Saturday, May 31, 2008

What is the "PIAN LEGACY"?

Pian Legacy? What is it? Who has this legacy? Why is it a legacy? Who are the Pians?

Questions that you may ask as you read my welcome note "Civil Engineering, Pian Legacy and Myself".

Let me start defining "legacy"... says, "something handed down from an ancestor or a
predecessor or from the past"

the "Pians"...
"Quadrivium" and "Walking Together" by Pian Peter Marlon Exmundo, CPA says, a Pian is “anybody who had studied and stayed in the Seminary of St. Pius X for at least one year. By this definition the members of the hierarchy, including the Pope, are also ex-seminarians. The only difference between “lay” ex-seminarians and the hierarchy is that they were the few “chosen” by the Holy Spirit among the many who were “called”. Thus, we could also call the hierarchy as “ordained” ex-seminarians."

I am very proud to say that it is very fulfilling to be educated and disciplined under the formation of St. Pius X Seminary. Though I have not continued my college with the Seminary, I always remember Msgr. Joe Advincula's (rector that time), message to me during discernment, the words may not be exact but the thought is very clear, "I know you want to help your family financially that's why you want to explore life outside but don't ever forget to strive to live a Christian Life as instilled to you by St. Pius X Seminary. Life inside the seminary was great, the brotherhood which I have with, not only to my classmates, "The Martins", but also to other levels created a value which I have now with my life. Though I have not yet returned to St. Pius X Seminary after high school graduation, the love and the pride within me for the Seminary overflows. And, for the thought that we graduated or once studied in a seminary already created a pride which no one can take. Since, "The seminary is not an ordinary educational institution created and incorporated solely under national laws and regulated by the appropriate government agencies such as the Department of Education and the SEC, but was also created under the laws of the Church and regulated by the Vatican, which is a sovereign state independent of the Philippine government or any government thereat, and administered by the bishop through his priests. Further, its purpose is not only to “educate” but also to train boys and young men for the presbytery and the future leaders of the Church — regardless of the motive of the seminarian for studying there."

Therefore, Pian Legacy is a legacy of ideals of St. Pius X and the formators of the seminary who instilled to the Pians to be soldiers and promoter of God's Love, "whose power comes only from God" (Rom. xiii., 1) — “E Supremi”, the first Papal Encyclical of the 257th pope, Pius X – On the Restoration of All Things in Christ –issued on 4 October 1903.

Do you know:
Fr. Jaime L. Sin, is the be the first rector of the new seminary. Together, with Bishop Antonio Frondosa (second Bishop of Capiz and founder of Seminary of St. Pius X) adopted the word “Serviam” (I will serve) as the motto of the seminarians of St. Pius X, who will later be call themselves “PĂ®ans”. Thus “Serviam” became the third summation of the Pian ideals, the first and second of which are: (1) “Instaurare Omnia in Christo” (To Restore All Things in Christ), the papal motto of Pius X, and (2) “Sicut Bonum Miles Christi” (To be a Good Soldier of Christ), the episcopal motto of Bishop Frondosa.

To my fellow Pians: "Ego sum semper vobiscum." (This sentence was in our Latin Notes! I think the red color one. The meaning, "I am always with you.", am I right? I miss those times when we got to translate Latin and Spanish sentences, word by word... The arriba - abajo... )

Words In Italics were taken from "Quadrivium" and "Walking Together" by Pian Peter Marlon Exmundo, CPA.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Grief in Rubble (Deadly Engineering Shortcuts)

A report from the caught my attention on "Chinese Are Left to Ask Why Schools Fell" published on May 25, 2008.UNEQUAL DAMAGE. Xinjian Primary School in Dujiangyan was destroyed,
while a kindergarten, at left, and a hotel were barely damaged.

This is a picture from the report, how the Xinjian Primary School turned into rubble. Have this been avoided if the school was constructed with the right materials (quantity and quality) and with the right construction methodologies? The answer is, certainly yes.

As qouted from the report, "Techniques for fortifying buildings to withstand earthquakes have been clearly understood for decades. Use high-quality concrete. Embed extra iron rods. Tie them tightly into bundles with strong wire. Ensure that components of floors, walls and columns are firmly attached. Pay special attention to columns, which are the key to having a building sway rather than topple."

Another excerpt, "The most pronounced failing at Xinjian seemed to be inadequate steel reinforcement of the concrete columns supporting the school, experts said. There were too few rebar reinforcing rods and too little of the thin binding wire that holds the rebar together. And, critically, the steel bindings attaching the concrete flooring slabs were inadequate."

How to help:
China Disaster Relief, China Earthquake Appeal if you are in Singapore, and your prayers.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Record breaking Structures

Taipei 101 is now the tallest building in the world until the completion of Burj Dubai. The list for the tallest structure, free standing structures and building, those that are under construction and those that are proposed (the future record-breaking structures) can be found here. For the list of the Official World's 200 Tallest High Rise Buildings, visit this link.

Image provided by, Jerome. A good friend working in Burj Dubai.>>>

What is the tallest?

Since the dawn of history man has been trying to build the 'tallest building', 'tallest tower' or 'tallest structure' in the world. There seems to be much prestige in being home to the worlds tallest. So much in fact that this is a major issue on the political agenda of many countries. Many towers claim the title, and many cities quarrel about who is the winner. The Tallest Building in the world pages will try to answer the question above, and welcomes you to the most complete article about this subject, anywhere to be found on the Internet.

During the first 90 years of this century, the USA dominated the race for the title of the tallest building in the world, and constructed a range of famous buildings that, sometimes only for a few months, and sometimes for many years, were widely recognized as being the 'tallest building' in the world. In 1974 Chicago's Sears Tower was completed, and generally seen as the 'tallest building' in the world. Sears held on to that title for over 20 years. But since the ninetees the USA gets some stiff competition from Asia. In 1996 this resulted in the completion of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. From that moment on a sort of media clash was unleashed. All over the world people debated about the question wich one was the tallest; Sears or Petronas. Now the answer to this question seems so easy. Just measure both buildings from bottom to top, and the tallest one gets the title. Question answered, case closed, no more debate needed? Forget it! As usual, life is not that simple. One could consider how to measure these buildings. For example, do we take in account spires and antennas? To end this discussion, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat made a compromise. They defined 4 categories for measuring tall buildings;

- Height to the structural or architectural top.
- Height to the highest occupied floor.
- Height to the top of the roof.
- Height to the top of antenna.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Singapore Flyer - Record-Setting Wheel

"Singapore Flyer" holds the title for being the World's largest Giant Observation Wheel, but it will not stay long as China is building the "Beijing Great Wheel" scheduled opening on the end of 2009.

In March—115 years after the giant, steel-tension wheel built by American structural engineer George Ferris debuted at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago—an observation wheel nearly twice that size opened to the public. At a height of 165 meters, the waterfront Singapore Flyer has entered the record books as the tallest circulating wheel in history. Its developers look for the Flyer to become a tourist attraction on the order of the 135-meter-tall London Eye in England, the world's previous tallest wheel titlist. During its seven-year existence from 2001 until 2008, the Eye has become one of London's top visitor destinations—on par with Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London—carrying 3.5 million passengers per year.

The Singapore and London wheels are both spider-web-looking, structural-steel tension wheels inspired by Ferris' invention, although more streamlined. They feature air-conditioned passenger capsules on the outer rim of the wheel's circumference. Because of these refinements—and the fact that the London eye is cantilevered off a single support tower rather than built between two supports like the 1893 Chicago wheel structure—the British claim their wheel is not a Ferris wheel. Rather, it's a new type of "observation wheel." (No need to credit an American with being the first at anything, right?)

Whether the grand Singapore wheel will diminish the luster of London's wheel or be as popular remains to be seen. However, the Singapore structure will not hold the record for long. Currently under construction is an even bigger "Ferris wheel" to open in Beijing, China, in 2009. Called the Beijing Great Wheel, it will rise to 208 meters. In reference to the structure, reporters like Ben Blanchard of Reuters are already coining such phrases as "You've climbed the Great Wall of China, now Beijing wants you to 'fly' the Great Wheel of China."

It may be coincidence, but facts are facts. Two of the world's most pacesetting structural innovations—the Ferris wheel and skyscrapers—began in the United States in the city of Chicago. Both structural types instigated today's global quest to outdo one's neighbor by building increasingly higher observation/pleasure-wheel structures and taller buildings. The two daring, 19th-century American structural engineers responsible for these construction record-setters—both using structural steel for the first time—were Pittsburgh-based Ferris and Chicago-based William Jenny, designer of the 1885 Home Insurance Building, the world's first skyscraper.

It's sad that neither icon still stands; both victims of the wrecking ball and progress. The Ferris wheel's demise is especially poignant. At the time of its invention, engineers in the United States were challenged to come up with something to out-Eiffel engineer Gustave Eiffel's Eiffel Tower—the sensation of the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. Ferris' response to the challenge, like Eiffel's structure, became the star of the show. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, it was removed right after its fair closed, then demolished. Fortunately, a smaller duplicate of it (a 61-meter-diameter wheel) was built and unveiled in Prather Park in Vienna, Austria, two years later. It still operates—an attribute to American ingenuity.

Even though taller passenger wheels like the Singapore Flyer are overshadowing the original 76-meter-diameter Chicago wheel, none have broken its carrying capacity: 36 carriages holding 60 people for a full load of 2,160 people per revolution. In contrast, the London Eye has 32 capsules that hold 25 for a total of 800 passengers; the Singapore Flyer has 28 capsules carrying 28 people for a total of 784; and the Great Wheel will have 48 capsules carrying 40 for a total load of 1,920 per revolution.

Although each giant observation wheel being built today could be considered a tribute to what Ferris and America's great Chicago World's Fair produced, it's a shame that no suitable reminder remains within the United States to commemorate Ferris' remarkable 19th-century engineering feat.

The Design:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Why the Towers Fell", NOVA PBS Special

I happen to see this link from the ASCE website. Hope you'll enjoy and learn something from the investigation as conducted by Civil Engineer S. Shyam Sunder. The "Impact to Collapse" is an expert-narrated slide show of the Twin Towers' final minutes.


Monday, May 5, 2008

What is Civil Engineering?

After spending some times in the net and on the shelves looking for the best meaning of "Civil Engineering", I finally found it. This is the first definition I met and it was when I'm still in the university; it was then that I know what it is to be a Civil Engineer. Here it is, and I qoute:

"Civil engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and physical sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the progressive well-being of humanity in creating, improving, and protecting the environment, in providing facilities for community living, industry and transportation, and in providing structures for the use of humanity."
American Society of Civil Engineers, 1961

another definition is:

"...the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man, as the means of production and of traffic in states, both for external and internal trade, as applied in the construction of roads, bridges, aqueducts, canals, river navigation and docks for internal intercourse and exchange, and in the construction of ports, harbours, moles, breakwaters and lighthouses, and in the art of navigation by artificial power for the purposes of commerce, and in the construction and application of machinery, and in the drainage of cities and towns."
Institution of Civil Engineers' original charter, 1828


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