Thursday, March 10, 2011

Criss Angel-ART OF MAGIC

Forget Merlin, the Harry Potter, the Houdini and David Copperfield. The new best magician in the world is a Greek, a Criss Angel!
His real name is Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, is of Greek origin and has won two of the most important global awards for magicians in Las Vegas.
It also became the youngest magician who enters the IMS Magic Hall of Fame and received the Elite Diamond Merlin for the total bid.
The 44 year old wizard is now and not wrongly, the best magician this time in the world and certainly the most popular.
The conquests of Criss Angel, include Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and "bunny" of Playboy, Holly Madison!

Watch the video with the impressive magic "of it!

The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York



"While they would later be viewed as authentic, contemporaries dismissed brownstones as modern and artificial. Foreshadowing post-World War II broadsides against urban renewal and suburban architecture, critics in the nineteenth century decried the mechanical, dehumanizing monotony of brownstone rows. 'When one has seen one house he has seen them all,' wrote one writer, 'the same everlasting high stoops and gloomy brown-stone fronts, the same number of holes punched in precisely the same places.' 'The architecture is not only impressive, it is oppressive,' complained another critic. 'Its great defect is its monotony, which soon grows tiresome.' Still others, prefiguring 1990s dismissals of McMansions, lambasted the gaudy, overadorned stone fronts preferred by New York's brownstone nouveau riche: 'What we lack in invention, we can cover by "ornamentation" and hence we have miles of reiterated and unmeaning rope mouldings, filigreed jambs, and window-heads twisted into all sorts of conceivable contortions.' Some regarded Brooklyn brownstones as particularly fake. 'The majority are deceptive, fraudulent, pretentious -- mere shells,' complained a Washington Post writer in 1886 of the rows of small, boxy townhouses. '[They are] plated, so to speak, with a coating of brownstone in front and trimmed inside with cheap pine so that a poor man may boast a brown-stone house. And they have alcove bed-rooms and marble buffet niches and factory-made stained glass door panes, so that the clerk may live like the shadow of the millionaire.'"
- Suleiman Osman from The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York (University of Chicago Press, 2011, pp. 29-30)

Full Moon Rising: Azerbaijan’s Death Star Hotel-Heerim Architects & Planners


Heerim Architects has attempted to reinvent the skyscraper beyond the traditional with two lunar inspired projects in the central Asian republic of Azerbaijan.
The Korean firm has dreamed up Full Moon Bay and Caspian Plus that includes Crescent Place on neighbouring peninsulas in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku that look on to the Caspian Sea - the two projects on opposite extremes of the same bay acting as gateway markers.
Hotel Full Moon is essentially a disc with rounded edges and a hole in one of the top corners that appears radically different to the view depending on the angle it is seen from. The frontage thanks to the bulging centre makes it appear more like a glass death star whilst the side profile is more than a little gherkinesque.
Changing appearance depending on the view is reinforced by the cladding treatment the architect has selected. The front will have a glass diagrid whilst the back will be covered with hexagonal honeycombs.
This main building will be a 35 storey luxury hotel with 104,182 square metres of space for only 382 rooms, a relatively small amount of rooms given the sheer size of the internal space on offer. It will reach a maximum height of 158.68 metres.
The hotel is linked via a zoomorphically shaped podium that snakes curvaceously around the boundaries of the site to two residential apartment blocks entitled Palace of Wind 1 and 2.
Acting as the counterpoint to Hotel Full Moon is Hotel Crescent, part of the Caspian Plus redevelopment that stands as a curving arch similar to a crescent moon. The arch-like nature of the building is revealed by the fact that the structure isn't a pure crescent on its inside relying on more regularly shaped columns to help provide it with support.
At 32 floors tall it will also be a luxury hotel, this time with 221 rooms. There will also be 128 serviced apartments in the building. Floor space will 128,140 square metres.
Behind it will stand a further four tall buildings, three of which will be residential with the tallest of the quartet being a 43 floor office building standing 203 metres tall.
Heerim Architects have not long been established in Azerbaijan. They only opened their office in the country in July 2007 and yet have already secured these two major projects that face transforming the capital of one of the world's fastest growing economies.

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