Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Seven Wonders of the World


One of my colleagues just got back from Rio de Janeiro where he visited one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It got me thinking about the others that were recently voted in. It's not a bad list but I think the Eiffel Tower and Stonehenge should have been on the list instead of Christ the Redeemer and the Colosseum.

And what about this? When it's finished it will be one of the most impressive structures that humans have ever made—especially when you consider the location. A somewhat greater challenge than Macchu Picchu, don't you think?

The international space station may turn out to be not very useful but then the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, and Christ the Redeemer weren't very useful either.


  1. The international space station may turn out to be not very useful

    On the contrary, they did that golf shot, and I think there was a marriage ceremony as well..and, erm.. See! Very useful and well worth $130 billion of public money.

    They are also learning a lot about how to prevent a huge metal structure from breaking up whilst in low Earth orbit, so I'd say money well spent.

  2. The Great Wall of China wasn't very useful? Tell that to the northern barbarians~

  3. -who conquered China despite it? ;) (Albeit by use of bribery to have a gate opened to them.)

  4. When it's finished

    Better say "if," not "when."

    Anyway, Skylab Three is hardly an impressive feat in my book. We were building things like that thirty years ago. When we have giant spinner space stations acting as transshipment points between Earth and our Lunar colonies ... when we have orbiting dockyards building deepspace starships for the first large-scale explorations of the Asteroids and Jupiter and Saturn ... then I'll be as impressed with the space program as I am with the Egyptians who built the Pyramids with hand tools and pencil-and-paper mathematics, four thousand five hundred years ago.

  5. I'm not pleased with the Rio statue or Colosseum either, even if I have visited both. (I didn't vote for them.)

    I would rather have the Barrier reef listed. (Must it be a man-made construct? So anthropocentric.)

    The space stations are expensive but have taught nations to work together. (And specifically on such details as standardized coupling hatches.) But so can an international sport festivity.

    They also not last long after US tires to pay for the required pushes to prevent de-orbit, see the previous ones fates. (Okay, so Macchu Picchu may also slid down the mountain shortly. But here people have a genuine interest of long-time preservation.) So while I like the idea in principle, I don't think they fit comfortably on the list.

  6. What about the Internet? But then how do you picture that on a postcard?

  7. So then are you folks OK with the Taj Mahal? A monument to the vanity and cruelty of a medieval tyrant Shah Jahan, whose wife died after conceiving 17 times in about 10 years. The Great Wall of China at one time 'employed' a fifth of the country's population, and cost over 2/3ds of the nation's revenue. Pol Pot even would balk at extracting such tribute. Of all the architectural wonders that shd have made it, the eiffel is the only one in recent times where workers must have been employed of their own free will and paid a semblance of decent wages. The real wonders of our time is all that research that has brought us greater life expectancy, that is twice as much as humanity has ever experienced but during the last 100 years. Our modern architectural wonders, bridges, tunnels, highways, and buildings have all made life easier for millions rather than stoking the vanity of a few despots.