nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Skyscraper fandom

squid314 wrote:
As all good skyscraper enthusiasts know, the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 2717 feet tall. Keep in mind that there is never any good reason to build anything that large. Just getting to the top is such a production that the elevators have TV screens to keep you occupied during the journey - although if you don't like them, you're welcome to take the 2909 stairs. Cleaning the windows takes a team of forty people three months per clean. And it's not like it's such a spectacular economic success either. Not only did the entire city of Dubai go bankrupt while the tower was being built - the Burj Khalifa is named after the sheik who bailed them out - but over 90% of the tower's apartments just sit there, unused. The only reason to build a tower of that size, honestly, is to send a message. And the message is: "Look! I have a really big tower!"

So the obvious reaction to this astonishing display of human vanity and shortsightedness, or at least obvious if you are a man, is to try to build a tower that is much, much bigger. The most exciting news in the world of skyscrapers this month was that Saudi Arabia has approved the construction of the Kingdom Tower. The Saudi kingdom touts the building as an attempt to diversify the Saudi economy: now instead of just being based on oil, it can be based on both oil and on having ridiculously large buildings. The Kingdom Tower was supposed to be a mile high, until someone did some tests and realized that the ground literally could not support the weight of a building that large, causing them to scale it down to only 3300ish feet.

The article has been forwarded to reddit. Worthwhile comment from mindbleach: "It's a problem I regularly experience on reddit. I'll make a comment and see a reply to the effect of "not so!" and it takes five minutes of back-and-forth to figure out of the complainant is a nitpicking genius or a cocksure moron.".

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