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"
In 1920, Czech writer Karel Čapek penned a play titled R.U.R., a cautionary tale about technology’s potential to dehumanize.
This tiny “soft” robot, just 3cm long, zips along at 20 of its body lengths per second. It can also carry heavy things, like peanuts in the shell, but that slows it down a bit. And amazingly, you can step on it and it won’t die. Over at IEEE Spectrum, Ivan Ackerman writes about the […]
Earlier this month, I was in Washington DC during the Smithsonian’s festivities around the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first human moon landing. As you likely saw, UK-based creative studio 59 Productions and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collaborated on an astonishing audiovisual experience centered around a lifesize Saturn V rocket […]
If your office works at all, it uses Microsoft Office. Those icons for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook are as familiar around some workplaces as the coffee machine. So familiar, in fact, that they get taken for granted – and rarely used to their full potential. Whether you need a crash course in the essential tools […]
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]
Want to make a hit? The right software is out there for anyone, but any music producer will tell you that finding the right sound can still take time and talent. Still, the right tools are a great shortcut, which makes this Synth & Sound Pack Bundle absolutely priceless. And now that it’s on sale […]