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Simbha

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Posts posted by Simbha


  1. This is a Reuters news pieces on an interesting demolition practice being used in Tokyo: 'internal' demolition. The video is interesting in and of itself, but there's also a Houston sighting in here (although it's not labeled as such).

     

     

    At the 1:08 mark, you can see the former Prudential/Houston Main Building in the TMC being demolished. It's used as an example of how many other cities (e.g., Houston) can use traditional demolition practices, but Tokyo needs something different due to its building density.

     

    As noted, I think the entire video is worth watching.


  2. But I have to ask: have I seen enough to see what Houston is like? The neighborhoods in Houston are wildly diverse, something College Station is not.

     

    In short, no. You can't see enough of a city as large and diverse as this one. A lifetime is insufficient - especially in a city that is as ever-evolving as Houston.

     

    A longer answer is (as is usual) 'it depends'. What do you mean by "[H]ave I seen enough to see what Houston is like?" Architecture? People? Food? Art? Industry? Sports? In what aspect of the city do you have an interest?

     

     

    • Like 1

  3. My guess is that they don't want to go public with what might be a shot-in-the-dark or crummy idea. If HCSCC's initial appraisal of it deems it worthy of consideration, they'll probably release them from the NDA provisions to allow them to go public with it. If not, we probably won't hear any more.

     

    What confuses me is... Which actual entity at USC is putting forth a proposal? USC is an educational institution. I can see a USC architecture student team - or even a faculty cohort - doing this, but that's not 'USC'.


  4. One of my concerns regarding these proposed developments adjacent to Discovery Green is the shade cast upon the park. IMO, one of the things that makes Millennium Park in Chicago (a common comparison) so wonderful is that - in the middle of the city - the park is an open greenspace with no shade cast upon it by nearby highrises. I wonder if this development will make Discovery Green less desireable to some people.


  5. I like the idea of having a Shakespeare garden - and other gardens of a similar variety. Where would you think this should be located in the park? (A map would be useful, but writing is fine too.)

    To be honest, I doubt the Hermann Park Conservancy would be interested in the idea; their master plan has been in the works for quite a while. In my opinion, the only chance for something like this would have been in the under-development Centennial Gardens, but I suspect the design has been finalized.

    But, that doesn't mean the notion of a Shakespeare Garden is dead. I'd still put together a proposal for the Conservancy. You never know. If that doesn't work, you can scout out other parks in the city for such a garden; I'm sure some park in the city core (where I suppose you'd like this to be placed) will be undergoing some sort of renovation in the coming years, and this could be part of it.

    I think the thing to keep in mind here is that parks are designed and developed over a period of years; so, don't expect to have it done in the next months. But, if you're patient and diligent, you can probably facilitate this happening. Everything you see around you (that's manmade) is the result of someone conceiving of it and making it happen. For a Houston Shakespeare Garden, that someone could be you...


  6. I spent an hour and a half circling campus in the ridiculous heat getting these pictures. I REALLY hope it cools down by the next time I go around and take another set. :P

    Insperity Center (yes, that's what the new business building is going to be called http://swamplot.com/...ner/2012-08-31/):

    DSC_0197.jpg?t=1346456567

    It is my understanding that the building itself will NOT be named "Insperity Center"; instead, an institute within the building will be named the Insperity Center, and the building will retain the official name of the Bauer Classroom Building.

    Having said that, I believe the exterior of the building - in the relevant area outside the formal Insperity Center - will have lettering stating "Insperity Center," so this may be a moot point since the students may just call it the Insperity Center anyway.


  7. I'm 30 and single. I'd just looked at the website and I must say that I am very impressed. Houston's AA nightlife doesn't seem pretentious and stuck-up like Atlanta's AA nightlife. It seems more fun. Hopefully I will visit at the end of the month.

    Dude, Houston is the most fun and laid back city in the world!

    Okay, that's unnecessary and unjustified hyperbole - but it is a great town. I think if anyone comes to Houston with an open mind and heart, they'll find that this is a wonderful city in which to live with something for everyone.

    • Like 3

  8. I'm surprised I wasn't able to find this on HAIF. I ran a few searches, but nothing came up. Apologies if this is a repeat thread...

    Swamplot reported in May that the Univ. of St. Thomas will be building a new performance arts center near the Menil campus. The article indicates that the building will be four stories and just under 100k square feet. Here's the accompanying rendering:

    st-thomas-performing-arts-center.jpg

    University of St. Thomas's Performing Arts Center Moving in Next to Menil Campus

    • Like 2

  9. Warnings were a feature of the software that we played with a little bit, but never really got traction. The way it's intended to be used is to give naughty users a certain number of demerits and when they reach a particular threshold, some other remedial action is taken.

    On HAIF it wasn't ever used that way. It was kind of used as an informal tally system, but because the system was cumbersome and slow we never really did much with it. I don't think I've issued a warning in a couple of years, so we had it visually switched off for the users since it doesn't mean anything.

    During a recent software upgrade a new feature was added to the warning system. It optionally requires warned users to acknowledge a warning before they're allowed to participate on the forum. Because of that change, the software made warnings visible to everyone even though it's not something we use (because you can't acknowledge a warning you can't see).

    I've set the warnings back to invisible. No need for alarm.

    Translation: I shall forever be warning-less... <_<

    (But, seriously... @Ed: Thanks for the clarification.)


  10. I've seen cyclists do that too, but apparently just for the fun or convenience of it. And they usually don't even have flashing lights. They're very disrespectful. Whether government wants it or not should definitely not slow down for them, either.

    Well if they're going to do that on a bike, they sure have some cajones, but I guess you get what might be coming to you.

    I agree with Talbot. I don't believe laws should be enacted to protect individuals from themselves (the exception being children and others who can't help themselves); if you're too carefree to wear a seatbelt or decide to drive into oncoming motorist traffic on your bicycle, then you generally affect no one but yourself. But, a 3-ton tow truck is a different matter; that'll hurt others by a large margin.


  11. Why only domestic? Perhaps it has something to do with helping out the economy. Something along those lines...

    This may be the reason given, but it's not a valid one IMO. Ultimately, "helping out with the economy" can be split into three areas: where parts are manufactured, where assembly takes place, and where profits are disbursed.

    • So-called domestic car companies (Big Three) don't manufacture most of their parts in the US. In fact, I've read that most Asian car manufacturers generally use more US-grown parts than US companies. Not sure about the European brands, but I suspect those are manufactured in Europe, for the most part.

    • Most of the Asian and all the American companies have US-based assembly operations. Again, I'm fairly sure that most European models are imported, however.

    • Profits are a different matter - but that's the case even for American companies. First, you may have foreign investors (yes, even in US companies). Second, most of the big car companies (US, Asian and European) are multi-national conglomerates with complex legal structures (and, thus, tax implications). I'm not sure that profit disbursement can legitimately be used as an argument for US-based corporations, as I suspect most people outside the top management of these companies have no idea what their allocation and disbursement structures look like. (Admittedly, this goes for 'foreign' manufacturers too.)

    I suspect that this reason - helping the national economy - was originally given at a time when this was true, but I don't see any evidence that its validity perpetuates.

    • Like 1

  12. Hopefully there's a dash cam or something.... The fact that she made a video of the cop standing in the street and then took the effort to make the sign and stand out in 100 degree heat seems a bit suspicious. This is certainly a story that deserves attention, but it seems that people often side against the police quickly because it is easy (we hate tickets) and quite frankly, we all apparently want to get worked up over something. I do question why she didn't get a resisting arrest charge if that was really the case.

    I agree with this statement. I believe that people should be punished for breaking laws that endanger others (arguably, breaking any law). I agree with Fringe in that jail seems like a very harsh punishment for this.

    In my opinion, people - everyone - should be cited for speeding. We'd probably get far fewer accidents on the road after a bit of time, if that were the case. Unfortunately, it would also reduce the revenue to the city - but I don't believe PDs should be cash cows for governments.

    I don't generally speed, but when I do it's either because there's an emergency or because traffic is moving at a clip that's faster than the posted limit and I think it would be more dangerous to go slower. However, ultimately, it's the responsibility of the PD to enforce the traffic laws. I don't think the girl was right to hold up a sign indicating that there was a speed trap, but I also don't think this charge is reasonable given the information that's been presented.


  13. If you resist arrest, and the arrest itself was found to be unjustified/bogus, is the resisting arrest charge also generally thrown out?

    I'm assuming here that the resistance did not result in injury to either the officer or yourself.

    Also, Redscare: Can you not find a way to contact this girl and offer to defend her? Is that a violation of the rules or something?


  14. Hrm... im guessing this was from the 80's?

    The date's listed in the lower right-ish corner: January 2008.

    However, this doesn't appear to be a serious proposal (at any level). It appears to be a demonstration of a tool, rather than a conceptual rendering of an actual (even conceived) project.


  15. Just heard about this from a friend who lives in the area (and is also a member of this forum).

    While I don't live in the area, I consider this to be a bad change. The area's development has hinged on its pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. While it's reasonable to desire an ease of traffic flow, it's also the case that our officials should consider the effect on businesses - and the character of the area. The only good reason to consider this change is that it increases traffic flow between the 45-South off-ramp and the 59-South on-ramp - but that is an inefficient route anyway, given the direct 45/288/59 interchange that occurs not but one mile later. Plus, this change won't affect northbound traffic.

    Yup, I think this is a bad idea.

    • Like 1

  16. I just posted this on the Chron site, but thought I'd share it here too:

    I agree with most of the comments here, which point to tow truck drivers (generically) as menaces on the roads.

    My question is this: With mobile/GPS technology the way it is, why not simply devise a system in the tow truck which directly allows the driver to remotely respond to an accident. The first - say - three tow truck drivers who respond via the system would then be candidates for towing the vehicle. This would allow the drivers to compete among themselves for the privilege of the tow AND then allow them to more cautiously move to the site of the tow without endangering the lives of others.

    Gentlemen, we can do this. We have the technology.


  17. One thing I notice in the US (having lived and visited extensively abroad) is that we don't really use trash compactors in the home and we also don't separate our organic matter from the rest of our trash. I suspect the latter change alone would have a significant impact on landmill mass - even without the usage of home-based compost heaps.

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