9 Vegas Hotel Implosions

It’s said that Vegas is a place that hates to dwell on its history and nowhere is that more evident than on the Strip. Hotels that would be considered historic in other cities are imploded faster than it takes you to say “Sinatra” to make room for the latest megaresorts. And in true Las Vegas fashion, even the implosions of a hallowed landmark is cause for a celebration. I’ve compiled nine videos from YouTube of implosions on the Strip.

9. Castaways

Castaways was known mostly as a locals casino and claimed to have the “largest bowling alley in the world” with 106 lanes. Unfortunately that tagline wasn’t enough to keep the hotel out of bankruptcy and it was imploded in the early morning of January 11, 2006.

8. The Hacienda

December 31, 1996 brought upon the demise of the Hacienda to make room for Mandalay Bay. The Hacienda was built in 1956 at the south end of the Strip which made it a bit too far from the action that the hotels in the center and north end of the Strip were receiving. That changed in the mid 90s with the arrival of Luxor and Excalibur and the land beneath the Hacienda became too valuable for a hotel with a mere 500 rooms.

7. The Aladdin

The Aladdin was imploded in 1998 after a sordid history to make room for, umm, The Aladdin. It’s the only time in Vegas’ history where a hotel was demolished and rebuilt under the same name. Keeping the name may not have been such a good idea since the new Aladdin had similar problems that the old Aladdin had and was bought by Planet Hollywood and rebranded in 2006.

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The Worst Jobs in Science

From PopSci. I’ll give you the first one on the list:

10. Orangutan-Pee Collector
Their work is noninvasive—for the apes, that is . . .

“Have I been pissed on? Yes,” says anthropologist Cheryl Knott of Harvard University. Knott is a pioneer of “noninvasive monitoring of steroids through urine sampling.” Translation: Look out below! For the past 11 years, Knott and her colleagues have trekked into Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo, Indonesia, in search of the endangered primates. Once a subject is spotted, they deploy plastic sheets like a firemen’s rescue trampoline and wait for the tree-swinging apes to go see a man about a mule. For more pee-catching precision, they attach bags to poles and follow beneath the animals. “It’s kind of gross when you get hit, but this is the best way to figure out what’s going on in their bodies,” Knott says.

Knott analyzes fertility through estrogen and progesterone levels, and weight gain or loss through ketone measurements. DNA is extracted from the orangu-dookie, and stress levels can be measured by cortisol in the urine. The goal is to understand great-ape reproduction, and because of her unique urine-collection method, Knott isn’t limited to visual observations, as previous researchers have been. She has documented, for example, that female orangutans’ reproductive-hormone levels surge during periods when they are eating more. That timing is critical for the apes, which reproduce only around every eight years. It’s also highlighted how vulnerable the animals are to extinction, and that’s why, when she’s not sampling urine, Knott is working to conserve the rain forest.

(via Digg)

Watcha Reading?

I can’t seem to read just one book at a time. Part of the reason is that I’m stuck in a train for about 2 hours a day and I try to pack a variety of books to suit my mood for that particular day. Sometimes I want a book of short stories while other times I just want to immerse myself in a long novel. These are the books I have in my bag at the moment that I have started to read.

The Philip K. Dick Reader. This is a collection of his more famous short stories such as “The Minority Report”, “We can remember it for you wholesale”, and “Second Variety”.

The Ivory Coast
by Charles Fleming. The characters and plot take a backseat to the setting which is in Vegas during the 1950s. It’s just good enough to keep me reading but not good enough to keep my sole attention.

The Black House by Patricia Highsmith. Another collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors. I’ve read most of her novels but hadn’t read any of her short stories and found this book in the used section of the Harvard Bookstore and couldn’t resist. The first two short stories I’ve read are every bit as dark as her novels.

The Civil War: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Vol I by Shelby Foote. Foote’s Civil War series has been collecting dust on my bookshelves for too long. After I posted that civil war in 4 minutes video a few weeks ago I decided it was time to start delving into that ocean of pages. It’s a wonderful read if not taxing at times (not something to read when you’re on your way home from a long day) and weighs more than everything else in my bag but I’m hooked now and have no choice. (I’ve got a bad feeling about this McClellan character!)

Ok Cynics! Let’s hear about what you’re reading at the moment.


Crap, I forgot I was also reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I really have to learn how to finish a novel before picking up another one…

Left Lane Drivers Unite

Left lane drivers are mad as hell and are not going to take this anymore.

We invite you to join Left Lane Drivers of America, a growing, grassroots effort to reclaim the Left Lanes on our freeways and multiple lane highways. To do this, those of us who are genuine “Left Lane drivers” are politely but firmly reminding others what the Left Lane is for. We are doing this with the copyrighted ™ Windshield Decal (which also serves as the Trademarked Logo for LeftLaneDrivers.org). This not-so-subtle reminder reads correctly when seen through a rearview mirror (see above), making slower drivers in front of you more aware of the need to leave the Left Lane open to faster moving traffic.

The U.S. County That Doesn’t Allow Children

On the island of Molokai:

Kalawao County can be reached by sea or by mule train but if you intend to visit, leave your children behind. State law prohibits anyone under sixteen from living in or visiting the second least populated county in America.

Kalawao County is Kalaupapa Peninsula, on the north coast of the island of Moloka’i. The small peninsula of Kalaupapa is isolated from the rest of Moloka’i by sea cliffs over a quarter-mile high — the only land access is a mule trail.


Wikipedia’s entry for Kalawao County.