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11 August 2007

Award Winning Speed [Skyscraper]

This is my script for the YEAS public speaking competition which landed me as a 2nd prize winner.

---- Start of Script----
Would you agree with me if I say, one unique factor about humans have is we have free will, the ability to be able to think, to assess, to analyse. And from there, Creativity and ambition kicks in. We always aim for the best, the fastest, the biggest, the most powerful, the tallest.

As creatures without wings, human beings have always been looking for ways to reach for the skies--by building machines that fly or structures that stretch into the clouds. These are a technical issue that needs to be addressed. This is where engineers come in. Engineers use technology, mathematics, and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. Someone wants a building, so engineers come in and build one.

Look at the world today, there are buildings everywhere. From 1-storey buildings to mega structures. Many of today's tallest are so high that I’m sure that even King Kong is gonna vertigo when climbs to the peak.

We are building structures higher and higher, but how high can we go? And how high do we want to?

Let’s look back into time
For much of the 20th century, the U.S, dominated the skyscraper scene. Steel frames and the invention of elevators made tall buildings possible, and urbanization made them necessary. Again and again, American buildings topped one another—

According to BBC.com
In 1930, the Chrysler Buildings was the tallest
In 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest
In 1973, World Trade Center was the tallest
And in 1975, Chicago’s Sears Tower became the tallest at 400m.
The way I see it, its more like a competition to see which tower is the tallest.

Ron Klemencic, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and commented that a “We're seeing a tremendous amount of activity overseas, whether it's in Asia or the Middle East . For countries that are emerging on the economic scene, very tall buildings are symbols of their economic strength”

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a proud Malaysian, let me share with u one of the megastructure of the modern age, the Petronas Twin Tower. Situated in Kuala Lumpur, The Petronas Twin Tower were the world's tallest towers from 1998 to 2004, if measured from the level of the main entrance to the structural top. Erecting 450m from the ground, this building surpassed the Sears tower in 1998.

This building was designed to reflect the national heritage of Islamic art. The twin tower implies that there are two towers. It is interesting to note that these 2 towers are being built by 2 different construction companies. And these 2 companies competed against each other to see who gets the job done faster. According to tourism Malaysia, Samsung Contruction which built Tower2 won the race against the Hamaza coorperation which built tower1 by 1 month.

Ever wonder why would Malaysia want to build the tallest tower??
Malaysians are proud people. They want to show the whole world what they are capable of. Well, even though this structure is being designed by a argentine architect, Ceser Pelli, not to mention that it is being built by a Korean and a Japanese construction company, and I don’t see how Malaysia comes into the picture except that they are the client. But hey, now that its in Malaysia, we can say that it a proud product of Malaysia. Something that Malaysians can be proud of.

I wonder if there is any other significance behind the building. You know how people stereotype Asians. Whenever someone thinks of an Asian, they always have this small short human figure in their head as oppose to tall and big size westerners. Especially Malaysians. We are thought to be a short creature. Maybe…just maybe this tower will symbolically make Malaysian stand tall.

I would also like to bring out how this Petronas twin tower relate to our pride. You know when we a proud of something, we tend to self-motivate ourselves. When this structure was completed, every Malaysian thought: ‘hey, we are actually capable of building something’. It didn’t take them long to figure that all this all engineering related. Building and creating, isn’t that what engineers do best?? So to speak, this twin tower encouraged a lot of young Malaysians to go into the field of engineering

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Buildings and engineers, An engineer designs a building to withstand forces. Forces come from many sources: gravity, people inside, weight of building materials, weather, and environmental impacts. If the design is stable, then these forces will not weaken the structure or cause the structure to collapse.

One type of force that can weaken a structure is a lateral shaking force, like that experienced during an earthquake. Another concern is terrorist attacks. Now this consideration is gaining popularity ever since the 911 event which struck down 2 of the world’s greatest structure, the World Trade Center in New York city.

But do you think these problems are gonna stop us from building taller buildings?
Of course not. In 2004, the Petronas twin tower was surpassed by Taipei 101 which is 500m tall. A few days ago, the Burj Dubai was reported to have surpassed the Taipei 101 and its still under construction. The last I checked on 2nd of august, the Burl Dubai was recorded at 520m high, 20m taller than the Taipei 101. The builders of Burj Dubai refused to disclose the finished height of the building, but many speculated that its gonna reach up to a height of 800m tall which is 160% higher than the Taipei 101.

What about Australia?
Surprise surprise, Even Australia has its own tallest building.
Inspired by the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch and the Sydney Opera House, the Q1 located in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, is the world's tallest all-residential building at 320m. It is also interesting to note that is that only 1m shorter than the Eiffel Tower.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking at all these mega structures, have you ever wonder what is the next decade is gonna bring about. I’ll be eagerly waiting for the day when another megastructure pops up and surpass the burj dubai.
---- End of Script----

Extra Note:
I'm proud to be a Malaysian! Malaysia's 50th Merdeka [31st August] is coming soon.
Is there anyone else who is gonna celebrate Merdeka day??
[Say 'Aye' if you are!!!]


Nux V said...

a well-planned script and interesting.
BTW, congrats for getting 2nd place:-)

3POINT8 said...

Thanks thanks....
Actually the script was written the morning before the day of the competition..
I still remember that morning, staying up till 6am to finish the script.
4hours before that, at around 2am, I told myself, If i can't finish the script...I'm not gonna join the competition. [Oh,1 interesting note: I joined the competition the day before the actual competition]

Haha...I'm just glad that I finished the script and went on for the competition

Anonymous said...

congratulations, sayang.

The Malaysian Life said...

Well done, despite the last minute work :)