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Engineers Develop Safer, Blast-resistant Glass

ScienceDaily (Sep. 11, 2009) — To protect from potential terrorist attacks, federal buildings and other critical infrastructures are made with special windows that contain blast-resistant glass. However, the glass is thick and expensive. Currently, University of Missouri researchers are developing and testing a new type of blast-resistant glass that will be thinner, lighter and less vulnerable to small-scale explosions.
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“Currently, blast-resistant window glass is more than 1 inch thick, which is much thicker than standard window glass that is only one-fourth of an inch thick and hurricane-protected window glass that is one-half of an inch thick,” said Sanjeev Khanna, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the MU College of Engineering. “The glass we are developing is less than one-half of an inch thick. Because the glass panel will be thinner, it will use less material and be cheaper than what is currently being used.”

Conventional blast-resistant glass is made with laminated glass that has a plastic layer between two sheets of glass. MU researchers are now replacing the plastic layer with a transparent composite material made of glass fibers that are embedded in plastic. The glass fibers add strength because, unlike plastic, they are only about 25 microns thick, which is about half the thickness of a typical human hair, and leave little room for defects in the glass that could lead to cracking. The use of a transparent composite interlayer provides us the flexibility to change the strength of the layer by changing the glass fiber quantity and its orientation, Khanna said.

In tests, researchers are observing how the glass reacts to small-scale explosions caused by a grenade or hand-delivered bomb. They tested the glass by exploding a small bomb within close proximity of the window panel. After the blast, the glass panel was cracked but had no holes in the composite layer.

“The new multilayered transparent glass could have a wide range of potential uses if it can be made strong enough to resist small-scale explosions,” Khanna said. “The super-strong glass also may protect residential windows from hurricane winds and debris or earthquakes. Most hurricane damage occurs when windows are punctured, which allows for high-speed wind and water to enter the structure.”

The research is funded by a $250,000 grant from the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Future tests will be done on larger pieces of glass that are equivalent to standard window size, and researchers could potentially test the glass on large-scale explosions.

Sign of the Times

Craig Kellogg — Interior Design, 9/1/2009

View the Slideshow

firm: Konyk Architecture

Matthew Malin, cofounder of the puzzlingly parenthetical (Malin + Goetz) luxury beauty brand, is a graduate of both Kiehl’s and Helmut Lang Parfumerie—the latter products being sold at flagships that were masterpieces of minimalism by Gluckman Mayner Architects. Andrew Goetz, for his part, used to serve as U.S. marketing director of furniture-maker Vitra. Clearly, both partners “know the value of design,” Konyk Architecture’s Craig Konyk notes approvingly. To conceive the first (Malin + Goetz) shop, in Chelsea, Konyk took his direction from prototypes for the brand’s utilitarian-chic packaging by the graphics firm 2×4. The crisply detailed boutique opened to rave reviews five years ago, quickly becoming a magnet for the smart set downtown.

The partners returned to Konyk when they needed an uptown retail outpost for their expanding line of products, which have come to include $16 sunscreen with “oil-free absorption technology” and $48 candles with a “cannabis” scent. Malin says he worried about appealing to a “bourgeois” neighborhood where customers would be young mothers with strollers the size of sport utility vehicles. “Housewives had to feel welcome,” Konyk clarifies. The mood that the partners were after couldn’t have contrasted more strongly, however, with the vibe of the old Dominican barbershop that they ultimately rented on the Upper West Side, lured by the corner location.

Lacking the historic-preservation commission’s permission to modernize the facade, Konyk left the careworn barbershop sign in place pending approval of a proposal to use the same typeface to spell out the name (Malin + Goetz). In the meantime, he completed the 400-square-foot interior. The first step was to get beyond the barbershop, rediscovering the 1889 building’s history. Rather than spending money on a new fire barrier for the upstairs apartments, he preserved the original pressed-tin ceiling, painted beige. “It isn’t exactly the best color,” he admits, “but it was there.” The woodwork definitely wasn’t. This paean to 19th-century luxury, which Goetz terms “Madame Bovary paneling,” was salvaged from a Long Island estate.

Installed on the sidewalls, the oak is punctuated by large round cutouts. Some contain shelving, but one is glass, the top of an original arched window that now has its lower portion blocked. “It’s a kind of oculus to pull you into the store and also frame a view out,” Konyk says. The circle motif is playful, with the buoyancy of champagne bubbles, yet bewitchingly counterintuitive in contrast with the belle epoque boiserie. “There’s an intellectual component to the architecture that matches the intellectual component of our brand,” Malin says. Stained medium brown to blend with the paneling, oak strips and oak-veneered plywood surface most of the floor and all of the dropped ceiling, respectively. Several more round cutouts in the latter allow glimpses of the painted tin above, emphasizing the theatricality of the entire installation. “We like having the bones of a building exposed and inserting our world like a stage set,” Goetz explains.

Konyk skipped a display island planned for the center of the floor—not so stroller-friendly in the limited space. At the rear, the cash-wrap desk dominates an alcove lined in cabinets, all lacquered white in support of the idea of cleanliness. With that cabinetry in mind, he suggested a contractor whose bread-and-butter is Manhattan nail parlors completed “in a weekend.” The price was right, the builders were indeed fast, and, of course, they already knew a thing or two about making it big in the Big Apple’s beauty biz.

Photogrpahy by Eric Laignel.


Retail Food Prices Continue Downward Trend in Third Quarter of 2009

MADISON, WI (WFBF Release)- The quarterly Market Basket survey, conducted by members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, found the average retail price of 20-basic food items surveyed was $52.10 in the third quarter of 2009.  This is $1.30 less than the average of $53.40 in the second quarter.

Modest changes were seen in individual items surveyed.  Many items saw less than 1-percent change from the previous quarter and a gallon of whole milk remained at $2.59, the same price as the second quarter.  A gallon of milk was $3.44 in the third quarter of last year.

Milk prices have seen large fluctuations in the last few years.  The price paid to farmers was over $20 per hundredweight (100 pounds of milk or 11.63 gallons) going into 2008.  Now that price is down in the $11-12 range in 2009.  The graph from the USDA’s statistics department shows the volatility in milk prices received by farmers, averaged across the United States, since 1999.

The other two dairy products surveyed, cheddar cheese and butter, had differing results.  A pound of butter averaged $3.26 in the third quarter, up from $3.15 in the previous quarter.  A pound of mild cheddar cheese decreased 9-cents to $3.87 in the third quarter.

The retail prices for chicken breasts and whole chicken both fell in the third quarter.  Whole chicken was down 16-cents to $1.38 per pound and a pound of chicken breasts was down 21-cents to $2.23 per pound.  As poultry production remains strong, international demand has remained weak causing downward pressure on retail prices.

Pork producers have faced tough times in the last year as misinformation about the H1N1 flu virus impacted consumer consumption.  Although the virus is transmitted airborne and the virus is transmitted from humans to swine (not from swine to humans), fear has led to reduced consumption domestically and export markets such as China have banned imports based on ignorance.  Producers have worked to reduce production and Wisconsin producers slaughtered 21-percent fewer hogs in August of 2009 versus August of 2008.  Nationally, as of September, hog inventory in the United States was down 2-percent from 2009.  The reduced production helped pork prices from falling further.  The retail price for a pound of bacon was unchanged in the third quarter of 2009, remaining at $4.68, the same as the second quarter.  Ham decreased only 2-cents per pound to $1.92 and pork chops increased 11-cents per pound to $3.49.

Decreases of over 5% were seen in the following food items: tomatoes, potatoes, Cheerios, and white bread.  Per bushel prices for corn, wheat, and oats are all lower than this same time last year.  While prices paid to farmers for what they produce have declined, prices farmers pay for inputs; including fertilizer, feed, and energy, have continued to increase.  The graph below shows the steady increase in prices paid by farmers.  Compare this to the prices received by farmers and notice the farmer’s costs do not go down when they are paid less.

2009 MIPIM AsiaAwardsNominees

2009 MIPIM Asia Awards Nominees Unveiled

Singapore and China feature strongly in the list of 24 nominees for the third edition of the MIPIM Asia Awards. Both countries have respectively 7 and 6 projects competing for an award.

The international jury*, chaired by Dr Robert Lie, Managing Director Redevco Asia Limited, met in Hong Kong, September 18, to examine all entries to the competition and to determine the 24 nominees in 8 distinct categories — 3 nominated projects per category.

The 24 finalist projects will be exhibited throughout the market and, for the first time, MIPIM Asia participants will vote on line for their favourite projects in the 2 weeks prior to the event.

104 pre-selection forms from 15 countries have been presented to this year’s MIPIM Asia Awards competition. Entries have been sent from as far afield as Australia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Macao, the Philippines or the UAE. China is the best-represented country in this competition with 41 submitted projects.

“It is very impressive to see that in times of financial and economic turmoil, so many interesting and ambitious projects are conceived and built. We are particularly pleased that China — Country of Honour at this year’s MIPIM Asia — has so strongly responded to the MIPIM Asia Awards competition. The newly introduced category ˜Best Chinese projects’ will certainly present some of the most interesting projects of the whole competition,” states Robert Lie, President of the MIPIM Asia Awards 2009 Jury.

The fourth edition of MIPIM Asia, the world’s property market in Asia Pacific, will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 18 to 20. The MIPIM Asia Awards Ceremony will take place on the opening day of MIPIM Asia, on Wednesday, November 18, at 5.30 pm.



Mokuzai Kaikan – Tokyo, Japan — Architects, Planners, Engineers: Nikken Sekkei; Tomohiko Yamanashi; Takeyuki Katsuya

Nexxus Building – Hong Kong — Architect: Aedas Ltd. Owner, Asset Manager & Project Manager: Mutual Capital Limited

Samsung Electronics Seocho Headquarters – Seoul, Republic of South Korea — Architect of record: Samoo Architects & Engineers Design Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC Developer: Samsung Corporation


Banyan Tree Hangzhou – Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China — Architects: Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts Pte. Ltd. Zhejiang South Architectural Design Co., Ltd. Developer: Hangzhou Westbrook Investment Co., Ltd.

Hotel G Beijing – Beijing, People’s Republic of China — Architect: Mark Lintott Design Developer: GC Tian He Property (Beijing) Co. Investor: Gaw Capital Partners

Hotel Quincy — Singapore — Architect: Ong&Ong Pte Ltd. Owner and Developer: Far East Organization


Horim Art Center – Seoul, Republic of South Korea — Architect, Supervisor, construction manager: TEH-JE Architects, Inc.

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre – Melbourne, Australia — Architects: Joint Venture Architects Woods Bagot & NHArchitecture Developer: Plenary Group

Shanghai World Financial Center – Shanghai, People’s Republic of China — Design Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC Developer: Mori Building Company Project Architect: Mori Building Company


Grosvenor Place Kamizono-Cho Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan — Architects: – Paul Davis + Partners – Yasui Architects & Engineers, Inc. Developer: Grosvenor

Newton Suites, Singapore — Singapore — Architect: WOHA Developer: UOL Group Ltd.

Rivergate — Singapore — Architect: RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd & Cox Richardson Architects & Planners Developer: Riverwalk Promenade Private Ltd (a joint venture between CapitaLand Residential Singapore Pte Ltd. and Hwa Hong Corporation Ltd.)


Greenbelt 5 – Makati City, the Philippines — Architect: Callison Architecture Inc. in collaboration with GF and partners Developer and Management Company: Ayala Land Inc.

ION Orchard — Singapore — Concept and Design Architect: Benoy Ltd. Developer: Orchard Turn Developments Pte. Ltd. (joint venture between Sun Hung Kai Properties and CapitaLand Ltd.) Project architect/ Civil & Structural Engineer: RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd.

Orchard Central — Singapore — Architect: DP Architects Pte Ltd. Owner and Developer: Far East Organization


7 & 9 Tampines Grande Office Building — Singapore — Architect: Architects 61 Pte Ltd. Developer: City Development Ltd.

11 Tampines Concourse — Singapore — Architect: Architects 61 Pte Ltd. Developer: City Development Ltd.

Vrindavan Tech Village – Bangalore, India — Architect: HOK International (Asia/Pacific) Ltd. Developer: Assetz Property Group

FUTURA PROJECTS (Projects which are not yet completed — this was the category that received the most entries this year)

2014 Incheon Asian Games Main Stadium – Incheon Metropolitan City, Republic of South Korea — Architect: Heerim Architects and Planners, Co. Ltd. Developers: – The 17th Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee. – Incheon Metropolitan City

Kazakhstan Presidential Library in Astana – Astana, Kazakhstan — Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group Developer: President’s Affairs Office

Zira Island Master Plan – Baku, Azerbaijan — Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group Developer: Avrositi Holding

BEST CHINESE PROJECTS (this category was specially conceived this year, as China is Country of Honour at MIPIM Asia)

Plaza 353 – Shanghai, People’s Republic of China — Architect and Interior designer: Woods Bagot Asia Ltd. Developer: Shanghai Jihui Property Management Company

Raffles City Beijing – Beijing, People’s Republic of China — Architect: SPARCH Design Consulting (Shanghai) Ltd. Developer: CapitaLand China Holdings Pte. Ltd.

Shanghai World Financial Center – Shanghai, People’s Republic of China — Design Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC Developer: Mori Building Company Project Architect: Mori Building Company

For further information on the MIPIM Asia Awards 2009, please visit:

High resolution photographs of the nominated projects are available at: Asia Awards 2009 Photos of

*This year’s MIPIM Asia Awards Jury is composed of:

President of the jury – Dr. Robert Lie, Redevco Asia Limited, Real Estate Investment & Development Managing Director, Hong Kong

Mr. Suchad Chiaranassati, RECAP Investments, Managing Director

Mr. Stanley Ching, Citic Capital, Managing Director, Hong Kong

Mr. Richard David, Treasury Holdings China Limited, Managing Director, China

Mrs. Anna Kwong, Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Chairman, Hong Kong

Mr. Charles Lam, Pramerica Real Estate Investors Asia, Managing Director North Asia, China

Mr. Cheng-Soon Lau, Invesco Real Estate Asia, Managing Director, Hong Kong

Mr. Morgan Laughlin, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Managing Director, Regional Head of Real Estate Finance – Asia-Pacific, Japan

Mr. Nicholas J. Loup, Grosvenor Ltd, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific, Hong Kong

Mr. Peter Mitchell, APREA, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Richard T.G. Price, ING Real Estate Investment Management, CEO- Asia, Hong Kong

Mr. Kam Sing Wong, Professional Green Building Council, Chairman, Hong Kong

Mr. Richard Watt, Commissioning Editor, Special Reports, South China Morning Post

Note to journalists:


Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is a leading organiser of professional, international tradeshows. Reed MIDEM events have established themselves as key dates in professional diaries. The company hosts MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, and MIPJUNIOR for the television and digital content industries, MIDEM for music professionals, MIPIM, MIPIM Asia, MIPIM HORIZONS and MAPIC for the property and retail real estate sectors.

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 470 events in 37 countries. In 2008 Reed brought together over seven million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 38 fully staffed offices.

Reed organises a wide range of events, including exhibitions, conferences, congresses and meetings. Its portfolio of over 470 events serves 44 industry sectors, including: Aerospace & aviation, automobiles, broadcasting, building & construction, electronics, energy, oil & gas, engineering, manufacturing, environment, food service & hospitality, gifts, healthcare, interior design, IT & telecoms, jewellery, life science & pharmaceuticals, machinery, medical education, printing & graphics, property & real estate, security & safety, sports & recreation, travel.

For further information about Reed MIDEM visit

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Retail is Targeting the “Mother”

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that many teen stores are making changes to their store environments to appeal to Moms.

Over the last few years, everyday fashion reached what used to be luxury prices.  For example, simple “hoodies” (in my day this was a sweatshirt) with the most popular brand name stitched on the back go for an exorbitant $60.00.  Three years ago that wasn’t a big deal.  Now, with economic times being what they are it’s no wonder Mom’s across the country feel compelled to accompany their teens on shopping trips to the mall to make sure purchases are ‘Mom approved’.  Teens may not love the idea of having Mom tag-along at the mall but if the babysitting money won’t even cover a pair of jeans they may just accept that Mom (and her check book) comes with the price of fashion.

Teen apparel retailers are wise to catch on that the buck ultimately stops with Mom and to make accommodations that appeal to both Mom and teen alike.

There’s still a balancing act to play, however.  Retailers who can still appeal to the Teen’s need for independence and their own experience but capture Mom’s sensibility will be well served.  The Wall Street Journal cites some practical changes that wouldn’t appear to impede the teen appeal of stores like wider aisles, more seats and hours of operation that accomodate parents’ work schedules.  Yet they must be careful not to deviate too far from the in-store experience that draws teens like Hollisters’ dark beach house feel or Express’ club-like music.

Paying attention to these intricacies of consumer behavior and responding quickly keeps the shopping experience relevant and enables retailers to stay the economy.

Diversify or Die

Diversify or Die
Retail Trends, Small Business Advice May 27, 2009 By Diane Helbig

Business diversification and expansion. Do you know a business owner who is lamenting the current state of the economy? Are they talking about how their business is on life support and they don’t know what to do?

Are you one of them?

Lee Iacocco said, “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”

The companies that seek out different market segments are the ones that will survive this environment. How do they do it? They look at their product or service and then at their current client/market base. Then they take a step back and ask – Is there another segment that could use my product or service? Can I adapt my process to open up another potential client pool?

According to a May 4, 2009 article in Crain’s Cleveland Business, companies like Wright Tool Company are exploring different market segments like advanced energy and medical technology. Retail locations like Next Energy Store of Kirtland, Ohio are looking for new products to sell.

These companies are looking for ways to continue to provide value. When their current prospect base started to dwindle they stepped outside of their situation and considered alternatives. They got creative and found other markets to prospect in; they found new prospects.

In early 2008 Tree House Gallery in Olde Avon Village, Ohio opened a branch store called Sassy’s to cater to female consumers. While Tree House Gallery sells antiques and home furnishings, Sassy’s offers jewelry and accessories at reasonable prices. The owners realized that people were slowing down their purchases of higher ticket items. At the same time they knew that women will continue to buy lower cost accessories that make them feel good.

Think of it this way – when you are saving your pennies and thinking about every purchase, it’s nice to mildly splurge by buying yourself a trinket. There’s something about an item under $20.00 that makes it attractive. It’s something you can justify. Sassy’s offers just that range of items. So, while revenues may be slightly down for Tree House, overall the company is doing quite well thanks to Sassy’s.

What do all of these companies have in common? They understand that if they continued to do what they were doing they’d die. When death isn’t an option, the creative juices flow. It’s a decision business owners are making everyday – diversify or die.

Where do you stand? Is it time to strategize? You don’t have to go it alone! Include your staff, associates, and friends in your brainstorming. You never know what someone will come up with. The key is to know you CAN diversify; you CAN be creative and find new avenues for growth.

Good economy or bad, it’ll be one of the best things you do for your business.

* * * * *

Diane HelbigAbout the Author: Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach and the president of Seize This Day Coaching. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Sales Experts Panel at Top Sales Experts.

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