Megacities and Time

11:26 pm PHT

I just watched the majority of two episodes of National Geographic’s Megacities Week, which explores the underlying vital infrastructure that powers or protects eight cities in the world. The two episodes I caught dealt with the power and electricity demands of Las Vegas in the United States, and the defense systems and engineering safety that built Mexico City in the wake of the devastating 1985 earthquake.

The thing about this series that impressed me the most was the frequent 3D renderings of the cities in focus. You get a moving shot of the city that is then paused, then a red 3D overlay of the buildings and monuments and terrain gradually covers the screen, before the rendering animates by mostly panning, or in the case of Mexico City, earthquake simulation.

Highlights of the two episodes include the interesting discussion of the North American power grid and the power distribution system of Las Vegas (something I could relate to since I took up 3 units of power systems in college), and the engineering feat of the 55-story Torre Mayor, the tallest building in Mexico, built to withstand an 8.5 magnitude earthquake.

I missed watching these kinds of shows. Ever since I started working, the time spent watching TV shows dropped significantly. Watching the Megacities shows only made me realize more that there really is never enough time to experience everything you want to experience and to do everything you wanted to do. That’s one thing I miss about college: the tons of free time you wasted doing nothing when you should be doing your homework or projects for your classes.

It seems that I have a new goal in life: to retire early. Retiring early will definitely make up for the lost time spent living in the rat race.

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On 1:43 a.m., 30 Sep 2005, TheCoffee wrote:

Hey, I was watching that too! I saw both those episodes you mentioned. The episode about Mumbai is nice, because watching it didn’t make me feel sorry for the Philippines.  :p And those 3D renderings were amazing… I would really really like to know how they did that without 3D modellers laboring for huge amounts of time. They even had 3D models for the different segments of that building in Hong Kong, and they animated it being constructed and deconstructed. o_o

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