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WEEKLY WHINE

Stump Edvard on a tower

There are many tall buildings and towers around the world, and they are being built at a faster and faster pace. With all of these structures going up, it can be difficult to keep track of which structures are the world’s tallest.

Our very own “Dynamite Eating” Edvard van de Kamp has once again answered the call by responding to your questions about tall buildings and towers.


Dear Edvard: I recently heard about the Blackpool Tower for the first time. What is it, and why does Blackpool warrant a tower?

– Adam Miskelley
Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Dear Adam: The Blackpool Tower is a 158 m tower in Blackpool, a coastal city in Lancashire, England. Blackpool has been a popular resort town for more than a century; consequently, the tower was built in the early 1890s out of a combination of tourist money and a need for attention. Its design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower, then a new architectural wonder.


Dear Edvard: There are a lot of tall buildings and towers in the Middle East. Why is that?

– Buck Benley
Auburn, AL, USA

Dear Buck: They are built out of a combination of oil money and a need for attention.


Dear Edvard: I heard about a tall building in Moscow that has caught fire twice. Is it made of wood, or what?

– Joseph Hill
Miami, FL, USA

Dear Joseph: You are probably referring to the Ostankino Tower, 540 m tall. It is made of concrete.


Dear Edvard: Why do we have a spire in Dublin? It is unattractive and ruins the skyline. There must surely have been a reason.

– Erica Stanton
Dublin, Ireland

Dear Erica: It was built out of a combination of urban revitalisation and a need for attention.


Dear Edvard: I recently visited San Francisco, and I was excited to go to Coit Tower. However, when I got there, it turned out to be much smaller than I expected. It is only 64 metres high, dwarfed by the Transamerica Pyramid. Why is it so small?

– Maven King
Bronx, NY, USA

Dear Maven: It was built out of a combination of civic beautification and no need for attention. Besides, it is located on Telegraph Hill. It does not need to be overly tall.


Dear Edvard: Why is the Tower of London called a tower? It’s a castle.

– Richard Lawrence
Southampton, England, UK

Dear Richard: The British frequently misname things. For example, the word greengrocer is redundant; a grocer is, by definition, someone who sells greens. In this case, the Tower of London gets its name from the central keep that was built nearly a thousand years ago. The keep is known as the White Tower.


Dear Edvard: What is the difference between a building and a tower?

– Lena Park
Inchon, Korea Rep

Dear Lena: A tower is a tall structure. Like a building, a tower is self supporting [ie, no guy wires, or else it is a mast]. However, a building is primarily designed to be occupied. Towers will usually offer access, at a minimum for maintenance – particularly tall towers often have observation decks for tourists.


Dear Edvard: Then why is the Millennium Tower in Amsterdam called that? It’s an office building, not a tower.

– Greg Lain
El Paso, TX, USA

Dear Greg: Because we’re dumb.

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