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Everything posted by Simbha

  1. First time was when I was relatively young. The next time was when I decided to see it again while in Paris - in order to see if my initial impressions were a product of my youth. The third time was when I visited with my wife for the first time. And, yes - David is an impressive sculpture. But, generally, I'm more inclined to like sculpture over painting.
  2. Seen it - thrice. Not impressed any of these times. I'd much rather have any of the following: The Garden of Delights by Bosch The Surrender of Breda, Christ on the Cross or Las Meninas by Velazquez Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee [...] by Dali School of Athens by Raphael Guernica by Picasso Danae with Nursemaid by Titian And, of course, these are only within the Western traditions. Actually, that's a thought... build a great ("even better") collection of Eastern/Asian art. For a billion dollars, you could probably get a large collection of amazing works by Eastern artists - landscapes, painted mandalas, sculptures, etc. Currently, I believe the best such collection in the US is at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Although, I'll say that the Arts of Asia galleries at MFAH are really quite well done - and growing. If anyone hasn't seen the permanent installation Odyssey by Cai Guo-Qiang in the Arts of China gallery, I strongly recommend it. (Each of the Arts of Asia galleries will eventually have a site-specific installation created by a contemporary artist. The next will be a piece by Korean artist Do Ho Suh, to be installed this year.)
  3. Let me point out that (according to Wikipedia) the Houston Zoo has over 6,000 specimens from over 900 species. In my opinion, variety is more important than number of animals, so here's a comparison of the above-listed zoos which are larger in area by number of species: Columbus Zoo: 700 species San Diego Zoo: 800 species Smithsonian National Zoological Park: 400 species Bronx Zoo: 600 species Audubon Zoo and Aquarium: (Not available) Phoenix Zoo: (Not available) Fort Worth Zoo: 435 species At least based on this sample, the Houston Zoo isn't doing half bad. Of course, being smaller than these, it begs the question: Is the Houston Zoo of sufficient size to comfortably house these animals? I have no idea; this isn't my area.
  4. Not sure what this is meant to imply, but I'm guessing you're pointing out that the Houston Zoo is smaller in area than many other zoos in the country. Yeah, it's not the biggest zoo - but it is efficient and has a large assortment of animals. And, it's well-visited. Is larger better? I'm not sure...
  5. Expand the zoo into the golf course and consider animal enclosures hazards. Charge a sufficient greens fee to offset the occasional vet bill due to some idiot giraffe not ducking when a player yells 'Fore!' Problem solved - everybody wins! (except maybe the giraffe)
  6. The Dome is currently unable to do these things because it's not fit for occupancy. Bringing it up to code would cost millions due to the crumbling infrastructure. That's a significant proportion of the estimated remodeling costs, too. Unlike some others on here, I'm in favor of preserving and remodeling the Dome. As I've mentioned previously in this thread, I'm a member of a coalition that's developing a concept which could be a viable major (not sole) tenant of a revamped Dome. One of our colleagues presented the concept at the HCSCC/Reliant Park board meeting yesterday. Since this meeting was open to the press and public, there's no more point in being covert... The concept fleshes out the notion of a STEM institute to be housed in the Dome, as a technology institute to be housed (essentially) in the upper-level ring concourses, while the ground floor would be maintained as a multi-purpose space managed by Reliant Park management and used for indoor festivals, large-scale conferences and regular events (such as part of the Rodeo). The technology institute itself would consist of five major components: exhibits, education (housed together as a tech museum), a technology social policy institute, a neutral space for technology/applied STEM-based multi-institutional collaborative research, and a technology commercial incubator. I hesitate to say too much more, but I'd be happy to answer any questions - either here or via PM.
  7. I think he means that the average across all 2011 days was 827 passengers. So, the OTC numbers were approximately 5x that of a normal day.
  8. Just getting to this thread... I recognize that IAH is a United hub, but they're not the only airline that has international flights to and from the airport. So, isn't there already competition for United in international Houston-based travel? Admittedly, I don't really know how all of these arrangements work, so could someone explain to me why this is such a big deal?
  9. Yes, having a playoff system hosted elsewhere is much better than having no playoff system and having it... uhh... here...
  10. I don't disagree with you all - that's why I posted this - but one counter-perspective is that this is at the top of a very tall building. The only people who would actually see this would be those watching the NYC skyline through a TV/film or overhead in an airplane. The street-level view wouldn't likely be affected, I think.
  11. In the article (or maybe another I saw), it's quoted as USD 20 million.
  12. The developer overseeing the construction of One World Trade Center has announced that it may remove a component of the building's design relating to its spire, which may affect its ranking against the tallest skyscrapers in the US. At the heart of the debate is an ornamental white shell designed to encircle the base of the 408-foot antenna. The developer argues that the structure does not make economic sense and is structurally unneeded, while the architect (SOM) and some others argue that this piece is a "key architectural element." In the image below, the original design is shown on the left and the altered design is shown on the right: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304543904577394473619775032.html?mod=e2fb
  13. Easiest way is to use the toolbar's Image button, which will allow you to provide a web address pointing to the image. If the image doesn't already exist on the web, you can first upload the image to a fileshare site such as Flickr and then use the web address for the image on that site.
  14. LOL! It does appear that they simply asked food critics from these ten select cities on their opinions regarding tacos in their city. So, the fault is really in the headline, which should more accurately read something like "The Best Tacos in Ten Cities in America." On the other hand, anyone who takes a Yahoo article as gospel deserves what's coming to them.
  15. Here's a list I generated by looking at data on SkyscraperPage.com - buildings constructed since 2000. There are 39 buildings listed below. Edit: Just realized that the study indicates building starts since 2000. This list is of buildings completed since 2000. My bad. Still... might be of interest to some, so I won't delete this post. Building - # of Stories BG Group Place - 46 1500 Louisiana - 40 One Park Place - 37 Reliant Energy Plaza - 36 Calpine Tower - 34 1200 Post Oak - 33 Memorial Hermann Tower - 33 The Royalton - 33 Dominion Post Oak - 31 Hess Tower - 31 2727 Kirby - 30 Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza - 30 Mercer West - 30 Montebello - 30 The Mark - 30 The Montage - 29 The Mosaic - 29 Five Houston Center - 27 Villa d'Este - 27 Legacy at Memorial - 25 MD Anderson Administrative Support Building - 25 Methodist Hospital Outpatient Care Center - 25 Cosmopolitan - 24 Hilton Americas Hotel - 24 BMC Building II - 23 InterContinental Hotel Houston - 23 BMC Building I - 22 Embassy Suites Hotel - 22 Seven Riverway - 22 Whiteco Residential Tower - 22 Alkek Hospital - 21 T. Boone Pickens Academic Tower - 21 BriarLake Plaza - 20 Feigin Center - 20 Feigin Center West Tower - 20 Museum Tower - 20 Texas Children's Hospital West Tower - 20 The Perennial - 20 Westin Houston Hotel - 20
  16. I really have no idea what to make of this. The ON24 study's top-5 list is as follows: - Houston (49.3%) - LA (41.7%) - Orlando (37.5%) - Miami (33.8%) - Chicago (27.8%) What is it (if anything) that is common among these cities? The only thing I can tell is that - other than Houston - they're all top travel destinations. Maybe business exec's are too afraid that if they come to Houston, they won't get anything done, because of our wonderful museum and theater districts and restaurant selection (along with our strip clubs). I haven't the slightest clue... Edit: Here's the actual report from ON24: http://www.on24.com/press_releases/on24-survey-92-of-executives-fed-up-with-business-travel/
  17. Nice - all of them, but especially the last one (for me). Thanks for sharing.
  18. w00t! We DID NOT make this list of the most polluted cities in America... http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/americas-10-most-polluted-cities-2012.html
  19. I don't disagree with this at all, and I buy plenty from Amazon and other online retailers. I echo what JJVilla says: I have no problems paying taxes. Period. I consider it paying for governmental services and the cost of living in a secure and thriving society. However, it bothers me tremendously when government officials waste money - as it should bother all of us.
  20. I've got two today... The first is from The Onion: "No One Can Remember Seeing Houston Astros For At Least A Week"... http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-can-remember-seeing-houston-astros-for-at-l,28015/ The second is from a 1999 Bollywood film called Sirf Tum, during a song-and-dance routine called Dilbar Dilbar. The clips feature the Niels/Mellie Esperson Building, Tranquility Park, and the Waterwall (there's also another shot at around 4:18, but I can't tell from where)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMo-hhBdHtI
  21. I have no interest in getting into the debate regarding EarthQuest. What will happen, will happen. But, as a professional who advises non-profit organizations (along with others), I think it's important to clarify what "501c3" means, so misinformation isn't spread. Per IRS Publication 557... As previously stated, an organization need not be considered charitable to qualify under Section 501c3. Serving any one of the above functions will allow an organization to qualify for tax-exempt status under this rule.
  22. Indianapolis has done an absolutely outstanding job of branding itself around sports venues/events. I believe they have nearly 7,000 (!) hotel rooms in downtown, connected to conference and sporting venues.
  23. UH has released a flash-based slideshow showing exterior shots of the UC renovation, for which groundbreaking occurred this morning. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ucaf/sets/72157629642983733/show/
  24. I used to live in CT, and had family in Boston. My two quick stories about Boston drivers: 1. I was walking along a pedestrian-only avenue when this car turns onto it. The driver then proceeds to honk very loudly so the pedestrians would get out of the way, as he barrels down the walkway. 2. I saw a driver turn down a one-way road (in the wrong direction, of course). When confronted with the opposing traffic, he jumped the curb and drown down the sidewalk instead. Hit a pedestrian, but didn't stop. (They were relatively uninjured.) Oh, and these two incidents occurred on the same day. So, yeah - Boston drivers are the worst.
  25. It's certainly a contrast with the 'original' cathedral.
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