glassblog

Friday, October 5, 2007

Facts:
  • The city was inhabited by Celtic groups as early as 400 B.C. until the Romans took over in 222 B.C.
  • Mozart composed three operas in Milan.
  • In 1922, Mussolini started his March on Rome from Milan.
  • The Duomo is the second largest church in Italy and the third largest church in the world.
  • The Italian stock exchange is based in Milan.
  • Fiera Milano, where Vitrum is taking place, is the largest exhibition complex in the world.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
—By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine/AutoGlass magazine

Is Vitrum more international than Italian? Really depends on who you ask.

On the second day of the show, people from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, Turkey, Lithuania and from different European countries walked the floor and shopped for machines. Communication consisted of broken English, elaborate hand gestures and vigorous nodding.

I happened to man our NGA booth for a bit while our pretty Italian hostess, Manuela, went to eat lunch. At least three people came by in a span of 15 minutes and asked me questions in Italian. My request for English was reciprocated by apologetic nods and amused looks. I speak four languages; only if Italian was one of those four, I fretted.

A few more instances when I regretted not speaking Italian: every time when asking for directions inside the humongous Fiera Milano; when trying to explain my suddenly dead Internet connection at the hotel; and even worse, when trying to book a ticket for the “Last Supper.”

The worst moment of my vernacular vulnerability was this afternoon at the Vacuum Tech & Coating Conference. Mariano Anderle, scientific director, International Union of Vacuum Societies based in the United Kingdom, and president of Italian Science and Technology Association, chose to give his presentation in Italian. His PowerPoint presentation was in English but he decided Italian would be the way to go. Can’t fathom his decision given that he’s a part of an international association and was speaking at an international show, but it sure made me stop and think.

How do you define “international”?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
—By Sahely Mukerji, Managing editor, Glass Magazine/AutoGlass

Milano, the fashion capital of the world; home of the "Last Supper" and beautiful people who don’t speak much English; a city of charming old buildings and cobble-stone roads; and a metropolis with few taxis.

What’s with the cabs in Milan?

I had to wait about 20 minutes to find a cabbie at the airport; my colleague, Denise Sheehan, reported that she had to wait for two hours yesterday in front of Fiera Milano to find a taxi, and finally shared one with two perfect strangers. This afternoon, Denise and I had to fight off someone who was trying to steal our cab without standing in the line!

Rho Pero, the site of the new Fiera Milano pictured to the right, is outside of the city and some say that’s why the dearth of cabs there. The driver of our taxi, however, had a different story to tell. Apparently, the government of Milan doesn’t allow the cabbies to work for more than 10 hours a day, except for a few special days. Those special days come without any apparent rhyme or reason, and cabbies are permitted to work more to make a few extra euros, but only between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. “There is a demand, there are customers waiting at street corners, and not just between 5 and 8, but … ” With Vitrum opening today, the cabbies will be allowed to work more than 10 hours until the end of the show.

I’m hoping to find a ride tomorrow without scrapping with anyone.
Friday, September 14, 2007
—By Katy Devlin (aka K. Diddy), e-Newsletter editor, e-glass weekly

In 2006, all of America (or rather, the MTV-obsessed portion of America) watched Making the Band and saw Diddy (formerly Puff Daddy, formerly P. Diddy, now just Diddy) fulfill the dreams of the five girls that now make up the hip-hop group Danity Kane.

If I were Diddy—well actually I’d probably go by K. Diddy—I would have passed on all those grueling dance and voice auditions with 18- to 25-year-old girls and chosen my band from the performers during Live Band Karaoke in Atlanta in conjunction with GlassBuild.

Sarah Porter from All Weather Tempering in Phoenix scheduled the industry event Monday at the 10 High Club. This is the second time Sarah invited glass folks to rock out karaoke-style, but in front of a live band instead of outdated 1980s music videos. The attendance grew from 15 in 2006 to about 100 this year.

As K. Diddy, I would not have worried about finding band members that lacked energy or passion, as jumping, head banging and overall “rocking” seemed natural for all the industry people that braved the stage. Finding perfect pitch performers might have been a bit tougher, but hair bands in decades past never took too much time to get that right either.

The choice for lead singer would be, hands down, Pete "The Real Jovi" Frank, managing editor of Window&Door; magazine, who gave an inspired, exciting and hard-core rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.”

Of course, the band would fail miserably without a backup singer, and who better than Sarah "The Siren" Porter (think Joan Jett meets Pat Benatar but with a flare for tempering).

If I really were K. Diddy and had the power to make the band, GlassBuild style, Pete and Sarah would be well on their way to the studio to lay down their first single. By next year’s show, they would already have completed their first sold-out stadium tour.

Auditions for the rest of my hypothetical glass metal band will be next year at the third annual karaoke band night at GlassBuild in Vegas (Oct. 6-8, visit http://www.glassbuildamerica.com/ for details).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By Jenni Chase, Editor, AutoGlass magazine


Although I’m not a die-hard NASCAR fan, I have a healthy respect for the men and women who hurtle themselves around the racetrack at speeds my Jeep can only dream of. So when I found out Rusty Wallace was signing autographs on the show floor at GlassBuild America on Wednesday, I decided to get a signed piece of memorabilia for my brother-in-law Tyler. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
As 11 a.m. approached and Rusty settled into the Auto Glass Pavilion, my stomach began doing flip flops. When I took my place in line, my palms began to sweat. Strange thoughts raced through my mind: What would I say to him? What would I do? What if I got up there and turned into a bumbling idiot? What if I clumsily knocked a cup of coffee into his lap, scalding one of NASCAR’s all-time greats and invoking the wrath of hundreds of thousands of fans? By the time I got to the autograph table, I was a nervous wreck.

And then a funny thing happened. I walked up to Rusty, smiled politely and asked him to sign my poster. I didn’t trip and fall into the table; there was no embarrassing coffee incident. Rusty simply shook my hand and gave me an autograph. Oh, and Tyler, I had my picture taken with him too. Eat your heart out…
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By Sahely Mukerji, Managing editor, Glass Magazine/AutoGlass

Another amazing day at the GBA. It really is mini-America on the show floor in terms of the international presence. No matter how they feel within, the Americans are co-habiting peacefully with the Asians and the Europeans under the same roof. They are shaking hands, exchanging smiles and business cards, buying and selling, and sharing a java or three. A perfect model of globalization; talk about the world being flat!

I have not noticed any “Say No to China” pins on the show floor or even inside the convention center. Have you? However, at Arch’s party at the Embassy Suites this evening, I saw a few pin-wearers, including the waiters serving shrimp cocktail and spinach-stuffed mushrooms. Wonder if their jobs are being outsourced to China, too? Why else would they sport those pins? Max told me personally that he didn’t ask anyone to put them on.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Today marks the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I’m sure everyone attending GBA has their own story of where they were on that day. I was working at washingtonpost.com in Arlington, Va. We were all glued to the TVs after hearing a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. We all watched the live telecast as the second plane hit. Less than an hour later, we could see smoke rising from the Pentagon after the third plane found its target.

Across the country in Lake Tahoe, which is along the border of Nevada and California, Mike Reier, one of the sales representatives for NGA magazines, was on vacation. On Sept. 10, he meant to turn in his rental car but decided to do it the next morning.

On the morning of 9/11, all planes were grounded. “After trying to reschedule flights for two days, we decided to make the drive across the U.S. back to Maryland,” Mike said.


Three days later, Mike returned the car to the BWI airport. “When I went into the return desk the clerk was overwhelmed that we had driven their car across the country and told me there would be a rather large drop-off fee associated with the normal rental,” Mike said.

Mike "calmly" explained he was not going to pay an additional $1,700. An argument ensued. He "happily" paid the rental fee and left. After numerous phone calls and several letters, the drop-off fee was dropped.

A story in the upcoming October issue of Glass Magazine will take a look at security glazing since those attacks. It mentions that the windows in the area of the Pentagon where the plane hit had been recently replaced and helped save lives.
Monday, September 10, 2007

—By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter editor, e-glass weekly

I went through a terrifying, horrifying (and mortifying) near-death experience yesterday. Let me set the scene.

I was at GlassBuild America one day before opening. Debris littered the aisles as forklifts and cranes sped past. Hundreds of workers scattered throughout the huge trade show floor worked in organized chaos, sawing, drilling, lifting and setting.

I found safety in our 20-by-20 foot magazine booth (3523—come visit!), until I noticed Ashley Charest and Brian Pitman from GANA and got up to greet them. We met in the middle of the aisle and barely completed our hellos when we heard beeps and shouts as a forklift sped toward us. Fear and panic filled my eyes, as the metal tines took aim at my shins. I watched the yellow cart barrel our way, going at least 10, maybe 15, miles per hour.

My three years in the industry flashed before my eyes, and I thought it was all over … that is, until Ashley saved my life and my glass career with some wise words: “Let’s move out of the way.”

As we walked to the edge of the aisle, I tripped over a roll of carpeting and slipped on a sheet of plastic. Catching my balance and playing it cool, we finished our conversation and said our goodbyes.

I have learned several things from this experience:

  • I am a colossal exaggerator

  • I am a complete klutz

  • It’s amazing how this trade show came together in such a short time. Major kudos to everyone involved.

Check out this video to see the process.


http://www.youtube.com/get_player
Sunday, September 9, 2007
—By Sahely Mukerji, Managing editor, Glass Magazine/AutoGlass

Good day from sunny Hotlanta. GlassBuild America brings me to this sultry downtown, with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees Fahrenheit; the asphalt on the streets adding to the sizzle with tire friction and car emissions.

City dwellers, however, seem conscious enough to not add their bit to the global warming. Either that or they just like the feel of zipping around town like an 8-year-old on his scooter with the wind in his hair.

It’s the Segway PTs I’m talking about. While sitting outside and sipping a nice cool glass of water at Pacific Rim on Peachtree Center Avenue last night, I noticed a man on this little two-wheeled self-balancing device gliding past. Have you noticed these personal transporters? I don't see them up in Northern Virginia where I live, but these Segways, “the next generation in personal mobility,” are at every street corner in the Big Peach.

On my ride back to the hotel from the Georgia Convention Center today, the cabbie, a 10-year Atlanta resident originally from Haiti, confirmed that with the hike in gas prices, the Segway has become quite popular in the city.

Invented by Dean Kamen and unveiled in December 2001, these transporters are produced by Segway Inc. of New Hampshire, according to Wikipedia. “The name "Segway" is a homophone of "segue" (a smooth transition, literally Italian for "follows"). PT is an initialism for personal transporter, while the old acronym HT was an initialism for human transporter.”

Kamen claims that 500 million car trips per day in the U.S. are less than 5 miles and single-passenger, and if only a percentage of those used a tiny electric "car" instead, the positive effects could be considerable, Wikipedia says.

Atlanta offers city Segway tours: go to http://www.citysegwaytours.com/ or write Atlanta@CitySegwatTours.com.

I can totally see myself ditching my Honda Civic for one of those slickers, but am not quite sure about those goofy helmets ...


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