Three are three bids to build the Sentosa Island ``Integrated Resort,'' a casino and extra stuff. Probably the least baffling is the bid from Banyan Tree Hotels, a Singaporean firm, along with Eighth Wonder. It's based on lots of hotel, shopping, and restaurant space, including a ``Starword W Hotel'', suggesting they expect a lot of cameos.
Kerzner-CapitaLand has something a bit baffling for an island in the Straits of Singapore: they call it ``Atlantis Sentosa.'' Besides some 90 meter-tall glass sculptures for the skyline it's to include a world's largest ten million gallon aquarium with a thousand species of coral, fish, whale sharks, ``the world's largest jellyfish exhibit'', and an eight-meter high submerged Aquadome. Divers would be allowed into the coral, or you could just walk through the preferably dry tunnel underneath. Emphasizing how close Singapore is to the Singularity, one attraction would be the ``Robotanical Gardens,'' featuring -- says Tobin Prior, President of their International Division -- ``robotic plants that will interact with people and some robotic creatures which will interact with people and have artificial intelligence -- it will just create a much more fun environment for people.'' I hope they're carefully programmed. It would be very unfortunate to have rampaging cyborg orchids chase down a German tourist. They've also signed up chef Gordon Ramsey, though I haven't heard of plans to make a robot of him.
Genting International, taking advantage of going last, proposes three water theme parks, a Universal Studios theme park (I wonder if they asked Universal Studios), a maritime museum including a ``multimedia experience'' simulating a shipwreck, ``water-coasters'', and another world's largest ``oceanarium''. It's to offer chances to be in a shark cage, and even be surrounded by sharks. There's also to be submerged restaurants and bars, presumably under plexiglass domes, so you can eat while evading the accusing eyes of still-living fish and whale sharks. The news said the Quest Marine Life Park would have bat rays, open ocean fish, and ``700,000 dolphins,'' which has to be someone getting silly. Where would you even get 700,000 dolphins? That's about one dolphin for every six people in Singapore.
Eighth Wonder has added to its bid the participation of French chef Alain Ducasse and an artificial island.
Trivia: John Young's ``Million Dollar Pier'', the post-1902 Atlantic City Boardwalk pier, included his marble mansion, with post office address ``No. 1, Atlantic Ocean, USA. '' Source: Boardwalk Empire, Nelson Johnson.
Currently Reading: Empire Express: Building The First Transcontinental Railroad, David Haward Bain.