Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

What It Looks Like to Base Jump From the Burj Khalifa, the World’s Tallest Building (Video)

“We don’t like to scare ourselves- that’s not the goal. People think you base jump because you are crazy or you like to get scared…but, I mean, we like to fly, you know? We like to have fun.”

From the video description on YouTube:

“Skydive Dubai sponsored Soul Flyers World Champions Vince Reffet and Fred Fugen break a new World Record by BASE jumping from above the pinnacle of the World’s Tallest Building.”

The Burj Khalifa is over 2,700 feet tall.

The Burj Khalifa will soon be replaced by Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia.

Move Over Dubai! Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower Will Dwarf the Burj Khalifa By Over 500 Feet

Next week, Saudi Arabia will begin work on a new skyscraper in the city of Jeddah. When completed, the Kingdom Tower will be the world’s tallest building by far at 3,280 feet (that’s a full kilometer, by the way).The Burj Khalifa is the current record-holder at 2,716 feet (827m).

Click image to enlarge

Kingdom Tower will have 200 floors and will require 5.7 million cubic feet of concrete and 80,000 tons of steel for construction. Because of it s size, it foundation will have to be sunk a full 200 feet underground. The price tag for all this: $1.23 billion.

Check out some concept images of the Kingdom Tower (click an image to enlarge):

The consultants for the building, Advanced Construction Technology Services, had a couple of issues to figure out for the massive building. First, it’s going to be near the coast, so they’ve had to test out different concretes to find one that’s unaffected by the saltwater.

Also, with a building of that size, you have to worry about strong winds. Here’s Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gorgon Gill Architecture, the architecture firm who designed the building, explaining how they dealt with that:

“Because [the building] changes shape every few floors, the wind loads go round the building and won’t be as extreme as on a really solid block.”

The Kingdom Tower might just be the tip of the iceberg. Sang Dae Kim, the director of the Council on Tall Buildings, thinks we might be able to build even higher:

“At this point in time we can build a tower that is one kilometer, maybe two kilometers. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework,”

he told Construction Weekly in an interview recently. Read more from CNN here.

Saudis Offer Secret Oil Deal to Russia in Exchange for Dropping Syria

Recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin had a closed-door meeting with Prince Bandar, the head of Saudi intelligence. Leaked transcript’s reveal that Bandar offered Putin a Russia-OPEC alliance if Putin drops his backing of Syria.

OPEC (Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries) is an economic alliance between a number of the biggest oil producing countries in the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest player in OPEC, producing 8.8 million barrels per day, more than any other country in the world.

OPEC Members (from wikipedia). Click to enlarge.
OPEC Members (from wikipedia). Click to enlarge.

If the oil deal between Russia and OPEC were to succeed, the two entities would control 45% of global oil production. Prince Bandar also told Putin that Saudi Arabia would ensure the safety of Russia’s Syrian ports after the fall of Assad.

But maybe the most interesting part of this story is that Bandar claimed the Chechen terrorist groups responsible for two recent suicide attacks in Volgograd are under Saudi control:

I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

Putin turned the offer down, however, saying,

Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters,”

referring to a video showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a fallen Syrian soldier. In response, Prince Bandar warned Putin that there would be, “no escape from the military option” if the alliance was refused.

Read the full story here.

Amazing Nature: Fruit Fly Evolved With Images of Ants on Its Wings

Meet the Goniurellia tridens fruit fly. Over time, the species evolved to have extremely realistic and anatomically correct (6 legs, 2 antenna) images of ants on its wings. Although some scientists think it is purely coincidental, many think it is used for protection (the fly moves the “ants” on its wings to distract predators when threatened) and some even think it is used to attract a mate. No matter what the true purpose, I think we can all agree this fly is pretty amazing. Here’s a few more pictures: