Page of History

The Skyscraper Museum recently reposted one of its earliest (vintage 1997) web pages “to match our online projects produced or redesigned during the past 18 months. . . .” The website had undergone a technical change from “hard-coding” to a content management system, which accommodates the museum’s historical content in a much more manageable format. The illustrated chart above shows a timeline of “the world’s tallest building” dating from the first “skyscrapers” to today’s title-holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This graphic is only the tip of the tower, though — The Skyscraper Museum’s website has plenty of other features to hold the attention of anyone who has even a passing interest in tall buildings.

Escalator Invention in the Running for LEGO League Championship

A recent article from Louisville, Kentucky’s WAVE 3 News is about a sharp team of fourth- through sixth-grade students in a local robotics program who aim to make escalators more accessible to those who can’t see well. The Good Vibrations invention uses a transducer to produce vibrations on escalator steps so riders can feel where they are.

Portland Christian School’s first LEGO League team “is causing a stir in the robotics world,” the source says. 11-year-old programmer Lydia Kratt inspired her five fellow members to help those like a friend of hers with disabilities overcome fears of escalators. They’re in the process of patenting the device for such public places as churches, airports and malls. They ranked third of 49 teams across Kentucky, earning an invitation to the national competitions. They also won first place for a LEGO League Global Innovation award, which recognizes the best project ideas most likely to be implemented.

The sight impaired traditionally use elevators for vertical transportation, where Braille is common. Is it a great idea for them to use escalators, too? Check out the video included in the link above to see how the device works and what the inventors have to say about it.

Escalators: CGI Animation Shows How They Work

Jared Owens uses computer-generated animation (CGI) to show how things work. Escalators are one of his latest topics, and the video he narrates is clear and informative — ideal for children and even adult professionals who want to brush up on their vertical-transportation knowledge. In the video, he provides a brief history of escalators and how the technology evolved, and describes different equipment configurations and the reasons for them. Check it out and get an inside, up-close look at components like step chains, track systems, gears, roller chains and handrails, and they all fit together like a puzzle to enhance efficiency and promote safety. More of Owens’ work can be found on his YouTube channel.