The ginormous fountain in Fountain Hills.
We were driving through the desert yesterday when I spotted something odd, several miles away. "What the hell is that?"
But Anikó couldn't tell what it was, either. A massive white column appeared to be planted in the middle of nowhere. As we drew closer, it became apparent that the column was made out of water.
Water? Taller than a 50-story building?
Soon, we could see that it was located in the small town of Fountain Hills, so we turned off the desert highway, and started to search. Not an easy task. Despite the fountain's great height, it kept dropping out of sight. Turns out there are *hills* in Fountain Hills. Who knew?
Gradually, we began to wind our way through houses and shops that were set into hillsides. Every now and then, we could catch a tantalizing glimpse of the fountain.
We finally reached Fountain Park (satellite photo/map) and got out of our car. The enormous column of water was truly amazing. It shot up, like a water cannon, from the middle of a 28-acre man-made lake.
It soon became clear that this was the weekend of Fountain Hills' Great Fair, so we walked around, soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the gigantic fountain. Later, I did some research:
At 560 feet, this fountain is higher than the Washington Monument, 105 feet taller than Egypt's Great Pyramid, and three times as high as the Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser.
It was built by Robert P. McCulloch (the same guy who reconstructed the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona), created to attract tourists and potential property buyers. The fountain first went into operation on December 15, 1970. It was the world's tallest at that time, and held the record for more than a decade.
Today, it's the focal point for community celebrations. During the Great Fair, hot air balloons drift over its lake. On St. Patrick's Day, it turns green.
The fountain is powered by three 500 HP pumps that force 70,000 gallons per minute of reclaimed water through an 18-inch nozzle specially designed and built by Switzerland’s Institute of Hydraulic Research. The plume rises from a concrete water-lily sculpture planted in the lake. Supposedly, the fountain spouts water for approximately 15 minutes every hour.
At night the fountain is lighted, and becomes a jet of gold and white. Golden spotlights situated at the base of the spray send glowing illumination up the first 300 feet. Then, a contrasting silver-white light emanates from the upper portion, provided by powerful mercury vapor lamps along the lakeshore.
This photo and these movies don't begin to do it justice. Go. See for yourself. You have to experience this wonder with your own eyes.
New Work at Locus Novus.
Locus Novus is an animated website devoted to exploring the frontiers of electronic literature and online art. This brainchild of Faruk Ulay (who authored Beneath the Shadow of Perpetual Defeat and Terra Infirma) is truly a "synthesis of text and image/motion/sound."
As before, an eMail (below) just appeared in my Inbox... so it's another great day!
--- Original Message ---
Greetings from Locus Novus,
Just a quick message to let you know that the site has been updated with two new works:
-- "Recipe For Disintegration. Serves 4" by Orlo Yeahblip
-- "TetherWorld" by Shelly Rae Rich
Rainy Day encore.
The Saatchi Gallery in London is holding a Showdown competition, and I recently entered my Picasso/Dylan hommage drawing. You can vote here for "Rainy Day Femmes #12 & 35" between March 9th and March 16th. 10 stars would be nice. ;-)
(To view the drawing before March 9th, try this link.)
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GM Desert Proving Ground.
We drove past General Motors' Desert Proving Ground yesterday. It's only 15 miles from our house. Top secret: chain-link fence, barbed wire, huge embankments. Weird place.
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My old NBC Page buddy Bob Beuth got some nice exposure (and a flying tackle) last Sunday, during the Super Bowl:
And here he is again, in another commercial from the same series, circa 2007.
I'm a little sad that Congress has delayed Digital TV Transition Day from February 17 to June 12. I was getting psyched for the fireworks, barbecues and beer-guzzling. Plus, I've already passed my certification test (with a score of 92%!) as a DTV Deputy...