Thursday, September 30, 2010

Burnin' Up in Vegas

Las Vegas area death ray
     Burnin' up in Vegas, indeed.  No, not me.  I am not out there on a gambling hot streak, Company.  But some people, and some things, have been burning up in the desert heat.  Specifically, some guests and bags at the Vdara hotel in Las Vegas, home to what employees are calling the "death ray."
     That's right, Company, come one, come all to America's Playground, where you can drink, gamble, carouse, and eat $5 lobster until you puke, all in one convenient location.  And, if you stay at the Vdara and attempt to use the pool, you can burn your ass too.  The unique combination of the shape of the building - sort of a gracefully curving arch - and the heavily glassed façade have turned the building into a bit of a concave mirror, which focuses the hot Nevada sun directly down into the pool area below.
    Uh oh.  Some people have been burned.  Some plastic bags have melted in the so-called "death ray."  One would think, that as highly trained and very well compensated architects and engineers, the people who designed and built this building would have anticipated this sort of thing happening.  Well, they did.  And so what they did was put a sort of film over the glass panes on many of the windows, to help cut down on the reflection and the glare.  Hasn't helped.  Or at least it hasn't helped enough.
     The hotel, for their part, is studying how to make this stop.  I am sure that they will come up with a super expensive technological solution, but in the meantime they seem to have struck a very simple and elegant way of handling the situation: they have ordered and installed new, larger umbrellas in the pool area. 
     So what's the lesson to be learned here?  First of all, don't build a curved building with glass.  Second of all, if you are staying at the Vdara, stay under the umbrellas in the pool or maybe stay under water, that should solve most of your problems.  Unless, of course you are Vdara.

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