Saturday, 10 October 2009

Looking Back - Millenium Wheel Edges Upwards

On this day in 1999, thousands assembled to watch a giant Ferris wheel move into position as the new landmark on the London skyline.
The engineering feat took all weekend. The wheel finally standing some 400ft (125m) high, surpassing the Big Ben clock tower and St Paul's Cathedral. But in our picture it still had some way to go leaning at 65 degrees above the River Thames. One sceptical observer said: "It looks like a large bicycle wheel with spokes, I assume it works all right but it looks highly dangerous to me - I'm not going on it!" Others came to marvel at the complex engineering operation. Others came to capture a fast changing London landscape with their easels and sketchbooks.
Hoisted by cables and cranes, the£20 million, 1700 metric tonne steel construction moved towards its upright position at the speed of 3.5 metres per hour.
Under the media spotlight a month before, the first attempt to crank up the structure off the ground failed when one of a series of sockets holding high-tension cables to the wheel's rim suddenly slipped. Now the sockets have been redesigned, 6.5 kilometres of high-tension cable have been attached to the wheel's 80 spokes to help haul it in position.
The wheel would be in its vertical position by the following week and developers promised it would be ready to take its first visitors by New Year's Eve.
Officially the Millennium Wheel was given a five year lifespan, but Paul Baxter, the project manager, thought it would last much longer. "The Eiffel Tower was initially there just the Paris exhibition." he said.
The Millennium Wheel's designers and developers are hoping the London attraction will achieve similar immortality.
The Millennium Wheel, to become better known as the London Eye, stands 135 metres high on the south Bank of London between Waterloo Station and Westminster Bridge. The attraction has had an average of 10,000 visitors per day. It takes around 30 minutes for the wheel to do one revolution. Visitors hop on and off each of the 32 capsules as the wheel continues to move.

To watch the giant Ferris wheel become the latest landmark on the London skyline, click on the BBC video link below and hear Emma Simpson's report:

Inner Peace

Inner Peace
If you can start the day without caffeine.

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains.

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you time.

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment.

If you can conquer tension without medical help.

If you can relax without liquor.

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs.


And you thought I was going to get all spiritual!!!!!!

Thought For Today

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
Robert Service

Real Meaning Of Words


Today's Smile

A pastor's wife was preparing pancakes for her young sons. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake . The mother saw an opportunity for a moral lesson. If Jesus was sitting here, He would say, "Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait." The oldest boy turned to his younger brother and said, "You be Jesus."