Living on the edge: Bungalow stuck on seventh storey of college building in impressive art installation ‘inspired by Up’
By Mark Duell
It’s a fascinating piece of architecture that is leaving stunned observers wondering how on earth a bungalow has crash landed on top of a university building.
Do Ho Suh, of Seoul, South Korea, designed ‘Fallen Star’, which was carefully positioned on top of the University of California in San Diego and appears to have been inspired by the Disney film ‘Up’.
The house measures 15ft by 18ft and is an three-quarter version of a small house in Providence, Rhode Island, sticking out of the Jacobs School of Engineering’s seventh floor at a 10-degree angle.
Looking up: The house also has a front lawn and students have been invited to view it. The work will be seen from below by 29,000 undergraduates and the 52,000 people who visit the campus daily
Structure: The house designed by Do Ho Suh, left, measures 15ft by 18ft and sticks out of the Jacobs School of Engineering’s seventh floor at a 10-degree angle
Lifted up: The house was integrated onto a structural concrete slab around 100ft above the ground
‘The engineering on this project has been really complex,’ said Mary Beebe, director of the Stuart Collection, part of UC San Diego. ‘It’s probably the most complex we’ve ever undertaken.’
The house also has a front lawn and students have been invited to view it. The work will be seen from below by 29,000 undergraduates and the 52,000 people who visit the campus daily.
‘Do Ho Suh’s work explores the notions of home and displacement, the cultural meaning of space and the relationship between the personal and the collective,’ a UC San Diego press release said.
He suggested that ‘Fallen Star’ might represent a house picked up by a tornado and displaced, and the work symbolises a ‘home’ for many students who have left theirs to attend the university.
Up and away: The artist suggested that ‘Fallen Star’ might represent a house picked up by a tornado and displaced, and the work symbolises a ‘home’ for many students who have left theirs to attend the university
Impressive: Do Ho Suh, of Seoul, South Korea, designed ‘Fallen Star’, which was carefully positioned on top of the University of California in San Diego and appears to have been inspired by the Disney film ‘Up’
Animation: The hit 2009 film ‘Up’ featured 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen, right, going on the trip of his life with Russell, left, to see South America by tying thousands of balloons to his home, top
The house was integrated onto a structural concrete slab. ‘It should be an unforgettable image and experience for all and will invite people to see the world in a new way,’ Ms Beebe added.
‘The engineering on this project has been really complex. It’s probably the most complex we’ve ever undertaken’
Mary Beebe, Stuart Collection director
Mr Suh studied at Seoul National University before moving to the U.S. in 1991 to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, describing arriving in America as if he was ‘dropped from the sky’.
He also studied at Yale University and now lives and works in New York, London and Seoul, with his works on display in those cities as well as Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Tokyo in Japan.
The house is based on the hit 2009 animated film ‘Up’, which featured 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen going on the trip of his life to see South America by tying thousands of balloons to his home.
The film- – which starred the voices of Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer and Jordan Nagai – won two Oscars and was directed by Pete Docter, who also worked on Monsters Inc and Toy Story 2.
Biggest solar storm since 2005 pummels Earth
A January 19 image provided by NASA shows an M3.2 solar flare captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. A potent solar flare has unleashed the biggest radiation storm since 2005 and could disrupt some satellite communications in the polar regions, US space weather monitors said Monday
A potent solar flare has unleashed the biggest radiation storm since 2005 and could disrupt some satellite communications in the polar regions, US space weather monitors said Monday.
The event started late Sunday with a moderate-sized solar flare that erupted right near the center of the Sun, said Doug Biesecker, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center.
"The flare itself was nothing spectacular, but it sent off a very fast coronal mass ejection traveling four million miles per hour (6.4 million kilometers per hour)," he told AFP.
A rush of radiation in the form of solar protons already has begun bombarding the Earth and is likely to continue through Wednesday.
The radiation storm is the largest of its kind since 2005 but still ranks only a three on the scale of one to five, enough to be considered "strong" but not "severe," he added.
NOAA said its website the S3 ranking means "it could, e.g., cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications."
Biesecker said that when it comes to radiation storms, the polar regions are affected most.
For instance, the storm could spell disruptions to airline flights, oil operations, Arctic exploration and space satellites.
Night-sky viewers in Asia and Europe may be able to witness the aurora, or Northern Lights, late Tuesday as a result of the storm.
"We don’t expect major impacts from an event like this," Biesecker said.
"It’s the people who need GPS (global positioning system) accuracy of centimeters who have to worry, not people who want to know if you’re going to turn the car 30 meters (100 feet) ahead."
Thomas Cook jet seconds from disaster after captain miscalculates weight and takes off at the wrong speed
Thomas Cook jet with 223 on board just seconds from disaster after pilot underestimates its weight by 17 TONS and isn’t fast enough to get off the ground
- Captain miscalculates weight of aircraft by 17 tonnes
A holiday flight with 223 passengers on board narrowly avoided disaster after the captain miscalculated its weight by 17 tonnes, an accident report revealed today.
The Airbus A321, operated by Thomas Cook, was due to fly from Manchester airport to Heraklion in Crete when its co-pilot who was tasked with flying the plane asked for its take-off weight – and received the wrong figure from the pilot.
As a consequence the aircraft took off without enough thrust or speed which could have caused the pilot to lose control, endangering all those on board.
Dangerous: The Airbus A321-211 was programmed to take off at the wrong speed after the captain made an error
Luckily, the co-pilot noticed that something was wrong, and made adjustments which averted disaster.
The report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the incident took place on the morning of April 29 this year – the day of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Describing the incident as ‘serious’, the report said the captain had accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board.
Miscalculation: The captain of the Thomas Cook flight accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board (file picture)
The flight management system was then programmed ‘with the incorrect speeds’.
The report went on: ‘The aircraft took off using less thrust and lower speed than were required.’
When the feel of the aircraft and the displays on the speed scale alerted the pilot to the problem he ‘responded by reducing the pitch attitude, which allowed the aircraft to accelerate to a safe climb speed’, said the report.
The AAIB said there were ‘a number of errors that occurred’, firstly because the captain read out the wrong number and afterwards when staff missed chances to detect the error.
Manchester Airport, where the incident took place
Shockingly, today’s report indicated that potentially dangerous mistakes are common before take-off, and go unreported across the industry.
It said there have been ‘a significant number of reported incidents and several accidents resulting from errors in take-off performance calculations around the world in recent years’.
‘There must also have been many similar events which were either unreported and/or unnoticed, some of which will have had the potential to cause accidents,’ it added.
Commenting on the report, Thomas Cook Airlines maintained that: ‘On recognising the error, the captain immediately amended the flight path to ensure the aircraft climbed safely away. No impact whatsoever was felt by the passengers.’
Thomas Cook has also hit headlines recently for its precarious financial situation. The second biggest tour operator in Europe was forced to ask its banks for an extra £100m loan to deal with its spiralling debt, totalling nearly £1billion.
Fears that the 170-year-old company was on the brink of collapse caused its share-price to plummet up to 75 per cent in one day as rumours circulated that the company was set to close 200 shops and axe 1,000 jobs to reduce its debt mountain.
The company, which has delayed releasing its end of year results due to its negotiations with the banks, is reportedly also set to cut its fleet of aircraft as another cost-cutting measure.
Unrest caused by the Arab Spring – especially in Egypt and Tunisia – and the ongoing eurozone crisis have been blamed for poor bookings this year, but the company has rushed to reassure travellers that their holidays are secure.
Following the crash in share price two weeks ago, Thomas Cook’s interim chief executive Sam Weihagen published a letter in national newspapers saying it is safe to book breaks with the group.
Mr Weihagen’s letter began: ‘What a week it has been for Thomas Cook,’ adding that it is now ‘an even stronger and more confident company’ and members of the public ‘can be sure that your holiday really is in safe hands’.
Queen to share Pacific nation’s coins with Star Wars characters
Characters from the Star Wars space epic are to appear on a nation’s currency for the first time.
The coins will feature Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Yoda
By Paul Chapman in Wellington
Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Yoda and a cast of other heroes and villains from a galaxy far, far away, will join the Queen on coins issued by the South Pacific island state of Niue.
A set of 40 coins is being produced by the New Zealand Mint.
As legal tender, the coins will have a face value of NZ$2 (£1), but the silver content in each is worth considerably more than that.
The coins are primarily aimed at collectors and investors around the world in a bid to boost Niue’s flagging government coffers.
Sets of four, each containing 1oz of silver, will sell for NZ$469 (£235).
Others struck in silver-plated base metal will cost much less.
"You wouldn’t want to go and spend them because they’re only worth $2, but the value is much more than that," said Chris Kirkness of the New Zealand Mint.
"No one is going to go buy an ice-cream with them.
"Traditionally, who would buy these would be coin collectors, but this product opens up the market as a gift product and for enthusiasts of Star Wars," he told Fairfax newspapers’ website.
"You know Star Wars if you’re seven or 70."
While Star Wars characters are depicted in colour on the reverse of the new coins, a traditional effigy of the Queen by the sculptor Raphael Maklouf dominates the obverse.
Underlining the target market, the first issue goes on display at the American Numismatics Association’s show in Chicago next week.
Further coins will be released until 2014.
Fans of George Lucas’s classic films are expected to be enthusiastic about the coin issue.
Star Wars rapidly developed a cult following after first appearing on cinema screens in May 1977, and spawned a huge merchandising industry.
Niue, a remote Polynesian state of only 1,400 people, normally uses New Zealand currency.
The island nation courted controversy in April with the commemorative stamp it issued to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The stamp featured a perforated line down the middle, which split the happy couple.
Ask A Stupid Question Day comes to British schools
Ask A Stupid Question Day comes to Britain’s schools, encouraging pupils to ask teachers the daftest things they can think of.
Nature’s opposites: a camel (left) and a soapdish Photo: GETTY/CHRISTINE BOYD
Ask A Stupid Question Day has come to Britain’s schools.
The tradition dates back to the 1980s in America, and took place on 28 September or the last day of the school year. Pupils are encouraged to ask their teachers ridiculous questions.
Now British children are to get the same opportunity.
To mark the occasion, we have attempted to find some of the silliest questions ever posed in Britain to date, as asked by users of the Any Questions Answered (AQA) text service. Here are 10 of the best.
Q: What’s the opposite of a camel?
A: The opposite of a camel is a soap dish: it has dimples instead of humps and lives in a mostly moist area.
Q: How long would it take to roast a fully grown Indian elephant?
A: An Indian elephant, average weight 5000kg, would take 2916 hours and 40 minutes to roast to perfection (based on 35 minutes a kilogram). You would need an extremely large serving dish.
Q: In Mars Bars, how much taller is Jeremy Clarkson than Tom Cruise?
A: A Mars bar is four inches long. Jeremy Clarkson measures 19.25 Mars Bars (six feet five), while Tom Cruise is 16.75 Mars bars high (five feet seven). That’s a 2.5 Mars bar difference.
Q: How long would it take a snail to slide around the world?
A: 34,519 days at 0.7 miles a day or 0.03 miles per hour, the average speed for a garden snail.
Q: What’s the funniest word in the world?
A: The funniest word in the English language is fartlek (an athletic training regime); other funny words include furphy, pratfall, parp and firkin.
Q: What is the best type of biscuit to make a mattress from?
A: The best type of biscuits to make a mattress from would be fig rolls or strawberry Newtons. They would be soft, but still provide some back support.
Q: I want to write a film script which makes me millions: what should it be about?
A: Based on the top-grossing films, your script should be about a young wizard and a robot looking for a ring on a pirate ship which sinks. Good luck.
Q: In an average lifetime, how much gas will a human expel?
A: The average adult has 14 occurrences of flatulence per day. Total expulsion is about 538ml, making approximately 14,727 litres of gas expelled in a life time.
Q: How long is a piece of string?
A: A piece of string is twice as long as half its length. It is usually shorter than the amount you need to wrap a parcel, but always long enough to tangle.
Q: When will I die?
A: You will die in a freak parachuting accident aged 98. Your memorial service, attended by more than 1,000 of your closest friends, will be at Wembley.
Russia sets up university institute to study the yeti after spate of sightings
Yeti: Sightings are on the rise in Siberia
Russia is setting up a university research institute to study the Yeti after a spate of claimed recent sightings in Siberia.
Scientists say they have found 15 witnesses in the past year who gave statements that they saw the Abominable Snowman in one remote area .
‘We spoke to local residents’, said Dr Igor Burtsev, who conducted an expedition last summer and will head the new institute at Kemerovo State University. ‘They told us Yetis were stealing their animals.’
The academic claims around 30 Yetis live in a remote region of Mount Shoria in in southern Siberia.
He strongly denies accusations that the ‘sightings’ are a bizarre ruse to attract tourists to the far-flung region.
Reports say the two-legged creatures are heavy-set, more around 7ft tall and resemble bears.
‘Their bodies were covered in red and black fur, and they could climb trees,’ said one account.
One villager, Afanasy Kiskorov, even claimed to scientists that he rescued a Yeti on a hunting trip a year ago.
The creature was screaming in fear after falling into a swollen mountain river, he said.
His version suggested a ‘strange creature, looking like a huge man which tried several times to get out of water and to stand up on both feet, but dropped into the water each time and was howling’.
As his fellow-hunters ‘froze’ in amazement, Kiskorov held out a dry tree trunk.
‘The creature clutched to it and crawled to the bank,’ he said.
On the trail: Scientists believe there could be a community of up to 30 yetis existing in remote Russian wilderness
The Yeti allegedly then ran off. This ‘sighting’ was in the Tashtagol district of the Kemerovo Region, only accessible by helicopter. However, no photographic evidence exists.
Other accounts say the Yetis steal hens and sheep from remote villages.
According to Burtsev, Yetis are Neandethal men who have survived to this day
‘In Russia there are about 30 authoritative scientists who are engaged in studying the phenomenon of the ‘Abonimable Snowman’. All of them will be
integrated into this institute,’ said Dr Burtsev.
The ‘primary goal’ is to ‘establish contact’ with one of the creatures.
Leading Russian scientists deny the existence of the Yeti. An expensive Soviet expedition in central Asia found traces but no clear proof of the existence of the Yetis.
Elusive: An artist’s impression of the Yeti or Abominable Snowman