Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Choisy-le-Roi Bridge

I saw an article about a new bridge in  Choisy-le-Roi, France that really caught my eye. 

New Bridge in Choisy - Jacques Ferrier Architectures © Jacques Ferrier Architectures / photo Luc Boegly

The bridge has a green infrastructure on either side that is wrapped in a perforated aluminum skin. The skin is pleated and gives the bridge a poetic beauty while still allowing the green infrastructure to be seen. This provides a very striking visual, especially at night when the inside of the cladding is lit up. It is designed by Jacques Ferrier Architectures.

See more info and pictures here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Working late, Energy Drinks

As an Architecture student, you spend a lot of night's working on projects, with little or no sleep. Well, tonight is no different for me. I'm working on s site analysis that is due tomorrow night for a project that is located in South Beach. It's hard to stay alert and focused throughout the night, so I often turn to things like energy drinks, coffee, and tea to keep me going.
One energy drink I really like is  "Rx Energy" by Arizona. It's a beige can with a black and white illustration of runners on the front. The front says: "An invigorating blend of green tea, tropical & citrus fruits, panax ginseng, eleuthero root, guarana, schisandra, and vitamins A, C & E." I like it because it doesn't have that metallic-cough syrup taste that most energy drinks have. Also, it's only 99 cents, which means I can get two large 23oz cans of it for less than it would cost to buy one 8oz can of Red Bull. Now, it definitely doesn't pack as much of a punch as Red Bull, but I'm fine with that.
Another thing I like is 5 Hour Energy. It definitely does its job of keeping me up for a while, but I don't use it much because I have a hard time bringing myself to pay $3 for a little 2oz shot. Sometimes I will just drink a glass of green tea if I don't need much of a boost.

Do you have any opinions on energy drinks or any favorite brands? If so, leave a comment!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review: New Sharpie Pen Grip and Liquid Pencil

Hello, today I would like to give a short review of Sharpie's new "Pen Grip" pen and "Liquid Pencil".

      I was wandering through Wal-Mart recently when I noticed a big Sharpie display with these two new items. The pen looked very attractive and boasted such claims as "won't bleed through paper" and "smudge resistant!" That got me a little excited so I decided to buy a pack. And as for the Liquid Pencil, who wouldn't be impressed by a "pencil" that writes like a pen but is erasable? Despite my painful experiences in the past with erasable pens, I decided to grab a pack of the Liquid Pencils as well. Both were $4.00 for a pack of two. Now on to the reviews...

      First, the Pen Grip. Some of you may be familiar with the original Sharpie Pen and the retractable version. Well now Sharpie has released a new pen with a few improvements over their previous releases. First of all, I have to admit that this is the first Sharpie pen I have ever owned, so I'm not very sure of how this one compares to the old ones. So, rather than comparing them and saying how this one has improved, I will just tell you what I think of the new pen.
      Like I said earlier, the pen is very stylish and it's attractive design was what first caught my eye. It has a very sleek shape and elegant colors. The midsection of the pen is black with very clean and minimal text. The end and cap are a light silver that match the color of the text. This is a great looking pen that anyone would be proud to hold, even if it does say Sharpie on it.
      Pull off the cap and you will find a nice grip about one and a half inch long. The grip feels nice between my fingers. It is firm, yet soft and very slip resistant, making it easy to hold. As for the actual writing, this pen lived up to or beyond my expectations. The ink flows dark and very smooth. Also, the pen lives up to the claims on the packaging of not bleeding through paper or smearing. Although on some papers you can see the writing on the back of the paper, the ink doesn't actually bleed through the paper, and you can still write on both sides of the paper and have no trouble reading either side. This is extremely convenient.
My verdict: Pretty damn good for a $2 pen.

      Now, the Liquid Pencil I wasn't so thrilled about. When I bought it and took it home, I was eager to see if I had found a viable replacement for erasable pens, which I have always hated. The ink was never very dark, and it smeared extremely easy. I was confident that the Liquid Pencil by Sharpie would be different. The design of the Liquid Pencil (LP) is nothing special. It looks like any regular disposable pen. No big deal. Aesthetics weren't supposed to be it's selling point anyway. It is retractable and has a grip similar to that of the Pen Grip.
      OK, let me just skip to the writing part. As I began testing it out of a piece of paper laying on my desk, I was disappointed to find that it didn't write very smoothly. The lines were inconsistent. Most of the time it didn't write very dark. It was erasable alright, but I discovered the "Liquid Graphite" could just as easily be wiped off the paper with your finger. Not very impressive. I would later on discover that the liquid graphite would flow a lot more smoothly if you held the pencil slightly more upright.
Final verdict: Not as good as I had hoped, but maybe with a little more use I will grow to appreciate it.


Well, that does it for my review. I hope you found it informative and helpful!

PS: Just found out the pens come if different colors! Awesome!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Visit to South Beach

Went to Miami Beach today to do some site analysis for my architectural design class. It was beautiful as always, even though it was unbearably hot. The assignment for the project is to design an observation tower for Lummus Park. Right in the middle of the Art Deco District, this is an interesting location