Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bits: Designing the Waterfront, Euros in NY, South Asian Accents, Iranian Magazines, Disappearing Islands, Disaster Relief, Lifeboats & Dead Dolphin

It's been a while since I've done one of these, since I don't have that office job anymore and all. But now's a good a time as any to start it back up again.


"Turning a Pier Into a Park," New York Times Editorial

I've been following the entire Pier 40 debates because I am invested in its outcome (hell Community Village Boating). There are three plans (Related's Las Vagas-izing of the Pier, along with housing Cirque du Soleil, Urban Dove's focus on sports and the Pier 40 Partnership's desire to maintain the Pier as is while creating more organizational space. Out of these, the New York Times favors the Related plans, and while it does make sense from a business point of view because the Pier needs to generate money for its renovation and for the Hudson River Trust, I was kind of disappointed. I thought maybe the Times would root for the underdog--the Pier 40 Partnership. Yeah, sure, they don't have a firm plan, but, come on, it's the perfect plan. Don't destroy something that already works, don't push stores and restaurants down our throats, we already have Seaport for that. Let Pier 40 live on as a pier for the people.


"'Euros Accepted' signs pop up in New York City" from Reuters

So the dollar is so, so bad that stores around New York are accepting Euros, and other foreign monies from tourists taking advantage of their monetary superiority.


"East River State Park" from A Daily Dose of Architecture

This blog posted images of the winning design concept for the East River State Park in Williamsburg. While it looks nice, it's hard to tell whether there is ACTUAL waterfront access. We don't need more railing along the rivers, right?


"An Ad With Talking Pandas, Maybe, But Not With Chinese Accents" by Stuart Elliot, from the New York Times

Elliot talks about the controversy over Salesgenie's Super Bowl commercials, one that featured animated pandas that spoke with Chinese accents and another that included Ramesh, a salesman. What caught me about this article is the description of Ramesh's accent:

Mr. Gupta [chairman and chief executive of InfoUSA, parent company to Salesgenie] said he planned to keep running the other Salesgenie commercial, featuring an animated salesman named Ramesh who speaks with an Indian or other South Asian accent.



"Shutting Down Zanan," New York Times Editorial

Because it's easier to get rid of any possible opposition than actually confronting them in a civilized way, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad closed Zanan, an Iranian women's magazine. The reason? According to the editorial, because "the magazine was a 'threat to the psychological security of the scoiety' because it showed Iranian women in a 'black light.'" This, of course, wasn't true. Ahmadinejad was just afraid of women empowerment, especially in an Islamic country where sharia law sets women apart from men.


"For some, climate fight is about survival," by Elisabeth Rosenthal, from International Hearld Tribune

Attention to drastic climate changes, all thanks to global warming, is growing constantly. Just look at all the havoc being wrecked throughout the world, like Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, the tsunami in Indonesia and of course, Hurricane Katrina. There is the constant push for new environmental laws that would limit greenhouse gases from major industrial countries, like China and the U.S. (two countries which refuse to do so). One of the areas of the world that is often overlooked, both for their size and their lack of international power: low-lying islands, such as Bali, Maldives and Granada, as Rosenthal points out. As sea levels rise, these islands are in danger of disappearing. Entire countries vanished. Can you imagine that?


"Anonymous donor gives $130m to cyclone-hit Bangladesh" from the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Sort of along the same lines, this is really nice. And, just so you know, 130,000,000 Australia dollars (I assume that's what the article meant) is equal to 7,946,669,332.57 Bangladesh taka.


"Jan. 30, 1790: The Lifeboat, an Idea Whose Time Has Come" by Tony Long, from Wired

Because I'm a boat-nerd, I needed to share this.


"Rare Dolphin 'beaten to death' in Bangladesh" from AFP

This is sad, but strangely makes sense--if something isn't familiar, you're going to be scared of it.

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