Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sydney Opera House

I took a tour of the Sydney Opera House. Quite possibly the most recognizable building in the world, as you probably know. Here's some tidbits you probably don't know:
-The walkway between the sets of sails is called "Hurricane Alley" by the staffers, but is officially called "The Cleavage."
-The sails are derived from sections of the most perfect of Platonic Solids, the sphere. (This discovery made me very happy.)
-The architect of the Opera House (Jorn Utzon) turns 90 next year, but he has never walked through the finished building. During the construction, tensions reached the point that he was expelled from the project, never to return. Utzon was reconcilled eventually, but he's too old to travel. That, however, is not going to stop the Opera House from hosting a birthday party for him as a fund raiser for some renovations.
-There are seats in the Opera Theatre that have no view of the stage, and the wings of the stage are practically non-existent. Incidentally, the Opera Theatre is at the top of the Needs Renovations list.

I do have some photos of the interior, but I wasn't allowed to photograph within the different theatres. Alas, there were some awesome photo-ops. I also got to sit where Prince Albert sits in Concert Hall. Sooner or later, I shall take a look into attending an opera or something at the House.

Now, photos!

Sydney Opera House in 3-D (try full view, and cross your eyes)

Opera House in 2-D

Opera House at night

The Cleavage

Platonic Solids!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Aristotle's Sieve?

"#6: Why is it that when the sun passes through quadri-laterals, as for instance in wickerwork, it does not produce a figure rectangular in shape but circular?

"#11: Why is it that an eclipse of the sun, if one looks at it through a sieve or through leaves, such as a plane tree or other broad-leaved tree, or if one joins the fingers of one hand over the fingers of the other, the rays are crescent shaped when they reach the earth. Is it for the same reason as that when light shines throuhg a rectangular peep-hole, it appears circular in the form of a cone?"

Aristotle, Questions (Book XV)