Vancouver, City of Concrete and Glass

Shangri-La Vancouver

Living Shangri-La (first in North America)

Shot through my damp windshield as we drove through downtown Vancouver on a rainy and rather dreary (but not snowy, thank goodness) Thursday, January 2, 2014.

At 1128 West Georgia Street, we passed the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, which, at 659 feet or 62 storeys1, is currently the tallest skyscraper in Vancouver. To think that, less than 20 years ago, The Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel, with its revolving private event space3 at the top, was one of the most identifiable buildings by the harbour! (It has since been eclipsed by not one, by two convention centres — Canada Place and Vancouver Convention Centre, and most recently, the Fairmont Vancouver Waterfront).

I always feel a sense of claustrophobia and imbalance with the dizzying infinities that buildings of this height seem to convey.

Apparently we are to get two more monoliths this year: Trump Tower/Vancouver’s Turn (617 ft) and Telus Gardens (577 ft)2. Is Vancouver becoming the Manhattan of the West Coast, or what?

Source Credits:

1 Living Shangri-La (
List of tallest buildings in Vancouver (
Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside (

My 2013 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog (which was technically revived in June).¬†This stats junky thanks those stat helper monkeys! ūüôā

My 2013 in Review

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ender’s Game Reviewed

Ender's Game poster

(photo credit: Lionsgate Entertainment)

Having read the novel of the same name many years ago, I was interested to see how closely the movie paralleled Scott Orson Card’s Nebula- and Hugo-award winning literary piece. Although allegories may be drawn between The Matrix’s Neo (the concept of a chosen one) and Starship Troopers¬†(for the opening scene maneuvers in space)¬†with this movie, bear in mind that¬†Ender’s Game–which is¬†hardcore science fiction–was written decades before The Matrix or¬†Starship Troopers¬†debuted on the silver screen.

Violence, child soldiers, and bullying (in the military) are predominant themes of Ender’s Game. Ender is bullied constantly, whether he is in the simulations or outside of them. Just about every waking moment sees him in a battle of some kind: physical, emotional, psychological. Even when he accesses a forbidden computer game, he is quickly enmeshed in conflict with someone — or something else.¬† Continue reading