Blog Archives

Makin’ it Rain in Da Desert

“Make it rain” is slang for throwing money into the air to demonstrate one’s unrestrained wealth.

On a related note, it appears the UAE (United Arab Emirates) will be “making it rain” by throwing a few of their endless money piles into the air in order to literally make it rain.

“The scientific reasoning behind the scheme is that an artificial mountain forces air to rise, cool, condense and form clouds, resulting in rainfall. The process is known as cloud-seeding, but can sometimes have undesirable outcomes. In March, cloud-seeding caused havoc in the region when over 11 inches of rainfall poured down in under 24 hours.”
–Elisabeth Perlman, Newsweek

The details are not rock solid yet, but the UAE’s proposed use of capital for designing and building a mountain should surprise exactly nobody. Dubai (well, new Dubai) is a builder’s paradise with ultra-modern and jaw-dropping skyscrapers, malls, hotels and islands. No idea is too crazy nor too expensive, at least thus far. Motivated by the movie adage, “build it and they will come,” the UAE has apparently modified its branding to the world beyond attracting tourists and residents by envisioning a potentially groundbreaking artificial simulation of Mother Nature herself.

Having visited the UAE and seeing and experiencing the outrageous projects they were undertaking in person, which included chilling in the sky bar at 5-star Burj Al Arab hotel, standing in snow in the indoor ski slope at Ski Dubai, looking down at the Palm in its early stages from the top of a skyscraper and eating the best buffet ever at the luxurious Emirates Palace, there is no doubting their capabilities.

Constructing a customized mountain with special powers like a kid playing with LEGO’s?

Sounds about right for the UAE.

However, is attempting to manipulate natural weather patterns a good idea?

Money can buy, solve and influence many things, but actively injecting oneself into the ambiguities of the weather and nature can increase the risks of unpredictable and, therefore, uncontrollable problems arising.

Remember Jurassic Park?

You may say that re-engineering dinosaurs will never happen. And it probably won’t. But there’s an indoor ski slope in one of the hottest places on the planet. Who would’ve believed that?

There was a lot of rain in Jurassic Park, if you recall.

Just saying that when it rains, it pours with a bite.

The Heights of Realism

The creative visions our imaginations can produce are powerful and limitless, which explains the larger-than-life scenes and characters that are constantly engineered for movies with the digital assistance of computer-generated imagery (CGI). This technology (which has been used now for decades) is as popular as ever with several directors in Hollywood choosing to utilize CGI’s dreamlike capabilities to establish mind-blowing worlds, characters and action sequences for their dedicated fans. Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 300: Rise of an Empire are the most recent examples of cinematic adventures that interweave live action with clothing, settings or characters that are, simply put, invisible during the filming process.

However, despite the majesty of these digitally-enhanced realities, it’s nothing short of refreshing to see something and believe it for exactly what it is.

Seeing is believing, right?

The following video clip is from an action film released two and a half years ago, but its creative team should be applauded (again) for refraining the easier path of pressing a few keystrokes on a keyboard with the guidance of a mouse by instead pursuing a once-in-a-lifetime, white-knuckle thrill ride for the ages. Yes, there were safety wires used, but not much else.

Welcome to Dubai and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

And I thought my Tuesday was going to be stressful…

Just surreal!

50 (or 3) Shades of Blue

To get into the right mindset for the impending weekend that’s just hours away, today’s post will consist of a few genuinely amazing pictures, spanning locations all across the globe. The following photographs have a stunning, borderline transcendent clarity.

Let’s see some wonderful shades of blue, shall we?

Photo from Lilian van der Sanden at "boredcouple.net (Caniço, Madeira (Portugal)

Photo by Lilian van der Sanden from “boredcouple.net” (Caniço, Madeira in Portugal)

"Under Milky Way Skies" from "totallyfrickinawesome.com"  (Canyonlands National Park in Utah)

Under Milky Way Skies from “totallyfrickinawesome.com” (Canyonlands National Park in Utah)

The Atlantis Hotel Palm Jumeriah in Dubai at "sweetydesign.com"

The Atlantis Hotel Palm Jumeriah from “sweetydesign.com” (Dubai)

Take/live your next amazing photograph this weekend!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2014!

As surreal as it is to write, it’s equally as unbelievable to comprehend that it is now the year 2014. Despite the fact that we are not driving flying cars or living like The Jetsons quite yet, there are many things to celebrate and look forward to in this brand new year. For instance, there will be plenty of personal resolutions that we will each be working hard at to achieve in the next 365 days. Some will be easy and some will be hard. It’s possible that there will even be a couple that will have staying power beyond January. For me, there are several in which I intend to use every single available day to make happen.

With so much joy and happiness spread around the world today, January 1, 2014, it’s important to remember what hard work and perseverance can bring. In certain circumstances, an entire year may be required to pull off an achievement or spectacle so grand that it goes down in history as the best ever.

In the case of the shining Middle Eastern metropolis known as Dubai, their hope and extraordinary effort just may be rewarded with the title of “greatest ever.” Last night, the city attempted to pull off the world’s largest fireworks display. NPR online had a good description of what was being attempted in the night sky of the United Arab Emirates.

Starting precisely 20 seconds before midnight local time, over 500,000 fireworks are set to be used during the display which is set to last around six minutes, with Guinness World Records adjudicators on hand to officiate the attempt.

Covering a distance of over 94km (61.6 miles) of the city’s seafront, the display will incorporate some of Dubai’s top landmarks, including Palm Jumeirah, World Islands, the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. 

Having been in Dubai for New Years several years ago, it’s an incredible sight to see the glistening city light up in all directions. To give you a taste of what it’s like to experience it first-hand, below are two videos showcasing last night’s fireworks display.

Enjoy!

Here’s to Our Own Record-Setting Year!