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Planet Earth 27: The Armadillo – Glasgow

The Scottish Development Agency first supported the construction of an exhibition centre in Glasgow in 1979. A site at the former Queen’s Dock on the north bank of the Clyde at Finnieston, which had closed to navigation in 1969, was selected. Land reclamation works started in 1982 using rubble from the demolished St Enoch railway station. The construction of the SECC buildings began on the site in 1983.

In 1995, construction began on a new building — the Clyde Auditorium — to become part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) complex. Designed by award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster and often called “the armadillo” by Glaswegians, this new 3,000 capacity building was completed in 1997.


Planet Earth 26: Icons of Glasgow

The Clyde Arc (known locally as the Squinty Bridge), is a road bridge spanning the River Clyde in Glasgow, in west central Scotland, connecting Finnieston, near the Clyde Auditorium and SECC with Pacific Quay and Glasgow Science Centre in Govan. A prominent feature of the bridge is its innovative curved design and the way that it crosses the river at an angle. The Arc is the first city centre traffic crossing over the river built since the Kingston Bridge was opened to traffic in 1969. The bridge was designed by the Halcrow Group and built by Kilsyth-based civil engineering company Edmund Nuttall. Glasgow City Council instigated the project in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Executive. Piling works for the bridge were carried out from a large floating barge on the Clyde, whilst the bridge superstructure was fabricated offsite. The bridge-deck concrete-slab units were cast at an onsite pre-casting yard. Planning permission was granted in 2003 and construction of the bridge began in May 2005. It was structurally completed in April 2006.

The Botanic Gardens is known internationally for its impressive glass houses and extensive tropical and temperate plant collections from around the world. A variety of themes of horticultural and botanical interest are found in the grounds as well as attractive walks by the River Kelvin. Its immaculate formal gardens and arboretum provide a welcome break from the bustle of the West End. The Botanic Gardens are located at Kelvinside in Glasgow’s West End between the River Kelvin, Great Western Road and Queen Margaret Drive. The gardens can be accessed on foot from Great Western Road, Queen Margaret Drive, Kirklee Circus and from the Kelvin Walkway.

The Riverside Museum provides an exciting new home for Glasgow’s transport collection and replaces the Museum of Transport previousy located at the Kelvin Hall. The development has a riverside location on a site where the River Clyde meets Glasgow’s other main river, the Kelvin. The Riverside Museum project is funded by Glasgow City Council, with the Heritage Lottery Fund also a major sponsor. The much-acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid created the design for the Riverside Museum, which has already been dubbed ‘Glasgow’s Guggenheim’. The new museum houses collections not previously on display at the Museum of Transport, and for the first time allows the proper interpretation of Glasgow’s important maritime history. Visitors can walk down a re-created 1900s street, drive a locomotive and tackle a tenement fire. With more than 3,000 objects on display, from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams, velocipedes to voiturettes, there is something for visitors of all ages.

One of Scotland’s most iconic industrial structures is to become the second official venue in the country- for bungee jumping! The A-Listed Titan Crane on the River Clyde helped launch some of the most famous ships in the world in its heyday.

Glasgow Cathedral, also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Kentigern’s or St Mungo’s Cathedral, is today a gathering of the Church of Scotland in Glasgow. Technically, the building is no longer a cathedral, since it has not been the seat of a bishop since 1690. However, like other pre-Reformation cathedrals in Scotland, it is still a place of active Christian worship, hosting a Church of Scotland congregation.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens in Glasgow, Scotland is a museum and glasshouse situated in Glasgow Green, and was opened on 22 January, 1898 by the Earl of Rosebery. Originally, the ground floor of the building provided reading and recreation rooms, with a museum on the first floor, and a picture gallery on the top floor. Since the 1940s, it has been the museum of social history for the city of Glasgow, and tells the story of the people and the city from 1750 to the present day. The collections and displays reflect the changing face of the city and the different experiences of Glaswegians at home, work and leisure.

Another interesting icon of Glasgow is the Science Centre. Please click this link: here

Planet Earth 25: Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe is a stunning highland landscape of Scotland which has not lost its wildness. Only two hours north west of Glasgow, Glencoe is a haven of windswept, rocky splendour. The dramatic landscape is well suited to its human history – a bloody tale of internecine clan warfare and brutal oppression by the English. Traditionally home to the MacDonald clan, the area’s most famous event was the Glencoe massacre of February 1692.

William III demanded that the clan chieftains swear an oath of allegiance to him. The MacDonalds were late in swearing it. A band of warriors, led by the rival chieftain Joseph Campbell and some of his clansmen, accepted the MacDonalds’ hospitality and then, under cover of darkness, murdered 35 men. They burned the homes as they went, leaving women and children to perish in the freezing cold. The attack caused outrage, as it was seen to violate long-standing traditions of clan hospitality.

Paper 13: Teknologi Hijau: Pertumbuhan Ekonomi, Keberlanjutan Pembangunan, dan Kesejahteraan Rakyat

Pada dasarnya konsepsi dan upaya untuk menyerasikan antara kemajuan ekonomi dengan kelestarian fungsi ekosistem bukanlah sesuatu yang baru. Paling tidak konsepsi tentang upaya menetralisir ‘perseteruan’ antara ekonomi dan ekologi ini telah diungkap oleh Fairfield Osborne melalui bukunya ‘Our Plundered Planet’ yang terbit pada tahun 1948. Sudah lebih dari separuh abad yang lalu.

Walaupun demikian, kelihatannya upaya menyerasikan ekonomi-ekologi ini belum sepenuhnya memuaskan. Sebagian besar –jika tidak hampir semua- kasus perseteruan ini dimenangkan oleh kepentingan-kepentingan ekonomi.
Banyak pula istilah atau terminologi yang digunakan untuk memayungi upaya penyerasian tujuan ekonomi-ekologi ini, misalnya pernah populer istilah pembangunan berkelanjutan (sustainable development), pembangunan berwawasan lingkungan (environmentally-sound development) atau pembangunan yang berwawasan ekologis (ecologically-sound development), dan sekarang populer istilah ekonomi hijau (green economy). Mungkin besok akan muncul istilah lainnya. Kesimpulannya, secara de facto persoalan ini sampai sekarang masih belum dapat direalisasikan dengan baik dan konsisten.

Lalu muncul pula terminologi teknologi hijau (green technology). Sebagian merasa ini sebuah gagasan baru yang cemerlang, tetapi ini lebih pas dimaknai sebagai kesadaran yang agak terlambat datang. Mestinya dari dulu juga teknologi perlu dikembangkan untuk mendorong pertumbuhan dan perluasan ekonomi dengan mempertimbangkan dampak aplikasinya terhadap kelestarian fungsi lingkungan (fisik dan sosial), sehingga pembangunan dapat lebih terjamin keberlanjutannya.

Jaminan keberlanjutan tak dapat direduksi hanya pada dimensi ekologi, tetapi juga perlu diintegrasikan dengan upaya meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat dan mengurangi ketimpangan pendapatan. Pertumbuhan dan pemerataan perlu disetarakan prioritasnya.

Makalah lengkapnya bisa dibaca disini

Paper 12: S&T for Sustainable and Productive Natural Resources Management and Welfare of the People

There are some worries on mismanagement of natural resources by local government after the decentralization law has been enacted in Indonesia. Also, there are some concerns associated with ineffectiveness of development programs at local and national levels on improving prosperity of the people. On the other hand, despite intensive and massive exploitation of natural resources which in many cases cause very serious damage to ecosystem, economic performance of Indonesia has not been significantly improved and income per capita is increasing but still relatively low for a resource-rich country like Indonesia. Income disparity seems to be widened.

Environmental problems, disparity and low income per capita, and disintegrating legal frameworks have become tough challenges for future Indonesian economic development. Under these circumstances, science and technology (S&T) have been expected to come up with the solution. However, Indonesian S&T sector has been somehow neglected for some decades. S&T budget has been very low (below 0.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product) and consequently will not be instantly ready to answer the challenges.

All of these constrains, along with the mainstream of S&T policy had been heavily in favor of supply-push approach for such a long time in the past, have caused very low percentage of domestic technologies adopted by users in almost all social economic sectors.

Consequently, it would take some time to reverse mindset of academicians and researchers from supply-push to demand-driven approach in developing technology. Similarly, it would also be as challenging to persuade business communities to adopt domestic technology, instead of importing available technology from global market. These two issues will be major obstacles in establishing an effective and productive national innovation system. Aligning policies of all government agencies will also be another challenge, especially if the processes are contaminated by multi-polar political interests. Local (political) interests in current decentralization era make this issue become more complicated.

To read full paper, please click here

Paper 11: The Roles of Science and Technology for Supporting National Competitiveness

Roles of science and technology (S&T) on economic development have been well recognized. Almost all of (economically) developed countries have also strong S&T institutions. Scientific productivity of their universities and research centers are considerably high, followed by intensive technology development at their industries. Innovation system is no longer just a nice concept, but has become an effective tool for developing their economy. Exception to side-by-side S&T and economic developments may only be observed in oil and gas resource rich countries.

Awareness on significant contribution of S&T on economic development has significantly increased among policy makers, academicians, and business communities in Indonesia. Government of Indonesia has clearly stated that strengthening human resource and S&T were one of three main strategies for accelerating and expanding economic development, as indicated in the Master Plan of Indonesian Economic Development 2011-2025 (known as MP3EI). However, a lot of works have to be done in both sides of the coin: S&T and economic development.

To read the full paper, please click here

Planet Earth 24: Castles of Scotland

There are so many castles in Scotland. These are only random samples of the castles: Blair Atholl, Inverness, Urquat, and Stirling Castle. They may not be the most beautiful or the most historically important.

Blair Castle stands in its grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire in Scotland. It is the ancestral home of the Clan Murray, and was historically the seat of their chief, the Duke of Atholl, though the current (12th) Duke, Bruce Murray, lives in South Africa. The castle stands in Glen Garry, and commands a strategic position on the main route (now the A9 road) through the central Scottish Highlands.

Inverness Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal Inbhir Nis) sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness, in Inverness, Scotland. The red sand stone structure evident today was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. It is built on the site of an 11th century defensive structure. Today, it houses Inverness Sheriff Court. There has been a castle at this site for many centuries. The castle itself is not open to the public but the grounds are.

Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots.

Urquhart Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal na Sròine) sits beside Loch Ness in Scotland along the A82 road, between Fort William and Inverness. It is close to the village of Drumnadrochit. Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. It is also near this castle that the majority of Nessie (Loch Ness Monster) sightings occur.

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