Above is the world's largest freestanding building, an airship hangar built a decade ago at an abandoned Soviet military base south of Berlin. The $110 million hangar -- 1,181 feet long by 688 feet wide by 351 feet high -- held a massive airship that entrepreneur Carl von Gablenz hoped would prove that such vehicles were ideal to deliver massive industrial machinery like oil rigs and wind turbines. But in 2002, von Gablenz's company, Cargo Lifter AG, was out of cash. A Malaysian firm, Tanjong, bought the hanger for $24 million and converted it into Tropical Islands Resort, a huge water park. From Air & Space:
Tanjong soon found that keeping the hangar at 78 degrees Fahrenheit year-round was a challenge. So workers welded shut the two steel doors, which weigh 600 tons each. To open the hangar to light, "we exchanged the [steel] skin of the hall with 20,000 square yards of translucent film," says Tanjong spokesman Patrick Kastner. "This makes natural tanning possible..."
At 3,000 square yards, (the pool is) larger than four Olympic-size pools, and its artificial horizon conjures a faraway island. At the "shoreline" are 600 feet of sandy beach and hundreds of deck chairs. The Bali Lagoon has a grotto and waterfall, as well as the world's largest indoor rainforest, with 50,000 trees in 600 varieties--from palm to papaya--that thrive in natural light. Its most popular attraction is a nine-story waterslide that propels sliders to 44 mph.
"Then and Now: From Airships to Waterslides
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
This is NASA’s new “space fabric” in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Founded in 1970 as Xerox’s R&D division, PARC was a dream factory that brought the world laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface that led to Windows and the Macintosh, ubiquitous computing, and many other technologies that we now take for granted. Why made the place so damn special? Alan Kay, who pioneered networked computing […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]