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[FAO] A Stranger In My Home

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mum taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.

But the stranger.... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry.The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mum would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.

Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us,our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing...!

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked

And NEVER asked to leave.

More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.


His name?.... We just called him TV

He has a wife now....we call her "Computer"

Their first child is "Cell Phone"

Second child "IPod"


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[FAO] Earth-Scraper: Just Incredible !!

Introducing... the Earth-Scraper:

Architects have designed an incredible 65-storey 'Earth-Scraper' which plunges 300 metres below ground.

The stunning upside down pyramid in the middle of Mexico City is designed to get around height limits on new buildings in the capital.

The subterranean building will have 10 storeys each for homes, shops and a museum, as well as 35 storeys for offices.

Deep: The 65-storey 'Earth-Scraper' is set to plunge 300m into the ground beneath Mexico City...

Epic scale: The enormous complex is intended to get round the city's planning laws, which state that buildings can be no more than eight storeys high...

Landmark: The Earth-Scraper would be located in the city's main square, and topped with an enormous Mexican flag...

A glass floor covers the massive 240m x 240m hole in the city's main square to filter in natural light from the world above.

The design has been crowned with a Mexican flag.

Esteban Suarez, from architecture firm BNKR Arquitectura, said the building would also house a new cultural centre.

Scary: The core is all made of glass to ensure that all parts of the building receive natural sunlight from the world outside...

Relaxing: Designers expect the public areas of the building to become a popular destination for those wishing to escape the bustle of the city...

Heritage: The earth-scraper is expected to contain a museum and cultural centre which will explore the history of Mexico and its pyramids....

He said: 'New infrastructure, office, retail and living space are required in the city but no empty plots are available.

'Federal and local laws prohibit demolishing historic buildings and even if this was so, height regulations limit new structures to eight storeys.

'The city's historic centre is in desperate need of a makeover but we have nowhere to put it, this means the only way to go is down.'

He added: 'The Earthscraper preserves the iconic presence of the city square and the existing hierarchy of the buildings that surround it.

'It is an inverted pyramid with a central void to allow all habitable spaces to enjoy natural lighting and ventilation.

'It will also allow the numerous activities that take place on the city square year round such as concerts, open-air exhibitions and military parades to go ahead.'

Unobtrusive: One advantage of the unusual structure is that it would create space in the centre of Mexico City, which is full of historic buildings which cannot be demolished...

Green: The interior of the building is supposed to look natural and welcoming...

Efficient: The creative use of space would allow the plaza to be used for events such as concerts and military parades...

Massive: The space covering the earth-scraper will take up 240 square metres in the heart of Mexico's capital...

Pyramids play a large part in the architectural history of Mexico, as the country's anicent civilisations have often build huge pyramid structures.

When the Aztecs first came into the Valley of Mexico, they built their pyramids on the lake they found there.

As the Aztec Empire grew in size and power, they conceived a new and bigger pyramid, but instead of looking for a new site they just built it on and around the existing one.

The traditional pyramids are therefore composed of different layers of historical periods.

Modern: Much of the building is expected to be devoted to office space...

Shopping: The Earth-Scraper would almost certainly become one of the city's top retail destinations as soon as it opened....

Connected: This picture shows the proposed metro station which would pass through the earth-scraper just below ground level...

When the Spanish arrived in America and ultimately conquered the Aztecs, they erected Christian churches on top of the pyramids. Eventually their whole colonial city was built over the Aztec one. In the 20th century, many colonial buildings were demolished and modern structures raised on the existing historic foundations.

Esteban added: 'The Earthscraper digs down through the layers of cities to uncover our roots.'

Novelty: No other public building extends so far beneath the ground...

Technical: The building would be an extraordinary feat of engineering...

Today: The plaza, shown as it looks currently, would be transformed by the radical plan....

Hats off to this Amazing Engineering Technology....
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