Monday
Aug062012

Prada Perspective | Icarus Lives As Men Push Higher Into the Sky | Jeddah's Freedom Tower To Be Upstaged By China

Miuccia Prada‘s esoteric perspective is one of the primary reason’s why Prada is one of the definitive brands of the last century. Steven Meisel takes that ethos and channels it into a chess-centric and haunting film filled with unanswered questions. The presence of  Vanessa Axente, Magdalena Frackowiak, Madison Headrick, Elza Luijendijk, Iselin Steiro & Anne Vyalitsyna certainly doesn’t hurt either. via Models.com

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Above video: Seoul’s Rem Koolhaas Prada Transformer Opens with ‘Waists Down’ (2009)

 Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi ArabiaMen & Skyscrapers

When Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower (aka Burj Dubai) opened in January 2010 as the world’s tallest building, plans were already on the table for Kingdom Holding Company’s Freedom Tower to reach even higher into the clouds. Under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the structure dwarfs the Burj Khalifa at 1,401m for Freedom Tower vs 828 m for the Burj.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talai originally wanted to build Freedom Tower a mile into the sky, requiring a 12 minute elevator ride into the clouds. Fears that the soil couldn’t support the weight of the foundation resulted in a final plan for a smaller tower in a still mighty tall building scheduled for completion in mid-2017.

China Rising

China’s Sky City One aims to become the world’s tallest building.

As construction of the 1km high Kingdom Tower commenced, researchers set out to understand if one twice as high could be built. China’s Dr. Sang Dae Kim, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced that indeed a 2km high tower could soon be a reality and is technically possible.

In mid-July Zhang Yue, CEO, of China’s Broad Sustainable Builing company said the firm will construct a two-kilometre high tower having 636 floors. The location is not yet announced.

Not only does Mr. Yue’s construction company build tall skyscrapers. He builds them fast. Using prefabricated materials the firm built a 16-story building, ‘The New Ark Hotel’, in just six days. After that, a 30-story building rose in Hunan provice in 15 days.

Broad Sustainable Building plans to construct an 838-meter high tower, titled ‘Sky City 220’ in four months time from groundbreaking, making it 10 stories taller than the Burj Khalifa. This sky city tower will have schools, a hospital, 17 helipads and able to house 30,000 people.

Watch the video to the right.

Myth and Skyscrapers

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity
MCA Chicago June 30-Sep 23, 2012

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity examines contemporary works of art that take as their subject the form, technology, myth, message, and image of that iconic building structure, the skyscraper. While the exhibition has particular relevance to Chicago, the city that is widely known as the birthplace of this architectural type, artists throughout the world—in addition to authors, filmmakers, poets, and undoubtedly architects—have been enthralled by the human desire to build farther and farther into the sky, testing technological limits while embodying a yearning for spiritual connection to the heavens. Artists’ endeavors to explore this desire have taken many forms, from video and film to sculpture, painting, and photography. Read on

Dynamic Architecture’s Fouth Timension Is Time AOC New Day

I confess to being totally seduced by this idea of Dynamic Architecture and the work of visionary Italian architect Dr. David Fisher who states:

“Today’s life is dynamic, so the space we are living in should be dynamic as well, adjustable to our needs that change continuously, to our moods … buildings will follow the rhythms of nature, they will change direction and shape  … from sunrise to sunset, and adjust themselves to the weather, buildings will be alive.

Phallic Fiction or Good Land Use?

Burj Khalifa Rises Half A MIle Into Dubai Sky AOC Style

Skyscrapers are icons of the modern age, masculine symbols of man’s triumph over Mother Nature, who is left in the dust until death, when humans return to their original birthing place on land.

In our post Sept. 11 world, skyscrapers have dual meanings then as modern symbols of imperial power and uncontrolled consumption, as well as glorious human achievements of architectural design and national status.

Land-Based Female Principles

Can Architecture Conquer Man’s Love for Icarus with New Dreams? AOC Style

The owners of Dubai’s Burg Khalifa say that the entire skyscraper is inspired by female principles, found in the hymen flower. I called the assertion ‘phallic fiction’ — a bit like the current financial balance sheet for Dubai World —  but a reader correctly pointed out that what matters are the building’s green credentials and not its marketing hype.

Tonight, Another Mars Landing

‘It’s a tense confidence,’ ex-NASA official says of Mars mission LA Times

One of the most intriguing parts of the Mars rover Curiosity’s landing is the lack of control that the scientists and engineers have in the final moments of the mission. Because it takes 14 minutes for signals to be transmitted from Curiosity to Earth, all they can do is watch, wait and hope for success.

Scott Hubbard, who is the former director of NASA’s Ames Research Center and has contributed greatly to the Mars rover program, said: “Everybody is on edge. There’s a lot of confidence there, but the truth is Mars is still mostly an unknown. It’s a tense confidence. The software is loaded, they’re committed, and now they just have to wait and see.”

JUST IN: Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on Mars NY Times

Saturday
Aug042012

50 Years Later, Marilyn Monroe Remains the Ultimate Smart Sensuality Blonde

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

The Love Goddess Who Keeps Right on Giving Maureen Dowd

Half a century after Marilyn was found on Aug. 5, 1962, in her Brentwood bedroom, nude, holding her phone, soaked in drugs, she continues to bewitch: her death at 36 and the sketchy cover-up; her tempestuous marriages to a famous baseball player and famous playwright; her role, with Jack and Bobby Kennedy, in the most intriguing film noir triangle of all time.

AOC Undying Love July #1

Undress Me | Daniela Freitas | Pierre Dal Corso AOC Private Studio

Passion, Politics and Principle

Undying Love July 2012 | Top 50 Sensual Editorials & Essays AOC Rebel

In the case of our top editorial for July, my personal support of Pierre Dal Corso has helped drive his top position on our charts, although I’ve done nothing to promote this particular editorial of Daniela Freitas in over a year. With many of the GQ and Esquire editorials, our women readers love them, just as women love Treats! magazine. And guys — well they often prefer a woman with something to say.

AOC Undying Love July #2

Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’ Will Be Read with Eve Ensler At Michigan Capitol June 18th AOC French Roast News

I’m also pleased that second most popular post is not a sexy editorial but a political article about the Vagina Monologues being read on the steps of the Michigan capitol on June 18th. I’m guilty of bribing potential readers with sexy vagina cupcakes — a clear reason for knocking straight news stories out of a prominent search position. This duality expresses the mindset of our readers: sexy people are often highly intelligent, successful and have a highly-developed social conscience. ~ Anne

Marilyn Monroe | A Smart, Sensual Blonde  AOC Sensual Rebel

Friday
Aug032012

Reid Challenges Media To Dig On Romney Finances | Chick-fil-A Gay Rights Kiss-In | Campari Calendar 2013

See Wall Street Journal’s interactive map that links Chick-a-Filet locations and support for gay marriage by state.

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Sen. John McCain said on CNN last night that Sen. Harry Reid might have gone “over the line” in his full-court press against Mitt Romney with allegations that a Bain Capital source told him that the presidential candidate paid no income taxes for 10 years.

For Republicans who are crying foul against Reid, arguing that Reid’s allegations against Romney are just as contemptible as Michele Bachmann’s against Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin, one can only imagine that they wish McCain’s remarks about Harry Reid were half as strong as his senate floor condemnation of Michelle Bachmann.

It’s generally believed that if he hasn’t seen Romney’s tax returns up close and personal, Sen. McCain knows whether Reid’s accusations have substance. When Romney was vetted as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2008, the McCain campaign reviewed 23 years of Romney tax returns.

Sen. Reid challenged the media to be more aggressive in digging into Romney’s finances, writes the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“What if he has paid no taxes, like I am saying he hasn’t,” Reid said. “What if he has all these moneys as we already know … in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Swiss banks. I mean, gee whiz, rather than ask me why I should do this, that is a story you should be writing.”

Mitt Romney will be in Las Vegas today, talking about his new five-point plan “for a stronger Middle class” before attending a fundraiser with leading Nevada Republicans.

CNN’s Dana Bash has followed Reid for years and said on air that she spoke with a private source very close to the Senate Majority leader who also knows the identity of the Bain investor and insider. The Bash source says Reid’s informant is “a credible person and this person if we knew the name we would understand they would have the authority and the ability to know about Romney’s tax returns.”

Dana Bash continued:

There are times [Reid] says things off the cuff that make his aides wince, like talking about smelly tourists in the Capitol — I’m not making this up. This is not one of those times. This is one of those times he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s doing it on purpose, he is doing it for political reasons, because he wants this issue — Romney’s taxes — talked about on programs like yours, wants it to be headlines in newspapers and wants Mitt Romney to respond on this issue which they think is a negative for Romney, as opposed to issues Romney wants to talk about.

The CNN reporter said that Reid’s decision to enter the Romney tax return foray is “very personal”. Bash continued saying: “”When Harry Reid doesn’t like somebody, he goes for the jugular.”

Reid’s allegations come on the heels of the Romney campaign’s failure to follow up with an ABC News reporter David Muir’s question as to whether or not he has ever paid less than the 13.9 percent tax rate revealed in his 2010 return.

“I haven’t calculated that,” said Romney. “I’m happy to go back and look, but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law.”

ABC News has followed up with a request for an answer to Muir’s question, with no response from the Romney campaign.

Flying Chicken Feathers!!!

Wednesday — dubbed ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day’ by talk show host and former governor Mike Hukabee — was the largest day in the company’s history.

Today the LGBT community responds with a national ‘Kiss In’ at Chick-fil-A restaurants, to protest the fast-food founder Dan Cathy’s opposition to same-sex unions. The Southern Baptist Cathy family respects many other tenets of their faith, including not being open on Sunday.

Today’s participants are encouraged to visit one of the company’s 1600 fast food chains and kiss a fellow demonstrator of the same sex. Marci Alt is organizing a protest outside the Chick-fil-A in Decatur, Ga, about 20 miles from the company’s headquarters in Atlanta. About 150-200 folks are expected at a Chick-a-Filet in New York at 8pm tonight. Follow the event on Facebook.

A thoughtful Huff Po piece interviews gays who work at Chick-fil-A, many of them caught in the middle of the controversy.

Chick-fil-A has long come under fire from activists for giving millions to groups that advocate against gay rights and even support ex-gay therapy, but the fire has ratcheted up in recent weeks, following interviews in which Cathy said he was “guilty as charged” of supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit” and that gay marriage invites “God’s judgment on our nation.”

While city officials send messages that Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities, thinking people agree that the Cathy family is free to express its beliefs. They are free to donate money to The Family Research Council — a staunch advocate against same-sex marriage — just as Jeff Bezos is free to give $2.5 million to the pro gay marriage Referendum 74 factions in Washington state.

Issues raised by Huff Po’s Lila Shapiro resonate not only in her focus on the gay and straight employees of Chick-a-Filet and how they feel being caught in the crossfire on the front line of the controversy. Employees who love their jobs are now faced with reconciling their own beliefs and identities with those of the Cathy family.

In today’s age of social media, Chick-fil-A suddenly has an anti-gay rights identity based on the beliefs of its founder. The Wall Street Journal makes the point that while the company may get a boost on the short term from older social conservatives who showed up on Wednesday, the long-term impact could be much more serious.

It’s true that Domino Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, a devout Catholic, supported activist antiabortion groups in the 90s, and suffered little public backlash when his antiabortion views were established.

“No public figure tweeted on Tom Monaghan,” says Irv Schenkler of New York University’s Stern School of Business. “It’s social media that creates a larger ripple of knowledge and adds complexity to who hears what about whom.”

Support for gay marriage in America is at an all-time high with 53% supporting it. Without a doubt, the strongest opposition against gay marriage is in the south. Because young people — even young evangelicals — don’t share the views of their parents on gay marriage, most observers and researchers put the future of gay marriage acceptance in America on a forward-leaning course.

With divisions between progressives and social conservatives so deep in America, Chick-a-Filet may be no Domino’s in how this story plays out.

Anne of Carversville

Tiiu Kuik | Hans Feurer | Glamour US September 2012 | Start with a Coat

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