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Dave

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Dave last won the day on December 15 2015

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  1. Long time lurker here. I very much enjoy reading people's comments. Here are a few of my own: Tradition vs. Internationalism/Genericism: This and other CC's are best when the focus of the culture of the home country. This one strayed a few times into international culture. As others have pointed out, why sing the Olympic anthem in English? Why must floor projection titles be in English? These give the feeling of the (big dollar paying US) audience being manipulated and pandered to, rather than the (US) audience being a witness to THEIR ceremony. Similarly, what's with K-pop? Too much of it sounded like bad African-American music, which isn't all that good to begin with. When those pieces had a Korean tinge to them they were more tolerable. The Eddie Van Halen wannabe was just as excruciating. The sub-segment with the circle of traditional instrument players (I'm too lazy to look up the name of that instrument), arrayed around the rock-ish band that featured the chick playing the one-stringed instrument, was effective. You could say that it brought traditional Korean music into the modern world. I really don't know anything about this kind of music-- would have wanted to learn more-- so maybe an expert would say that I'm full of crap. A Korean music purist might say that it totally ruined it. To me, at least, it made a nice bridge to the outside world. Floor projections: These are getting old, fast. I will say that the Beijing segment did a nice job integrating them with Real Live Humans. The coordination between the two was really impressive. The PC segment which was mostly black-and-white strands was similarly well-integrated with live performers. Flag ceremonies: Wish NBC would have focused more of the honor guards that handled the flag-lowering duties. I would have wanted a better look at their traditional costumes and the movements and precision of their routine. The image of the flag teams at Beijing 08 is still vivid in my mind. Instead we got way too many close ups of the singer. Who really cares about his mug? Chinese anthem: I'm sure that music is meaningful to the Chinese people and the test may be the apogee of Chinese poetry, but that tune is just plain terrible. In Memoriam: Not sure who was being memorialized but I found it beautiful and moving is some sort of very general way, nonetheless. The grace and solemnity were palpable. And the way that the shell broke apart was meaningful. Meaningful of what, I'm not sure, but it struck a chord. I'd like to think that the segment was less about death than about the refinement of Korean culture. The last few moments of floor projection were a little much but I'll let it go. Bravo. Symbolism: Are the elements in the ceremony really symbolic of all those lofty concepts or was NBC just making that stuff up? (Or reading out of a press booklet that made these random claims.) Bears are symbolic of this. Birds are symbolic of that. Hell, the potato siting on my dinner plate is symbolic of hope and virtue, no? When is a bird just a bird? Grandstand LED's/pixel machines: OK, so they looked pretty nice on TV. However, I'd like to raise a point that I have yet to read on this board, and that is this: if you're sitting in a seat and all those lights from those devices in the rows behind you are shining on the back of the head of the guy siting in front of you, you would have a hard time seeing the action on the field well and an easy time being very distracted. And if you paid big won for to see the ceremony, to actually see the ceremony, you'd probably be pretty pissed. But then, what does it matter if that rummy gets screwed, it's all just a TV event anyway, right? Once again, we the TV audience are no longer getting to witness, through the magic of, an actual event. We are being fed a series of images and episodes, even some of which were concocted at a Lucasfilm-type studio months prior, and the 'live audience' is just there to enhance the image and living room experience, strictly for OUR benefit. To wit: all the consternation on this board about unfilled seats at PC events. Posters feel that this diminished the Olympics because they couldn't see live humans witnessing a given event. Maybe they are right to feel that way. Or, one could say, that as long as THEIR seat was occupied-- in front of the TV, that is-- why should it matter? I don't have an answer for that. World Peace: I don't recall a segment devoted to the hope for world peace. And that's a good thing. Call me a cynic but those pie-in-sky fantasies are a eye-roll to me. The OOC got that out of the way with their (tired) rendition of "Imagine" and apparently didn't feel the need to get all self-righteous. So before I get slammed: yes, world peace is a worthy goal, I just think that it has to be blared out there just to show that the blarer is morally virtuous. More action about world peace, less talk. Nice self-restraint, Korea. NBC: The play-by-play teams were generally outstanding. Getting rid of those Today Show half-wits for the ceremonies was a big step up. The AA main host guy did a very good job, too; I didn't miss Costas (good as he is) at all. I don't get why they had a British chic do the afternoon segments but she was OK, too. It seems they cut most of the cultural, local, travelogue segments, certainly in comparison to past broadcasts. This is too bad as I really do like to get a feel for the locale. Maybe these were relegated to an alternate channel (I only watched the main broadcast). I also noticed what I believe to be less homerism, U-S-A flag waving, and jingoism. That, too, is a very good thing. Or maybe it was a function of this being the winter vs. summer games, or maybe I've just gotten used to it after all these years. I do know that I was getting less mad at the TV this time around. I also noticed fewer and more diminished sob-stories. There seemed to be less of the She-grew-up-sleeping-under-a-bridge-while-caring-for-a-dog-with-lyme-disease-type stories than they harped on in the past. Except for the umpteen interview and mentions of this or that US champ, they pretty much just got on with it. NBC appears to be improving. The commercials were mostly pretty poor. Having to see the same one 5-10x per night almost sent me over to "Victoria" repeats. For all the money the sponsors pay they really need to produce a wider range (and quality) of ads. Onward to Tokyo!
  2. Like krow said. And let me add: Swimming. Beach Volleyball. Women's Artistic Gymnastics. Track. That's all you need to see. Non-American athletes not named Usain Bolt are of little consequence. Silver or even gold metal victories of said non-Americans are nice, in so far as NBC will tell you about them, but bronze by an American, or even a courageous fourth, is real story of these games. Better to show every single goddamn heat involving an American than the finals of an event not involving an American. It's better to show (repeated) shots of mom (and dad) in the stands than actual sport competition. There's always a sob-story (err, I mean, soft feature) to be told about a US swimmer. These act to help avoid actual sports coverage. Athlete (US, of course) interviews are good, especially when nothing new is said as seen in the previous 20 athlete interviews. Except for the insides of venues, Rio extends only about 100 feet from the sea shore. In order to understand an advertiser's message you have to see that ad at least 40 times.
  3. Yes it may appear, and certainly based on this photo, that the panels are not abutting. I would propose two explanations, in addition to the one asserted that construction is poor. 1) There may be a "reveal" designed into the panels, i.e. (and sorry I don't know the exact word) there is a flange that slips under the neighboring panel. So, yes, even though there is a space between them on their top surfaces (and to a certain depth of, say 1cm), they are actually touching, or joined, at the underside of the panel. Thus there is continuous panel material across the entire roof, i.e. no actual "gaps" or voids. If indeed this is the design, then lateral movement due to heat/cold expansion/contraction would be accommodated. 2) There is no such flange and there is indeed a gap. Thus the panel is not meant as a rain screen but only as a sun screen (and, of course, an aesthetic element). There would be a subroof beneath the panels that would capture and shed the rain. Mind you, not knowing the product or design used in this project I am only speculating. I do find it highly, highly unlikely that in just the photo you have included there are something like several hundred (!) leaky gaps. True, the contractors in China are not that great (compare Japan!) but they are not that terrible, either. Nor, at the risk of offending the Zaha haters, could one surmise that the design is so deficient from a firm that has probably among the most talented architects available for hire, who have done scores of high profile projects all across the world. All this, or course, would not rule out a roof leak or two in a project such as this. I don't know and neither would anyone know, based solely on these photos. No way to tell. As to your last sentence, in any part of the developed world with which I am familiar, it is the architect that designs the roof, not an engineer, and certainly not an artist; manufacturers and contractors may be consulted, but it is the architect's expertise. It is complement from you to refer to Hadid (and her team!) as artists-- they would appreciate the complement and may even think of themselves that way, too-- but first and foremost they are architects. Art is an aspect of architecture, as is engineering, but it is distinct.
  4. And you can tell any of that how? From that distance, at that resolution, using (probably) someone's cell phone camera, there is no possible way. Maybe NASA or the USAF has the tools. But then, they probably also have experts who would know the difference between a "gap" and an expansion joint. And I bet they even have people who are aware that sometime over the past five years Tokyo has had rain, air pollution, dust...
  5. Uh, let me take that one: by hiring an architect with vision, intellegence, perception, knowledge, skill, aesthetic sense, depth? by hiring an architect who knows what they're doing? You leave it to the experts, the good ones, that's how. It's something this sports council either doesn't understand, was in too much of a bind to do, or just blew it. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been bungled. Doesn't matter, there'll be a 2024, just around the corner.
  6. Those trees should be ready in time for the 2044 games. Utterly underwelming. Will be forgotten before the games even end. Zzzzzz..... Bring back Zaha. .
  7. Lets see, between viral illnesses in Rio and respiratory ones in Beijing, the IOC medical staff should stay fully employed for years to come.
  8. Yes, but that stadium was used in '04 (2014, that is) so that restarts the clock, no? Oops: 2004, that is (not 2014).
  9. Actually, that would be St. Louis '04. It is still being used (by Washington University) after 111 years!
  10. I really like the minimalist design. Also, the outfield fences of the baseball field on right have to be the absolute highest ever! Giancarlo Stanton couldn't even hit one out of that park even if it were on the moon.
  11. Zaha Hadid Architecture releases statement: Our teams in Japan and the UK feel it is necessary to set the record straight on the Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) design for the new National Stadium for Japan, which has been developed to the client’s brief and budget. It is also only right that the Japanese people are fully aware of the reasons for the reported budget increase and, with exactly five years to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games, the risks involved with delaying the design process and start of construction. In 2012 ZHA was selected by a jury of architects and other experts in an international competition of 46 entries to design a new National Stadium for Japan, which would be ready to welcome the world to Japan for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Games. We were attracted to the competition by Japan’s vision for a new National Stadium that was designed with the flexibility to open with these two great events and go on to host national, international, local and community sport and cultural events for the next 50 to 100 years. The design was developed by a joint venture of leading Japanese design offices led by Nikken Sekkei, with ZHA supervising the design development. The team dedicated thousands of hours to develop a design for a new National Stadium to the brief, requirements and budget of our client, the Japan Sport Council (JSC). At every stage over the two years of development, the design and budget estimates were approved by the JSC. ZHA worked proactively to reduce the estimated cost throughout. For the first time in the construction of a public building in Japan, a two-stage tender process was used, in which contractors are appointed before being invited to submit cost estimates. As ZHA has considerable experience in this process we advised the JSC that working to an immovable completion deadline, against a backdrop of rocketing annual increases in the cost of building in Tokyo, and in the absence of any international competition, the early selection of a limited number of construction contractors would not lead to a commercially competitive process. Our warning was not heeded that selecting contractors too early in a heated construction market and without sufficient competition would lead to an overly high estimate of the cost of construction. ZHA also proposed to the JSC that, in this uncompetitive context, reductions to the client’s brief for the stadium, architectural specification and contractor costs would achieve a lower construction price. ZHA has always been prepared to work with the JSC to produce a lower cost design at any time. The budget and design was approved by the Government on 7th July and there was no subsequent request to design a lower cost stadium. In response to the high costs quoted by the construction contractors, ZHA and all of the design team worked hard with the JSC to ensure the developing design was delivered to the brief and budget, coming up with many cost-saving initiatives including further changes to the design. We also provided objective guidance on the standard materials and building techniques required to build the Stadium. In our experience the best way to deliver high-quality and cost-effective projects is for the selected designers to work in collaboration with the construction contractor and client as a single team with a single aim. However, we were not permitted to work with the construction contractors, again increasing the risk of unnecessarily high cost estimates and delays in completion. On 7th July a JSC report to the Stadium advisory committee, using figures provided by the appointed construction contractors, incorrectly claimed that the design was responsible for most of the increase in budget. ZHA was not informed in advance of this announcement and we immediately contested this incorrect claim with the JSC. Commentary of the report focused on the steel arches within the design. These arches are not complex and use standard bridge building technology to support the lightweight and strong polymer membrane roof to cover all spectator seats, in addition to supporting the high-specification lighting and services that will enable the Stadium to host many international competitions and events in the future. The arched roof structure is as efficient as many other major stadia in Japan and the arches allow the roof to be constructed in parallel with the stadium seating bowl, saving crucial construction time in comparison to a roof supported from the seating bowl, which can only be built after the bowl has been completed. The design and engineering teams in Japan confirmed the arches supporting the roof should cost 23 billion yen (less than 10% of the approved budget). The increase in estimated budget reported by the JSC is in fact due to the inflated costs of construction in Tokyo, a restricted and an uncompetitive approach to appointing construction contractors and a restriction on collaboration between the design team and appointed construction contractors, not the design. The current building boom in Tokyo increasing construction demand, a limited labour supply and the yen’s significant drop in value greatly increasing the price of imported raw materials have all contributed to Tokyo’s construction costs growing dramatically since 2012/2013 when the new National Stadium project was first announced and Tokyo was awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Between July 2013 and July 2015, Tokyo construction costs increased by an average of 25% and are forecast to increase at a similar rate for the next four years. Starting the design process again does not tackle any of the fundamental issues that have led to an increased estimate in budget for the National Stadium, which could in fact become even more problematic due to the significant further delay in starting building. Construction costs will continue to rise towards the immovable deadline of the Tokyo 2020 Games Opening Ceremony in exactly five years. In addition to increasing design and construction costs, due to the rising cost of building in Tokyo, further delays and a rushed design process, led by a construction contractor, risk producing a lower standard National Stadium with limited future usage. Other examples around the world show us that a lower quality stadium could require substantial further investment to be converted for long-term use after 2020, when construction costs will be even higher. The public, Government and design team have invested in a design that can be delivered through a more competitive procurement process and collaborative approach from construction contractors, within the budget now proposed by the Government and in time to host the Rugby 2019 World Cup. We have always been, and still are, prepared to use the expertise and knowledge that has been developed to work with the JSC to produce a lower cost design to a change in specification. Ten days after receiving formal approval of the design, ZHA learned through news reports of the cancellation of the commitment to deliver the approved design for the new National Stadium and commitment for the venue to be ready in time to host the Rugby World Cup 2019. Subsequently we received a brief official notification from the Japan Sport Council (JSC) of their cancellation of the contract to design the New National Stadium in Tokyo. ZHA remain committed to a flexible and cost-effective new National Stadium that would be ready to welcome the world to Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and become a new home for sport in Japan for many generations to come. The Japanese people, Government and design teams in Japan and the UK have invested a huge amount of time, effort and resources to deliver an adaptable design that can meet the brief and budget set by the Government for a new National Stadium. To reduce the risk of further increases in costs, the venue not being ready in time for the Tokyo 2020 Games and being of lower quality, the Prime Minister’s review should build on the investment in the detailed design knowledge already established and focus on the need for construction contractors to work in partnership with this expert team. We have written to the Prime Minister to offer our services to support his review of the project with the current design team. ZHA has also outlined how making use of the significant investment in detailed design work already carried out offers the most cost-effective solution to create the best new National Stadium for the people of Japan for the next 50-100 years. In the coming weeks we also plan to share, in Japan and across the international design community, the many innovative solutions achieved through the years of work and investment that has gone into the design for the National Stadium. .
  12. Of the 18 ceremonies, I watched 17 of them (missed Moscow). But I'll be damned if I have a sufficiently complete memory of most of them to properly judge and compare them. Most I only saw once-- that would be 30 years ago for the earliest. How posters on this board, even with the help of YouTube, can sort through 18 3+ hour ceremonies is beyond my understanding, as well as capability. The best I can do is recall some high and low moments from the 17. The high: - Albertville: Cocteau-esque floating figures, beguiling costumes, Generally high and sophisticated French art. Unforgettable. - Barcelona: Caldren lighting is best ever. - Lillehammer: Pulled off the folk culture aspect well. This opinion may be a case of grass-greener syndrome, seeing as I've hated folk culture aspects of ceremonies closer to home. - Atlanta: Jesse Norman- not shabby. - Nagano: Traditional Japanese culture- drum pounding, rope spinning, etc. Looked like a religious ceremony of some sort. - Athens Great history, modernized. Beautiful. - Beijing: Everything. - Sochi: High culture, beautifully rendered. The low: - LA: extraterrestrial robot (or whatever that was)-- this could have been the closing ceremony. Either way, an embarrassment. - Atlanta: chrome plated pick up trucks. Really? - Sydney: some scruffy old coot strumming guitar and singing is gruff voice - London: tons of vulgar pop culture that wasn't even funny (the modeling/billboard/advertising industry, QEII parachuting) and odd and obtuse historical references (Nat Health System... I think)
  13. Repost of my post on Bloomberg site: 1) Got to include Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzetto dello Sport for the 1960 Rome Olympics in this gallery. http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=noO0xqGqDM2GIM&tbnid=BYedmpTvDikD2M:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmulti-purpose.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F22010778190%2Fpalazzetto-dello-sport-pier-luigi-nervi-1957&ei=ec83U9fRD-y-sQS4nYKgAQ&bvm=bv.63808443,d.aWM&psig=AFQjCNEOQXYnwYRAwQAgkp_YDd_v36o2aQ&ust=1396252612260951 2) If you're going to include a building from London 2012, make it the Velodrome. Zaha's building is one of her poorest, at least in the configuration shown (and used during the games). Expecting more from her in Tokyo 2020. http://cdn.architectism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2012-London-Velodrome-1.jpg 3) The Palavela in Torino isn't too shabby at all, either. http://www.museotorino.it/images/18/5c/67/1c/185c671c99ea441cb5723fd98c157742-1.jpg?VSCL=100
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