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Sunday, February 1, 2009

How do you construct the world's tallest building?

(Click on BABU at left for a really spectacular view)

I guess, this is one way, but I get anxious looking down from the fifth floor, so count me out. However, Babu, known as the "Indian at the top of the world," is on the job. He is the crane operator helping build the world's tallest structure, the 2,687 ft. (1/2 mile high, 160 stories) Burj Dubai. (The Sears Tower in Chicago is 1,730 feet, 101 stories.) The cramped cab at the top of the crane is also his home. (Can you imagine the view... the queasy stomach? What happens in the wind, I wonder.) Apparently, it takes too long to come down to the ground each day to make it worthwhile. When the building is completed, its elevators will be the world's fastest at 40 mph... no doubt, because they have to be.

Stories about Babu's daily dance with death are discussed in revered terms by Dubai workers. Some say he has been up there for more than a year now and that he is paid 30,000 dirhams a month ($8,168) compared to the average wage of 800 dirhams a month. All seem to agree he is worth it.

This whole project is fascinating. Want to read more? Go to burgdubai, the official website for the building. It gives lots of info of how the building has been designed and how it will be used.

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