Tag Archives | Construction

Iceland’s Elves Must Be Accounted For In Environmental Impact Survey

 

Icleandic elf houses. Photo: Christian Bickel (CC)

Icleandic elf houses. Photo: Christian Bickel (CC)

Sharon Hill of Doubtful News brings us the latest update on Iceland’s Serious Elf Business.

The Huldufolk must be consulted at least as a cultural tradition in Iceland.

Iceland’s hidden elves delay road projects.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.

The project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental and the cultural impact — including the impact on elves — of the road project.

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Newly-Discovered Canals Were Used in Construction of Angkor Wat

Picture: Louis Delaporte (PD)

Via NewScientist:

Looks like the builders of Angkor Wat may have taken a short cut transporting the materials used in the construction of the temple. Newly-discovered traces of a series of long-gone canals may have halved the distance it took to transport massive blocks of sandstone from quarries at Mount Kulen.

The sandstone blocks each weigh up to 1.5 tonnes and originate from quarries at Mount Kulen. It was thought they were taken 35 kilometres along a canal to Tonlé Sap Lake, rafted another 35 km along the lake, then taken up the Siem Reap River for 15 km, against the current.

Thinking this was unlikely, Etsuo Uchida and Ichita Shimoda of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, used satellite images to search for a shortcut. The canals they discovered led from the foot of Mount Kulen to Angkor – a gentle 34-km route, as opposed to the arduous 90-km trek previously suggested.

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Are Skyscrapers Linked With Financial Collapse?

DubaiTowersSo says the BBC. On various continents, and going back for over a century, the construction of new record-nearing skyscrapers seems to be a consistent canary in a coal mine indicating that an economic bubble exists and a financial crash will soon occur in a given society:

There is an “unhealthy correlation” between the building of skyscrapers and subsequent financial crashes, according to Barclays Capital.

Examples include the Empire State building, built as the Great Depression was under way, and the current world’s tallest, the Burj Khalifa, built just before Dubai almost went bust. China is currently the biggest builder of skyscrapers, the bank said. India also has 14 skyscrapers under construction.

“Often the world’s tallest buildings are simply the edifice of a broader skyscraper building boom, reflecting a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction,” Barclays Capital analysts said.

The bank noted that the world’s first skyscraper, the Equitable Life building in New York, was completed in 1873 and coincided with a five-year recession.

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China’s Ghost Cities And Malls (Video)

SBS Dateline reports:
Vast new cities of apartments and shops are being built across China at a rate of ten a year, but they remain almost completely uninhabited ghost towns. It’s all part of the government’s efforts to keep the economy booming, and there are many people who would love to move in, but it’s simply too expensive for most. Video journalist Adrian Brown wanders through malls of vacant shops, and roads lined with empty apartment buildings … 64 million apartments are said to be empty across the country and one of the few shop owners says he once didn’t sell anything for four or five days. So are the efforts to boost the economy going to end up having the opposite effect and creating a financial crisis for China?
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