Photo Of The Day: The Shanghai Tower Rises

Today’s Photo Of The Day comes from Lawrence Wang, who captured this astounding image of the Shanghai Tower currently under construction. After its completion, the Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China and second tallest building in the world, after the almighty Burj Khalifa. This image perfectly captures the chaotic landscape of Shanghai, dominated by glass, steel and concrete.

Pudong, the district of Shanghai that the tower resides in, is a central financial hub of China and has undergone an extraordinary amount of development in the past two decades. Going from nothing but grass and trees to having some of the tallest buildings in the world. It is nothing short of spectacular and indicative of the economic progress that China has seen in the modern age.

As always, if you have a great photo you’d like to share with us, upload them to our Gadling Flickr Pool and it may be selected as our Photo Of The Day.

[Photo credit: Lawrence Wang]

Gadling Gear Review: Bamboo Bottle Company Water Bottle

I’m always losing water bottles. I’m grateful that they’re swag at so many events, because I’m continually leaving them behind somewhere — on airplanes, in hotel rooms, in the back seat of the rental car. Carrying a water bottle is The Right Thing to Do, not just because throwing away plastic bottle after plastic water bottle is bad. It’s the right thing to do because you’re on the move, man, you need to stay hydrated, and if you have a water bottle, you’ll do a better job of that. So, yeah, a water bottle, you should have one.

I’m partial to stainless screw top water bottles, they fit in the site pockets on my day pack and if I’ve remembered to grab a carabiner, they clip in to place. I know lots of folks who like the non-BPA wide mouth plastic bottles too, they’re easy to deal with and you can keep more than water in them — I’ve used them to stow the cables for all my electronic stuff, for example.

Both of those options are lightweight, good for when you have to haul your stuff around, which I do, often. I mention this right away because the bottle I got from the Bamboo Water Bottle Company is heavy. It looks cool. It’s well designed. It’s made out of snappy materials. It’s heavy. And that’s before there’s water in it.

The bottle pretty, it’s really pretty. It’s got a blond bamboo sleeve that protects the glass bottle inside from breaking. The sleeve also provides some insulation. The lid has a built in straw so it’s easy to drink from while you’re driving or riding your bike. There’s a version with a flip top — it snaps shut so your drink won’t spill when you knock it over. The bottle comes apart so you can wash it; you can put everything but the bamboo sleeve in the dishwasher.

Here’s the truth: I’m probably not going to use it much for travel. When the weather improves around here, it will be great for drinking ice tea out of while I swing in the hammock in the backyard. If I’m packing a picnic, I can see filling it with gin and tonic for one, or some other summer cocktail. It’s a nice bottle for leaving on your desk at work, a good water bottle really does go a long way towards helping you ease up on the office coffee.

But given my tendencies to leave a trail of water bottles across the planet? There’s no easy way for me to clip it to my bag. And the weight alone is enough to make me reconsider packing it. I like this thing, it’s an attractive piece of gear. I’m just not convinced it’s something I need for travel.

SkyMall Monday Classic: Wineglass Holder Necklace

In honor of Gadling’s celebration of all things wine, we’re re-posting a classic SkyMall Monday that originally ran on May 25, 2009. There are other wine-related products on SkyMall, but none deserve the appreciation that this one merits. It also happens to be one of my favorite SkyMall products of all-time. Enjoy and cheers!

I like to drink. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many of us enjoy a drink or six from time to time. But I also like to eat. When I’m at a cocktail party or a bar, I’m sure to be found enjoying some hors d’oeuvres or or a rack of ribs. And I love to meet new people. There’s nothing more enjoyable than mingling with a crowd and doing elaborately choreographed handshakes with new friends. But, well, I only have two hands. And if one holds my drink and the other holds my food, well, you see where this is going. Thankfully, this week SkyMall Monday solves the problem of being a personable, yet gluttonous, alcoholic. Our favorite catalog has once again foreseen that we are not capable of managing our own lives, so they’ve taken care of everything by allowing us to look fashionable while staying socially lubricated with the Wine Glass Holder Necklace.

Look, we can’t be troubled to put our wine glasses down while we interact with people. We have memories to repress and social anxiety to quell. That’s why this gadget is so ingenious. We should have been wearing our wine glasses around our necks all along. The fact they we don’t have an extra hand extending out of our chests suggests to me that evolution may be a pretty lame theory. I know that I want my red wine precariously dangling around my neck and swinging to and fro as I slalom between people to make my way to the carving station.

Think I’m being too serious about this situation? Your lack of faith in me is really beginning to cause problems in this relationship. But I’ll meet you halfway and let a neutral party explain to you why this product is so amazingly necessary. Take it away, SkyMall product description:

Keep your hands free at parties by keeping your wine close at heart! This clever little clip with adjustable strap holds a regular-size stemmed glass to your chest, giving you the freedom to snack and socialize as you sip!

Red wine is good for your heart and now it’s close to your heart! See, it’s only natural that we hold our clothing-staining beverages not in out hands but right in our chests. So drink, eat and network all you want at parties because now you’ll have your hands free to indulge. And the best part? It comes as a set of two, so you and your enabler sponsor can mingle together.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Photo of the Day (2.21.09)

If you’ve been to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, then you might recognize this exhibit. You know, the one that hangs from the ceiling of the lobby as you walk in? Dale Chihuly’s “Fiori di Como” (or “Flowers of Como” — as in, Lake Como in Italy) is a glass masterpiece that covers a 70 x 30 foot area with over 2,000 colorful glass elements. It’s one of many cool sights to behold in the City of Sin, which was recently named by Forbes.com as America’s emptiest city. So, despite a dwindling population, we must remind ourselves that there are still just as many awesome things to see and do in America’s other city that never sleeps.

This photo comes to us from jerry.r.lem, who has a gorgeous and well-organized collection of photography on his Flickr profile.

If you are a fan of Chihuly’s glass art, then you’ll certainly find this one inspiring as well, which is found in Phoenix [click for a larger view and slide show of his other works].

The amazing contrast of the fiery glass amid cactus plants really drives home the hot, dry Arizona surroundings, don’t you think? Chihuly’s work can be found all over the country. To find an exhibit close to you, visit his exhibition and gallery schedule here.

If you have some great travel shots you’d like to share, be sure to upload them to the Gadling pool on Flickr. We might just pick one as our Photo of the Day!

Tacoma’s Museum of Glass

GlassBummed? Yes, I’m a bit bummed and undecided on my recent trip to the Museum of Glass. Before I get down on what disappoints me let me tell you what’s hot and worth your $10. Upon entering the facility your attention is going to be directed to the Hot Shop on the left. Inside the Hot Shop museum-goers can kick back in the warm auditorium and watch the glass making process live. This is really cool if you know nothing about how all those fancy designs or simple glass vases are made. During the session I caught, there were three gentlemen working with the glass and an interpreter explaining the whole deal. The art, science and history of glass making are all explained. When the temperature inside the Hot Shop became too much to handle I excitedly walked off to head into the gallery where I was almost positive I would find tons of glass exhibits – not so much.

To my disappointment there were few glass installations. The ones featured were pretty impressive, but as I moved deeper down the halls I saw more contemporary art craziness; oversized stuffed horses making love and some questionable paintings. The horses were apart of the Fresh! Contemporary Takes on Nature & Allegory and overall I think they were indeed fresh, but it would have been better if they were glass. I haven’t a clue where the paintings came from, but there was an awesome one comprised of various greens blending in the swell of an ocean wave. Still there wasn’t enough glass in the building and that goes to include the building for my needs. Perhaps I expected too much, I mean how many glass artists are out there in the world?

That’s my take. Been to the Museum of Glass? What’s your opinion?

The Museum of Glass is located at 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402.