Like all things that have their ups and downs, Otis elevators did not get off to a rousing start. People were afraid to trust the new devices. To allay their fears,
” . . . the company’s founder, Elisha Otis Graves, decided to make a dramatic demonstration at the New York Crystal Palace, a grand exhibition hall built for the 1853 Worlds Fair.
The company recounts this milestone in its history.
Perched on a hoisting platform high above the crowd at New York’s Crystal Palace, a pragmatic mechanic shocked the crowd when he dramatically cut the only rope suspending the platform on which he was standing. The platform dropped a few inches, but then came to a stop. His revolutionary new safety brake had worked, stopping the platform from crashing to the ground. “All safe, gentlemen!” the man proclaimed.
Otis’ demonstration had the desired effect. He sold seven elevators that year, and 15 the next. When Otis died only seven years later his company, now run by his sons, was well on its way. By 1873 there were 2,000 Otis elevators in use. They expanded to Europe and Russia. In rapid succession his company got the commissions for the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building and the original Woolworth Building — in its day, the world’s tallest. In 1967, Otis Elevator installed all 255 elevators and 71 escalators in the World Trade Center.
But the very first commercial installation was on March 23, 1857, at a five-story department store at Broadway and Broome Street in what is now New York City’s SoHo district.”
Happy Elevator Day
DoggyMan Kansai Logistics Center
A dachshund-shaped building was designed by Nikken and completed in 2011. It functions as DoggyMan’s warehouse and distribution center and is located in Osaka. It can be seen if you’re driving along the Hanshin Expressway No. 4. An outline along the roof lights up at night, allowing drivers to see the adorable shape even when its dark.
Kirin Beer Factory (Nagoya)
Located along the Tokaido Shinkansen Line (and viewable as you’re pulling out of Nagoya Station) is the Kirin Beer Factory. The tanks are immediately recognizable because they’re painted to look just like a tall glass of beer: golden brown on the bottom with white foam at the top. If you’re actually in Nagoya you can also schedule a free tour and tasting! (They even have a hip-looking restaurant)
Meiji Chocolate Factory (Osaka)
In 2011 Meiji, known for their chocolate candy, decided to refurbish their first factory that was originally built in 1955. Since then it’s been a magical place for kids and the company wanted to instill that same magical spirit into their new factory. Given that the JR Kyoto train line runs directly south, Taisei Design proposed an idea that to make the entire façade look like a gigantic bar of chocolate that can be seen from the train. It’s 28 m high and 166 m long, which is equivalent to 38,000 bars of chocolate. If you want to visit, they offer free tours as well.
(This one is my favorite.)
Taru Tonneau in Okinawa
In Okinawa there’s a bar and eatery known as the Barrel Restaurant. The real name is Taru Tonneau (taru means barrel in Japanese) and the shop is shaped like a gigantic whiskey barrel. It’s been around since at least 2012 but its website looks like it’s from the 90s. It’s one of the more wild novelty architecture designs we’ve come across but it certainly does the trick in announcing its business.
With the current talk about the government budget, spending and the national debt, I am taking a minute to think about the magnitude of the dollar amounts involved.
The US national debt is a little over $20 trillion dollars. In order to wipe out that debt, each and every man, woman and child in the nation would have to cough up $60,000. And if you don’t think that government spending comes out of your wallet, you were not paying attention in school.
Here is an article that talks about what the numbers relate to:
First consider a million:
- One million is a thousand thousands.
- One million is a 1 with six zeros after it, denoted by 1,000,000.
- One million seconds is about 11 and a half days.
- One million pennies stacked on top of each other would make a tower nearly a mile high.
- If you earn $45,000 a year, it would take 22 years to amass a fortune of one million dollars.
- One million ants would weigh a little over six pounds.
- One million dollars divided evenly among the U.S. population would mean everyone in the United States would receive about one third of one cent.
Next up is one billion:
- One billion is a thousand millions.
- One billion is a 1 with nine zeros after it, denoted by 1,000,000,000.
- One billion seconds is about 31 and a half years.
- One billion pennies stacked on top of each other would make a tower almost 870 miles high.
- If you earn $45,000 a year, it would take 22,000 years to amass a fortune of one billion dollars.
- One billion ants would weight over 3 tons – a little less than the weight of an elephant.
- One billion dollars divided equally among the U.S. population would mean that everyone in the United States would receive about $3.33.
After this is a trillion:
- One trillion is a thousand billions, or equivalently a million millions.
- It is a 1 with twelve zeros after it, denoted by 1,000,000,000,000.
- One trillion seconds is over 31 thousand years.
- One trillion pennies stacked on top of each other would make a tower about 870,000 miles high – the same distance obtained by going to the moon, back to earth, then to the moon again.
- One trillion ants would weigh over 3000 tons.
- One trillion dollars divided evenly among the U.S. population would mean that everyone in the United States would receive a little over $3000.
Pirates know these things.
Thinking about Julius Caesar? Think again. This is the day the buzzards traditionally return to Hinkley, Ohio.
What do you call a snake that’s exactly 3.14 meters long?
Happy Pi Day