Jul 24, 2014

Fishy Company getting Celebrities ' Tanked ' for $Million dollar custom Aquarium !

It seems like there’s a TV channel for everything these days. There are even channels that show constant loops of sunsets, roaring fireplaces and fish tanks.

But what about the guys who make the fish tanks? Wayde King and Brett Raymer return Monday in Season Two of the reality series “Tanked” (Animal Planet, 8 p.m. ET). The 20-episode season follows the two brothers-in-law, former New Yorkers, as they build custom-made acrylic fish tanks for celebrity clients as well as average Joes who want to spice up their businesses or dens.

No idea seems too wild for Wayde and Brett, who moved to Las Vegas 15 years ago to follow their dream to build the world’s most outrageous fish tanks.

In Season Two, viewers will see the duo, along with King’s wife (and Raymer’s sister) Heather; and Brett and Heather’s father Irwin (a.k.a. “The General”) build a working pinball machine tank, a 2,500 litre headboard tank, a mobile school bus tank and a tank in the shape of the KISS band logo.

In Monday’s episode, Acrylic Tank Manufacturing has two weeks to create and install two very different projects: a natural water tank built right into a stainless steel refrigerator (complete with working water dispenser) and a five-and-a-half metre long, 7,500-litre shark tank for a dental office.

The brothers who run the appliance store where the refrigerator was installed (friends from Wayde and Brett’s old ‘hood) are looking to “reel the customers in.” That’s one of a dozen fish puns you’ll hear in just about every hour-long episode of the series.

Animal Planet didn’t have to reel in Wayde and Brett — they came to the network.

“People used to come into our office all the time and say, ‘You guys are such great characters,’” says Raymer. It took five years, but eventually Animal Planet was hooked and a deal was landed.

Exposure from the first season brought offers to do more and more outrageous fish tanks. The boys never divulge prices on “Tanked,” but Raymer admits the costs range from “a few thousand on up.”

The biggest single project they've tackled to date is a massive dolphin pool. They also did a tank for a church in Dallas that parishioners enter by walking under two fish-filled aquarium archways. The front panel is 19 centimeters thick, and it weighs more than 26,000 kilograms.

“They built the entire church around it,” says King. “You dream it, we can build it.”

The KISS logo tank got the seal of approval (there are those puns again) from Gene Simmons and other band members. Tracy Morgan from “30 Rock” also gets a shark tank this season on “Tanked.”

The company has built custom aquariums for several celebrities, including Steven Spielberg, Kobe Bryant, Dr. Dre, Chad Johnson and Jorge Posada.

“We’ve done Usher’s car for the MTV Music Awards,” says Raymer. “There are many hotels, many casinos, a variety of different celebrities.”

One of the trickiest tanks to build was the one inside a working pinball machine. Raymer says the fish are not disturbed by the noise and flashing lights. “Acrylic is usually thick and it’s a good insulator,” he says, “so it works well with aquariums.”

The company gets the fresh water and salt water fish, including manta rays and sharks, from “fish farms” that breed many species just for aquarium use. Besides the tanks themselves, the company also custom builds decorative goodies that go inside, including the milk jugs, peanut butter jars and pop tins (decorated with their own likenesses) that went into the refrigerator tank.

According to King, there’s only one thing the fish really don’t want to see inside the tanks: “fork and knife.”
Watch the exclusive interview at Bloomberg www.bloomberg.com

Jul 13, 2014

Raw emotion of technology, invention & endless future; Peugeot EX1.

Hundred percent electric Peugeot’s concept car reality is visually a striking two-seater roadster with a futuristic styling and an original architecture, designed to offer intense driving sensations as a celebration of the Marque’s 200th anniversary.

100% real The EX1 has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start. It owes its stunning performance to its streamlined aerodynamics, its ultra-light structure and its two electric motors, which give the car a cumulative maximum power of 250 kW (340 bhp) and four-wheel drive. As the preparations for the commercial launch of the iOn near completion, Peugeot demonstrates with the EX1 the exciting possibilities for electric power.

The powerful spirit of inventiveness is always present in Peugeot’s design offices and helps create an unceasing flow of ideas. The most daring, interesting and exciting of these ideas sometimes come together, to give the body and soul to an extreme dream car.

With the desire to unveil a stunning creation to celebrate Peugeot’s 200th anniversary, some of these exciting ideas quickly became associated with another ambition: that of highlighting the enormous possibilities offered by the use of electric power in the realm of creating new driving sensations. To this end, engineers and stylists explored the Marque’s history to find the most radical technical solutions to use as a basis to produce a futuristic performance car dedicated entirely to creating new driving sensations yet at the same time presenting responsible environmental credentials. The original architecture is reminiscent of previous charismatic concept cars like the Asphalte and 20 Cup, while also benefiting from all of the Marque’s historical expertise in the field of electric vehicles.

At a time when the electric motor once again becomes 100% real for Peugeot, with the i0n about to go on sale, the EX1 propels us into a new dimension of raw emotion.

The pure styling of this two-seater roadster is in keeping with its mechanical design, like a kind of “exoskeleton” highlighting the light-weight nature that guided the vehicle’s creation. The design of the body incorporates Peugeot’s new stylistic design codes, first seen on the SR1 concept car earlier this year, with its “floating” front grille and flowing contours. Polished aluminium components adorn the door surrounds in a reference to the RCZ and BB1.

Far from being a “classic” roadster, the EX1 concept car is based on an architecture shaped like a “water droplet”, with a rear section built around two closely set rear wheels. Based on the experience gained from creating the 1996 Asphalte concept car and the two 20Cup models from 2005. The chosen architecture of the EX1 has enabled the size of the passenger compartment to be reduced for optimal weight distribution and ensure that there is no extra weight at all in the overhangs.

The suspension employs a number of technical solutions that ensure road holding of a very high level. The front suspension consists of a drop link double wishbone arrangement. The rear suspension comprises of a single “swinging arm” linked to a centrally mounted shock absorb-er which is connected via a rocker arm to provide a variable damping rate. The monocoque body structure is manufactured from a carbon/honeycomb composite to optimize weight and rigidity. It also incorporates all of the mounting points for the car’s mechanical components.
Finally, the dimensions of the car (0.90 m high with a width of 1.77 m) contribute to overall efficiency, a lowering of the center of gravity and improved aerodynamics.

The electric motor is a potential source of new driving sensations thanks to its exceptional acceleration capabilities, but also because it is silent in operation and makes the car very easy to drive (no need for a gearbox). On the EX1 concept car, two electric motors are used, one on each axle, each with a peak output of 125 kW (250 kW / 340 bhp in total), and an immediately available constant maximum torque of 240 Nm at the front and rear.

This mechanical architecture allows not only the optimization of weight distribution, but also four wheel drive. This reflects the positional benefits of HYbrid4 technology, available as standard on the 3008 from 2011, featuring an HDi FAP diesel engine at the front and an electric motor at the rear.

The driver and passenger climb into the passenger compartment through a reverse-opening door, giving access to the two sports bucket seats. This unusual arrangement instantly immerses the occupants in a futuristic and sophisticated environment, as does the on-board instrumentation (instrument panel screens for each occupant showing in particular the vehicle’s instantaneous performance) and the chosen materials (e.g. “pure” metals and embossed leather).

The driver, seated at floor level in a driving position that helps enhances the sense of excitement (legs outstretched), drives the vehicle with two control handles, providing an experience similar to that of an aircraft pilot or. video game.

As well as the presence of harnesses inside the car, the occupants are also protected by the height of the carbon passenger cell, which has sufficient overhead clearance to include a roll-over protection bar. Similarly, the wind deflector, perfectly integrated in terms of style, allows the car to be driven on a daily basis without a helmet.

The EX1 concept car benefits from characteristics that give it a high enough level of performance not only to leave behind the city centre, the preferred territory of electric vehicles, but also to challenge acceleration records. Its lightness, weight distribution and aerodynamics, the torque and power of its two electric motors and its high-output lithium-ion battery are just some of the characteristics that make this a car capable of lightning acceleration: the latter can exceed 1 G of gravitational force.

Indeed the EX1 concept car has already broken the following international records (approved by the International Automobile Federation) for an electric-powered terrestrial vehicle.

This series of records was established, by Nicolas Vanier, the famous French explorer and film-maker (“The Last Trapper”, “Wolf”) who drove the EX1 concept car. Between now and the end of the year, China, the world’s largest car market, will be the setting for the EX1 to pursues other world records.
ref: www.topspeed.com

Jul 11, 2014

Harrods fixing the Perfume Counter - Clive Christian, Roja, Royal fragrance !

Your department store fragrance floor has a problem. There are simply too many people trying on too many scents for a customer to know what he's buying.

"Everyone just sprays the perfume around," says Emmanuelle Pages, a fragrance consultant based in Hamburg. "There's no way to neutralize each fragrance after it's been used, so there's no way for the customer to smell any one thing."

Then there’s the logistical muddle to get through: shoppers have to navigate makeup counters, deodorant displays, and bath and body products as they search for the perfect scent.

It's not so bad if you're looking for an established perfume like Chanel no. 5 or the ubiquitous Odeur 53 from Comme de Garcons: you know where to find it, and what it smells like -- you've smelled it a million times before.

But you're out of luck if you want something more unique, which, lately, is exactly what people seem to be after. "There used to be independent perfumeries where you'd buy upscale perfumes, and retailers would carry mainstream fragrances," says Marian Bendeth, a fragrance consultant based in Toronto. "Since around 2000, retailers began to take on brands that are more niche, more upscale, and more expensive."

That means that people in the market for something special have to take the time, and have the olfactory space, to figure out if they actually like the new thing that they’re smelling. And that brings us back to the perfume counter problem, and what the British department store Harrods is doing to fix it.

Alcove Appeal          
First, they're pulling their best perfumes from the makeup-oriented beauty hall altogether. Then they're building a separate, "Salon de Parfums" on their sixth floor, where buyers will be able to wander through hushed marble halls and sample perfumes from 11 stores, each in its own alcove. (Brands include Roja Dove, the celebrated bespoke perfumer, and Clive Christian, who has "the world's most expensive perfume" written on his bottles.) The 5,090 square foot space will have neutral colored walls, crystal chandeliers, and a domed glass ceiling.

In a sense, Harrods is playing catch-up. Frederic Malle, the famed French perfumer, has special"smelling columns" (which look eerily similar to money-blowing machines) where shoppers can test each scent in a totally neutral space. Le Labo has glass domes over their candles, so that patrons can uncover them to breathe in an unadulterated scent. So Harrod's (or any store trying to sell "the world's most expensive perfume") probably wants to differentiate that perfume’s pricey scent from notes of CK One wafting by from an adjacent counter. The alcove structure in Harrods’ new space will go some way to preventing scent pollution.

It’s somewhat surprising that Harrod's seems to be the first big department store in the UK to make the change -- in fact, the only other department store with a similar layout is Printemps in Paris, who shifted their strategy three years ago. "I can't think of a single German department store with an isolated perfume section," say Pages. Similarly, Bergdorf’s and Bloomingdales in the US seem stuck on the cavernous, one-scent-fits-all beauty hall.

Bendeth welcomes the change. "It's the difference between hearing music at lunch in a crowded restaurant, and listening on your headphones at home," she says. "It lets you connect, truly connect, to the scent."

Fabergé reaffirms Royal ties through Canadian exhibit !

Fabergé egg on display at the Montreal Museum of Art
Russian jeweler Fabergé’s connection to royalty is the subject of an exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada.

“Fabulous Fabergé, Jeweler to the Czars” will show off 240 objects from the house, including four eggs commissioned by the Romanovs. This is the first Fabergé exhibit ever in Canada, which will educate a new audience on the brand’s history.

Royal relations
The pieces on display are on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA, which boasts the largest Fabergé collection outside of Russia.

Fabergé rose in prominence as a house largely due to the czar lifestyle and was associated with the last of the imperial rulers in Russia.

Miniature paintings in an opened Fabergé pink gold Easter egg

The exhibit centers on house founder Carl Fabergé’s work for the czars, including its craftsmanship and the jeweler’s popularity with the demanding audience.

One gallery highlights the Easter egg tradition among the royal family, while another showcases the jeweler’s creations featuring imagery of the rulers. Another details the process behind making Fabergé pieces, using imitators’ objects to show the difference and competition among the different luxury houses.

Fabergé egg and surprise inside

The fourth space is dedicated to the place Fabergé played in the daily lives of the royal family.
To coincide with the exhibit, the museum, along with French magazine L’Objet d’art, has created a special edition of its publication that is available for sale in both English and French. This includes images of the important works in the collection and an interview with Dr. Géza Von Habsburg, Fabergé’s curatorial director.

The exhibit opened June 14, and will run through Oct. 5. ref: www.luxurydaily.com

Jul 5, 2014

Brazil loses Neymar's aura, but STILL can WIN it all !

Brazilian star Neymar is fouled by Colombia's Camilo Zuniga late in the quarter-final match Friday in Fortaleza. (Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters)

No player is bigger than the team. No individual can do it alone. Cliched, I accept, but nonetheless an undeniable truth.

The loss of Neymar for the remainder of the World Cup, however, is a crushing blow to Brazil.

It is more than just his goals. It is about his very presence on the field of play and the resultant ability to intimidate opponents. At the age of just 22, Neymar has become the talisman of the team and principally on his young shoulders lie the hopes and dreams of an entire nation.

Unbearable pressure for most of us. Not for Neymar, who embraces the expectation, rides upon it and genuinely enjoys delivering a consistent level of Grade A performances. His final act at this World Cup was not to score but to set up his captain for a crucial early goal which engaged the massed ranks of Brazilian fans.

The positive start against Colombia was pivotal. The hosts, roared on by a capacity crowd and millions more across the vast country, were too strong, too quick and too hungry to allow their opponent to gain any sort of foothold. Colombia upped its game after the late penalty but time was always the enemy.

Injuries are part of the game. Neymar’s nimbleness and agility usually keeps him out of danger but there is nothing a player can do when he doesn’t see it coming. The knee of Juan Zuniga in Neymar’s back was clumsy rather than reckless but the contact, in the lower spine, fractured a vertebra.

Neymar will recover — just not quickly enough for Brazil. Gone for the remainder of the World Cup are his goals, assists, set-pieces, link up play and his penchant for giving opposing defenders heart palpitations. Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has no choice but to take it on the chin, but he going to need a Plan B.

Neymar during the airlift by the chopper after injury at Fortaleza, and then at the Hospital.

There is only one burning question: Can Brazil win the World Cup without Neymar?

The answer is simple. Of course Brazil can but it would be naive to suggest Brazil’s inspirational No. 10 can be simply replaced off the bench. There are no passengers on Brazil’s World Cup squad, but none of them possess Neymar’s aura which sends a defiant message across the tunnel before a ball is even kicked.

Scolari has offensive options — Willian or Bernard will likely get the call for Tuesday’s semifinal against Germany. Both could fill the tactical void left by Neymar but they are mighty big boots to fill and the Germans know it.

Of equal concern is the loss of Thiago Silva. The Brazilian captain will only be a spectator in Belo Horizonte after picking up a needless yellow card during the quarter final win. The absence of both Silva and Neymar against the powerful Germans does not bode well.

Yet this remains Brazil’s World Cup to lose. There is no time for self pity or sentiment despite the premature end of Neymar’s tournament. His team-mates now need to buckle down, refocus and go and win it for him, and an expectant nation.

A very heart warming and a great article to the fans by Nigel Reed, at CBC Sports.
ref: www.cbc.ca

Jul 1, 2014

Luxury Balloon into Space for a pretty penny of 100k, estimated !


Soon, it will be possible to buy a ticket to the Earth’s atmosphere. The space tourism industry is set to take off: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne launches next year; Elon Musk’s SpaceX program is ramping up funding. Lesser known but in the running is World View, a luxury flight capsule that, in an estimated four years, will start taking travelers on five-hour tours through our Earth’s atmosphere.

World View was born out of Paragon Space Development Corporation, an Arizona-based company that specializes in life support infrastructure for extreme environments and wants to take civilians to near space. It’s an unprecedented move, so when Paragon approached British studio Priestmangoode about the design, it practically came with carte blanche. For their part, Priestmangoode specializes in transportation design. They’ve outfitted Thai Airways, Malaysia Airways, and Virgin with new first class cabins, and created a concept for a high speed rail. All those modes of transportation, however, are designed to get people from point A to point B as quickly and comfortably as possible. That’s not true for space travel.


“You’re going 100,000 feet above the earth’s surface,” says Nigel Goode, director of Priestmangoode. “You’re seeing the curvature of earth, the blackness of space. It’s such a life-changing experience. This is what it’s all about.” As Goode sees it, the World View trips would begin before dusk. The large balloon that powers the capsule needs about an hour and half to get to 100,000 feet. After that, World View can drift into orbit for a few hours. A spectacle like that is its own special kind of luxury, so Goode and his team built the spacecraft around four circular windows, each of which would allow two of the six passengers (and the two crew members) a front row seat to near space.

Plans for the interiors are still in the idea phase, but Goode says they’ll also be designed with luxury top of the mind. Like aircraft interiors, World View’s seats need to be as lightweight as possible—even a few pounds can add up to thousands in fuel costs—so carbon fiber and ultra thin leather padding are materials candidates. The similarities might stop there: With air travel, designers are trying to make passengers forget that they’re in a metal tube. With World View, Goode doesn’t want them to forget it. “It’s got to look as though you’re traveling to space,” he says. “Every element is so the passenger feels like one of the chosen few, sitting in an environment that won’t be familiar for them.” (That said, they’d like to dispel of any cheesy futurism: “Obviously if you ask people what they expect it to be, it’s like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey,” Goode says.) There will be a bar, a snack area, and a bathroom. Pairs of seats will face the four windows, but six will need to swivel: Goode wants everyone to face the direction of travel during take off and landing.


As much as Goode wants to create the right design language for a new kind of luxury, he also needs to design for repetition: Paragon will eventually launch several World Views, each available for both tourism and professional research. The price won’t be set until the capsule nears completion, but Goode guesses Paragon will endeavor to keep it under $100,000—a pretty penny, to be sure, but a bargain compared to the $200,000 trips on SpaceShipOne.