIV/AIDS arose from the butchering and consumption of chimpanzees. If we can make sure those in need of nutrition can get it in other ways, humanity would be much better off not eating primates of any kind.

 

Will that do the trick: stop all emerging diseases? Of course not. There are plenty of other wild (and domestic) animals that carry pathogens of significant concern to humanity. But avoiding bats and primates would go a long way toward decreasing the odds of a virus making that critical leap from an animal to a human host.

 

Yes, we can and should worry about the health of dogs from a public health perspective; prevention of human rabies usually depends on good dog vaccination protocols. But the news about the dog in Spain should remind us about, not distract us from, the fact that across the planet, the health of people is closely tied to how we interact with the natural world.

 

This is not about cultural insensitivity or about telling hungry people to stop eating. But it is about making a distinction between need and want, recognizing that cultures throughout history learn and adapt, generation to generation. Especially in areas where eating bats and primates continues in the absence of a deep cultural attachment to the practice, educational efforts need to reveal these disease pathways to these consumers.

 

A significant number of people could likely be deterred from eating high-risk species if real political will and resources were brought to bear. For those consumers of high-risk bushmeat who simply have no other dietary options, we need to redouble our development efforts, replacing dependence on wildlife with safe and nutritious alternatives suitable to the local context.

 

Wildlife and the pathogens they carry have been around since the dawn of time. Many recent emerging disease outbreaks correlate directly with the fact that our growing numbers continue to demand more and more from wild nature in unprecedented and increasingly risky ways.

 

We can try to find and unravel the life history of every virus of potential risk. But we need to alleviate poverty, improve food security, and tap into the capacity for human culture to adapt in order to mitigate some very clear and present threats to our very survival.

 

Editor's note: Steve Osofsky is executive director for wildlife health and health policy at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

 

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One woman walked in, and the Ebola nightmare began

By Adam Levine, Special to CNN, September 24, 2014

 

-- A middle-aged woman walked into the emergency room of Phebe Hospital with a fever on the evening of June 23.

 

Phebe was known as one of the best hospitals in rural Liberia, supported by the local government and international religious and academic partners. Phebe was especially known for its high-quality nursing care, serving as a training hospital for nearby Cuttington University, one of the country's few nursing schools.

 

A few hours after arriving in the emergency room, the woman was admitted to the medicine ward with a list of potential infections -- all the usual suspects in Bong County: malaria, typhoid, sepsis.

 

An epidemic had been raging for months in nearby Guinea, but Ebola was not considered as a possible diagnosis. After all, nobody at Phebe had ever seen a patient before with Ebola, and as the axiom goes in medicine, when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. Certainly don't start imagining unicorns.

 

The nurse who cared for the woman that night drew her blood and helped her to the toilet to urinate. When the woman began vomiting and soiled her sheets, the nurse cleaned up the mess, as nurses do all over the world every day.

 

For a disease whose transmission depends on the direct contact of one human being with the body fluids of another, Ebola has no better customer than nurses.

 

The other thing about nurses that the virus finds particularly helpful is they tend to work in shifts. Before the week was out, Bong County's first Ebola patient had died, and seven nurses caring for her had fallen ill. Six of them would also die in the coming weeks.

 

The remaining clinical staff, watching their colleagues falling ill all around them, abandoned the hospital. When the patients saw what was happening, those well enough to walk out did just that.

 

Over the ensuing months, the epidemic rippled across Bong. Hundreds of individuals were infected, and perhaps more importantly, basic social institutions also began to collapse.

 

One by one, all three hospitals in the county shut down due to fear of the spread of the virus, followed by most of the primary care clinics. Women were left without midwives to deliver their babies, accident victims without emergency rooms to care with them. Next the primary schools closed, then the secondary schools, and finally Cuttington University.

 

Guilty of Ebola until proven otherwise

 

Ebola is not just a disease of individuals but also one that infects society's most basic health and social welfare structures.

 

As a disease that afflicts health care institutions, it is perhaps fitting that the most powerful weapon in the fight against Ebola is not a single drug or vaccine but instead a particular type of health care institution: the Ebola Treatment Unit, or ETU.

 

On September 15, I helped International Medical Corps open the first ETU in Bong County. I have worked in many hospitals, both rich and poor, and have set up refugee camp clinics and trauma field hospitals in poverty-stricken and war-torn countries.

 

But managing an ETU has been an entirely different experience.

 

The primary goal of a hospital or clinic is to care for patients and, if possible, to save their lives. The primary goal of an ETU is to protect the lives of its staff.

 

The secondary goal is to protect surrounding communities and resuscitate local health care systems by taking patients suspected of having Ebola out of their homes and hospital emergency rooms, breaking the chain of transmission.

 

Caring for patients comes third on the list of priorities, though still remains important. After all, why would people go to an ETU if they did not think there was at least a chance that it would help make them better?

 

During the week before opening our ETU, I can honestly say that I worked harder and slept less than during any other time in my life. The sheer number of details involved in the construction and management of this unique type of health care facility is almost endless.

 

Ebola's $1 billion bill hits Africa's bright economic lights

 

First, a site had to be chosen, which has been a significant roadblock to the opening of other ETUs. Hospitals tend to be built close to the communities they serve; most communities, however, tend to want their ETU as far away as possible.

 

Our ETU sits in the middle of a forest, 2 kilometers (more than a mile) down a rough dirt road, on the grounds of an old leper colony. Perhaps it is not surprising that the survivors of one of humanity's oldest and most stigmatized diseases would be among the few to welcome a treatment facility for one of the newest stigmatized diseases.

 

Second, the design and infrastructure of the ETU had to be perfected, with separate spaces and wards designating different levels of risk, where staff members would know to take different kinds of precautions.

 

A borehole was drilled and giant tanks erected to mix up the nearly 12,000 liters of chlorine required each day to disinfect the ETU and its staff properly. A giant incinerator was built to burn the vast amounts of infected waste produced by the facility safely.

 

Third, supplies had to be purchased, both the normal kind present in any hospital, such as bed sheets and intravenous fluids, but also the expensive (and increasingly difficult to purchase) personal protective equipment. A single outfit of boots, gloves, suit, mask, hood, goggles and apron costs as much as $90, and at full capacity the ETU might go through 100 outfits a day.

 

Ebola hospital overwhelmed by patients

 

Finally and most importantly, local staff had to be hired and trained to work in the facility. While a small team of expatriates working with International Medical Corps manages our ETU, more than 90% of the staffing remains local.

 

During the week before opening our facility, I helped organize an intensive training for our first 50 staff members, including physician assistants, nurses, nursing aids, hygienists, sprayers, safety monitors, waste handlers, chlorinators, laundry staff and burial team members, to ensure they knew how to protect their health and the health of their colleagues while working in the ETU.

 

Just 72 hours before our opening day, we had a checklist of almost 50 items, ranging from goggles to gravediggers, that we still needed to be able to begin admitting patients safely to the ETU. The pressure to open the ETU had been building for weeks as the numbers of cases of Ebola in the county began to skyrocket.

 

Somehow, and I'm still not sure how, we made it happen.

 

Editor's note: Adam Levine is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and director of the Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Brown University. He is a member of the emergency response team for International Medical Corps. The views expressed in this post are his.

 

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Russland macht den Kampf gegen Ebolafieber mit

STIMME RUSSLANDS, 14.Oktober 2014

 

Die Ebola-Verbreitung nimmt Ausmaße einer Pandemie an. Am Montag wurden Patienten mit Symptomen dieser Erkrankung in Polen und Belgien in Krankenhäuser eingewiesen. Zuvor wurden Ebola-Fälle in Spanien, Norwegen, den USA und Frankreich bestätigt.

  

In den Staaten Westafrikas gibt es über 8.500 Kranke. Es gibt keine Arzneien gegen diese Ansteckung, deshalb bieten die Ärzte eine rein symptomatische Behandlung an. Aber sie bringt in den meisten Fällen keinen Erfolg. Eine Quarantäne und sanitär-hygienische Maßnahmen sind jetzt die wichtigsten Vorbeugungsmaßnahmen.

 

Russland tut alles Mögliche für den Schutz der Bevölkerung gegen das Ebolafieber. Das teilte Präsident Wladimir Putin in seinem Gespräch mit der WHO-Generaldirektorin Margaret Chen mit. „Dabei wird Russland anderen Ländern auch weiter gegen diese gefährliche Erkrankung kämpfen helfen“, unterstrich Wladimir Putin.

 

„Wir nehmen an dem Kampf gegen diese Infektion teil. Einige europäische Staaten baten uns nötigenfalls ihnen spezielle Flugzeuge, die unsere europäischen Partner vorläufig nicht haben, zur Verfügung zu stellen. Experten prüfen jetzt die Möglichkeit eines Zusammenwirkens in dieser Richtung. Wir sind bereit auch andere Handlungen der russischen Seite zu erörtern“, so der russische Präsident.

 

„Russland hat neben speziell ausgerüsteten medizinischen Flugzeugen so genannte „Kapseln“ – einzigartige mobile Boxen, die für den Transport von infizierten Kranken bestimmt sind“, sagte der stellvertretende Direktor für die wissenschaftlich-klinische Arbeit des Instituts für die Epidemiologie, Akademiemitglied Viktor Malejew:

 

„Die Kapseln sind eine sehr gute Isolierung, deshalb stellt ein Kranker beim Transport keine Gefahr der Verbreitung der Infektion dar. Drinnen wird der Unterdruck gewährleistet, damit die Ausflüsse des Kranken, der sich darin befindet, nicht in die Umwelt gelangen. Das sind Kapseln russischer Herkunft.“

 

Russische Wissenschaftler stehen außerdem kurz vor der Entwicklung eines Vakzins gegen das Ebolavirus. „Man arbeitet in Labors sowohl in Russland als auch in Guinea, wo sich jetzt russische Fachleute befinden, in mehreren Richtungen“, teilte die russische Gesundsministerin Weronika Skworzowa mit:

 

„Wir entwickeln jetzt drei Vakzine. Mit einem davon wurden bereits vorklinische Tests durchgeführt, jetzt stehen klinische Tests bevor. Das Vakzin wird unmittelbar aus einem inaktivierten Virusstamm produziert. Zwei andere sind Geningenieurvakzine, die von führenden russischen Instituten für die Virologie entwickelt werden. Man wird sie, wie ich denke, in den nächsten sechs Monaten produzieren.“

 

Jetzt sind schon einige experimentelle Vakzine gegen das Ebolavirus, unter anderem US-amerikanischer und britischer Herkunft, bekannt. Sie bewährten sich gut bei Untersuchungen an Primaten, aber es stellte sich heraus, dass sie für die Menschen wenig effektiv sind. Fachleute aus verschiedenen Ländern arbeiten weiterhin aktiv in dieser Richtung.

 

Ebola-Infektion: Im Frankfurter Flughafen Ansteckungsgefahr am größten RIA Novosti/ STIMME RUSSLANDS, 10 Oktober 2014

 

Bei Reisen über den Flughafen Frankfurt am Main ist das Risiko für Passagiere, sich mit einem Virus, darunter auch dem Ebola-Virus anzustecken, größer als bei Flügen über andere internationale Airports, geht aus Berechnungen von Forschern des Saarbrücker Max-Planck-Instituts für Informatik hervor.

 

Die Forscher erstellten ein Rechenmodell zur Ausbreitung von Pandemien. Dabei werteten sie eine Datenbank von 3.458 Flughäfen mit 68.620 Flugverbindungen und 171 verschiedenen Flugzeugvarianten aus.

 

„Mit der Zunahme des weltweiten Flugverkehrs steigt die Gefahr von Pandemien“, erklärten die Forscher. Frankfurt am Main erreicht dabei wegen sehr vielen Verbindungen und hohen Fluggastzahlen den Skala-Höchstwert von 100. Mit 97 Prozent kommt Peking auf Rang zwei. Darauf folgen London Heathrow Airport mit 92 Prozent und der Flughafen New York JFK mit 91 Prozent.

 

Britische Medien hatten zuvor berichtet, dass sich die Ebola-Epidemie auch in Frankreich und Großbritannien ausbreiten könnte. Das Ebola-Virus wird mit einer Wahrscheinlichkeit von 75 Prozent bis zum 24. Oktober Frankreich erreichen. Bei Großbritannien liegt die Wahrscheinlichkeit bei 50 Prozent.

 

Das gefährliche Ebola-Virus breitet sich rasend schnell aus. Der aktuelle Ausbruch betrifft die westafrikanischen Länder Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, die Demokratische Republik Kongo und Senegal.

 

Das Ebola-Virus wird ausschließlich über direkten Kontakt mit der Körperflüssigkeit von Erkrankten oder Verstorbenen übertragen. Laut den jüngsten Angaben der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) wurden in Westafrika mehr als 8.000 Ebola-Patienten registriert. Mehr als 3.800 Menschen sind bereits an der Krankheit gestorben.

 

What Happens When You Are Infected With The Ebola Virus? Common Cold,Bleeding Out The Ears And Eyes @ youtube

 

Ebolavirus

Ebolaviruses were first described after outbreaks of EVD in southern Sudan in June 1976 and in Zaire in August 1976.The name Ebolavirus is derived from the Ebola River in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), the location of the 1976 outbreak, and the taxonomic suffix -virus (denoting a viral genus). This genus was introduced in 1998 as the "Ebola-like viruses". In 2002 the name was changed to Ebolavirus and in 2010, the genus was emended. Ebolaviruses are closely related to marburgviruses.

Evolution

Rates of genetic change are 8*10-4 per site per year and thus one fourth as fast as influenza A in humans. Extrapolating backwards Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus probably diverged several thousand years ago. A study done in 1995 and 1996 found that the genes of Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus differed by about 55% at the nucleotide level, and at least 67% at the amino acid level. The same study found that the strains of Ebolavirus by about 37-41% across the nucleotide level and 34-43% across the amino acid level. The EBOV strain was found to have an almost 2% change in the nucleotide level from the original 1976 strain from the Yambuki outbreak and the strain from the 1995 Kikwit outbreak. However, paleoviruses (genomic fossils) of filoviruses (Filoviridae) found in mammals indicate that the family itself is at least tens of millions of years old.

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Ebola: Verlauf

Veröffentlicht von: Dr. rer. nat. Geraldine Nagel (23. Oktober 2014)

Das Hauptproblem bei Ebola ist die nicht eindeutig geklärte ursprüngliche Infektionsquelle – also die Tierart, welche das ursprüngliche Virus beherbergt, ohne selbst daran zu erkranken (sog. natürliches Reservoir). Erst wenn diese Quelle gefunden ist, können Ärzte und Wissenschaftler viele ihrer Fragen zu der Infektionkrankheit klären. Daher untersuchten Forscher während der letzten Epidemien zahlreiche Tierarten in den betroffenen Regionen.

Momentan nehmen Wissenschaftler an, dass möglicherweise Flughunde das natürliche Reservoir des Ebola-Virus sind. Diese könnten das Virus direkt an Menschen weitergeben (z.B. wenn Flughunde verzehrt werden) oder indirekt über infizierte Affen. Es gibt Ebola-Fälle, bei denen sich die Betroffenen durch den Verzehr von Affenfleisch infiziert haben. Da diese Tiere aber selber auch an der Krankheit versterben, kommen sie als Ursprungswirt nicht infrage.

 

Posts-Thread {_@ facebook updated by me on 26th Oct 2014_}

 

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2014

13th Oct @ 12:51 --- 261 views

13th Oct @ 18:37 --- 422

14th Oct @ 10:54 --- 702

14th Oct @ 13:54 --- 758

15th Oct @ 10:50 ---- 1,147

26th Oct @ 19:20---- 5,414

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2015

10th Jan -- 20,329

30th Jan -- 23,462

Stanford Memorial Church in Sepia. I really like the mural and you can see more detail in the large or original size.

 

From the Stanford University Office office of Religious Life:

Stanford Memorial Church stands at the center of the campus, and is the University's architectural crown jewel. It was one of the earliest, and is still among the most prominent, interdenominational churches in the West. Jane Stanford built the church as a memorial to her husband, Leland. Together, Senator and Mrs. Stanford had constructed the University as a memorial to their son, Leland, Jr.

 

The Stanfords, who were religious, but not committed to any denomination, decreed that the church was also to be non-denominational. Adopting such a philosophy, they felt, would permit the church to serve the broadest spiritual needs of the university community. The Stanfords also saw spiritual and moral values as essential to a young person's education and future citizenship.

 

The first chaplain of Memorial Church,The Rev. Charles Gardner, said on its dedication day in 1903: "We begin anew today. no less an experiment than this: to test whether a non-sectarian church can minister to the spiritual needs of a great university. it has been built in love; not to teach a theological system, not to develop a sectarian principle, but to minister to the higher life."

 

The church construction was completed in 1903. Today, regular multi-faith services are held in the church, in addition to denominational and nondenominational Christian services."

I thought this was very interesting information.

 

Update 1-1-2010: This photo is published in the San Francisco & Bay Area 2010 City Guide (Page 86, top, right side) magazine placed in hotel guest rooms in the San Francisco and the Bay Area. I was honored to see it in print.

1977 The first Apple Computer goes on sale. Quebec adopts French as the official language. Jimmy Carter is elected as the President of United States and the first oil flows through the Trans Alaskan Oil Pipeline. The precursor to the GPS system in use today is started by US Department of defense. Elvis Presley Dies from a heart attack aged 42.

 

British Public sector trade unions including Firefighters strike for wage increases over the 10% ceiling imposed by the British government. The first ever Quadraphonic concert in London by Pink Floyd. The first commercial flight Concord London to New York. NASA space shuttle makes its first test flight off the back of a jetliner. Voyager I and Voyager II are launched unmanned to explore the outer solar system.

 

When Britain's fire crews walked out on national strike, members of the public were advised to take matters into their own hands. Although the armed services, with their so-called "Green Goddess" fire engines, were drafted in, they were seen by many as a last line of defence.

 

As the strike took hold in the encroaching winter of November 1977, people were encouraged to keep buckets of sand and water at home. And at a time when many still relied on open fires for heating, householders were advised to have their chimneys cleaned. The London Fire Brigade issued its own 11-point safety guide, advising checking for smouldering cigarettes and leaving only essential electrical appliances like fridges plugged in. The strike began on 14 November and lasted for nine weeks, running through to the New Year. At the time fire fighters worked a basic 48-hour week, for which they were paid an average of £71.10, which amounted to £3,700 a year.

 

The fire fighters finally agreed to settle for a 10% pay rise with guarantees of future increases and they went back to work on 16 January.

 

Silver Jubilee of 1977

 

The Queen’s first biggie was the Silver Jubilee of 1977. The two previous monarchs had not reached this milestone; the Queen’s father King George VI died after only 15 years and two months on the throne and her uncle Edward VIII did not even make it to a year.

 

Britain in 1977 had recently experienced power cuts, a forerunner of the Winter of Discontent.

 

No wonder the country was in the mood for a party. But celebrations were different then. Children’s parties used to consist of jelly and ice-cream and Pass The Parcel; now they want a cabaret show and expensive goody bags. Similarly, the Diamond Jubilee involves a cast of thousands and many hours of airtime each day over the better part of a week. The Silver Jubilee coverage consisted of less than seven hours in total, mostly on Jubilee day itself, with not a single celebrity in sight – unless you count Margot (actress Penelope Keith) from The Good Life presenting Jubilee Jackanory.

 

The Royal Family was smaller 35 years ago so the Queen had to carry out all her own Jubilee engagements.

 

She went on a royal progress through Britain, much of it by car, so that she could be seen by as many people as possible, even if time did not allow for a walkabout in every town. Late in Jubilee year, a newspaper published a picture of her looking weary, with the comment “Well she IS 51.” And now here she is doing just as much at 86.

 

The tide was already turning in 1977 as that was the first year when foreign cars outsold British ones.

 

In Silver Jubilee year leisure for most people meant watching your newly-acquired (but in many cases rented) colour TV. There were only three channels – BBC1, BBC2 and ITV – but somehow there was always something worth watching. The Professionals was a favourite, starring Martin Shaw (sporting a bubble perm) and Lewis Collins and their Ford Capri, as was The New Avengers, a revival of the Sixties series, starring Joanna Lumley and her Purdey hairdo, a modern take on the pudding bowl. Roots, the ground-breaking mini-series tracing a black man’s family history from capture in West Africa, was broadcast in April 1977. Morecambe and Wise ruled the comedy roost. A staggering 28million – half the population at the time – watched their 1977 Christmas show, a figure unlikely to be exceeded.

 

Sadly the same might be said of Britain’s Wimbledon hopes. No one has really come close since Virginia Wade won in Silver Jubilee year in front of the Queen.

 

Before videos and DVDs, people still went to the cinema and in December 1977 everyone wanted to see Star Wars, a new kind of fantasy film about “a galaxy far, far away”, that spawned the genre that now includes The Lord Of The Rings and even Harry Potter. Meanwhile the pop world was fragmenting. On one side there was glam rock and disco; on the other, punk. The Sex Pistols’ snarling version of God Save The Queen was released in Jubilee week and their manager Malcolm McLaren said it was proof that there were “barbarians at the gate”.

 

They never made it through. The popularity of the Royal Family surged in Silver Jubilee year just as it had in Diamond Jubilee year.

 

We are not the same country we were in 1977. But perhaps we are not entirely different either.

 

Cost of Living

 

In 1977, 56 per cent of Britons owned one car or more, 74 per cent owned a washing machine. 50 per cent of people had central heating in their homes. Computers, DVD and CD players were non-existent. A couple with two children had an average net income of £363 a week. A single pensioner received an income of £180 a week. We spent 25 per cent of our income on food. We spent 10 per cent of our income on leisure and holidays. In 1977, 93 per cent of men aged 25-54 were in work. However female employment in the same age group was 59 per cent. 26 per cent of jobs were in manufacturing.

 

Despite the vast majority of adults thinking that things were better in the 1970s, figures from that era suggest that life was not easy.

 

1977: Star Wars fever hits Britain

 

Thousands of people were flocking to cinemas in the UK to watch the long-awaited blockbuster, Star Wars - a movie which is already setting US box offices alight. Bracing the cold weather, young and old queued from 0700 GMT in London at the Dominion, and Leicester Square cinemas, to snatch up non-reserved tickets which were otherwise booked until March.

 

Star Wars, which was first released in America seven months ago, has taken audiences by storm and outstripped last year's blockbuster Jaws to gross $156m (£108m) at the box office. Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guiness and little known Harrison Ford star in this fairytale set in space. Produced by Gary Kurtz, written and directed by George Lucas who directed American Graffitti, the U-classified sci-fi film is a classic epic of good versus evil. It has enthralled audiences under a dazzle of special effects with wizards, heroes, monsters in "a galaxy far, far away".

 

The 900 people involved in the film included giants, dwarfs, artists and the man who built machines for James Bond. Many of the optical special effects were developed in California by Industrial Light and Magic, a George Lucas company. The on-stage special effects were put together at Elstree studios in Britain. Filming took the cast to Tunisia, Death Valley California, Guatemala and the EMI soundstage at Elstree.

 

The build-up and hype has led to store wars over Star Wars with products including T-shirts, sweets, jig-saw puzzle, watches and food to name but a few. Mr Lucas has published a paperback version and Marvel comics have produced a special edition to meet the thirst for Star Wars' merchandise. But for those queuing today nothing will satisfy them but a chance to see the film itself - easy targets for touts trying to sell £2.20 tickets for £30.

 

1977 The Murders of the Yorkshire Ripper

 

5 February – 28-year-old homeless woman Irene Richardson is murdered in Leeds, at almost the exact location where prostitute Marcella Claxton was badly injured nine months ago. Police believe that this murder and attempted murder may be connected, along with the murders of Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson and the attempted murders of at least three other women.

 

Near the body, the police discovered an important clue. The killer had driven his car onto the soft ground of Soldiers Field. The police were able to determine the tire marks as being two India Autoway tires, a Pneumant, and an Esso 110, all cross-ply. With a rear track width of between 4' 1 1/2" and 4' 2 1/2", the number of vehicles that it could apply to was twenty-six, including Ford Corsairs. A staggering 100,000 vehicles in West Yorkshire would have to be checked, and before the killer changed any of his tires.

 

23 April - Prostitute Patricia Atkinson is murdered in Bradford; she is believed to be the fourth woman to die at the hands of the mysterious Yorkshire Ripper.

 

Patricia Atkinson, aged 32, a prostitute, was the second murder victim in 1977 by Peter Sutcliffe. To the police, the Leeds killer had now expanded his territory to include Bradford. A blood sample showed that Patricia Atkinson had consumed about twenty measures of spirits. The police also found a bloody foot print on a bottom bed sheet from a size seven Dunlop Warwick wellington boot, which matched the foot prints found at the Emily Jackson murder scene. It was clear, from this, and from the injuries sustained, that the Yorkshire Ripper had now expanded his territory to include Bradford. As well, for what would be the only time, he had committed a murder indoors.

 

26 June – 16-year-old shop assistant Jayne McDonald is found battered and stabbed to death in Chapeltown, Leeds; police believe she is the fifth person to be murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper. About 30 yards into Reginald Street, near an adventure playground, Sutcliffe struck Jayne MacDonald with the hammer on the back of the head. After she fell down, he then dragged her, face down, about 20 yards into the corner of the play area. Her shoes made a "horrible scraping noise" along the ground as he dragged her. He hit her again with the hammer and then pulled her clothes up and stabbed her several times in the chest and in the back.

 

The slaying of a young girl, not connected to the prostitute trade, an "innocent", brought not only national attention to the case, and outrage from the public not seen in the earlier murder cases, but also caused Chief Constable Ronald Gregory to appoint his most senior detective, Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield to be in overall charge of the escalating Ripper murder investigations. Peter Sutcliffe claims to have been shocked when he saw the newspaper headlines that Jayne MacDonald had not been a prostitute as he had assumed.

 

Jayne's father, Wilf MacDonald, a former railwayman, was to die two years after her murder, never having recovered from the ordeal of her murder.

 

10 July – Bradford woman Maureen Long, 42 is injured in an attack believed to have been committed by the Yorkshire Ripper in the West Yorkshire city.

 

Maureen Long had remembered going to the cloak room at the club, and walking towards the city centre. She also remembered his white Ford with the black roof. But the description of her attacker that she was able to provide - white, well-built man, aged 36 or 37, about 6ft. 1in. tall, puffy cheeks, thickish eyebrows, collar-length wiry blond hair, with noticeably large hands - relieved Peter Sutcliffe of some of his worries about being caught. His only concern was the description of his car by the nightwatchman. In August he sold the white Ford Corsair to Ronnie Barker. When it broke down, Sutcliffe reluctantly took it back, stripped the car down, and redistributed the spare parts around the replacement car he had bought in September 1977, a red Ford Corsair.

 

10 October – Missing 20-year-old prostitute Jean Jordan is found dead in Chorlton, Manchester, nine days after she was last seen alive. Police believe that the Yorkshire Ripper may have killed her; the first crime outside Yorkshire which the killer has been suspected of.

 

Jean Jordan, also known as Jean Royle, and a prostitute, was killed on October 1 1977 as the Yorkshire Ripper expanded his territory to include Manchester. The events of the murder resulted in the Yorkshire Ripper leaving a clue that could be (and was) directly traced to him. Sutcliffe would also return to the body nine days later to try and recover the incriminating £5 pound note evidence, and when he failed, would carry out the worst attack and mutilations on any of his victims.

 

The handbag had not been found on October 10th, as it was just outside the police search area. The £5 note, which Peter Sutcliffe had been searching for on his return visit to Manchester, had finally been found. The incriminating note, the police discovered, had been from a batch issued in pay packets days before the murder.

 

Unfortunately, the five day delay in its discovery, coupled with the delay caused by the fact the body had not been discovered before Sutcliffe returned to it, and other factors, such as the delay by the police it announcing its discovery and the serial number, meant that too much time had passed to further narrow the search for its owner by any public input (see £5 Note Clue for information about the hunt for the owner of the note).

 

28 October – Police in Yorkshire appeal for help in finding the Yorkshire Ripper, who is believed to be responsible for a series of murders and attacks on women across the county during the last two years.

 

14 December – 25-year-old Leeds prostitute Marilyn Moore is injured in an attack believed to have been committed by the Yorkshire Ripper.

 

Marilyn Moore, a 25-year-old prostitute, survived an attack by Peter Sutcliffe, and provided one of the best photofits of the suspect from a known Ripper victim. As well, a clue found at the scene tied this attack to the Irene Richardson murder. Her description of the car was that is was a dark coloured or maroon vehicle, about the size of a Morris Oxford. Sutcliffe was, in fact, driving his red Ford Corsair. The police found an important clue in the tire track evidence that they found at the scene of the attack on Marilyn Moore. The tire tracks where consistent with the tire track evidence found at the Irene Richardson murder scene, the same India Autoway cross-ply tires were on the front wheels. There was no doubt that the Yorkshire Ripper had been the one who had attacked Marilyn Moore.

 

1977 Timeline

 

January–June – The United Knigdom holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time.

 

January – The Ford Fiesta goes on sale in the UK.

 

1 January – The Clash headline the gala opening of the London music club, The Roxy.

 

3 January – Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary, announces he is leaving the House of Commons to become President of the European Commission.

 

6 January – Record company EMI sacks the controversial British punk rock group the Sex Pistols for their behaviour on ITV's Today Show, whose presenter Bill Grundy was also dismissed by his employers for inciting them.

 

10 January – Clive Sinclair introduces his new two-inch screen television set, which retails at £175.

 

29 January – Seven Provisional Irish Republican Army bombs explode in the West End of London, but there are no fatalities or serious injuries.

 

4 February - Fleetwood Mac's Grammy-winning album Rumours is released, featuring songs that include "The Chain", "Don't Stop", and "Go Your Own Way".

 

Police discover an IRA bomb factory in Liverpool.

 

5 February – 28-year-old homeless woman Irene Richardson is murdered in Leeds, at almost the exact location where prostitute Marcella Claxton was badly injured nine months ago. Police believe that this murder and attempted murder may be connected, along with the murders of Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson and the attempted murders of at least three other women.

 

10 February - Elizabeth II visits American Samoa.

 

The three IRA terrorists involved in the 1975 Balcombe Street Siege in London are sentenced to life imprisonment on six charges of murder.

 

11 February – Elizabeth II visits Western Samoa.

 

13 February – Anthony Crosland, Foreign Secretary, is seriously ill in hospital after suffering a stroke.

 

14 February – Elizabeth II visits Tonga.

 

16–17 February – Elizabeth II visits Fiji.

 

17 February – George Newman, chairman of Staffordshire County Council, is sentenced to 15 months in prison for corruption.

 

22 February – David Owen, 38, becomes the youngest post-Second World War Foreign Secretary, succeeding the late Anthony Crosland, who died 3 days earlier.

 

22 February – 7 March – Elizabeth II visits New Zealand.

 

28 February – State Opening of the Parliament of New Zealand, by Elizabeth II.

 

1 March – James Callaghan threatens to withdraw state aid to British Leyland unless it puts an end to strikes.

 

7–30 March – Elizabeth II visits Australia.

 

8 March – State Opening of the Australian Parliament, Canberra by Elizabeth II.

 

12 March – The Centenary Test between Australia and England begins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

 

14 March – The government reveals that inflation has pushed prices up by nearly 70% within three years.

 

15 March – British Leyland managers announce intention to dismiss 40,000 toolmakers who have gone on strike at the company's Longbridge plant in Birmingham, action which is costing the state-owned carmaker more than £10million a week.

 

17–23 March – The Prince of Wales visits Ghana.

 

19 March – The last Rover P6 rolls off the production line after 14 years.

 

23 March – Government wins a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons after James Callaghan strikes a deal with the leader of the Liberal Party, David Steel.

 

23–25 March – Elizabeth II visits Papua New Guinea.

 

29 March – Income tax is slashed to 33p in the pound from 35p in the budget.

 

31 March – Elizabeth II visits Muscat.

 

April – Mike Leigh's comedy of manners Abigail's Party opens at the Hampstead Theatre, starring Alison Steadman.

 

2 April – Red Rum wins the Grand National for the third time.

 

8 April – Punk band The Clash's debut album The Clash is released in the UK through CBS Records.

 

11 April – London Transport's Silver Jubilee buses are launched.

 

18–30 April – The Embassy World Snooker Championship moves to the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, and attracts television coverage for the first time.

 

23 April - National Front marchers clash with anti-Nazi protesters in London.

 

Prostitute Patricia Atkinson is murdered in Bradford; she is believed to be the fourth woman to die at the hands of the mysterious Yorkshire Ripper.

 

29 April – British Aerospace is formed to run the nationalised aviation industry.

 

30 April – Mid Hants Railway reopened.

 

3 May – HMS Invincible is launched at Barrow-in-Furness by Elizabeth II.

 

5 May - Silver Jubilee review of the Police at Hendon by Elizabeth II.

 

Conservatives make gains in local council elections, including winning the Greater London Council from Labour.

 

7 May - 3rd G7 summit held in London.

 

Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Elliot Trudeau does a pirouette behind the back of Elizabeth II.

 

The 22nd Eurovision Song Contest is held in London. With Angela Rippon as the presenter, the contest is won by Marie Myriam representing France, with her song "L'oiseau et l'enfant" ("The Bird and the Child").

 

13 May – The Silver Jubilee Air Fair is held at Biggin Hill.

 

15 May – Liverpool F.C. are English league champions for the tenth time.

 

17 May – Elizabeth II commences her Jubilee tour in Glasgow.

 

18 May - The UK is among 29 signatories of a Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

 

Elizabeth II visits Cumbernauld and Stirling.

 

19 May – Elizabeth II visits Perth and Dundee.

 

21 May – Manchester United win the FA Cup for the fourth time by defeating Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in the final. It is their first major trophy since they won the European Cup in 1968.

 

23–27 May – Elizabeth II visits Edinburgh.

 

25 May – Liverpool win their first European Cup by defeating the West German league champions Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 in the final in Rome.

 

27 May - Elizabeth II opens the new Air Terminal Building at Edinburgh Airport.

 

Prime Minister James Callaghan officially opens the M5 motorway, which is now complete with the opening of the final stretch around Exeter, 15 years after the first stretch of the motorway (beginning near Birmingham) was opened.

 

28 May – Climax of Windsor Silver Jubilee celebrations: Elizabeth II visits the town on her Jubilee tour.

 

30 May – A gala performance for the Silver Jubilee is held at the Royal Opera House, London.

 

6–9 June – Jubilee celebrations are held in the United Kingdom to celebrate twenty-five years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, with a public holiday on 7 June.

 

17 June – Wimbledon F.C., champions of the Isthmian League, are elected to the Football League in place of Workington in the Fourth Division.

 

20 June - Anglia Television broadcasts the fake documentary "Alternative 3". It enters into the conspiracy theory canon.

 

Seventeen people are arrested during clashes between pickets and police at the Grunwick film processing laboratory.

 

26 June – 16-year-old shop assistant Jayne McDonald is found battered and stabbed to death in Chapeltown, Leeds; police believe she is the fifth person to be murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper.

 

4 July – Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty is sensationally dismissed by the club's directors due to his affair with the wife of the club's physiotherapist.

 

7 July – The first episode of the BBC documentary series Brass Tacks is aired, featuring a debate as to whether Myra Hindley should be considered for parole from the life sentence she received for her role in the Moors Murders in 1966.

 

10 July – Bradford woman Maureen Long, 42 is injured in an attack believed to have been committed by the Yorkshire Ripper in the West Yorkshire city.

 

11 July - Gay News found guilty of blasphemous libel in a case (Whitehouse v. Lemon) brought by Mary Whitehouse's National Viewers and Listeners Association.

 

Don Revie announces his resignation after three years as manager of the England national football team.

 

12 July – Within 24 hours of resigning as manager of the England national football team, Don Revie accepts an offer to become the highest paid football manager in the world when he is appointed manager of the United Arab Emirates national football team on a four-year contract worth £340,000.

 

14 July – Manchester United appoint Dave Sexton, manager of Queen's Park Rangers and previously Chelsea, as their new manager.

 

23 July – Chrysler Europe launched the Sunbeam, a three-door rear-wheel drive small hatchback similar in concept to the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Chevette.

 

29 July – Finance Act abolishes the collection of tithes.

 

August – Government introduces voluntary Stage III one-year pay restraint.

 

10 August - The Queen visits Northern Ireland as part of her Jubilee celebrations under tight security.

 

Kenny Dalglish, 26-year-old Scotland striker, becomes Britain's most expensive footballer in a £440,000 transfer from Glasgow Celtic to Liverpool.

 

11 August – Cricketer Geoff Boycott scores the 100th century of his career for England against Australia at Headingley, Leeds.

 

12 August – 19 September – Union-Castle Line RMS Windsor Castle (1959) makes the line’s last passenger mail voyage out of Southampton for Cape Town, the last major British ship to operate in the regular ocean liner trade.

 

13 August – Battle of Lewisham: an attempt by the far-right National Front to march from New Cross to Lewisham in southeast London leads to counter-demonstrations and violent clashes.

 

15 August – Rioting breaks out in Birmingham during demonstrations against the National Front.

 

17 August – Ron Greenwood, general manager of West Ham United, who guided the East London club to FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup glory as their team manager during the 1960s, accepts an offer from the Football Association to manage the England team on a temporary basis until December.

 

23 August – A new, smaller, £1 note is introduced.

 

September – Ford launches the second generation of its popular Granada model.

 

6 September – Car industry figures show that foreign cars are outselling British-built ones for the first time. Japanese built Datsuns, German Volkswagens and French Renaults are proving particularly popular with buyers, although British-built products from Ford, British Leyland, Vauxhall and Chrysler UK are still the most popular.

 

16 September – Rock star Marc Bolan, pioneer of the glam rock movement at the start of the 1970s with T. Rex, is killed in a car crash in Barnes, London, two weeks before his 30th birthday. His girlfriend Gloria Jones, the driver of the car, is seriously injured.

 

19 September – Manchester United, the English FA Cup holders, are expelled from the European Cup Winners' Cup after their fans rioted in France during a first round first leg game with AS Saint-Etienne (which ended in a 1-1 draw) five days ago.

 

26 September - Freddie Laker launches his new budget Skytrain airline, with the first single fare from Gatwick to New York costing £59 compared to the normal price of £186.

 

UEFA reinstates Manchester United to the European Cup Winners' Cup on appeal. However, they are ordered to play their return leg against AS Saint-Etienne at least 120 miles away from their Old Trafford stadium.

 

3 October – Undertakers go on strike in London, leaving more than 800 corpses unburied.

 

10 October – Missing 20-year-old prostitute Jean Jordan is found dead in Chorlton, Manchester, nine days after she was last seen alive. Police believe that the Yorkshire Ripper may have killed her; the first crime outside Yorkshire which the killer has been suspected of.

 

14 October – Fourteen people are injured in a bomb explosion at a London pub.

 

25 October – Michael Edwardes succeeds Richard Dobson as chief of British Leyland.

 

27 October - Former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe denies allegations of attempted murder of and having a relationship with male model Norman Scott.

 

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols is released in the United Kingdom, and the Sex Pistols perform on a boat on the River Thames shortly afterwards, only for the police to wait for them and several arrests occurred, including that of Malcolm McLaren, the band's manager at the time.

 

28 October – Police in Yorkshire appeal for help in finding the Yorkshire Ripper, who is believed to be responsible for a series of murders and attacks on women across the county during the last two years.

 

14 November – Firefighters go on their first ever national strike, in hope of getting a 30% wage increase.

 

15 November - The Queen becomes a grandmother for the first time when Princess Anne gives birth to a son.

 

The first SavaCentre hypermarket, a venture between J Sainsbury and British Home Stores, opens at Washington, Tyne and Wear.

 

22 November – British Airways inaugurates regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.

 

3 December – The England football team fails to achieve World Cup qualification for the second tournament in succession.

 

10 December - James Meade wins the 1977 Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with the Norwegian Bertil Ohlin for their "Pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international trade and international capital movements."

 

Nevill Francis Mott wins the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Philip Warren Anderson and John Hasbrouck van Vleck "for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems".

 

12 December - Chrysler Europe announces its new Horizon range of five-door front-wheel drive hatchbacks, which will be built in Britain as a Chrysler and France as a Simca. It will give buyers a more modern alternative to the Avenger range of rear-wheel drive saloons and estates.

 

Ron Greenwood signs a permanent contract as England manager, despite England's failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup. The appointment is controversial, as there had been widespread support for Brian Clough of Nottingham Forest to be appointed.

 

14 December – 25-year-old Leeds prostitute Marilyn Moore is injured in an attack believed to have been committed by the Yorkshire Ripper.

 

16 December – The Queen opens a £71million extension to the London Underground which runs to Heathrow Airport.

 

21 December – Four children die at a house fire in Wednesbury, West Midlands, as Green Goddess fire appliances crewed by hastily-trained troops are sent to deal with the blaze while firefighters are still on strike. 119 people have now died as a result of fires since the strike began, but this is the first fire during the strike which has resulted in more than two deaths.

 

22 December – The Queen's first grandchild is christened Peter Mark Andrew Phillips.

 

25 December – The Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show on BBC 1 television attracts an audience of more than 28 million viewers, one of the highest ever in U.K. television history.

 

27 December – The much-acclaimed Star Wars film, which has been a massive hit in the United States, is screened in British cinemas for the first time.

 

Inflation has fallen slightly this year to 15.8%, but it is the fourth successive year that has seen double digit inflation.

 

Colour television licences exceed black and white licences for the first time in the U.K.

 

Lynsey De Paul teamed up with Mike Moran as the UK entry for Eurovision in 1977, staged at Wembley Conference Centre, and finished in second place with Rock Bottom.

 

Music Events

 

1 January – The Clash headline the gala opening of the London music club, The Roxy.

 

22 January – Maria Kliegel makes her London début at the Wigmore Hall, with a programme of Bach, Kodály, and Franck.

 

26 January - Fleetwood Mac's original lead guitarist, Peter Green, is committed to a mental hospital in England after firing a pistol at a delivery boy bringing him a royalties check.

 

27 January – After releasing only one single for the band, EMI Records terminates its contract with the Sex Pistols.

 

4 February - Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is released; it goes on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time.

 

15 February – Sid Vicious replaces Glen Matlock as the bassist of the Sex Pistols.

 

10 March – A&M Records signs the Sex Pistols in a ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace. The contract is terminated on 16 March as a result of the band vandalizing property and verbally abusing employees during a visit to the record company's office.

 

2 May – Elton John performs the first of six consecutive nights at London's Rainbow Theatre, his first concert in eight months. John keeps a low profile in 1977, not releasing any new music for the first year since his recording career began eight years previously.

 

7 May – Having been postponed from 2 April because of a BBC technicians' strike, the 22nd Eurovision Song Contest finally goes ahead in London's Wembley Conference Centre.

 

11 May – The Stranglers and support band London start a 10-week national tour.

 

12 May - Virgin Records announces that they have signed the Sex Pistols.

 

7 June – The Sex Pistols attempt to interrupt Silver Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II by performing "God Save the Queen" from a boat on the River Thames. Police force the boat to dock and several arrests are made following a scuffle.

 

12 June - Guitarist Michael Schenker vanishes after a UFO concert at The Roundhouse in London. He is replaced for several months by Paul Chapman until he appears again to rejoin the group in October.

 

15 June – The Snape Maltings Training Orchestra makes its London debut at St John's, Smith Square.

 

25 June – The Young Musicians' Symphony Orchestra of London, conducted by James Blair, gives the belated première of William Walton's 1962 composition Prelude for Orchestra.

 

6 July - During a Pink Floyd concert before a crowd of 80,000 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Bassist Roger Waters having become increasingly irritated by a fan until he exerts his frustration by spitting on him. The incident becomes the catalyst for the group's next album, The Wall.

 

22 July – The first night of The Proms is broadcast by BBC Radio 3 for the first time in quadraphonic sound.

 

26 July – Led Zeppelin cancels the last seven dates of their American tour after lead singer Robert Plant learns that his six-year-old son Karac has died of a respiratory virus. The show two days before in Oakland proves to be the band's last ever in the United States.

 

1 September – World première at the Royal Albert Hall in London of the expanded version of Luciano Berio's Coro.

 

16 September – T.Rex frontman Marc Bolan is killed in an automobile accident.

 

27 October - The Sex Pistols release their controversial album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, which would be their only studio album.

 

Number-one singles

 

Wings - Mull Of Kintyre

Abba - Name Of The Game

Baccara - Yes Sir I Can Boogie

David Soul - Silver Lady

Elvis Presley - Way Down

The Floaters - Float On

Brotherhood Of Man - Angelo

Donna Summer - I Feel Love

Hot Chocolate - So You Win Again

The Jacksons - Show You The Way To Go

Kenny Rogers - Lucille

Rod Stewart - I Dont Want To Talk About It

Deniece Williams - Free

Abba - Knowing Me Knowing You

Abba - The Name of the Game

Manhattan Transfer - Chanson DAmour

Leo Sayer - When I Need You

Julie Covington - Dont Cry For Me Argentina

Johnny Mathis - When a Child is Born

David Soul - Dont Give Up On Us

 

Television

 

Mike Yarwood's 1977 Christmas Show tops the list of most-watched Christmas programmes.

 

27 March – Jesus of Nazareth, a British-Italian television miniseries dramatizing the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus based on the accounts in the four New Testament Gospels debuts on British television, starring Robert Powell as Jesus.

 

28 March – Yorkshire Television and Tyne Tees Television launch a nine-week breakfast television experiment. It is credited as being the United Kingdom's first breakfast television programme, six years before the launch of TV-am and the BBC's Breakfast Time. Both programmes run at the same time, with Tyne Tees, Good Morning North, and Yorkshire's Good Morning Calendar. Both programmes finish on Friday 27 May.

 

22 April – The original series of motoring programme Top Gear begins as a local magazine format produced by BBC Midlands from its Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham, presented by Angela Rippon and Tom Coyne. In 1978 it is offered to BBC2 where it airs until 2001. In 2002 the series is relaunched in a new format.

 

7 May – The 22nd Eurovision Song Contest is held in London. With Angela Rippon as the presenter, the contest is won by Marie Myriam representing France, with her song "L'oiseau et l'enfant" ("The Bird and the Child").

 

6 June-9 June – Television viewers in Britain and around the world watch live coverage of the celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, while the soap opera Coronation Street features an elaborate Jubilee parade in the storyline, having Rovers' Return Inn manageress Annie Walker dress up in elaborate costume as Queen Elizabeth I. Ken Barlow and "Uncle Albert" play Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing respectively.

 

20 June – Anglia Television broadcasts the fake documentary "Alternative 3". It enters into the conspiracy theory canon.

 

7 July – The first episode of the BBC documentary series Brass Tacks is aired, featuring a debate as to whether Myra Hindley should be considered for parole from the life sentence she received for her role in the Moors Murders in 1966.

 

7 September – The Krypton Factor makes its debut on ITV.

 

18 September – The occasional ITV bloopers programme It'll be Alright on the Night is first aired.

 

1 October – Ian Trethowan succeeds Charles Curran as Director-General of the BBC.

 

26 November – Southern Television broadcast interruption: Just after 5.10pm in the Southern Television ITV region, a hoaxer hijacks the sound of Independent Television News from the IBA transmitter at Hannington, Hampshire, and broadcasts a message claiming to be Asteron of the Ashtar Galactic Command. Thousands of viewers ring STV, ITN or the police for an explanation; the identity of the intruder was never confirmed.

 

25 December – Both the Mike Yarwood Christmas Show and The Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show on BBC 1 attracts an audience of more than 28 million, one of the highest ever in U.K. television history.

 

Scum, an entry in BBC1's Play for Today anthology strand, is pulled from transmission due to controversy over its depiction of life in a Young Offenders' Institution (at this time known in the U.K. as a borstal). Two years later the director Alan Clarke makes a film version with most of the same cast, and the original play itself is eventually transmitted on Channel Four in 1991.

 

Colour television licenses exceed black and white licenses for the first time in the U.K.

 

BBC1

 

2 January – Wings (1977–1978)

15 February – Take Hart (1977–1983)

12 April – Citizen Smith (1977–1980)

7 July – Brass Tacks (1977–1988)

7 September – Secret Army (1977–1979)

17 October – Des O'Connor Tonight (1977–2002)

 

ITV

 

11 January – Robin's Nest (1977–1981)

8 May – King of the Castle (1977)

18 May – A Bunch of Fives (1977–1978)

6 September – You're Only Young Twice (1977–1981)

7 September – The Krypton Factor (1977–1995, 2009–2010)

18 September – It'll Be Alright On The Night (1977–present)

30 December – The Professionals (1977–1983)

The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

 

Preface

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, July 08, 2014

8 May 2010

Theme: Global Economy, Poverty & Social Inequality

 

The following text is an excerpt of the Preface of The Global Economic Crisis. The Great Depression of the XXI Century, Montreal, Global Research, 2010.

 

In all major regions of the world, the economic recession is deep-seated, resulting in mass unemployment, the collapse of state social programs and the impoverishment of millions of people. The economic crisis is accompanied by a worldwide process of militarization, a “war without borders” led by the United States of America and its NATO allies. The conduct of the Pentagon’s “long war” is intimately related to the restructuring of the global economy.

 

We are not dealing with a narrowly defined economic crisis or recession. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives. In turn, the U.S.-NATO military agenda serves to endorse a powerful business elite which relentlessly overshadows and undermines the functions of civilian government.

 

This book takes the reader through the corridors of the Federal Reserve and the Council on Foreign Relations, behind closed doors at the Bank for International Settlements, into the plush corporate boardrooms on Wall Street where far-reaching financial transactions are routinely undertaken from computer terminals linked up to major stock markets, at the touch of a mouse button.

 

Each of the authors in this collection digs beneath the gilded surface to reveal a complex web of deceit and media distortion which serves to conceal the workings of the global economic system and its devastating impacts on people’s lives. Our analysis focuses on the role of powerful economic and political actors in an environment wrought by corruption, financial manipulation and fraud.

 

Despite the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives presented within this volume, all of the contributors ultimately come to the same conclusion: humanity is at the crossroads of the most serious economic and social crisis in modern history.

 

The meltdown of financial markets in 2008-2009 was the result of institutionalized fraud and financial manipulation. The “bank bailouts” were implemented on the instructions of Wall Street, leading to the largest transfer of money wealth in recorded history, while simultaneously creating an insurmountable public debt.

 

With the worldwide deterioration of living standards and plummeting consumer spending, the entire structure of international commodity trade is potentially in jeopardy. The payments system of money transactions is in disarray. Following the collapse of employment, the payment of wages is disrupted, which in turn triggers a downfall in expenditures on necessary consumer goods and services. This dramatic plunge in purchasing power backfires on the productive system, resulting in a string of layoffs, plant closures and bankruptcies. Exacerbated by the freeze on credit, the decline in consumer demand contributes to the demobilization of human and material resources.

 

This process of economic decline is cumulative. All categories of the labor force are affected. Payments of wages are no longer implemented, credit is disrupted and capital investments are at a standstill. Meanwhile, in Western countries, the “social safety net” inherited from the welfare state, which protects the unemployed during an economic downturn, is also in jeopardy.

 

The Myth of Economic Recovery

 

The existence of a “Great Depression” on the scale of the 1930s, while often acknowledged, is overshadowed by an unbending consensus: “The economy is on the road to recovery”.

 

While there is talk of an economic renewal, Wall Street commentators have persistently and intentionally overlooked the fact that the financial meltdown is not simply composed of one bubble – the housing real estate bubble – which has already burst. In fact, the crisis has many bubbles, all of which dwarf the housing bubble burst of 2008.

 

Although there is no fundamental disagreement among mainstream analysts on the occurrence of an economic recovery, there is heated debate as to when it will occur, whether in the next quarter, or in the third quarter of next year, etc. Already in early 2010, the “recovery” of the U.S. economy had been predicted and confirmed through a carefully worded barrage of media disinformation. Meanwhile, the social plight of increased unemployment in America has been scrupulously camouflaged. Economists view bankruptcy as a microeconomic phenomenon.

 

The media reports on bankruptcies, while revealing local-level realities affecting one or more factories, fail to provide an overall picture of what is happening at the national and international levels. When all these simultaneous plant closures in towns and cities across the land are added together, a very different picture emerges: entire sectors of a national economy are closing down.

 

Public opinion continues to be misled as to the causes and consequences of the economic crisis, not to mention the policy solutions. People are led to believe that the economy has a logic of its own which depends on the free interplay of market forces, and that powerful financial actors, who pull the strings in the corporate boardrooms, could not, under any circumstances, have willfully influenced the course of economic events.

 

The relentless and fraudulent appropriation of wealth is upheld as an integral part of “the American dream”, as a means to spreading the benefits of economic growth. As conveyed by Michael Hudson, the myth becomes entrenched that “without wealth at the top, there would be nothing to trickle down.” Such flawed logic of the business cycle overshadows an understanding of the structural and historical origins of the global economic crisis.

 

Financial Fraud

 

Media disinformation largely serves the interests of a handful of global banks and institutional speculators which use their command over financial and commodity markets to amass vast amounts of money wealth. The corridors of the state are controlled by the corporate establishment including the speculators. Meanwhile, the “bank bailouts”, presented to the public as a requisite for economic recovery, have facilitated and legitimized a further process of appropriation of wealth.

 

Vast amounts of money wealth are acquired through market manipulation. Often referred to as “deregulation”, the financial apparatus has developed sophisticated instruments of outright manipulation and deceit. With inside information and foreknowledge, major financial actors, using the instruments of speculative trade, have the ability to fiddle and rig market movements to their advantage, precipitate the collapse of a competitor and wreck havoc in the economies of developing countries. These tools of manipulation have become an integral part of the financial architecture; they are embedded in the system.

 

The Failure of Mainstream Economics

 

The economics profession, particularly in the universities, rarely addresses the actual “real world” functioning of markets. Theoretical constructs centered on mathematical models serve to represent an abstract, fictional world in which individuals are equal. There is no theoretical distinction between workers, consumers or corporations, all of which are referred to as “individual traders”. No single individual has the power or ability to influence the market, nor can there be any conflict between workers and capitalists within this abstract world.

 

By failing to examine the interplay of powerful economic actors in the “real life” economy, the processes of market rigging, financial manipulation and fraud are overlooked. The concentration and centralization of economic decision-making, the role of the financial elites, the economic thinks tanks, the corporate boardrooms: none of these issues are examined in the universities’ economics programs. The theoretical construct is dysfunctional; it cannot be used to provide an understanding of the economic crisis.

 

Economic science is an ideological construct which serves to camouflage and justify the New World Order. A set of dogmatic postulates serves to uphold free market capitalism by denying the existence of social inequality and the profit-driven nature of the system is denied. The role of powerful economic actors and how these actors are able to influence the workings of financial and commodity markets is not a matter of concern for the discipline’s theoreticians. The powers of market manipulation which serve to appropriate vast amounts of money wealth are rarely addressed. And when they are acknowledged, they are considered to belong to the realm of sociology or political science.

 

This means that the policy and institutional framework behind this global economic system, which has been shaped in the course of the last thirty years, is rarely analyzed by mainstream economists. It follows that economics as a discipline, with some exceptions, has not provided the analysis required to comprehend the economic crisis. In fact, its main free market postulates deny the existence of a crisis. The focus of neoclassical economics is on equilibrium, disequilibrium and “market correction” or “adjustment” through the market mechanism, as a means to putting the economy back “onto the path of self-sustained growth”.

 

Poverty and Social Inequality

 

The global political economy is a system that enriches the very few at the expense of the vast majority. The global economic crisis has contributed to widening social inequalities both within and between countries. Under global capitalism, mounting poverty is not the result of a scarcity or a lack of human and material resources. Quite the opposite holds true: the economic depression is marked by a process of disengagement of human resources and physical capital. People’s lives are destroyed. The economic crisis is deep-seated.

 

The structures of social inequality have, quite deliberately, been reinforced, leading not only to a generalized process of impoverishment but also to the demise of the middle and upper middle income groups.

 

Middle class consumerism, on which this unruly model of capitalist development is based, is also threatened. Bankruptcies have hit several of the most vibrant sectors of the consumer economy. The middle classes in the West have, for several decades, been subjected to the erosion of their material wealth. While the middle class exists in theory, it is a class built and sustained by household debt.

 

The wealthy rather than the middle class are rapidly becoming the consuming class, leading to the relentless growth of the luxury goods economy. Moreover, with the drying up of the middle class markets for manufactured goods, a central and decisive shift in the structure of economic growth has occurred. With the demise of the civilian economy, the development of America’s war economy, supported by a whopping near-trillion dollar defense budget, has reached new heights. As stock markets tumble and the recession unfolds, the advanced weapons industries, the military and national security contractors and the up-and-coming mercenary companies (among others) have experienced a thriving and booming growth of their various activities.

 

War and the Economic Crisis

 

War is inextricably linked to the impoverishment of people at home and around the world. Militarization and the economic crisis are intimately related. The provision of essential goods and services to meet basic human needs has been replaced by a profit-driven “killing machine” in support of America’s “Global War on Terror”. The poor are made to fight the poor. Yet war enriches the upper class, which controls industry, the military, oil and banking. In a war economy, death is good for business, poverty is good for society, and power is good for politics. Western nations, particularly the United States, spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to murder innocent people in far-away impoverished nations, while the people at home suffer the disparities of poverty, class, gender and racial divides.

 

An outright “economic war” resulting in unemployment, poverty and disease is carried out through the free market. People’s lives are in a freefall and their purchasing power is destroyed. In a very real sense, the last twenty years of global “free market” economy have resulted, through poverty and social destitution, in the lives of millions of people.

 

Rather than addressing an impending social catastrophe, Western governments, which serve the interests of the economic elites, have installed a “Big Brother” police state, with a mandate to confront and repress all forms of opposition and social dissent.

 

The economic and social crisis has by no means reached its climax and entire countries, including Greece and Iceland, are at risk. One need only look at the escalation of the Middle East Central Asian war and the U.S.-NATO threats to China, Russia and Iran to witness how war and the economy are intimately related.

 

Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, May 2010

 

The book can be ordered directly from Global Research :

 

The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century

 

Contents of this Book

 

The contributors to this book reveal the intricacies of global banking and its insidious relationship to the military industrial complex and the oil conglomerates. The book presents an inter- disciplinary and multi-faceted approach, while also conveying an understanding of the historical and institutional dimensions. The complex relations of the economic crisis to war, empire and worldwide poverty are highlighted. This crisis has a truly global reach and repercussions that reverberate throughout all nations, across all societies.

 

In Part I, the overall causes of the global economic crisis as well as the failures of mainstream economics are laid out. Michel Chossudovsky focuses on the history of financial deregulation and speculation. Tanya Cariina Hsu analyzes the role of the American Empire and its relationship to the economic crisis. John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff undertake a comprehensive review of the political economy of the crisis, explaining the central role of monetary policy. James Petras and Claudia von Werlhof provide a detailed review and critique of neoliberalism, focusing on the economic, political and social repercussions of the “free market” reforms. Shamus Cooke examines the central role of debt, both public and private.

 

Part II, which includes chapters by Michel Chossudovsky and Peter Phillips, analyzes the rising tide of poverty and social inequality resulting from the Great Depression.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea

   

The Dead Sea (Arabic: البحر الميت‎ al-Baḥr al-Mayyit (help•info),[3] Hebrew: יָם הַ‏‏מֶּ‏‏לַ‏ח‎‎, Yām HamMélaḥ, "Sea of Salt", also Hebrew: יָם הַ‏‏מָּוֶת‎‎, Yām HamMā́weṯ, "The Sea of Death"), also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level,[2] Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 33.7% salinity, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond) have reported higher salinities. It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean.[4] This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets. In 2009, 1.2 million foreign tourists visited on the Israeli side.[citation needed]

The sea has a density of 1.24 kg/L,[citation needed] which makes swimming similar to floating.[5]

   

Etymology and toponymy

In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is Yām ha-Melaḥ (help•info), meaning "sea of salt" (Genesis 14:3). In prose sometimes the term Yām ha-Māvet (ים המוות, "sea of death") is used, due to the scarcity of aquatic life there.[6] In Arabic the Dead Sea is called al-Bahr al-Mayyit (help•info)[3] ("the Dead Sea"), or less commonly baḥrᵘ lūṭᵃ (بحر لوط, "the Sea of Lot"). Another historic name in Arabic was the "Sea of Zoʼar", after a nearby town in biblical times. The Greeks called it Lake Asphaltites (Attic Greek ἡ Θάλαττα ἀσφαλτῖτης, hē Thálatta asphaltĩtēs, "the Asphaltite[7] sea"). The Bible also refers to it as Yām ha-Mizraḥî (ים המזרחי, "the Eastern sea") and Yām ha-‘Ărāvâ (ים הערבה, "Sea of the Arabah").

  

Geography

 

The Dead Sea is an endorheic lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley, a geographic feature formed by the Dead Sea Transform (DST). This left lateral-moving transform fault lies along the tectonic plate boundary between the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It runs between the East Anatolian Fault zone in Turkey and the northern end of the Red Sea Rift offshore of the southern tip of Sinai.

The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, creating pools and quicksand pits along the edges.[8] There are no outlet streams.

Rainfall is scarcely 100 mm (4 in) per year in the northern part of the Dead Sea and barely 50 mm (2 in) in the southern part. The Dead Sea zone's aridity is due to the rainshadow effect of the Judean Hills. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself.

To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judean Hills rise less steeply and are much lower than the mountains to the east. Along the southwestern side of the lake is a 210 m (700 ft) tall halite formation called "Mount Sodom".

  

Natural history

There are two contending hypotheses about the origin of the low elevation of the Dead Sea. The older hypothesis is that it lies in a true rift zone, an extension of the Red Sea Rift, or even of the Great Rift Valley of eastern Africa. A more recent hypothesis is that the Dead Sea basin is a consequence of a "step-over" discontinuity along the Dead Sea Transform, creating an extension of the crust with consequent subsidence.

Around three million years ago,[citation needed] what is now the valley of the Jordan River, Dead Sea, and Wadi Arabah was repeatedly inundated by waters from the Mediterranean Sea. The waters formed in a narrow, crooked bay which was connected to the sea through what is now the Jezreel Valley. The floods of the valley came and went depending on long scale climate change. The lake that occupied the Dead Sea Rift, named "Lake Sedom",[9] deposited beds of salt that eventually became 3 km (2 mi) thick.

 

Approximately two million years ago,[citation needed] the land between the Rift Valley and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent that the ocean could no longer flood the area. Thus, the long bay became a lake.

The first such prehistoric lake is named "Lake Amora"[9] Lake Amora was a freshwater or brackish lake that extended at least 80 km (50 mi) south of the current southern end of the Dead Sea and 100 km (60 mi) north, well above the present Hula Depression. As the climate became more arid, Lake Amora shrank and became saltier. The large, saltwater predecessor of the Dead Sea is called "Lake Lisan."[9]

In prehistoric times, great amounts of sediment collected on the floor of Lake Amora. The sediment was heavier than the salt deposits and squeezed the salt deposits upwards into what are now the Lisan Peninsula and Mount Sodom (on the southwest side of the lake). Geologists explain the effect in terms of a bucket of mud into which a large flat stone is placed, forcing the mud to creep up the sides of the pail. When the floor of the Dead Sea dropped further due to tectonic forces, the salt mounts of Lisan and Mount Sodom stayed in place as high cliffs. (see salt domes)

From 70,000 to 12,000 years ago, the lake level was 100 m (330 ft) to 250 m (820 ft) higher than its current level. This lake, called "Lake Lisan", fluctuated dramatically, rising to its highest level around 26,000 years ago, indicating a very wet climate in the Near East.[10] Around 10,000 years ago, the lake level dropped dramatically, probably to levels even lower than today. During the last several thousand years, the lake has fluctuated approximately 400 m (1,300 ft), with some significant drops and rises. Current theories as to the cause of this dramatic drop in levels rule out volcanic activity; therefore, it may have been a seismic event.

  

Climate

The Dead Sea's climate offers year-round sunny skies and dry air. It has less than 50 millimetres (2 in) mean annual rainfall and a summer average temperature between 32 and 39 °C (90 and 102 °F). Winter average temperatures range between 20 and 23 °C (68 and 73 °F). The region has weakened ultraviolet radiation, particularly the UVB (erythrogenic rays), and an atmosphere characterized by a high oxygen content due to the high barometric pressure.[11] The sea affects temperatures nearby because of the moderating effect a large body of water has on climate. During the winter, sea temperatures tend to be higher than land temperatures, and vice versa during the summer months. This is the result of the water's mass and specific heat capacity. On average, there are 192 days above 30C (86F) annually.[12]

  

Chemistry

 

Until the winter of 1978-79, when a major mixing event took place,[14] the Dead Sea was composed of two stratified layers of water that differed in temperature, density, age, and salinity. The topmost 35 metres (115 ft) or so of the Dead Sea had a salinity that ranged between 300 and 400 parts per thousand and a temperature that swung between 19 °C (66 °F) and 37 °C (99 °F). Underneath a zone of transition, the lowest level of the Dead Sea had waters of a consistent 22 °C (72 °F) temperature and complete saturation of sodium chloride (NaCl).[citation needed] Since the water near the bottom is saturated, the salt precipitates out of solution onto the sea floor.

Beginning in the 1960s, water inflow to the Dead Sea from the Jordan River was reduced as a result of large-scale irrigation and generally low rainfall. By 1975, the upper water layer was saltier than the lower layer. Nevertheless, the upper layer remained suspended above the lower layer because its waters were warmer and thus less dense. When the upper layer cooled so its density was greater than the lower layer, the waters mixed (1978–79). For the first time in centuries, the lake was a homogeneous body of water. Since then, stratification has begun to redevelop.[14]

The mineral content of the Dead Sea is very different from that of ocean water. The exact composition of the Dead Sea water varies mainly with season, depth and temperature. In the early 1980s, the concentration of ionic species (in g/kg) of Dead Sea surface water was Cl− (181.4), Br− (4.2), SO42− (0.4), HCO3− (0.2), Ca2+ (14.1), Na+ (32.5), K+ (6.2) and Mg2+ (35.2). The total salinity was 276 g/kg.[15] These results show that the composition of the salt, as anhydrous chlorides on a weight percentage basis, was calcium chloride (CaCl2) 14.4%, potassium chloride (KCl) 4.4%, magnesium chloride (MgCl2) 50.8% and sodium chloride (common salt, NaCl) 30.4%. In comparison, the salt in the water of most oceans and seas is approximately 97% sodium chloride. The concentration of sulfate ions (SO42−) is very low, and the concentration of bromide ions (Br−) is the highest of all waters on Earth. The sea itself is abundant in minerals acclaimed to have therapeutic value.[citation needed]

The salt concentration of the Dead Sea fluctuates around 31.5%. This is unusually high and results in a nominal density of 1.24 kg/l. Anyone can easily float in the Dead Sea because of natural buoyancy. In this respect the Dead Sea is similar to the Great Salt Lake in Utah in the United States.

An unusual feature of the Dead Sea is its discharge of asphalt. From deep seeps, the Dead Sea constantly spits up small pebbles and blocks of the black substance.[16] Asphalt coated figurines and bitumen coated Neolithic skulls from archaeological sites have been found. Egyptian mummification processes used asphalt imported from the Dead Sea region.

 

Health effects and therapies

The Dead Sea area has become a major center for health research and treatment for several reasons. The mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation, and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth each have specific health effects. For example, persons suffering reduced respiratory function from diseases such as cystic fibrosis seem to benefit from the increased atmospheric pressure.[19]

The region's climate and low elevation have made it a popular center for several types of therapies:

•Climatotherapy: Treatment which exploits local climatic features such as temperature, humidity, sunshine, barometric pressure and special atmospheric constituents

•Heliotherapy: Treatment that exploits the biological effects of the sun's radiation

•Thalassotherapy: Treatment that exploits bathing in Dead Sea water

  

Treatment for psoriasis

Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea is an effective therapy for patients with the skin disorder psoriasis,[20] which also benefit from the ability to sunbathe for long periods in the area due to its position below sea level and subsequent result that many of the sun's harmful UV rays are reduced.[21]

  

Treatment for rhinosinusitis

Rhinosinusitis patients receiving Dead Sea saline nasal irrigation exhibited significantly better symptom relief compared to standard hypertonic saline spray.[

  

Treatment for osteoarthritis

Dead Sea Mud pack therapy has been suggested to temporarily relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knees. According to researchers of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, treatment with mineral-rich mud compresses can be used to augment conventional medical therapy in these patients.

  

Fauna and flora

 

The sea is called "dead" because its high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants, from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.

In times of flood, the salt content of the Dead Sea can drop from its usual 35% salinity to 30% or lower. The Dead Sea temporarily comes to life in the wake of rainy winters. In 1980, after one such rainy winter, the normally dark blue Dead Sea turned red. Researchers from Hebrew University found the Dead Sea to be teeming with a type of algae called Dunaliella. The Dunaliella in turn nourished carotenoid-containing (red-pigmented) halobacteria, whose presence caused the color change. Since 1980, the Dead Sea basin has been dry and the algae and the bacteria have not returned in measurable numbers.

Many animal species live in the mountains surrounding the Dead Sea. Hikers can see camels, ibex, hares, hyraxes, jackals, foxes, and even leopards. Hundreds of bird species inhabit the zone as well. Both Jordan and Israel have established nature reserves around the Dead Sea.

The delta of the Jordan River was formerly a veritable jungle of papyrus and palm trees. Flavius Josephus described Jericho as "the most fertile spot in Judea". In Roman and Byzantine times, sugarcane, henna, and sycamore fig all made the lower Jordan valley quite wealthy. One of the most valuable products produced by Jericho was the sap of the balsam tree, which could be made into perfume. However, by the 19th century, Jericho's fertility had disappeared.

  

Human settlement

There are several small communities near the Dead Sea. These include Ein Gedi, Neve Zohar and the Israeli settlements in the Megilot Regional Council: Kalya, Mitzpe Shalem and Avnat. There is a nature preserve at Ein Gedi, and several Dead Sea hotels are located on the southwest end at Ein Bokek near Neve Zohar. Highway 90 runs north-south on the Israeli side for a total distance of 565 km from Metula on the Lebanese border in the north to its southern terminus at the Egyptian border near the Red Sea port of Eilat.

Potash City is a small community on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. Highway 65 runs north-south on the Jordanian side.

  

Hebrew Bible

Just north of the Dead Sea is Jericho. Somewhere, perhaps on the southeastern shore, would be the cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis which were said to have been destroyed in the time of Abraham: Sodom and Gomorra (Genesis 18) and the three other "Cities of the Plain" - Admah, Zeboim and Zoar (Deuteronomy 29:23). Zoar escaped destruction when Abraham's nephew Lot escaped to Zoar from Sodom (Genesis 19:21-22). Before the destruction, the Dead Sea was a valley full of natural tar pits, which was called the vale of Siddim. King David was said to have hidden from Saul at Ein Gedi nearby.

In Ezekiel 47:8-9 there is a specific prophecy that the sea will ".. be healed and made fresh", becoming a normal lake capable of supporting marine life. A similar prophecy is stated in Zechariah 14:8, which says that "Living waters will go out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea (likely the Dead Sea) and half to the western sea (the Mediterranean)..."

The Jewish historian Josephus identifies the Dead Sea in geographic proximity to the ancient Biblical city of Sodom. However, he refers to the lake by its Greek name, Asphaltites.

  

History

 

Second Temple period

 

Dwelling in caves near the Dead Sea is recorded in the Hebrew Bible as having taken place before the Israelites came to Canaan, and extensively at the time of King David. Various sects of Jews settled in caves overlooking the Dead Sea. The best known of these are the Essenes of Qumran, who left an extensive library known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.[25] The town of Ein Gedi, mentioned many times in the Mishna, produced persimmon for the temple's fragrance and for export, using a secret recipe. "Sodomite salt" was an essential mineral for the temple's holy incense, but was said to be dangerous for home use and could cause blindness.[26] The Roman camps surrounding Masada were built by Jewish slaves receiving water from the towns around the lake. These towns had drinking water from the Ein Feshcha springs and other sweetwater springs in the vicinity.

 

Ancient Greek period

The Greeks knew the Dead Sea as "Lake Asphaltites", due to the naturally surfacing asphalt. Aristotle wrote about the remarkable waters. Later, the Nabateans discovered the value of bitumen extracted from the Dead Sea needed by the Egyptians for embalming their mummies.

  

Herodian period

King Herod the Great built or rebuilt several fortresses and palaces on the western bank of the Dead Sea. The most famous was Masada, where, in 70-73 CE, a small group of Jewish zealots held out against the might of the Roman legion, and Machaerus where, according to Josephus, John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod Antipas and died.[28]

Also in Roman times, some Essenes settled on the Dead Sea's western shore; Pliny the Elder identifies their location with the words, "on the west side of the Dead Sea, away from the coast ... [above] the town of Engeda" (Natural History, Bk 5.73); and it is therefore a hugely popular but contested hypothesis today, that same Essenes are identical with the settlers at Qumran and that "the Dead Sea Scrolls" discovered during the 20th century in the nearby caves had been their own library.

 

In the Bible, the Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah, and the Eastern Sea. The designation “Dead Sea” is a modern name which never appears in the Bible. The Dead Sea basin is another part of the Great Rift Valley. It is here that the Upper Jordan River/Sea of Galilee/Lower Jordan River water system comes to an end. Intimately connected with the Judean wilderness to its northwest and west, the Dead Sea was a place of escape and refuge. The remoteness of the region attracted Greek Orthodox monks since the Byzantine era. Their monasteries, such as Saint George in Wadi Kelt and Mar Saba in the Judean Desert, are places of pilgrimage.

  

Modern times

Explorers and scientists arrived in the area to analyze the minerals and research the unique climate. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, hundreds of religious documents dated between 150 BCE and 70 CE were found in caves near the ancient settlement of Qumran, about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea (presently in the West Bank). They became known and famous as the Dead Sea Scrolls. A golf course named for Sodom and Gomorrah was built by the British at Kalia on the northern shore.

The world's lowest road, Highway 90, runs along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the Dead Sea at 393 m (1,289 ft) below sea level.

The first major hotels were built in nearby Arad, and since the 1960s at the Neve Zohar resort complex. On Jordanian side, three international franchises have opened seaside resort hotels near the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center along the eastern coast of the Dead Sea.

 

Industry

 

In the early part of the 20th century, the Dead Sea began to attract interest from chemists who deduced the Sea was a natural deposit of potash and bromine. The Palestine Potash Company was chartered in 1929, after its founder, Siberian Jewish engineer and pioneer of Lake Baikal exploitation Moses Novomeysky, worked for the charter ex for over ten years. The first plant was on the north shore of the Dead Sea at Kalia and produced potash, or potassium chloride, by solar evaporation of the brine. Employing Arabs and Jews, it was an island of peace in turbulent times.[30] The company quickly grew into the largest industrial site in the Middle East,[citation needed] and in 1934 built a second plant on the southwest shore, in the Mount Sodom area, south of the 'Lashon' region of the Dead Sea. Palestine Potash Company supplied half of Britain's potash during World War II, but ultimately became a casualty of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Its remnants were nationalised and Dead Sea Works Ltd. was established in 1952 in its stead as a state-owned company to extract potash and other minerals from the Dead Sea.

From the Dead Sea brine, Israel produces (2001) 1.77 million tons potash, 206,000 tons elemental bromine, 44,900 tons caustic soda, 25,000 tons magnesium metal, and sodium chloride. On the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, Arab Potash (APC), formed in 1956, produces 2.0 million tons of potash annually, as well as sodium chloride and bromine. Both companies use extensive salt evaporation pans that have essentially diked the entire southern end of the Dead Sea for the purpose of producing carnallite, potassium magnesium chloride, which is then processed further to produce potassium chloride. The ponds are separated by a central dike that runs—roughly north-south—along the international border. The power plant on the Israeli side allows production of magnesium metal (by a subsidiary, Dead Sea Magnesium Ltd.).

Due to the popularity of the sea's therapeutic and healing properties, several companies have also shown interest in the manufacturing and supplying of Dead Sea salts as raw materials for body and skin care products.

  

Recession and environmental concerns

In recent decades, the Dead Sea has been rapidly shrinking because of diversion of incoming water from the Jordan River to the north. The southern end is fed by a canal maintained by the Dead Sea Works, a company that converts the sea's raw materials. From a depression of 395 m (1,296 ft) below sea level in 1970[31] it fell 22 m (72 ft) to 418 m (1,371 ft) below sea level in 2006, reaching a drop rate of 1 m (3 ft) per year. As the water level decreases, the characteristics of the Sea and surrounding region may substantially change.

The Dead Sea level drop has been followed by a groundwater level drop, causing brines that used to occupy underground layers near the shoreline to be flushed out by freshwater. This is believed to be the cause of the recent appearance of large sinkholes along the western shore — incoming freshwater dissolves salt layers, rapidly creating subsurface cavities that subsequently collapse to form these sinkholes.[32]

In May 2009 at the World Economic Forum, Jordan announced its plans to construct the "Jordan National Red Sea Development Project" (JRSP). This is a plan to convey seawater from the Red Sea near Aqaba to the Dead Sea. Water would be desalinated along the route to provide fresh water to Jordan, with the brine discharge sent to the Dead Sea for replenishment. As of 2009, the project is in its early phases of planning, with developer and financier selection to be completed by year's end. The project is anticipated to begin detailed design in early 2010, with water delivery by 2017. Israel has expressed its support and will likely benefit from some of the water delivery to its Negev region. Some hydro-power will be collected near the Dead Sea from the dramatic change in elevation on the downhill side of the project.[citation needed] In October 2009, the Jordanians announced accelerated plans to extract around 300 million cubic meters of water per year from the Red Sea, desalinate it for use as fresh water and send the waste water to the Dead Sea by tunnel, despite concerns about inadequate time to assess the potential environmental impact.[33]

At a regional conference in July 2009, officials expressed increased concerns that water levels are dropping. Some suggested various industrial activities around the Dead Sea might need to be reduced. Others advised a range of possible environmental measures to restore conditions. This might include increasing the volume of flow from the Jordan River to replenish the Dead Sea. Currently, only sewage and effluent from fish ponds run in the river's channel. Experts also asserted a need for strict conservation efforts. They also said agriculture should not be expanded, sustainable support capabilities should be incorporated into the area and pollution sources should be reduced.

            

Auto rickshaws are a common means of public transportation in many countries in the world. Also known as a three-wheeler, Samosa, tempo, tuk-tuk, trishaw, autorick, bajaj, rick, tricycle, mototaxi, baby taxi or lapa in popular parlance, an auto rickshaw is a usually three-wheeled cabin cycle for private use and as a vehicle for hire. It is a motorized version of the traditional pulled rickshaw or cycle rickshaw. Auto rickshaws are an essential form of urban transport in many developing countries, and a form of novelty transport in many developed countries. However, in some parts of Europe they remain an essential mode of transportation, notably Italy's.

 

OVERVIEW

ORIGN

Auto rickshaws of Southeast Asia started from the knockdown production of the Daihatsu Midget which had been introduced in 1957.

 

Japan had been exporting three-wheelers to Thailand since 1934. Moreover, The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan donated about 20,000 used three-wheelers to Southeast Asia. In Japan, three-wheelers went out of use in the latter half of the 1960s.

 

DESIGN

An auto rickshaw is generally characterized by a sheet-metal body or open frame resting on three wheels, a canvas roof with drop-down sides, a small cabin in the front of the vehicle for the driver (sometimes called an auto-wallah), and seating space for up to three passengers in the rear. Newer models are generally fitted with a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel scooter version of a 200 cc four-stroke engine, with handlebar controls instead of a steering wheel.

 

REGIONAL VARIATIONS

AFRICA

EASTERN AFRICA

There are tuk-tuks in several Kenyan towns. Using them is somewhat cheaper than ordinary taxis. However, tuk-tuks cannot operate in mountainous towns, which are common in Kenya. Fierce competition with Boda-bodas (bicycle taxis) and Matatus (minibuses) hinders popularity of Tuk-tuks, especially within the interior of Kenya. While they may not be widely found in Kenya, they are numerous in the coastal regions, which are less mountainous. For example, in the town of Malindi they offer an economical and convenient mode of transportation.

 

Tuk-tuks are also common in Ethiopia and are becoming common in Tanzania, particularly in the outer areas of Dar es Salaam. In Tanzania and Ethiopia they are known as "Bajaj" or "Bajajis", after the Bajaj Auto company which manufactures many of them. Since 2009, tuk-tuks have become common in Maputo, Mozambique.

 

EGYPT

In Egypt, auto rickshaws are called toktok (Egyptian Arabic: توك توك pronounced [ˈtoktok], plural: تكاتك takātek [tæˈkæːtek]); they are widely used as taxis in poorer neighborhoods of the capital, and have become a popular symbol for lower class Egyptians, although they are banned from the streets of wealthier neighborhoods. Deposed president Mohamed Morsi (June 2012-July 2013) in his opening speech addressed the Tuk-Tuk (toktok) drivers as a symbol of the lower class population, but his political rivals and mass media considered it as a mean of emotional deception for the masses by rendering what could be a promise to legalize their status.

 

MADAGASCAR

In Madagascar, man-pulled rickshaws are a common form of transportation in a number of cities, especially Antsirabe. They are known as "posy" from pousse-pousse, meaning push-push. Cycle rickshaws never took off, yet Posy are threatened by the auto-rickshaws, introduced in numbers since 2009. Provincial capitals like Toamasina, Mahajanga, Toliara, Antsiranana are taking to them rapidly. They are known as "bajaji" and now licenced to operate as taxis. They are not yet allowed an operating licence in the congested, and more pollution prone national capital, Antananarivo.

 

NIGERIA

There are keke-marwa's in several Nigerian towns and cities. Although not as popular as the ubiquitous "Okada" in Nigeria, keke-marwa's are embraced as an alternative means of transport by the middle and lower class citizens. Keke-marwa is named after Lagos former military Governor, Buba Marwa in the late 1990s.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Tuk-tuks, introduced in Durban in the late 1980s enjoyed growing popularity in recent years, particularly in Gauteng.

 

SUDAN

Rickshaws are a major means of transport in all parts of Sudan, it's locally known as Raksha.

 

ASIA

BANGLADESH

Auto rickshaws (locally called "baby taxis" and more recently "CNGs" due to their fuel source) are one of the most popular modes of transport in Bangladesh mainly due to their size and speed. They are best suited to narrow, crowded streets, and are thus the principal means of covering longer distances within urban areas.

 

Earlier, auto rickshaws were colored black with a yellow canvas topping and ran on gasoline without any meter system. However, due to the vast supplies of natural gas in Bangladesh, the government has since encouraged the development of four-stroke compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered engines rather than the older two-stroke engine petrol-running models. Two-stroke engines had been identified as one of the leading sources of air pollution in Dhaka. Thus, since January 2003, traditional auto rickshaws were banned from the capital; only the new CNG-powered models were permitted to operate within the city limits. The newly manufactured CNG auto rickshaws are more fuel-efficient and have a lower center of gravity, making them safer than older models. All CNGs are painted green to signify that the vehicles are eco-friendly and that each one has a meter built in as standard.

 

Another version of the auto rickshaw can be seen in rural areas of Bangladesh, where they are called "helicopters". "Helicopters" are auto rickshaws modified to have a large body with which it can carry more than six or seven passengers.

 

At the end of the 1980s, a local company Atlas designed and built a new version of the auto rickshaw, called mishuk, a name derived from a children's mascot of a local deer. Unlike baby taxis, mishuks have spoke wheels and a green body, and have no meter system. Mishuks have more space than baby taxis or CNGs, which makes it more popular with women. They are commonly found in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country due to its four-stroke engine, which is not listed as a significant source of air pollution.

 

CAMBODIA

In Cambodia, the term tuk-tuk (Khmer: ទុកទុក) is used to refer to a motorcycle with a cabin attached to the rear. Cambodian cities have a much lower volume of automobile traffic than Thai cities, and tuk-tuks are still the most common form of urban transport. At the temple complex of Angkor, for example, tuk-tuks provide a convenient form of transport around the complex for tourists. One can hire a tuk-tuk and driver by the day.[citation needed]

 

Siem Reap tuk-tuks are generally of the style of motorcycle and trailer. This version does not have rear brakes.

 

Phnom Penh tuk-tuks are one piece. The one piece tuk-tuk is the front end of a motorcycle consisting of steering, tank and engine/gearbox with a covered tray mounted at the back. The power is transferred by chain to an axle mounted to the modified rear fork which drives the two rear wheels. Suspended upon the rear fork is an open cabin with an in-line seat on each side. This arrangement can carry 6 people at ease, with their luggage in the leg space. It is not unusual to see these vehicles greatly overloaded, especially in outer suburbs and around markets.

 

Sihanoukville tuk-tuks are generally a motorcycle and articulated trailer without rear brakes on the trailer. A minority of tuk-tuks are three wheeled. The rear wheel of the motorcycle is removed and the front of the bike is melded with a trailer. Power is supplied to the trailer wheels by a driveshaft and differential. Rear wheel brakes add significantly to the safety of this design, especially when going downhill.

 

Currently, Tuk Tuk in Cambodia is being developed to be more convenient and safer. It is also becoming a popular form of transportation for Phnom Penh residents.

Gaza

 

Together with the recent boom of recreational facilities in Gaza for the local residents, donkey carts have all but been displaced by tuk-tuks in 2010. Due to the ban by Israel on the import of most motorised vehicles, the tuk-tuks have had to be smuggled in parts through the tunnel network connecting Gaza with Egypt.

 

CHINA

Various types of auto rickshaw are used around China, where they are called 三轮 (Sān lún - three wheeler) or 嘟嘟车 (Dū dū chē - beep beep car).

 

In Hainan, the southernmost province, electric models are used in the capital Haikou. These may be heavy, purpose-built vehicles, or simple bicycles attached to a light chassis, with a small electric motor housed underneath.

 

In rural areas, a sturdy, petrol-powered, plastic-bodied type is common, similar to the Philippine motorized tricycle.

 

INDIA

OVERVIEW

Most cities offer auto rickshaw service, although hand-pulled rickshaws do exist in some areas, such as Kolkata.

 

Auto rickshaws are used in cities and towns for short distances; they are less suited to long distances because they are slow and the carriages are open to air pollution. Auto rickshaws (often called "autos") provide cheap and efficient transportation. Modern auto rickshaws run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and are environmentally friendly compared to full-sized cars.

 

It is also not uncommon in many parts of India (including major cities like Delhi) to see primary school children crammed into an auto-rickshaw, transporting them between home and school.

 

To augment speedy movement of traffic, Auto rickshaws are not allowed in the southern part of Mumbai.

 

DESIGN & MANUFACTURE

There are two types of autorickshaws in India. In older versions the engines were situated below the driver's seat, while in newer versions engines are located in the rear. They normally run on petrol, CNG and diesel. The seating capacity of a normal rickshaw is four, including the driver's seat. Six-seater rickshaws exist in different parts of the country, but the model was officially banned in the city of Pune 10 January 2003 by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA).

 

CNG autos are distinguishable from the earlier petrol-powered autos by a green and yellow livery, as opposed to the earlier black and yellow appearance. Certain local governments are advocating for four-stroke engines instead of the current two-stroke versions.

 

Auto rickshaw manufacturers in India include Bajaj Auto, Kumar Motors, Kerala Automobiles Limited, Force Motors (previously Bajaj Tempo), Mahindra & Mahindra, Piaggio Ape and TVS Motors.

 

LEGISLATION

Generally rickshaw fares are controlled by the government.

 

INDONESIA

In Indonesia, auto rickshaws are popular in Jakarta, Medan, Java, and Sulawesi. In Jakarta, the auto rickshaws are similar to the ones in India but are colored blue and orange. Outside of Jakarta the bentor-style auto rickshaw is more ubiquitous, with the passenger cabin mounted as a sidecar to a motorcycle. Where these sidecar style auto rickshaws do occur in Jakarta they are not referred to as bentor, but rather as bajaj (bajai). They were also popular in East Java until the end of the 20th century and were known as a bemo.

 

LAOS

Lao tuk-tuks come as tuk-tuks or jumbo tuk-tuks. Jumbos have a larger 3- or 4-cylinder four-stroke engine, and many are powered by Daihatsu engines. Jumbos' larger engine and cabin size allow for greater loads, up to 12 persons, and higher top speeds. Jumbos are (with few exceptions) only found in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

 

NEPAL

Auto rickshaws were the popular mode of transport in Nepal during the 1980s and 1990s, till Nepal Government decided to ban the movement of 600 such vehicles in the early 2000. Earliest model of auto rickshaw running in Kathmandu were manufactured by Bajaj Auto. Nepal has been a popular destination for Rickshaw Run. The 2009 Fall Run took place in Goa, India and concluded in Pokhara, Nepal.

 

PAKISTAN

Auto rickshaws are a popular mode of transport in Pakistani towns and is mainly used for traveling short distances within cities. One of the major brands of auto rickshaws is Vespa (an Italian Company). Lahore is hub of CNG Auto rikshaws manufacturers in Pakistan.The government of Pakistan is taking measures to convert all the gasoline run auto-rickshaws to more effective CNG rickshaw by 2015 in all the major cities of Pakistan by issuing easy loans through commercial banks. Environment Canada is implementing pilot projects in Lahore, Karachi and Quetta with engine technology developed in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada that uses CNG instead of gasoline in the two-stroke engines, in an effort to combat environmental pollution and noise levels.

 

In many cities in Pakistan, there are also motorcycle rickshaws, usually called chand gari (moon car) or Chingchi (after the Chinese company Jinan Qingqi Motorcycle Co. Ltd who first introduced these to the market).

 

Rickshaws are forbidden in the capital, Islamabad.

 

Auto rickshaws have had a history of displaying political statements. In February 2013, that legacy was modified to promote peace. According to Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, head of the Pakistan Youth Alliance, "We need to take back this romanticized art form and use it for peace sloganeering and conflict resolution."

 

Manufacturers There are many companies involving in Rickshaw manufacturing in Pakistan, some of them are, AECO Export Company, STAHLCO Motors, Global Sources, Parhiyar Automobiles, Global Ledsys Technologies, Siwa Industries, Prime Punjab Automobiles, Murshid Farm Industries, Sazgar Automobiles, NTN Enterprises, Imperial Engineering Company

 

PHILLIPINES

Auto rickshaws are an especially popular form of public transportation in the Philippines, where they are referred to as "tricycles" (Filipino: traysikel; Cebuano: traysikol). In the Philippines, the design and configuration of tricycles varies widely from place to place, but tends towards rough standardization within each municipality. The usual design is a passenger or cargo sidecar fitted to a motorcycle, usually on the right of the motorcycle. It is rare to find one with a left sidecar. Tricycles can carry five passengers or more in the sidecar, one or two pillion passengers behind the motorcycle driver, and even a few on the roof of the sidecar. Tricycles are one of the main contributors to air pollution in the Philippines, since majority of them employ two-stroke motorcycles. However, some local governments are working towards phasing out two-stroke-powered tricycles for ones with cleaner four-stroke motorcycles.

 

SRI LANKA

Auto rickshaws, commonly known as three-wheelers and more recently tuk-tuk, can be found on all roads in Sri Lanka from the curvy roads through the hill country to the congested roads of Colombo transporting locals, foreigners, or freight about. Sri Lankan three-wheelers are of the style of the light Phnom Penh type. Most of the three-wheelers in Sri Lanka are a slightly modified Indian Bajaj model, imported from India though there are few manufactured locally and increasingly imports from other countries in the region and other brands of three-wheelers such as Piaggio. In 2007 January the Sri Lankan government imposed a ban on all 2-stroke three-wheelers, due to environmental concerns and therefore the ones imported to the island now are the ones with four-stroke engines. Most three-wheelers are available as hiring vehicles, with few being used to haul goods and as private company or advertising vehicles. Bajaj enjoys a virtual monopoly in the island, with its agent being David Pieries Motor Co Ltd. A few three-wheelers in Sri Lanka have distance meters, and in the capital city it is becoming more and more common, however the vast majority of charges are negotiated between the passenger and driver.

 

THAILAND

The auto rickshaw, called tuk-tuk (Thai: ตุ๊กตุ๊ก, pronounced "took-took") or sam-lor (Thai: สามล้อ) meaning three-wheeler in Thailand, is a widely used form of urban transport in Bangkok and other Thai cities. It is particularly popular where traffic congestion is a major problem, such as in Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. The name is onomatopoeic, mimicking the sound of a small (often two-cycle) engine. An equivalent English term would be "putt-putt."

 

Bangkok and other cities in Thailand have many tuk-tuks which are a more open variation on the Indian auto-rickshaw. There are no meters, and trip costs are negotiated in advance. Bangkok fares have risen to nearly equal normal taxis due to uninformed foreigners willing to pay the asking price, but leaves passengers more exposed to environmental pollution than taxis. The solid roof is so low that the tuk-tuk is a difficult touring vehicle. Today few locals take one unless they are burdened with packages or travelling in a big group for short distances.

 

The Thai tuk-tuk is starting to change from the old smoke-spewing vehicle of yesteryear. Many Thai tuk-tuk manufacturers now produce low emission vehicles, and even old ones are having new engines fitted along with LPG conversions. In an early morning of Bangkok, these same passenger vehicles can be seen busily transporting fresh produce around the city. Newer tuk-tuks also have wet weather sides to keep passengers and drivers dry.

 

The Thai auto-rikshaw manufacturers are, Monika Motors Ltd., TukTuk (Thailand) Co., Ltd., TukTuk Forwerder Co., Ltd. Bangkok and MMW Tuk-Tuks Co.,Ltd. in Hua Hin. Smaller manufacturers are the Chinnaraje Co., Ltd. in Chiang Mai and the Expertise Co., Ltd. in Chonburi which manufactures its models in Komaki, Japan, also.

 

VIETNAM

Known locally as xe lam, the vernacular pronunciation of the Lambro from the Lambretta line by Innocenti of Italy, these vehicles were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s, especially the urban centers of South Vietnam. Over time the authorities have moved to limit their use.

 

Xe lam with 1-wheel forward and 2-aft were designed to carry passengers whereas other variants with 2-forward and 1-aft, used mostly to transport goods are known as Xe ba gác máy. The motorized version of cycle rickshaw is the Xích lô máy is of the same design.

 

EUROPE

FRANCE

A number of Tuk-tuks ( 250 in 2013 according to the Paris Prefecture)are used as an alternative tourist transport system in Paris, some off them being pedal operated with the help of an electric engine. They are not yet fully licenced to operate and await customers on the streets. 'Velos taxis' were common during the Occupation years in Paris due to fuel restrictions.

 

ITALY

Auto rickshaws have been commonly used in Italy since the late 1940s, providing a low-cost means of transportation in the post-World-War-II years when the country was short of economic resources. The Piaggio Ape, designed by Vespa creator Corradino D'Ascanio and first manufactured in 1948 by the Italian company Piaggio, though primarily designed for carrying freight has also been widely used as an auto rickshaw. It is still extremely popular throughout the country, being particularly useful in the narrow streets found in the center of many little towns in central and southern Italy. Though it no longer has a key role in transportation, Piaggio Ape is still used as a minitaxi in some areas such as the islands of Ischia and Stromboli (on Stromboli no cars are allowed). It has recently been re-launched as a trendy-ecological means of transportation, or, relying on the role the Ape played in the history of Italian design, as a promotional tool. Since 2006 the Ape has been produced under licence in India.

 

NETHERLANDS

Since 2007, tuk-tuks have been active in the Netherlands, starting with Amsterdam. They now operate in Amersfoort, Amsterdam, The Hague, Zandvoort, Bergen op Zoom, the popular beach resort Renesse and Rotterdam. The tuk-tuks in the Netherlands are imported from India and Thailand. They are fitted with CNG engines and have passed the EURO-4 rules.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

The first Tuk Tuks to enter service in the United Kingdom were supplied and built by MMW Imports in 1999, under the brand name MMW Tuk Tuks. The very first Private Hire licence was issued to an MMW Tuk Tuk for tours of Bath in the year 2000, MMW also gained full Hackney license in Weston-super-Mare. MMW also now export Tuk Tuks from Thailand to the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. All the MMW range are built in their own factory in Thailand and are custom made for each customer's needs; hence no two tuk tuks are the same, and they come fully customized as per required spec.

 

Tukshop of Southampton started the commercial importing of Tuk Tuks into the UK in 2003, which resulted in many people being inspired to set up taxi-type operations in a number of cities including Blackpool, Brighton and Leeds. Tukshop failed to gain a taxi operator license for London after a number of media appearances in 2004. The company, founded by mrsteve, are specialists in experiential marketing using the iconic three-wheelers for street marketing campaigns. Clients of Tukshop include many household names, such as T Mobile, Harrods, Universal Pictures, O2, BBC, Freeview, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Tiger Beer & Grolsch lager. Tukshop have imported and put over one hundred tuk tuks on the roads of the UK and Europe between starting the business and Oct 2010. The company currently stocks models from Piaggio & Bajaj, including the commercial versions such as the TM Van.

 

A Bajaj tuk tuk is currently operated by Bangwallop of Salcombe, South Devon. Taking just two passengers at a time, the tuk tuk has an operator's licence issued by VOSA and trips can be booked in advance.[citation needed]

 

Auto rickshaws were introduced to the city of Brighton and Hove on 10 July 2006 by entrepreneur Dominic Ponniah's company Tuctuc Ltd, who had the idea after seeing the vehicles used in India and Sri Lanka. They were CNG-powered, using a four-speed (plus reverse) 175 cc engine. Under the terms of their license, the Bajas ran on a fixed single route, and stopped only at designated stops. They are of the same design as traditional auto rickshaws in other countries.

 

An investigation was launched into Tuctuc Ltd's operation of the service after complaints were raised, primarily by the city's taxi drivers, that routes, stopping points and timetables were not being adhered to. In November 2006, the company was fined £16,500 – the maximum penalty possible – by the South East Traffic Commissioner. After amendments were made to the timetable to reduce delays and improve reliability, the Commissioner allowed the company to keep its operating license. However, the company announced in January 2008 that it was ceasing operations, citing "archaic legislation" as the reason.

 

In the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, there is a new street food restaurant called Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food, that has its own branded Tuk Tuks, which are used for marketing around the town and picking up customers on special occasions.

 

CENTRAL AMERICA

EL SALVADOR

The mototaxi or moto is the El Salvadoran version of the auto rickshaw. These are most commonly made from the front end and engine of a motorcycle attached to a two-wheeled passenger area in back. Commercially produced models, such as the Indian Bajaj brand, are also employed.

 

GUATEMALA

In Guatemala the commercial vehicles are referred to as tuk-tuks. Tuk-tuks operate, both as taxis and private vehicles, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, around the island town of Flores, Peten, in the mountain city of Antigua Guatemala, and in many small towns in the mountains. In 2005 the tuk-tuks prevalent in the Lago de Atitlán towns of Panajachel and Santiago Atitlán all appeared to be from India (Bajaj Auto).

 

HONDURAS

Three-wheeled all-in-one tuk-tuks are used in the place of traditional taxis in most rural towns and villages.

 

NICARAGUA

As of 2011 there were an estimated 5,000 mototaxis, popularly known as "caponeras".

 

CARIBBEAN

Three-wheeled Coco taxis in Havana, Cuba

 

CUBA

Three-wheeled Coco taxis, named for their resemblance to a coconut, are used in Havana, Cuba.

 

SOUTH AMERICA

ECUADOR

The mototaxi is the Ecuatorian version of the auto rickshaw. These are most commonly made from the front end and engine of a motorcycle attached to a two-wheeled passenger area in back.

 

PERU

It is a common sight in the rural areas, towns and cities of Peru to see auto rickshaws, locally known as "mototaxis," "motokars", "taxi cholo", or "cholotaxi" lining up to pick up passengers as their fares are generally lower than car taxis. They are also in the capital, Lima, but they are usually restricted to the peripheral districts. The "jungle" cities and towns in eastern Peru are famous for their prevalence of auto rickshaws. This vehicle, usually running on regular unleaded gasoline, is the main non-private transport vehicle, and is known as "motocarro", "mototaxi" or "tuk-tuk" (for foreigners).

 

Many of the jungle areas of eastern Peru can be extremely noisy as a result of poorly maintained auto rickshaws and other 2 or 3-wheel vehicles, especially in high traffic or hilly areas. Auto-rickshaw brands such as the Indian-made Bajaj, which use GLP [a form of liquified petroleum gas which some car taxis also use] are much quieter.

 

NORTH AMERICA

UNITED STATES

Tuk Tuks were introduced to the United States through Tuk Tuk North America of Swainsboro, Georgia. As early as 2006, Mr. Roy Jordan, the owner of Tuk Tuk North America, began working with both the U.S. federal government and manufacturers in Thailand to configure a tuk tuk that was cost effective but adaptable to meet or exceed U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. He was able to contract a manufacturer who could make imported tuk tuks that could meet all necessary federal regulations in the U.S. Original products were imported from Thailand and were gas propelled. Due to the changing regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency, the introduction of imported gas-propelled tuk tuks was short-lived. Due to such changes, in 2009 Tuk Tuk North America decided to go dormant in its importing of gas propelled tuk tuks into the U.S.

 

However, with the growing emphasis on sustainable “green” energy and the recognition of the continuing rising oil prices, in 2011 the project's short dormancy was rejuvenated being redirected towards introduction of a complete line of all-electric tuk tuks. The line included eight models of "street legal" tuk tuks including passenger, utility, and delivery vehicles. These were offered under the manufacturer’s new name, Electro Technologies LLC, and marketed and sold exclusively through Tuk Tuk Transport LLC of Lenoir City, Tennessee, under the leadership of C. Phillip Tallant.

 

Prior to 2013, the greatest obstacle to commercial transportation usage of the electric tuk tuks created by Electro Technologies was addressed in mid 2013 by providing a means by which ET Tuk Tuks could be in service 24/7. With this advancement grew the opportunity for formation of Tuk Tuk of America, a company by which partnering affiliates across the U.S. could begin their own local niche urban mobility transportation company with guaranteed protected territories.

 

FUEL EFFICIENCY & POLLUTION

In July 1998, the Supreme Court of India ordered the Delhi government to implement CNG or LPG (Autogas) fuel for all autos and for the entire bus fleet in and around the city.[citation needed] Delhi's air quality has improved with the switch to CNG. Initially, auto rickshaw drivers in Delhi had to wait in long queues for CNG refueling, but the situation has improved with the increase of CNG stations. Certain local governments are pushing for four-stroke engines instead of the current two-stroke versions. Typical mileage for an Indian-made auto rickshaw is around 35 kilometers per liter of petrol (about 2.9 L per 100 km, or 82 miles per gallon [United States (wet measure), 100 miles per gallon Imperial (United Kingdom, Canada)]. Pakistan has passed a similar law prohibiting auto rickshaws in certain areas. CNG auto rickshaws have started to appear in huge numbers in many Pakistani cities.

 

In January 2007 the Sri Lankan government also banned two-stroke trishaws to reduce air pollution. In the Philippines there are projects to convert carburated two-stroke engines to direct-injected via Envirofit technology. Research has shown LPG or CNG gas direct-injection to be retrofit-able to existing engines in similar fashion to the Envirofit system. In Vigan City majority of tricycles-for-hire as of 2008 are powered by motorcycles with four-stroke engines, as tricycles with two-stroke motorcycles are prevented from receiving operating permits. Direct injection is standard equipment on new machines in India.

 

In March 2009 an international consortium coordinated by the International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies initiated a two-year public-private partnership of local and international stakeholders aiming at operating a fleet of 15 hydrogen-fueled three-wheeled vehicles in New Delhi's Pragati Maidan complex. As of January 2011, the project was upon completion.

 

In the meantime, in October, 2011, the Department of Transportation for the U.S. approved the complete 2012 series of American made, all-electric tuk tuks by Electro Technologies. Chassis were still being shipped in from Thailand, but now with the inclusion of all electrical components as manufactured only in the U.S. with assembly completed in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The American made electric tuk tuks were unique in that they were charged through common 110v outlets providing a range of 60 to 100(+) miles per charge (depending upon model and conditions) with a recharge time between 4 to 6 hours. The Electro Technologies Tuk Tuks topped out at 40 miles per hour which perfectly addresses the needs of their design; niche urban mobile transportation.

 

The greatest obstacle to daily usage in niche urban mobile commercial transportation was addressed in 2013 by Electro Technologies when they introduced their quick-release battery pack allowing for restoration of 100% power availability in just a few short minutes. This commercial upgrade allowed niche urban transportation businesses to operate 24/7 with no interruption to business.

 

TRAFFIC ISSUES

Auto rickshaws have a top-speed of around 50 km/h (about 31 mph) and a cruising speed of around 35 km/h (22 mph), much slower than the automobiles they share the road with. Traffic authorities in big cities try to implement mechanisms to reduce the resulting traffic slowing, but none have proven effective.

 

The MMW Tuk Tuk has a top speed of around 70 mph and with the introduction of the new turbo will have much improved acceleration, to allow for increased speed these Tuk Tuks have anti-roll bars and are fitted with disc brakes.

 

The triangular form of the vehicle makes maneuvering easy, with the single front wheel negotiating the available gap, and the rear two wheels forcing a larger space. Care must be taken even at low speeds, however, because of the stability problems of three-wheeler vehicles with a single front wheel. Such a "delta"-configuration three-wheeler can easily roll if the driver turns while braking.

 

In the Philippines, 2-stroke motor tricycle such as Yamaha RS-100T can give a top speed of 55 km/h (one passenger in the sidecar), or 30–40 km/h (full passengers in the sidecar).

 

More powerful four-stroke motor tricycles such as Honda TMX & Yamaha STX & Bajaj CT-100 can give a top speed up to 70–85 km/h (special trip/one passenger) or 40–50 km/h (full passengers).

 

RACING

Due to their relatively low top-speed, auto rickshaws have never lent themselves to conventional road or street racing. However, their modest speed, simple construction and impressive fuel economy has endeared them to the international amateur adventuring community, most notably with the Rickshaw Run and also the Indian Autorickshaw Challenge, and even off-road racing with the Apecar competitions in Italy. A Tuk Tuk built by Art In Motion, LLC competed in the 2008 Fireball Run II – Back to the Track

 

PORTRAYAL IN MEDIA

Auto rickshaws are often portrayed in Indian films (Auto Shankar, Basha, Aye Auto, Oram Po, Hero Hiralal) as well as some Hollywood and foreign productions such as the James Bond film Octopussy, the Canada-India film Amal and the Indonesian movie Pembalasan Rambu. Auto rickshaws are also prominent in the fuel-poor London of 2027 A.D. depicted in Children of Men. A memorable tuk-tuk chase features in the Thai film Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, climaxing with many of them driving off the edge of an unfinished elevated expressway. The video games Just Cause 2, Stuntman, Far Cry 4 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam feature Tuk-Tuks as drivable vehicles. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) rides in a tuk-tuk in a Visa Card commercial.

 

WIKIPEDIA

BEAUTY - VIEW ON BLACK - CLICK HERE!

  

Soul

  

The soul, in some religions, spiritual traditions, and philosophies, is the incorporeal or eternal part of a living being, commonly held to be separate from the body. Many philosophical and religious systems teach that humans have souls; some attribute souls to all living things and even inanimate objects (such as rivers); this belief is commonly called animism. The soul is often believed to exit the body and live on after a person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls.

 

The soul has often been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and may be synonymous with spirit, mind or self. Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person. According to psychologist James Hillman, soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death. The words soul and psyche can also be treated synonymously, although psyche has more physical connotations, whereas soul is connected more closely to spirituality and religion.

BY

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul

  

Character

( as seen in the field of the arts )

  

A character is the representation of a person in a narrative or dramatic work of art (such as a novel, play, or film). Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr (χαρακτήρ), the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of "a part played by an actor" developed. Character, particularly when enacted by an actor in the theatre or cinema, involves "the illusion of being a human person." Since the end of the 18th century, the phrase "in character" has been used to describe an effective impersonation by an actor. Since the 19th century, the art of creating characters, as practiced by actors or writers, has been called characterization.

 

A character who stands as a representative of a particular class or group of people is known as a type. Types include both stock characters and those that are more fully individualized. The characters in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (1891) and August Strindberg's Miss Julie (1888), for example, are representative of specific positions in the social relations of class and gender, such that the conflicts between the characters reveal ideological conflicts.

 

The study of a character requires an analysis of its relations with all of the other characters in the work. The individual status of a character is defined through the network of oppositions (proairetic, pragmatic, linguistic, proxemic ) that it forms with the other characters. The relation between characters and the action of the story shifts historically, often miming shifts in society and its ideas about human individuality, self-determination, and the social order.

BY

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_(arts)

 

THE WAY WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES WILL AFFECT THE WAY WE FEEL ABOUT OTHERS, MANY INFLUENCES CAN CONJURE UP MANY REACTIONS IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS IN LIFE, ONE THING HOWEVER IS FOR SURE, THAT TRUE CHARACTER AND PASSION OF THE RESPECTFUL SOUL ARE TIMELESS AND RATHER VERY VERY RARE MY FRIENDS!