Archive for paris

No losing city in this year’s bid for 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2017 by vincentloy

The voting for the host city of 2024 Summer Olympic Games will take place on this coming September. Only two cities are remaining in the bid; Paris and Los Angeles. In an extraordinary International Olympic Committee Session held yesterday, the committee approved a decision to award the games to both cities, one in 2024 and another one in 2028.

So, there wouldn’t be any losing city in this year’s bid for the games. If a city receives lesser number of votes in the voting, it will still host the games, but that would be the next edition (4 years later) than originally intended. That’s certainly good news for both Paris and Los Angeles. I have to admit both cities are more than capable to host this world’s largest international multi-sport event.

Which city do you think will get the 2024 games? My personal choice would be Paris. If I’m not mistaken, Paris has submitted bid a number of times in the last few editions of the games but lost every time. I remembered the city lost to London for 2012 games by only a few votes. The last time that Paris has hosted the games was in 1924. If Paris win the right to host 2024 games, it will be coincidentally marking 100th anniversary since the last Olympics in the city. I also like the simplicity of its logo showing the number ’24’ that also designed to resemble their iconic Eiffel Tower.

Check out their bidding’s presentation clips below:

Paris 2024

Los Angeles 2024

So my choice is Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. This means that those cities which intend to bid for 2028 games has to drop out their plan and bid for 2032 games instead. I think this move will make the bidding for 2032 games to be more intense and exciting as more cities are expected to join the race by then. A joint bid by Malaysia and Singapore is explored and is possible for the 2032 games’ bid. I would love to see that but I think our chance is pretty low. It will be hard to resolve on many issues when more than one country is involved in a single games. Malaysia and Singapore have not even hosted Asian Games before (although Malaysia has hosted Commonwealth Games and Singapore has hosted Youth Olympic Games). I can only elaborate further on our chance if the joint bid is confirmed, and that is long way to go.

5 Fast Facts of the Eiffel Tower not many people know.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by vincentloy

Today marks the 126th anniversary of the official opening of the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The tower is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Nobody in this planet would not know of its existence, popularity and glamour. And I’m very glad that I have visited the tower once, back in 2013. I was in awe and immediately took pictures of the tower in whatever spots I can find during that trip. The tower is beautiful in any angles. A magnificent addition to the beautiful city of Paris.

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It has been 126 years since Eiffel Tower first opened to the public for sightseeing, and the Google Doodle (pictured above) today is designed in conjunction with the anniversary. Many of you knew about the tower, but do you actually know the history behind this structure which was once the tallest in the world? This tower is meant to be only a temporary structure; to be demolished after a period of time. But fortunately, it didn’t. And we are all glad that the tower still stands amazingly today. Here, I’m about to share with you five fast facts regarding the Eiffel Tower (original source: http://heavy.com/news/2015/03/when-did-the-eiffel-tower-open-to-the-public-facts-date-photos-google-doodle/)

1. Elevators weren’t ready for the tower’s opening celebration.

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The tower, which is 324 meters (984 feet) tall, was designed by French entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel (pictured above) and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre. According to History.com, the tower’s elevators were not ready when the Eiffel Tower opened to the public March 31, 1889. The Eiffel Tower’s website says Eiffel climbed the 1,710 steps of the tower to plant the French flag at the top. He was joined on the climb by members of the city council of Paris and reporters. A 21-cannon salute marked the occasion. According to the tower’s website, Eiffel inscribed in a woman’s fan “the French flag is the only one with a 300 meter pole.”

A celebration with council members, other dignitaries and about 200 workers who helped build the tower was held at its base. The elevators were a significant technological challenge for the tower’s engineers and they were considered a great achievement, according to the tower’s website. Hydraulic lifts were used to bring guests up and down the tower. Visitors to the tower began using elevators by the end of May 1889 and continue to do so today, in newer, more modern lift systems.

2. The idea for the tower was born out of a competition.

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The tower was commissioned as part of a competition by the Journal Officiel to “study the possibility of erecting an iron tower on the Champs-de-Mars,” according to the tower’s website. The proposal by Eiffel, Koechlin and Sauvestre was selected out of 107 entries. Construction began in January 1887 and took five months for the foundation to be built. About 100 workers in a workshop and 132 on site used 5,300 drawings from engineers to build the tower, which has more than 18,000 parts. The tower was completed in two years and opened to the public in 1889.

3. The tower was a controversial project.

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According to History.com, the idea of the tower was met by many critics, who either saw it as structurally unsound, or as an eyesore in the middle of the city. The tower’s website says artists from around Paris sent a letter to a newspaper protesting the tower’s construction before it opened to the public. They wrote:

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital,
of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower, that public spite, often marked by good sense and a spirit of justice, has already baptized the Tower of Babel.

Without becoming hotheaded or chauvinistic, we have the right to loudly proclaim that Paris is a city without rival in the world. On its streets, its widened boulevards, the length of its admirable embankments, along its magnificent walks there will suddenly appear the most noble monuments ever fashioned by human genius. The soul of France, creator of masterpieces, shines from this majestic flowering of stones. Italy, Germany, Flanders, so justly proud of their artistic heritage, possess nothing comparable to ours, and in every corner of the universe Paris calls forth curiosity and admiration. Are we to let all that be debased?

Eiffel fought off the protesters. He responded in a letter of his own:

I will tell you all that I think, and all that I hope. For my part, I believe that the Tower will have its own beauty. Do people think that because we are engineers, beauty plays no part in what we build, that if we aim for the solid and lasting, that we don’t at the same time do our utmost to achieve elegance? Are actual conditions of strength not always compatible with the hidden conditions of harmony? The first principle of architectural aesthetics is that the essential lines of a monument should be determined by it fitting perfectly into a setting. But what condition did I need to address in the case of the tower? Resistance to wind. Well, I maintain that the curves of the four groin vaults of the monument, based on calculations, starting with the enormous and unused footing at the base, are going to taper up to the summit, will give a great impression of strength and beauty, because they will convey to the eyes the boldness of the conception in its totality.

As the tower’s website says, “time alone always proves the final judge.”

4. The tower was the centerpiece of the Paris World’s Fair in May 1889.

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The tower was commissioned to coincide with the opening of the Paris World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle), a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The exposition opened in May, with the Eiffel Tower serving as the entrance to the fairgrounds. The elevators were completed by the end of the May, but more than 30,000 visitors took the trek up 1,710 steps in the days after the tower officially opened to the public. Millions of people visited Paris during the World’s Fair.

5. The tower was going to be destroyed after 20 years, but was saved by science.

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According to History.com, the 20-year lease on the land by the exposition expired in 1909, but the tower was saved because of its usefulness as an antenna for radio transmission. Eiffel encouraged scientific experiments using the tower, and that spared it from destruction.

The tower, which was once the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building opened in 1930, welcomes more than 7 million tourists each year, with 75 percent coming from foreign countries, according to its website. Two levels of the tower now include restaurants. In addition to being one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, the Eiffel Tower remains important to the world of science and technology. Radio and television stations still use the tower to broadcast their signals. Also, two new wind turbines were recently installed in the Eiffel Tower, 400 feet off the ground, according to The Verge. The turbines provide enough electricity to power the tower’s first floor commercial areas and serve as a symbol for local efforts to be more environmentally friendly.

(Images and information in this post are from this original source: http://heavy.com/news/2015/03/when-did-the-eiffel-tower-open-to-the-public-facts-date-photos-google-doodle/)

 

Movie review: As Above, So Below (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2014 by vincentloy

‘As Above, So Below’ is a 2014 horror film that revolves on a team of explorers venturing down into the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris to find the legendary Philosopher’s Stone (reminded me of the chapter one of Harry Potter story…haha). As they goes deeper, they terrifyingly encounter strange phenomenons and eventually uncover the dark secret that lies within the city of the dead. The movie title itself looks interesting, and so does the plot.

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The story relies on many historical aspects to help back up the whole thing as to make it more realistic and trustworthy. It may turns out that those historical elements may be exaggerated or even not real to some point, but it didn’t bother me. Instead, it adds more drama and value to keep the movie engaging. After watching the movie, I do a quick search of the meaning behind the phrase ‘as above, so below’. It is a philosophy under Hermeticism that circulate throughout occult or magical circles. Briefly it means what happens on one level of reality also happens on every other level; the microcosm and macrocosm behave alike. After the movie, I’m also interested to uncover more on the history and mystery of the catacombs, empire of the dead beneath Paris.

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Ok…let’s get back to the movie. I find it enjoyable despite it received low ratings from most critics out there. It has a good story (at least it is not shallow and only shows the horror part). The movie also successfully sets the terrifying mood and haunting atmosphere through the found-footage approach, effective setting set-up (dark and narrow tunnels), creepy sound and echos, good performance by the casts, good-pacing story development, and of course some inevitable jump-scare moments in this kind of movie. There is one scene that really freak me out in that second or two. On the other hand, I will never go through that kind of tunnels (can easily gets claustrophobia) no matter how ambitious, brave or daring I am (like the main character Scarlett).

I also enjoy that the movie gets continuously intense in the last quarter of the film. As mentioned earlier, the casts (Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, etc) delivered impressive performances and I can really felt as though they were really in that fearsome situation. The story also has quite a good ending, not to mention that the deaths of several characters earlier are very much predictable. Overall, it’s quite an entertaining and a solid horror film. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘As Above, So Below’ a total of 7.4. Not bad. After this horror film, now I’m looking forward to ‘The Pyramid’, another horror film set to be released early next month.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Malaysia into the final!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by vincentloy

Finally, Malaysia is into the final of men doubles match of the recent BWF World Badminton Championship 2010 held in Paris, France, represented by world number one, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong.

After dinner, we took a time to sit down, relaxing in the living room to watch the live broadcast of the match, despite the incomplete assignment. Have been very chill and relaxing this weekend, despite there are models to be done for design submission on following Monday. This is totally different with previous weekend, when I need to complete all drawings in 3 A2 boards.

Back to the match, it is an exciting men doubles semi final between Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong from Malaysia against Guo Xhendong, Xu Chen from China. Both are strong and experienced teams in badminton. It depends on luck sometimes, and of course, the most important strength, attacking and defensing skills.

It is nice to see men doubles match, because it is fast, quick, breathtaking with no boring moments, because four men would be running around the court, saving the shuttercock, defensing and attacking opponents. Malaysian team won in rubber game, 21-14, 21-18. Malaysian pairs had an easy first game, but then having slight difficulties on the second one, losing behind at first. However, they striked back to win at most exciting moments, cheered by all the audiences in the stadium. They had good performance today, but with some mistakes too, that can be forgiven, since they won the game…haha…hope to see the same or even better performance from them tomorrow!

Now, they are the only pair, the only one representing Malaysia in the final of BWF World Championship. It is always very hard for Malaysia to get into final of this one. Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia (world number one) lost tragically to Taufik Hidayat  from Indonesia in quarter final yesterday, which similarly goes to the superpower, Lin Dan from China. Wishing Malaysian team good luck and all the best for final tomorrow! Must watch! Support! Malaysia Boleh! If they won it, then it would be a good present to celebrate Malaysia 53rd independence day! Every Malaysian would be delighted to see that!