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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Star Trek - The LOST Generation

Another awesomely funny and geeky video from YouTube. The good people there seems to know my taste in these crazy videos and keep piling these treasures to my "Recommended For You" list. Thanks, guys! And now it's your turn to enjoy this hilarious parody of Lost played by J.J Abram's Star Trek characters. Nice use of action figure there!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Muppets sing Bohemian Rhapsody!

I decided to make a new label entitled "Video Ga-ga" in order to show you guys some funny, witty, awesome, and of course geeky videos I find on the 'Net. I decided to name it Video Ga-ga as some sort of a homage to Queen's song "Radio Ga-ga" and since the first post in this label is a cover version to one of the greatest rock song of all time, Bohemian Rhapspody. (yes, I'm a Queen fan. Sue me.)

The Muppets are still as hilarious as they were once that I remembered in my childhood. So, here they are!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Iron Man 2 Trailer!!!

Marvel just released the first trailer for Iron Man 2 and once again I have a nerdgasm. Enjoy the video here, folks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sweet Asgardian Poster

Recently Marvel published Tales of Asgard limited series. Basically it's a collection of old Thor series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, re-colored with today's technology (something lovingly named Photoshop, maybe you're familiar with that?).

What's cool about this limited series is the covers by regular Thor artist, Olivier Coipel. What's even cooler is that Marvel decided to release a poster, combining all these covers into one awesome vinyl spread of 10 feet (approx. 3 meters) long! Check out below, and click to enlarge it, as always :

There's a who's who poster in Marvel website, but unfortunately it's not that clear to me.

If you're interested in knowing one or two characters' names, you can download the above picture, circle the face you want to know and re-send it to me via e-mail.

Now, excuse me while I make a phone call to my favorite shop.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Top 10 Reasons To Date An Architect

This has become some sort of internet meme, copy-pasted in various mailing lists, and online forums, but since this joke may not be as popular as, say, Chuck Norris jokes because of the somewhat limited exposure of the joke (well, I found this mostly on architects' forum, to be honest); I feel this is my obligation as an architeture graduate to spread this funny list below.

Top 10 Reasons To Date An Architect :

1. all night long, all night strong.

2. we are damn good with our hands.

3. if we can commit to chipboard, relationships should be easy.

4. you should see the things we errect.

5. use to doing things over and over again.

6. finishing early never happens.

7. we know the true meaning of interpretation

8. creative positioning.

9. work well in groups

10. entry and passage are always exciting.

What else is the reason do I post this? Apparently, there are many people that thinks that being architects are sexy, like the scanned article below (click to make it larger), but since I haven't met anyone told me how sexy I am; well, let's just say I need a confidence boost.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

God and real life

This post is copied from Paolo Coelho's blog. Paolo is one of my favorite authors (go find The Alchemist in and read it, if you haven't already) and since he wrote in his post that we're free to share this post, I think I'll do that simply because of its awesome inspiration for me and I hope I can spread the good message to all of you, especially if you belong to any of the Abrahamic religion below:

Christian tradition

A protestant priest, having started a family, no longer had any peace for his prayers. One night, when he knelt down, he was disturbed by the children in the living room.

"Have the children keep quiet!" he shouted.

His startled wife obeyed. Thereafter, whenever the priest came home, they all maintained silence during prayers. But he realized that God was no longer listening.

One night, during his prayers, he asked the Lord: "what is going on? I have the necessary peace, and I cannot pray!"

An angel replied: "He hears words, but no longer hears the laughter. He notices the devotion, but can no longer see the joy."

The priest stood and shouted once again to his wife: "Let the children play! They are part of praying!"

And his words were heard by God once again.

Muslim tradition

A blind man was begging on the road to Mecca, when a pious Moslem came over and asked whether the people were giving generously - as the Koran commands. The man showed him his little tin, which was almost empty. The traveler said:

- Let me write something on the card around your neck.

Hours later, the traveler returned. The beggar was surprised, for he had received a large amount of money.

- What did you write on the card? - he asked.

- All I wrote was: Today is a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining, and I am blind.

Jewish tradition

Dov Beer de Mezeritch was asked:

"Which example should one follow? That of pious men, who devote their lives to God? That of scholars, who seek to understand the will of the Almighty?

"The best example is that of the child," he answered.

"A child knows nothing. It hasn't yet learned what reality is," people commented.

"You are all quite wrong, for a child possesses three qualities we should never forget," said Dov Beer. "They are always joyful without reason. They are always busy. And when they want something, they know how to demand it firmly and with determination."

Have a pleasant and inspiring day everyone!

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another World Architecture : The Ultimate Work of Sir Norman Foster

Another World Architecture is my attempt to combine two of my favorite things in life : architecture and comic books-which is one of the reason why this blog exists in the first place. Under this label, I will try to write about the sometimes silly and always awesome architecture in the comic book world. There are always interesting building in the comic book world ; from the small apartment of Peter Parker in New York to the hi-tech tower that is the Baxter Building, from the dark dungeon of Doctor Doom in Latveria to the majestic royal palace of Wakanda.

And that's from Marvel alone.

Don't worry Marvel-haters, I will of course do some things with the architecture from DC Comics and other publishers as well. Who wouldn't wanna see the layout of Clark Kent's apartment? Or the Batcave? Or the "psyche-tecture" of Mr.X? Or Astro City?

I also plan to someday include architecture in the video game world but right now I don't have time to play video games anymore so maybe it will be very rare to do an article from a video game.

Let's begin our first installment!

Ask any architecture students or any architects you can find, chances are you're going to find they can tell you at least a thing or two about who Sir Norman Foster is. Even better, you may also find they mention two or three of his most famous works; be it the Central Office of Willis, Faber, & Dumas, or the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank. But I'm willing to bet that they have never heard of his work in Manhattan, New York. A multi story, super hi-tech building called The Triskelion.


This is building doesn't exist in our world. It exists in the Marvel Ultimate Universe. For those of you not in the know, the Ultimate line is Marvel Comics' attempt to refresh their legendary icons in order for them to stay hip, current, and up-to-date in the 21st century. Our beloved Marvel heroes are being revamped, reintroduced as if they were new, and given new lives free from baggages of history and years of continuity. Indonesian readers perhaps remember when these titles are translated into Bahasa Indonesia several years a go-Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man. They were around for several issues before completely disappeared from the market.

The Marvel Ultimate Universe doesnt't necessarily replace the Marvel Universe proper though. The "classic" Marvel Universe (or "Earth-616" for us geeks) still exists and some might say becoming even better because of (or despite of) the appearance of the younger, fresher universe.

Anyway, enough with the backstory, let's return to the topic. In the Ultimate Universe, the Avengers that we all know and love is technically not a super-hero team, at least not in the traditional sense. They are formed by SHIELD (Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage, Logistic Directorate) to counter the growing number of "super-terrorism" after the event of 9/11. These super-soldiers are not even called superheroes, but rather "PMD" or "Persons of Mass Destruction". It is of course, as opposed to "WMD" or "Weapons of Mass Destruction".

In the third story arc, the U.S government even sent the team to Iraq in the current invasion. Apparently, George Bush of the Ultimate Universe thought why risk sending thousands of soldiers to invade a country when a dozen people can achieve the same results?

Perhaps writer Mark Millar (who loves to pepper his comicbooks writings with socio-political themes) intended to satirize our current culture and condition. Be it the war in Iraq mentioned above, or even the celebrity worship phenomenon we currently see everyday. As the premiere superhero team, The Avengers gain a rather luxurious treatment ; a toy line, magazine and TV interviews, a planned feature film, and yes, a kick-ass headquarters.

And this HQ is designed by none other by Sir Norman Foster himself and it's called the Triskelion.

The scan above is from Ultimate Avengers #1, cover-dated October 2009. The establishing shot of the Triskelion under re-construction. The building is almost demolished during the last bru-ha-ha with Magneto in the event called Ultimatum.

And this dialogue between Ultimate Nick Fury (modeled after a famous actor who then portrayed him in a cameo in two recent Marvel films, can you guess who?) and Hawkeye is the proof of who is the designer of this tower.

It's ironic to see that someone like Nick Fury still thinks design work is a luxury and feeling a little overcharged by Sir Norman like some newly-rich Indonesian people who thinks that paying an architect is merely paying for a worthless picture and an architect's work is secondary compared to...uh sorry. Got a little carried away there!

Come on, Nick! Good design is good business!

Alright, now that I'm feeling better, let's see the interior!

I say the deck and the steel frame is quite convincing to give us the impression of a Foster design. An impression of futuristic, neo-constructivist style that is his trademark although the frame kind of reminds me of Calatrava a little

While this style can give us a cold, unfriendly, industrial feeling but oh,! Ultimate Sir Norman can also give us a warm, cozy, and yet minimalistic interior office design... minimalistic that the table looks like my 6th grade school desk.

Or perhaps Ultimate Sir Norman DID overcharge for his design work that it hurts the furniture budget.

So, what do you think? Although if it's up to me, I'd rather have Calatrava or Hadid to design my superhero HQ!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why BIM?

You may have been using ArchiCAD, or maybe Revit. Both applications are called Building Information Modeling alias BIM. Actually, BIM applications are not limited to just just those two. There are many existing BIM applications. But both are the most popular in Indonesia. Of course, there are major vendors : Bentley Architecture and Nemetschek VectorWorks just to name a few. Also there's a whole load of another software dedicated to modeling and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing).

So as the title says, why using BIM?
Maybe you've heard that in BIM software you can create a 2D plan, and directly obtain its 3D model. Creating a section or elevation drawing is also easy : just define the line where the section and/or elevation should be, and the section will be obtained automatically. Or you can even get the schedule automatically. Or even get a quite excellent rendering How about that?

However, BIM did not stop there!

I often hear complains from established AutoCAD users. They assume difficulties if switching from their traditional CAD software to Revit or ArchiCAD. I do not mean to blame such assumptions. However, in most cases that I find, these complains come from reluctance (to substitute a much harsher word, "laziness") to learn new things. Something I find ironic considering the creative nature or architecture field (and what are creative people if not ones who are willing to do, to learn something new?). Although BIM applications could actually make draftings like the one they use to make, but BIM applications not only about draftng or images.

BIM is a digital model of a building, so it can study the building, without having to actually build it first. Model produced by BIM applications can be analyzed in detail. Drawing is just one part of the BIM.

It differs from " traditional CAD " (eg AutoCAD) in the parametric nature of it. Let's say you draw plans, elevations, and sections in AutoCAD, If there are any design changes, you have to goto each sheet and change MANUALLY. This could get very complicated and confusing, and errors are introduced this way.

BIM software tries to solve this problem by making user(s) draw OBJECTS (instead of just symbolic 2D lines) eg. walls. By doing so, the building is 'virtually constructed', (in 3D with material information and sometimes even cost of material built in) The software do all the relevent revision for you. So if say, you change the position of the window in a wall, all the plans, section, elevations, are changed accordingly and automatically by the software.

That's in the simplest level.

In a more complicated scenario, a user could group a set of design, and change one single design and have the BIM software do all the relevent changes in every level according to the "rules" setup by the user. It is the power of that "parametric-ness" (is that even a word?) that makes BIM so powerful.

So you see, compared with applications such as AutoCAD drafting ... not fair, not really an apple-to-apple comparison. For individuals, BIM is probably not an attractive thing (certainly not for me, though). Especially those already entered into the comfort zone with CAD applications used today (Come on! Do not stay too long in the comfort zone! We're supposed to be creative people here!) But for the engineering company who handle the multi-disciplinary design, BIM is very important.

BIM may also help you analyze the structure of the building. In the past, analysis of building structures should be modeled on the re-analysis applications such as SAP, STAAD, ETABS, or others. I've tried using Revit Structure is connected with the Robot Millennium. Very impressive. The model, including structural properties such as columns, beams, etc., directly analyzed by Robot Millennium. If there is property that must be changed, such as the size of the column is not big enough, a change in the model structure will also change the model. What else can be done with BIM software? Solar study is one them. We can see how the influence of sunlight on the interior or exterior of the building.

Furthermore, you can make green building analysis with software like Autodesk Ecotect, Green Building Studio or a special add-on for ArchiCAD called EcoDesigner.

Other? Facilities management, visual time schedule, high-end rendering, building cost calculation, and probably other things I'd never find.

BIM applications continues to develop the exchange of data with the format of the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes). It is not perfect yet. Then again, what is in this world? As long as the format continues to be made better and gains worldwide support, all will be well. At some point you will even perhaps be able to open the Revit model in ArchiCAD or vice versa. And I can guarantee there will be more software for the analysis of building models (quake analysis anyone?). The development will be more aggressive because it is not intended to be for one specific software. In Indonesia, sadly, BIM is not too popular yet, but it does not mean not going to develop in Indonesia. With people show more appreciation for original software instad of pirated copies, the days of expensive CAD software which only is capable of doing single task will soon be over. Why waste millions of rupiahs for CAD software and another millions for 3d modelling software when with something like ArchiCAD you can achieve both?

The future is already here, it's just that not everyone knows!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First Iron Man 2 Poster!

Yahoo! Movies has debuted this first poster for Marvel Studios' Iron Man 2, which Paramount Pictures will release in theaters on May 7.

The poster gives you a first official look at War Machine!


Pretty awesome isn't it? I think I'm having a nerdgasm!

Now I have one more reason to gasp beside imagining Scarlett Johansson in the Black Widow outfit.....

...or Mickey Rourke as the baddie Whiplash in a costume which I consider way,waay better than the comic book S&M version :

I don't know why, comic book Whiplash always made me go 'meeh'. I mean, he wants to beat someone who's basically a living fighter jet with a porn movie props?That's really disturbing!

Fortunately, in the coming issues of Invincible Iron Man, Marvel decides to re-design his outfit (see below) to make it more resembles its movie counterpart. I usually hate movie costume re-design, especially if it's too radical. But in this case, I think I can agree with the new look; although for the how it's going to work in the comic book, we still have to wait and see:

Anyway, I can't wait fot this movie which I hope to be another blockbuster for Marvel!

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