Saturday, April 10, 2004

Grr, hotmail ist kaput. Well actually it seems to be tripping some fault in IE, and so the window hits "close or ignore" every time the login screen loads. So I try using the backdoor of MSN. Das ist also kaput. So I go and start downloading Netscape: A. How can you have a computer without Netscape? (because stupid people set this one up). B. Have you tried recently? has turned into Yahoo, a cluttered screen of [currently] useless information. Here browser, browser, browser...Oh there's a browser distribution scheme link: I'll try that. Oh, they want a company name, oh, it's for computer companies.

Hmm, and a series of random clicks later I end up at the UK site, which is offering me version 7.0 (but the other site said 7.1), Oh well. Yep, ok. And it's loading away now.

Bugger, the same problem is plaguing Netscape.
And now I can't even get BBC news to work. This is not good.

So on to other stuff.
That Crown paints ad. Otherwise known as "the ad for curtains". Hands up anyone who would actually want that pink in anywhere in their house, let alone their bedroom. It's pink, which is dodgy enough, but it's not even a nice pink. [no links, as all I can find is people slating their products, and blurb about an older set of adverts].

And how did I miss this? Someone's planning to build a new tower to north of the Canary Wharf cluster. It's called Columbus Tower, and London City airport and the CAA are getting huffy, as they've changed their minds over how much room their planes need. And the Canary Wharf Group are against it, because its will strain local infrastructure [and they don't own it].

Oh, and the council are worried about TV signal disruption and it being a terrorist target that's too close to residential areas - better move all the big buildings in London to Norfolk then, so if they get attacked no-one will get hurt. But then where would everybody work? Damn, I'll have to start again. How about if we move all the local residents to Norfolk? But that might mean they'd get a poorer television signal. Oooh, isn't it complicated?

Except I can't find terribly much on it, as the main articles are by which consists of much yaying, and a tinpot local newspaper which is mostly boos.
The developer (good website huh?).
The Newspaper. Who cite as the developer a group unmentioned by anyone else concerned.
The fan website. Which is enthusiastic, but has some slight editorial problems - and they still manage to give a better impression than "The Wharf". That comparison of the tallest buildings is bemusing though. I hadn't realised there was so much planned. Though it needs a little updating, but as it appears to be a one-man-band, it's quite good considering. Wish it ran to maps, or at least pointed to the right part of or, so I could figure out where all these things are meant to be (actually links from the comparison pictures to the info pages on the site would be nice, but I'm trying not to complain). Bit of an "ah bless", but reasonably good.
The Architects [can't spell "through"]. Wow, I've just learnt something new. I'd always assumed Canary Wharf was built on a old wharf, except according to the pictures of the site, they filled in one of the basins to build it. In the 2012 view: what happened? Guess it's not the solitary phallus anymore.
Sorry, getting distracted by the architectural floor plans - Go to "Architectural Design" then "Plans". You should get a side on view of the building, divided into zones (they turn red when the mouse is moved over them). Click on the roof section [olive brown, it's the bent one at the top, surprisingly]. Guessing they'd run out of steam by the time they got round to it. Maybe I should just do that instead of typing this. text goes here. text goes here. text goes here. text goes here. Maybe not.
How very odd, they give the heights of the floors in millimetres. So the top is 239,000 mm.
And how did they manage to be taking the pictures for the assorted projections when there was snow lying?
Eeek, they're waiting on Crossrail to confirm its required specifications before the start buying materials. I think someone might have either a very long wait, or a flaming row.

Ok, so when i say I can't find much, I hadn't actually looked at the architect’s website by that point.

The [slightly less tinpot] Newspaper that made me aware of the entire thing in the first place.

So what thoughts have we on the project? At least it's not a box. Ok, so the architects are trying to justify it the shape by claiming it references local nautical themes, hence much talk about sail aerofoils and rigging. Who are they kidding? No-one is going to build an aerofoil shaped building, due to the slight problems that might occur when the wind blows. The green glass cladding in the shape of a very Swallows and Amazonsy sprit rig sail (like a gaff with an attached topsail[1])? Sails have got nothing to do with it. Just like all the bows and prows of the new buildings in Southampton have nothing to do with ships, and wing-like structures appended to buildings near Heathrow and Gatwick. It's not referencing the local area and culture, it's simply architects get bored of building boxes. Curves are funkier than squares, that's all. How else do you explain the stern of a cruise liner sticking out from a hill and overhanging a railway, when the building is in a county without any coasts.

[1] Going "huh?". Modern sails are Bermuda rigs: vaguely triangular with a straight base (along the boom), attached at a right angle [90 degree] to the mast (which is pretty much straight up). The third edge runs from the rear of the boom up to the top of the mast, usually in a straight[ish] line. Before modern materials allowed the mast to be made so long and thin, shorter spars had to be used. So there would be a short mast with the boom in the same position, and the top of the sail held up by another spar attached high up the mast. The shape of the sail would therefore depend on the size and position of this supporting spar.

A spar pivoted round till it is nearly parallel to the mast [think: like a paper fan], creating a triangular sail, is called a gunter rig.

A spar that is raised to around 45 degrees off the vertical of the mast [like the top part of a K], creates a sail where the top-rear corner of the sail is higher than the front corner. This is a gaff rig (the spar supporting the mast is often called the gaff).

Using a longer spar, and attaching it lower down the mast, can allow the sail to be nearly rectangular, the top-front corner being held by the mast alone, and the top-rear by the spar or sprit alone.

Or click here, here or here

Hmm, I appear to have gone slightly off topic. In summary then, Columbus Tower good, except for the running track half way up. That might just be taking the piss.

Anyway I might just get back to being mighty apeeling. How come it's even happening to the bits that aren't even sun-tanned, let alone sunburnt?


PS. Happy Easter peeps.

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