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Daily Drill: Space Homes, A Sinking Tower, and Massive Built Donuts


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U.S. Army vs 150 Japanese Villagers Over Construction

Since WWII the U.S. has had an Army base in Okinawa, Japan.  Now the nearby villages of Higashi and Kunigami, around what is called the Northern Training Area  near the base, have a complaint; a legal one. The construction of helipads in the area, completed in 2014, and the constant roar of the aircraft there, have made their villages "unlivable."  The villagers number 150 people. The number of Japanese protestors who have come out to support them in their battle?  50,000.  Fly me in.

When was the Golden Age of Engineering? 

Many in the engineering culture say the Golden Age of Engineering took place between 1850 and 1950. A well-regarded civil engineer/historian assembles his own take on the history of building, the post- nuclear gloom that befell engineering in the public mind, and the various periods that challenged the construction narrative.  Take me to the jobsite.

Millennium Tower May Sink into Earth this Millennium

San Francisco's 58-story Millennium Tower was expected to sink 4 to 6 inches during the  entire life of the structure. Since 2009 the tower has sunk 16 inches and counting. Besides the pricey penthouse offices being brought down to street level (and presumed lower rents), there are engineering questions being asked that are alarming all concerned. Elevator up, please. Or we can just wait for the top floor to come to us.

Believe Your Eyes: China's Oddball Architecture Designed to Surprise

A giant yellow Mao, a monstrous piano, and a leaning tower. China's determination to be noticed has resulted in some startling architecture over the years (resulting in a more recent official condemnation of showpiece buildings in China). These monuments to weirdness are China's global architectural statement, for better or for worse. You won't believe your eyes.  Stop yakking and show me.

NASA's Deep Space Houses Beg the Question: Where will the Jobsite Trailer Go?

Not one to be discouraged by the closure of the shuttle program, now the space agency is pivoting to...homebuilding. But per their established brand, these homes will be adrift in space. Any takers? You can leave the lawnmower in the garage. Ooh, do they come with shag carpet?