Nobody makes buildings out of wood anymore. Why? Because wood isn’t especially strong (relative to steel), it involves cutting down trees, it burns readily, and creepy crawly things live and/or feast on it. Despite these horrible shortcomings, brave architects are now planning to build a 30-story wooden skyscraper in Vancouver.
There are a bunch of reasons why we don’t have wooden skyscrapers already, but two of the biggest ones seem to be strength and the fact that wood tends to be a little bit, you know, burney. As far as strength goes, skyscraper (or any building) has to be strong enough to support its own weight, and once you get above a couple floors, wood (by itself) has a hard time with that. And seeing as wood is what most people use for making fires, you’d think that making big buildings out of it would be a terrible idea.
Both of these problems can be solved with large pieces of laminated timber, which is just a bunch of thin pieces of wood glued together. This kind of timber is very light but very strong, and gets even stronger if you arrange the wood such that the strands are fused together at right angles. And believe it or not, wood is actually quite good at resisting fire: the outside chars, which serves to insulate the inside, preserving the overall integrity of the structure.
The other reason why wooden skyscrapers might be a good way to go in the future is that the materials use to build them (i.e. trees) are a renewable resource that takes carbon out of the environment instead of putting it in. Concrete, for example, pukes out about nine kilos of CO2 for every ten kilos of concrete, which is fairly horrendous. Wood, on the other hand, sucks carbon out of the atmosphere, and as long as you harvest sustainably, cutting down trees can be a good thing.
Of course, nobody would take any of this seriously were it not for the fact that wooden construction is getting to the point where it’s demonstrably cheaper than building out of things like concrete and metal. Cheaper and eco-friendlier are powerful terms these days, and the Canadians aren’t the only ones interested: there are also plans afoot for wooden skyscrapers in Austria and Norway.
Think they have insurance?
Prescription Pills, iPods and Live Bait: There’s a Vending Machine for That.
Psst…hey you…yes, you…wanna buy Variety?
African Union sending 5,000 troops to South Sudan on mission to capture Joseph Kony.
White House responds to petition asking that it take petitions seriously.
President Obama’s campaign team marks two-year anniversary of Affordable Care Act by launching initiative to take back “Obamacare.”
Think about the fact that race relations in America would be a million times better if bottom feeders like Jesse Jackson and Al Shartpon would stop stirring up the pot for personal gain.
Via LA Times:
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Friday that he’s grateful the rest of the country has sat up and taken notice of the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin. But he can’t help but wonder: Why has it taken so long for everyone else to recognize the chronic injustices that African Americans face?
“We’re surprised that everyone else is surprised,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. African Americans have tried for decades to get the rest of America to understand their plight, he said, particularly their beliefs that justice is still elusive in many parts of America, especially the Deep South.
Then along comes the Trayvon Martin case, and facts that are not in contention: Volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman pursued and then gunned down the unarmed 17-year-old last month, and never faced arrest because police said there was no evidence to contradict his claim that he fired in self-defense.
Jackson was speaking Friday morning from the Chicago offices of his Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He had just returned from duties in Belgium and Switzerland.
Jackson said the Martin case is getting plenty of media attention overseas, attention that is both embarrassing to white America and humiliating to black America.
Moreover, he said, the failure to make an arrest in the case takes away the nation’s “moral authority” to address injustices in other countries when it fails to do the same within its own borders.
Jackson said that there is a mistaken assumption in some corners of America that all racial problems went away with the election of President Obama. “There was this feeling that we were kind of beyond racism,” he said. “That’s not true. His victory has triggered tremendous backlash.”
He added: “Blacks are under attack.” African American families are facing record home foreclosures and unemployment. Their children are burdened with student loan debt [apparently white people don't have student loans -ed]. States, particularly conservative ones, are passing voter laws that leaders know will disenfranchise blacks and other minorities. Meanwhile, the nation’s prisons are brimming with black faces, he said, and their numbers that suggest that the legal system is quicker to send blacks to prison than whites.
Newt Gingrich calls President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin shooting “disgraceful” and “appalling”; George Zimmerman leaves voicemail message for supporter Frank Taaffe: “I am very sorry for the loss of your son”; Jeb Bush says “stand your ground” law does not apply to Zimmerman.
Map of US counties where alcohol is still banned, somewhat banned, or neither.
Sarah Palin went on Hannity tonight to discuss the hateful rhetoric from the left and why the leaders from the left are not only mum about it, but continue to work with these hateful leftists and even take their money, all the while they try and silence the right for much less. She even calls out the president over not apologizing for his ‘Special Olympics‘ comment in 2009.
But to the left, this is okay! Probably Obama approved.
(AllVoices) — Yesterday afternoon at a press conference, the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense circulated a “wanted dead or alive” poster for George Zimmerman for shooting to death a Florida teenager four weeks ago.
Zimmerman, a self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain said he accosted what he alleges was a suspicious looking black male walking through his neighborhood. He further contends the man punched him, and bloodied his nose, so Zimmerman fired a gun shot striking the man in the chest. The “man” was 17 year old Trayvon Martin, who would lie in the county morgue three days before police alerted his parents of their child’s death.
Minister Mikhail Muhummud led the press conference, calling for the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, the arrest of George Zimmerman and some involvement from President Obama. Muhummud stated he is the southern regional director for the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense located in Jacksonville, Florida. While Minister Muhummud fired off a list of demands and expressed outrage over the handling of the shooting and subsequent investigation; a member of the group passed flyers to about 100 people who showed up for the press conference. Muhummud told the group he was not concerned with rumors of death threats to George Zimmerman, “He should be afraid for his life…”
News Dump: WH Helped Batten Down the Hatches as Solyndra Storm Loomed
Remember, oh, I don’t know — this week — when President Obama claimed that really, his administration can’t take ownership over the Solyndra project, per se?
We are doing the “all of the above” strategy right. Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand: This was not our program, per se. Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program….
The President’s attempt to backtrack and distance himself from the direct results of his failing policies is wildly transparent, but that little tidbit sounds particularly egregious in light of the latest Friday night news dump. The Hill reports on the latest evidence that the Obama administration was more than just a semi-interested bystander in the Solyndra fallout:
Finish reading HERE.
Did Obama pass the buck and blames Solyndra bankruptcy on Congress and the Chinese? Obama is a coward. Obama is responsible for the mess. It was his stupid stimulus package that gave money to the company.
This is what runs for fashion nowadays? Must be the latest in occupy wear?