May 24, 2008

(Emphasis Mine)

1.


Just two days after August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina smashed into New Orleans, architectural wunderkind Daniel Libeskind was already overflowing with ideas about how to restore the city. Libeskind?he of the 1,776-foot ?Freedom Tower? for New York?s Ground Zero?compared New Orleans with postwar Berlin, which had ?in a daring way developed . . . into the 21st century.? As for a ?theme? for a rebuilt New Orleans, Libeskind mused to the New York Times, ?What could be more creative than jazz??

Mercifully, New Orleans isn?t erecting any saxophone-shaped skyscrapers as it recovers from the hurricane, which left 80 percent of its surface area?a swath seven times Manhattan?s size?inundated with floodwaters and drove nearly all of the city?s 455,000 residents from their homes. New Orleans has rebounded remarkably since then. As of January, it boasted 302,000 residents, with 2,000 more returning each month, according to data crunchers at GCR & Associates, an information-systems firm. (In early 2006, the city?s official planners had figured that just 247,000 people would be home by September 2008.)

New Orleanians have achieved much of this success by doing what New Yorkers couldn?t do after 9/11: ignoring the potentates and eggheads hankering to turn devastation into conceptual art. They?ve been building and rebuilding on their own or with small-scale help, rather than under top-down decree?and, in the process, showing that thousands of individual planners are better than one master.


1776 floors?

Libeskind blows chunks. What a crying shame for NYC.

2.

?What will China?s geopolitical role be in the future?? asked a third tourist, who looked smug about coming up with such a BBC interview of a question, albeit posed to a 29-year-old chemical engineer.

?In the long run, a very neutral role,? David said. ?China tries to be as humble as possible. There is the Taiwan issue and the Tibet issue, both handled very well by the government. But all these issues are basically economic concerns. If China?s economy climbs, all these problems will disappear.?

?I was thinking,? said the DIY haircut woman to a stateroom of people who wished she?d quit, ?that there are some world problems that need handling by China, such as global warming.?

?We want to have more friend,? David said.

?But what about global warming?? the woman said.

?We just want to be loved,? David said and looked at his watch and announced with relief that time was up.




Between the monument and the Big Hall in Chongqing was a square almost as expansive as Tiananmen in Beijing. When Mai and I were back in Hong Kong, I mentioned to Tom that the whole time we?d been on the mainland I?d hardly heard the Tiananmen massacre of 1989 mentioned.

?That?s no surprise,? Tom said. ?Tiananmen Square is where the abdication of the last emperor was proclaimed in 1912. It?s where the student demonstrations, which led to the formation of the Chinese Communist Party, were held in 1919. It?s where the Japanese occupation government announced its East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, where Mao declared victory over the Kuomintang in 1949, and where a million Red Guards swore loyalty to Mao during the Cultural Revolution. When the Chinese see a bunch of people gathering in Tiananmen Square, they don?t go all warm and fuzzy the way we do. The Chinese think, ?Here we go again.??

3.

Explanation: For about 300 years Jupiter's banded atmosphere has shown a remarkable feature to telescopic viewers, a large swirling storm system known as The Great Red Spot. In 2006, another red storm system appeared, actually seen to form as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms merged and then developed the curious reddish hue. Now, Jupiter has a third red spot, again produced from a smaller whitish storm. All three are seen in this image made from data recorded on May 9 and 10 with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The spots extend above the surrounding clouds and their red color may be due to deeper material dredged up by the storms and exposed to ultraviolet light, but the exact chemical process is still unknown. For scale, the Great Red Spot has almost twice the diameter of planet Earth, making both new spots less than one Earth-diameter across. The newest red spot is on the far left (west), along the same band of clouds as the Great Red Spot and is drifting toward it. If the motion continues, the new spot will encounter the much larger storm system in August. Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.

Posted by Dennis at May 24, 2008 9:07 AM

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