Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, April 08, 2005

Why I Love America: Putting the "Wretched" into "Wretched Excess!"

I got back from a business meeting in Las Vegas last night. The meeting ended at 4:00PM, but our flight out wasn't until 8:00, so we had a bit of time to kill. Having nothing better to do (and I don't gamble) my associate and I decided to wander the strip, checking out the architecture of the different casinos, and, of course, the architecture of some of the pedestrian traffic as well. (Rrrrowwr!)

One of the casinos we visited was the Bellagio. Lots of interesting stuff to see, intricate detail work, marble mosaics, ceiling freizes, etc., but the thing that stopped me in my tracks was the Bellagio's Chocolate Fountain. Here's just a (metaphorical) taste:
Designed by award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Philippe Maury and Norwood and Antonia Oliver Design Associates, Inc., the fountain took a year and a half in planning and design. The result is a genius work of kinetic sculpture and a daring feat of engineering. Standing 27-feet tall, the masterpiece circulates more than 2,100 pounds of melted dark, milk and white chocolate at a rate of 120 quarts per minute.
I'm an industrial engineering type. I had to think about what my response would be if someone came to me and said "I need a system that will circulate three different types of heated liquid chocolate, with a net weight of 2,100 lbs, over a total vertical head of 27 feet at a rate of 120 quarts per minute, and it has to run 24/7/365."

Here's a picture of the fountain, at least the top 14 feet the visitors get to see:

Only in America!

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