austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Make a place for yourself here

The International Monetary Fund is going to be meeting in September. That's not by itself interesting, but what makes me pay attention is that it's going to be in Singapore, one of many big meetings of people much richer than me who are gathering in this and several other big events later this year in the attempt to eliminate every free hotel room in Singapore. The crunch is so bad that before the wedding visit I heard a plan floated to use empty Housing and Development Board flats as temporary hotel rooms.

It turns out there's the need for more than just bed space, though: Singapore doesn't have enough offices for the World Bank meetings. For this they're taking Suntec City, which is the combination shopping mall/office complex/convention center that's the source of about a quarter of all my entries here, and turning floor space into temporary offices. They're planning to build about a thousand within the next 45 days, using a thousand tons of steel and building double-decker temporary offices. I'm curious what they're going to do with them when they're done, but nobody seems to be mentioning that just yet. I'll have to watch for the human-interest pieces around September.

And in personal news, the Zoo is asking me to renew my membership. Since it expires at the end of the month, this is a good time to ask. The only disappointment is they no longer have the Wildlife Unlimited Gold level, which gives me free admissions to the Jurong Bird Park on top of the Zoo and Night Safari. That particularly irks me since I didn't use the pass to the Bird Park nearly enough, and making more regular visits was one of the things I meant to do. But I need to visit the Night Safari with my tripod sometime too, now that I can take long exposures that mean something. Plus my determination to see the capybaras is ... well, it's not reaching unreasonable levels. They are capybaras, after all. It's just the last several times I went I wanted particularly to see them, and forgot I had to buy a tram ride to get near them, and the repeated failures nag at me. You understand.

Trivia: On the last day of joint Apollo-Soyuz operations, while both were out of range of ground tracking, Thomas Stafford radioed Alexei Leonov to report they were working hard, as Vance Brand played a tape of women in a shower giggling. Source: We Have Capture, Thomas P Stafford, Michael Cassutt.

Currently Reading: Telephone: The First Hundred Years, John Brooks.

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