Thursday, June 19, 2008

Building the Highest Tower in the World

I was just reading The Independent's article about the pending The Mile High Tower - 'to be built in a "mini city" near the Red Sea port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, [which] will be about 1,600 metres tall – seven times the height of the Canary Wharf tower in London Docklands, or four Empire State buildings on top of each other.'

The Mile High Tower is set to beat Burj Dubai, shown in the picture above, as the tallest building in the world.

It could just be the fact that I spend 10 years in a Methodist mission school - but the first thing that comes to my mind is the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel.

The article is interesting, because it states that we actually have the technology to build really high building - but often it's the money and the practicality of it that stops us.

It is just not practical to build a building too high. Imagine an elevator ride that takes 3 hours. It's like being stuck in traffic vertically. In fact, we are not meant to go too high:

There's also we frail humans to consider. If an express elevator – at speeds up to 25mph – went from the ground floor to the top, we could pass out due to changes in the air pressure.

Imagine telling this to your boss: "I am late for work because I passed out while taking the lift."

There is no logical explanation for wanting to build a tower that high - except the very human condition of egoism - because we can.

Once again, the story of the Tower of Babel comes to mind.


Carl V. Anderson said...

That is funny...the first thing I thought was Tower of Babel as well.

Jill said...

Have you read Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman? There's a story in there about a future in which rich people live really high up in crazy tall buildings because they age more slowly (the world turns more slowly up there, something like that - one of those bizarre physics things that makes your eyes cross) and the poor people crawl around at the lowest levels, aging rapidly. Kind of a creepy cool concept.

Anonymous said...

Hi...looks like a telescope! Books are a problem...have you thought about Bookmooch or Paperback Swap. Not all members will mail overseas, but I do and so do lots of's free and so convenient. Just post some books and get busy exchanging books! Pat

darkorpheus said...

Carl I guess this is the power of stories - and the Tower of Babel is a very strong image.

Darla Is that what Einstein's Dream is about? Why do I get the idea that Alan Lightman is an academic who writes academic fiction?

Pat Thanks, I am on Bookmooch - but I'll have no access to my books from Dubai - so I can't send books out anymore. Heh.

The problem is not with the buying of books - it's how to have access to books for free. *sigh*