Cardiff, a city just north of San Diego, is hosting an event guaranteed to be fun. There will be multiple surf contests, a green expo, tarp surfing (see picture below), musical entertainment, and a demo of various DIY surf toys (handplanes, paipos, etc.).
With its rolling hills and numerous royal conquests, there’s no place where history comes alive in such a lush setting as it does in Wales. Everywhere you look, the evidence of kings, queens, conflict and empire call to you. There are more than 600 castles – 641 to be precise – so even without trying you’ll come across a few. Even the country’s young capital has one – right in the heart of the city. Cardiff Castle mixes medieval and Victorian gothic architectural styles to thrilling effect.
These proud battlements are a historical legacy that is testament to a tumultuous past, and to the indomitable spirit of the fighting Welsh – these castles were built for a reason.
When the Romans withdrew, the separate Welsh kingdoms were left to squabble and spar for centuries until the Normans landed in the 11th century. But the Welsh proved unwilling subjects even then. It was not until Edward I – the famous subduer of William “Braveheart” Wallace – launched his war of subjugation two centuries later that Wales finally fell to England’s boot.
Edward consolidated his victory with the impressive castles you can still visit today. Most are in excellent repair, with walls as solid now as when their first stones went in the ground.
Beaumaris – the biggest castle Edward built and a truly imposing military fortress. It is located on the island of Anglesey, separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Strait, which is home to Prince William in his duties as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot.
William is most intimately connected to the most majestic of the Unesco castles, the stunningly preserved Caernarfon Castle. This is where his father, Prince Charles, was invested as the Prince of Wales – and where, one day, William is likely to follow suit.
From a distance, Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City sure doesn’t look like much. The “skyline” begins to emerge over the horizon in the rolling green farmlands about 50 miles north of London, but there are no gothic spires or granite citadels, just the slanted, pocked roofs of two boxy metal buildings.
But nearing the complex on a winding two-lane road, the immensity of the filmmaker’s make-believe metropolis comes into focus: The structures that looked squat from afar are actually 15 stories tall — and as long as 81-story skyscrapers lying on their sides. Constructed more than 85 years ago to house Britain’s Royal Airship Works, the giant coffin-shaped sheds sat unused or ignored for years, and waiting for some great undertaking, after the nation’s flagship dirigible went down in flames in a horrific 1930 crash in France.
The field mice had the run of the buildings but after the southern shed was renovated in 1994 it was used by occasional rock stars preparing for tours (U2 and Paul McCartney among them) or Hollywood production. The 525-ton door opened for Nolan in 2004. Cardington has since become a special home base, which is fitting given the fact that illusion, extreme architecture, old-school craft and colossal scale are screen trademarks for the London-born filmmaker best known for his three Batman films and “Inception.”
For 2005′s “Batman Begins” they put in the faux masonry of the Narrows and Arkham Asylum. Nolan’s team added to the indoor cityscape for 2008′s billion-dollar hit sequel “The Dark Knight” and then, for the topsy-turvy fights of “Inception,” special-effect guru Chris Corbould built a spinning corridor that made actors like hamsters in a wheel. More recently, Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley added a cruel and exotic underground prison for “The Dark Knight Rises,” which opens July 20.
It’s only the most significant architectural development in the history of the Internet, and presto, it transpired last night at 00:01 GMT. Did you notice?
I’m betting not, and that you probably didn’t even know it was happening, which is precisely how things were supposed to go down. Don’t worry, you’re fine, you don’t need to do anything, and as far as most of the Internet is concerned, turning on IPv6 — of tectonic caliber at the architectural level, minus the earthquakes — won’t impact how you interact with the Internet any time soon. But it will eventually. And it was necessary, to prevent the Internet from running out of real estate.
Thus “IPv6 Day,” which is what participants have dubbed June 6, 2012, the day some of the world’s biggest Internet service providers and companies like AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Time Warner Cable, enable IPv6 permanently on their hardware. It’s the followup to World IPv6 Day, which occurred a year ago on June 8, 2011, when providers turned on IPv6 for a single day in a kind of symbolic “time to pay attention to this” act.
Hiring continued its slow pace in April as employers added a modest 115,000 jobs to their payrolls.
The jobless rate inched down to 8.1% last month, the Labor Department said Friday, but that wasn’t because more people were employed. Rather, the rate fell as more workers dropped out of the labor force (about 342,000 workers).
The April jobs report was highly anticipated because job growth slowed sharply in March after three strong winter months of payroll gains averaging 252,000.
Job growth last month was bolstered by continued strength in manufacturing, which added 16,000 jobs to payrolls, and professional services such as architecture, engineering and computer systems design also increased staffing.
Wages overall were subdued; average earnings for all private-sector employees went up by a mere penny from March, to $23.38 an hour.
Search the web for “Apple HQ,” and most of the results you get will be pictures of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters — from the outside. Usually with some fanboy standing next to the “1 Infinite Loop” sign. But what we really want to see is what’s inside the ultra-top-secret place where all our favorite gizmos are dreamed up.
This discussion will be moot a few years down the road when Apple opens its gigantic new wheel-shaped campus. But for now, this is the ultimate Nerdvana.
An interesting concept for a beach home is profiled in the LA Times. The house is built into a cliff using “rammed-earth,” concrete slabs, and recycled materials.
D’Acosta and Turrent began their two-year construction project by digging a foundation into the cliff, then constructing a perimeter of 3-foot-thick rammed-earth retaining walls. They called the inner structure of earthen tunnels an “hormiguero,” or ants’ nest. A concrete slab hearth supports the weight of the wood floor and roof, “like a huge column supporting a bridge,” D’Acosta said. The result is a 2,300-square-foot house with bohemian flair.
Another component of the home is recycled 100-year-old redwood planks from a bridge in Northern California. The couple bought 200 of the timbers, each 27 feet long and 1 ton, from a salvage yard in Rosarito Beach.
The center, formerly called the Orange County Center for Performing Arts, changed its name this year in honor of the Segerstrom family who has donated millions ($200+ million) to make the center a world-class draw.
The photos alone make it worth a visit.
Tickets for the broadway shows are as little as $45 for three shows. There are also custom season tickets packages where you can mix-match (with a 20% discount) for cabaret, jazz, dance, classical, theater, family and special shows.