For every structure that claims the title of "World’s Tallest" there are thousands of people who make the decision to never, under any circumstances, go to the top of these structures. One of the most common phobias on Earth is the fear of heights, and there are millions of people on Earth who would rather take a rock to the head than go anywhere near these amazingly tall, and somewhat frightening, structures.
1. The Grand Canyon Skywalk
Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight. Standing 3,600 feet above the floor of the Grand Canyon on a glass panel is enough to make even the bravest of individuals weak in the knees. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a unique structure that extends out over the edge of the Grand Canyon, where its distance from the glass to the floor of the Grand Canyon exceeds the height of the tallest building on Earth.
Built in 2007 as a tourist attraction, the Skywalk juts out 70 feet out at its farthest point, beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon. Weighing one million pounds without the counterweights that keep the Skywalk from turning into a tourist tragedy, it is an awe-inspiring sight to stand over the edge of the canyon.
Don’t worry though, only 120 people are allowed on the Skywalk at any one time, and the Skywalk itself can hold 822 people, each weighing 200 pounds.
2. Burj Khalifa
The tallest structure ever built, and several hundreds of feet above the next tallest skyscraper, is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It is a base-jumpers dream, but for anyone afraid of heights it is enemy number one.
This skyscraper stands 2,717 feet above the ground, and holds several records related to the tallest structures on Earth. It beat the previous tallest structure by 600 feet, and it boasts the highest swimming pool on Earth. Ever wanted to go for a swim on the 76th floor of a skyscraper? Well, you can do that here. The building also has the highest outdoor observation deck in the world at 1,450 feet. On a clear day it is possible to see 100 miles in every direction, just don’t look down.
If you don’t like riding an elevator, then you should stay away from this building. The tallest elevator shafts in the world are found here and on February 8, 2010, one elevator became stuck between floors, trapping tourists for nearly an hour. For someone who hates heights, that would be the equivalent of hell.
3. The Gateway Arch
St. Louis is the Gateway to the West and to celebrate this, the city built The Gateway Arch in 1967. While it may just look like a horseshoe stuck in the ground from a distance, it takes on a whole new level of panic inducing fear for those afraid of heights when standing on the observation deck of the Arch. Standing 630 feet above the ground, the observation deck features 32 small windows that a visitor can look through to see as far as 30 miles on a clear day. That may not seem too bad, especially considering the observation deck of the tallest building in the world is three times as high, but when you see nothing holding you up in the air but two pillars to the side, and only air below you, you may have a different feeling about this view.
4. Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III
People who fear heights may hate the previous three buildings and monuments, but at least these places are held in place by steel and concrete. Not so for the Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III. At this third section of the aerial tramway in Kaprun, Austria, there is nothing holding you up from crashing into the ground but some cables. The tramway opened on November 26, 1966 and the third section of the tramway is the tallest aerial tramway support pillar in the world. Standing 372 feet above the ground, the pillar sits on a concrete slab that rests on the edge of a mountain. Originally built to just over 300 feet, the tramway pillar has been extended twice, which is two times too many for anyone who doesn’t like hanging in the air on a swinging tramway.
5. The Skybridge at the Petronas Towers
Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Petronas Towers are the tallest twin powers in the world, and formerly the tallest buildings in the world. However, it is not the towers that make anyone who is afraid of heights cringe; it is the Skybridge that runs between them.
The Skybridge is a walkway that runs between the two towers, and it is the tallest two-story bridge on the planet. Sitting 558 feet above the ground, it is best when walking on it to not think about the fact that the bridge weighs 750 tons, and is not actually bolted to the towers. The bridge is designed to slide back in and out of the towers in order to prevent the bridge from breaking due to high winds.
6. Royal Gorge Bridge
The Royal Gorge Bridge, located in Canon City, Colorado, was the tallest bridge in the world, hanging 955 feet above the Arkansas River. Built in 1929, it was the tallest bridge in the world until it was beat by a bridge in China. What makes this bridge a bit tougher to walk on is the fact that it contains 1,292 wood planks that are all that separate you from to the river far below. This bridge is very popular with base jumpers, with thousands jumping off the edge of this bridge since it first opened.
7. CN Tower
Before it was beat by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada was the tallest freestanding structure on the planet. Standing 1,815 feet high, the CN Tower has many features to help make anyone who hates heights hug the ground in fear. First, there is the glass elevator that moves up outside the tower to show you just how high you are going with each second that goes by. In addition, the highest public observation gallery can be found on the CN Tower, rising 1,467 feet in the air. The CN Tower also features the highest bar in the world at 1,135 feet, the highest wine cellar at 1,152 and the highest revolving restaurant at 1,152 feet as well. Worse of all, at least for individuals who fears heights, is the glass floor in the observation deck, which is 1,122 feet above the ground.It takes a brave soul to stand on this piece of glass that looks straight down to the ground.
As more and more building continue to rise up to the sky, there are plenty of people who choose to keep their feet firmly on the ground. Whether it is standing on a piece of glass over one thousand feet above the ground, or walking across a small bridge that moves with every brush of wind, these places are the places that give anyone who fears heights a severe panic attack. For those that hate heights, there are plenty of sights to see that sit firmly upon the ground.
Author: Craig Baird — Copyrighted © roadtickle.com
"Profile" (1994) - What is he thinking?
Image via moillusions
Artist Kumi Yamashita’s work is the perfect example of two truths: that things are not always what they seem and more metaphorically, that sometimes we have to view things in a different light to discover a new meaning. If this sounds too cryptic, just marvel over how Yamashita breathes new life into simple, wall-mounted cut-outs by providing them with an interesting shadow.
"Lovers" (1998) - aluminium sheeting, lights, cast shadows:
image via mymodernmet
"Origami" (2005) - "Each color sheet on the wall, lit from the right, casts a silhouette of a profile":
Image: Kumi Yamashita
If you liked Incredible Shadow Art Created from Junk by British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster, then you’ll like Kumi Yamashita’s work. Unlike Noble and Webster, however, Yamashita does not use hundreds of pieces and no junk to create her shadow objects – faces and figures mostly – but banks on the belief that less is more.
"Feather" (2006) - light, wood, shadow:
Image via outtheway
Like a painter who tries to convey an image with the fewest number of brushstrokes, Yamashita uses slim pieces of wood, square paper or aluminum numbers and letters. Though the installations are light (pun intended), their messages are quite heavy: The profile of a handsome man above, for example, cast from the shadows of various letters, symbolizes the thoughts and words that may go through his mind, or even the implications put on us by society.
Just numbers? "City View" (2003):
Image via moillusions
Probably her simplest installation is an exclamation mark that, lit from the side, turns into a question mark. Like a firm belief that is suddenly shattered.
"Exclamation Point" (1995):
Image via outtheway
Simple? Not really. Says the Japanese-born, now New York-based artist about her motivation:
"Through my work I wish to remind ourselves of how we preconceive what is around and inside us. It is easy to passively turn to prepared information. Knowledge, ideas, and values are too often accepted without questioning."
Call it visual trickery or manipulation, but the beauty of Yamashita’s objects lies in their simplicity, symbolized by the materials she uses: paper, wood, aluminum and most importantly, light.
"Clouds" (2005) - "The thin metal object on the wall, lit from above, casts the silhouette of a couple":
Image via mymodernmet
"Glider" (2002) - light, aluminum, shadow:
Image via mymodernmet
Though born and raised in Japan, Kumi Yamashita has spent much of her adult life abroad, starting with a high-school exchange to the US in 1984. She then graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994 from the College of Arts in Washington and with a Master of Fine Arts in 1999 from the Glasgow School of Art in the UK. Since then, she has taken part in close to 30 group exhibitions and was featured in more than 10 solo exhibitions around the world. She’s also won numerous awards for her work.
If you want to see how it's done, here's a video of "Dialogue" (1999), the silhouettes of two conversing heads produced with the help of light, a motor, styrene, shadow and 60 rotating profiles, lit from the side. Can you make out what they are talking about?
If you really want to know, you have to watch this last video of Kumi Yamashita as a guest in Takeshi Kitano show "Unbelievable," a special about visual artists that aired on 21st March 2008 on Japanese television. Don’t miss the "making of" and the audience’s reaction – it’s worth watching from start to finish!
More information about latest works and exhibitions can be found on Kumi Yamashita’s website.
PS: Original post here.
This is the three-dimensional spherical labyrinth that challenges the limits of your manual dexterity and spatial understanding as you maneuver a 5/8" wooden marble through its entire course. The Superplexus is a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, spirals, and staircases–even a vortex. Hand made from 3- and 6-ply Finnish birch that form the track, over 400 hours are involved in its construction.
The labyrinth is set inside a 36" diameter acrylic sphere affixed to a Jatoba base using a stainless steel gimbaled mount that allows you to tilt the sphere in any direction to guide the marble. The entire track laid out on a straight line is 31′ longer than a football field. In addition to the track, the ball must travel on a 1/16" diameter stainless steel wire pathway at eight points along the journey. A series of directional arrows indicate the course to follow, and successful completion requires a minimum of 425 turns (plane changes) of the sphere–without letting the marble fall off the track.
More Info : The Superplexus
Cast :: Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kangna Ranaut, Kabir Bedi
Music By :: Rajesh Roshan
Produced By :: Rakesh Roshan
Directed By :: Anurag Basu
01 - Zindagi Do Pal Ki
02 - Dil Kyun Yeh Mera
03 - Tum Bhi Ho Wahi
04 - Kites In The Sky
05 - Fire
06 - Zindagi Do Pal Ki (Remix)
07 - Dil Kyun Yeh Mera (Remix)
08 - Tum Bhi Ho Wahi (Remix)
09 - Fire (English Version)
Photo: via xenophilius
Tardigrades even defy Space
Shoot them into Space or to the bottom of the deepest ocean, deprive them of air, water and food for a decade and sprinkle some radiation on top for good measure. These critters won’t die. Meet the water bear or tardigrade, world's toughest animal.
Here’s why they’re called water bears:
Photo: via cellar.org
Tardigrades are microscopic, water-dwelling invertebrates with eight legs that seem to have a bear-like appearance and gait and tend to cling to moss or lichen; characteristics that have given them the nicknames water bears or moss piglets. Although they breathe through their skin and therefore lack respiratory organs and a circulatory system, the anatomy of water bears is quite complex.
Like a wrinkled caterpillar:
Photo: Goldstein Lab
The water bear’s body is covered by a chitinous layer that is regularly moulted, similar to insects. Females and males occur in most species and many have complicated courtship behaviour and mating rituals. Depending on where they live, water bears can be strongly pigmented from orange and bright red to olive green for those living on mosses and lichens – often with a density of up to 25,000 animals per liter!
Yup, this is where they live – on pillow moss or Grimmia pulvinata:
Though tiny at only 0.1 mm to 1.5 mm, tardigrades are everywhere – from the icy climates of Antarctica to the sweltering heat of the equator; the high altitudes of the Himalayas (6,000 m/19,800 ft and above) to the deep sea (below 4,000 m/13,200 ft). More than 1,000 species of tardigrades have been identified since their discovery by German zoologist Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773 and there’s even an International Tardigrada Symposium held every three years.
Ain’t he cute - kind of potato like, don’t you think?
Photo: via dvice
Now the big question is, what do these hardy animals eat? Most of them live off the cell content of bacteria, algae and mosses that they suck out. Three marine species are known to parasitize sea cucumbers, barnacles and aquatic invertebrates. A few species are carnivores and feed on microscopic wheel animals, roundworms and even each other!
They’re lovingly also called tardies by those studying them:
Photo: via Tardigrada Newsletter
In September 2007, the European Space Agency even took two species of tardigrades into Space, about 160 miles up. Some water bears were exposed to the vacuum of space only, others to ultraviolet radiation as well – about 1,000 times more than on Earth. All not only survived unharmed but even procreated and laid eggs that survived normally. Thus, they join the few species of lichens and bacteria as the only ones to survive the vacuum and solar radiation of Space unprotected.
Tardigrade eggs in exoskeleton:
Photo: via eeob
The more extreme the environment, the better the water bear adapts. The facts are just so amazing and unbelievable that we have to sum them up again: Tardigrades can withstand extreme temperatures of -273°C (-523 °F), close to absolute zero, temperatures as high as 151 °C (303 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than any other animal or human and go almost a decade without water! On top of that, throw them into a vacuum, organic solvents such as 96% alcohol or ether, or even liquid helium and they’ll be fine.
The secret to their success? Water bears are not only able to reach a state where their metabolism has ceased entirely but to maintain this state for years and at any stage of their life cycle! The image below shows the Arctic, moss-dwelling water bear Adorybiotus coronifer in a dried and extremely cold-tolerant state.
Looks like a water bear in 2D – only 0.7 mm long:
Photo: via diagonale-groenland
Seasonal changes in the Arctic marine water bear, Halobiotus crispae:
Photo: via diagonale-groenland
So much for the theory that only cockroaches would survive a nuclear disaster. We’re quite relieved as tardigrades are not only many times smaller than cockroaches but also many times, er, cuter.
Sources: 1, 2, 3
This is a kinetic sculpture made for the BMW Museum in Munich. It is a "metaphorical translation of the from-finding process in design."
View a video of the making here.
Official notes about the project (from Art + Com):
The installation consists of 714 metal spheres hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled stepper motors. Covering a six-square-metre area, the spheres enact a seven-minute long mechatronic narrative, creating a representation of the form-finding process in different variations. Moving chaotically at first, the sculpture evolves into several competing forms and eventually resolves as a final shape, which hints at the outlines of well-known BMW automobiles such as the 327, the 1500, the Z4 coupé and the Mille Miglia 2006. The cycle is synchronised with a graphic light strip running around the walls and texts and audio quotes from senior BMW figures on the company’s values and design aims.
A video of the sculpture in action:
1. If Mr. Bean had A Baby
2. If Mr. Bean was In Avatar
3. If Mr. Bean was Justin Bieber
4. If Mr. Bean had A Daughter
5. If Mr. Bean was Lady Gaga
6. If Mr. Bean was Bin Laden
7. If Mr. Bean was In Legally Blonde
8. If Mr. Bean was In Orphan
9. If Mr. Bean was A pirate
10. If Mr. Bean was The Pope
11. If Mr. Bean was Harry Potter
12. If Mr. Bean ran For President
13. If Mr. Bean was Tomb Raider
14. If Mr. Bean was In Twilight
1 I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
2 Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
3 I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
4 The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
5 Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer.
6 Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship.
7 We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police.
8 Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.
9 We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
10 Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
11 Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
12 War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
13 If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
14 The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
15 Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
16 Children: You spend the first 2 years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 years telling them to sit down and shut-up.
17 If sex is a pain in the ass, then you’re doing it wrong…
18 Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
19 Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
20 A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..
21 My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.
22 I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian
23 If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.
24 I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
25 If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.
26 Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
27 If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea… does that mean that one enjoys it?
28 Some people are like Slinkies … not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
29 How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
30 Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?
31 A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don’t need it.
32 Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
33 Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
34 To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
35 A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
36 I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it…so I said "Implants?"
37 Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
38 A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
39 The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
40 Good girls are bad girls that never get caught.
41 Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
42 Laugh at your problems, everybody else does.
43 The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.
44 Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". What’s my mother going to do?
45 He who smiles in a crisis has found someone to blame.
46 The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
47 I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
48 Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
49 God must love stupid people. He made SO many.
50 Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
51 The sole purpose of a child’s middle name, is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble.
52 Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.
53 Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
54 Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with a baseball bat.
55 My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
56 Some people say "If you can’t beat them, join them". I say "If you can’t beat them, beat them", because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.
57 Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
58 It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the end.
59 Crowded elevators smell different to midgets.
60 Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
61 You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
62 Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
63 I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
64 A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.
65 My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.
66 I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
67 Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
68 A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
69 We have enough gun control. What we need is idiot control.
70 You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
71 I should’ve known it wasn’t going to work out between my ex-wife and me. After all, I’m a Libra and she’s a bitch.
72 A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" Father replied, "I don’t know son, I’m still paying."
73 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
74 Women may not hit harder, but they hit lower.
75 Knowledge is power, and power corrupts. So study hard and be evil.
76 There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
77 I don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.
78 Worrying works! 90% of the things I worry about never happen.
79 Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
80 I always take life with a grain of salt, …plus a slice of lemon, …and a shot of tequila.
81 If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you!
82 I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
83 When in doubt, mumble.
84 I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
85 To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
86 Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.
87 A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
88 A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.
89 Just remember…if the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off.
90 I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I’m going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You’ll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well."
91 Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
92 You are such a good friend that if we were on a sinking ship together and there was only one life jacket… I’d miss you heaps and think of you often.
93 When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
94 Hallmark Card: "I’m so miserable without you, it’s almost like you’re still here."
95 Virginity is like a soapbubble, one prick and it is gone.
96 Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
97 If winning isn’t everything why do they keep score?
98 If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.
99 If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child.
100 Whoever coined the phrase "Quiet as a mouse" has never stepped on one.