Vending Machines

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A vending machine made in 1952.
A vending machine is a machine which dispenses items such as snacks, beverages, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, cologne, consumer products and even gold and gems to customers automatically, after the customer inserts currency or credit into the machine.
History

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Hero of Alexandria, engineer from Antiquity, who invented an early vending machine.
The earliest known reference to a vending machine is in the work of Hero of Alexandria, a first-century engineer and mathematician. His machine accepted a coin and then dispensed holy water. When the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counterweight snapped the lever up and turned off the valve.
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Old chocolate vending machine at the Cadbury factory in Tasmania, Australia
Coin-operated machines that dispensed tobacco were being operated as early as 1615 in the taverns of England. The machines were portable and made of brass. An English bookseller, Richard Carlile, devised a newspaper dispensing machine for the dissemination of banned works in 1822. Simeon Denham was awarded British Patent no. 706 for his stamp dispensing machine in 1867, the first fully automatic vending machine.
Modern vending machines

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Automatic stamp and postcard vending machine, early 20th century, Japan.
The first modern coin-operated vending machines were introduced in London, England in the early 1880s, dispensing post cards. The machine was invented by Percival Everitt in 1883 and soon became a widespread feature at railway stations and post offices, dispensing envelopes, postcards and notepaper. The Sweetmeat Automatic Delivery Company was founded in 1887 in England as the first company to deal primarily with the installation and maintenance of vending machines.
The first vending machine in the U.S. was built in 1888 by the Thomas Adams Gum Company, selling gum on New York City train platforms. The idea of adding games to these machines as a further incentive to buy came in 1897 when the Pulver Manufacturing Company added small figures, which would move around whenever somebody bought some gum from their machines. This idea spawned a whole new type of mechanical device known as the “trade stimulators”. The birth of slot machines and pinball is ultimately rooted in these early devices.
In December 1970, Ussery Industries of Dallas, Texas at its Dallas convention displayed its “talking” vending machine, the Venda Talker. With insertion of a coin, the machine said “thank you” and added a one-liner voiced by comic Henny Youngman.
Mechanism

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A newspaper vending machine
After paying, a product may become available by:
• the machine releasing it, so that it falls in an open compartment at the bottom, or into a cup, either released first, or put in by the customer, or
• the unlocking of a door, drawer, or turning of a knob.
Some products need to be prepared to become available. For example, tickets are printed or magnetized on the spot, and coffee is freshly concocted. One of the most common form of vending machine, the snack machine, often uses a metal coil which when ordered rotates to release the product.
The main example of a vending machine giving access to all merchandise after paying for one item is a newspaper vending machine (also called vending box) found mainly in the U.S. and Canada. It contains a pile of identical newspapers. After a sale the door automatically returns to a locked position. A customer could open the box and take all of the newspapers or, for the benefit of other customers, leave all of the newspapers outside of the box, slowly return the door to an unlatched position, or block the door from fully closing, each of which are frequently discouraged, sometimes by a security clamp. The success of such machines is predicated on the assumption that the customer will be honest (hence the nickname “honor box”), and need only one copy.
Bulk candy and gumball vending

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A bulk candy machine

Bulk candy machines are mechanical machines that vend a handful of candy, a bouncy ball, or perhaps a capsule with a small toy or jewelry, for one or two coins. The items may be unsorted; in that case what the customer exactly gets is subject to chance. In other instances, the customer is guaranteed a specific type of candy.
The gross margins in the bulk candy business can be quite high — gumballs, for instance, can be purchased in bulk for 2 cents apiece and sold for 25 cents in the US. Gumballs and candy have a relatively long shelf life, enabling vending machine operators to manage many machines without too much time or cost involved. In addition, the machines are typically inexpensive compared to soft drink or snack machines, which often require power and sometimes refrigeration to work. Many operators donate a percentage of the profits to charity so that locations will allow them to place the machines for free.

Bulk vending may be a more practical choice than soft drink/snack vending for an individual who also works a full-time job, since the restaurants, retail stores, and other locations suitable for bulk vending may be more likely to be open during the evening and on weekends than venues such as offices that host soft drink and snack machines.
Cigarette vending
Cigarettes were commonly sold in the United States through these machines, but this is increasingly rare due to concerns about underage buyers. Sometimes a pass has to be inserted in the machine to prove one’s age before a purchase can be made. In the United Kingdom, legislation banning them outright came into effect on October 1, 2011. In Germany and Czech Republic, cigarette machines are still common.
Since 2007, however, age verification has been mandatory in Germany – buyers must be 18 or over. The various machines installed in pubs and cafés, other publicly accessible buildings and on the street accept one or more of the following as proof of age: the buyer’s identity card, bank debit card (smart card) or European Union driver’s license.
Full-line vending

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A full line of vending machines in a hospital cafeteria, including machines for drinks, snacks, and microwaveable foods.

A full-line vending company may set up several types of vending machines that sell a wide range of products. Products may include candy, cookies, chips, fresh fruit, milk, cold food, coffee and other hot drinks, bottles, cans of soda, and even frozen products like ice cream. These products can be sold from machines that include coffee, snack, cold food, 20-oz. bottle machines, and glass-front bottle machines. In the United States, almost all machines accept bills with more and more machines accepting $5 bills. This is an advantage to the vendor because it virtually eliminates the need for a bill changer. Larger corporations with cafeterias will often request full line vending with food service.
Specialized vending

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A live bait vending machine

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Vending machine for bicycle tubes in Berlin, Germany

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Vending machine for art
In the Western world, some vending machines dispense personal products, typically in public toilet facilities. The machines in ladies’ restrooms typically sell pads or tampons. The machines in men’s rooms, when they are present, are most commonly for the sale of condoms, though in some locations they may be found dispensing cologne, medicine, small candies, or even pornography These are often found at toilets used by transient persons in high traffic locations, such as bus stations, shopping centres, airports and service stations.

From the 1950s until well into the 1970s, vending machines were used at American airports to sell life insurance policies covering death, in the event that the buyer’s flight crashed. Such policies were quite profitable, because the risk of a plane crash is low. However, this practice gradually disappeared due to the tendency of American courts to strictly construe such policies against their sellers, such as Mutual of Omaha.
Starting with 1994, vending machines approached successfully the basic food commerce specialization and began to compete with the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry. Milk dispensers and egg vending machines networks spreading in European towns accelerated after 2000. The basic food vending machines are usually owned by farmers selling their production directly to consumers, providing fresh food to urban population at low prices, small operational costs and encouraging the distributism.
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Automated retail machine found in the U.S., Japan and Europe. Pictured is a Best Buy Express machine (ZoomShops)

Another type of vending machine is a Chargebox which is used for charging small mobile devices such as mobile phones and ipods. They are useful for when one runs out of power on such devices in between locations like home and work.
From 2000-2010, specialization of vending machines became more common. Vending extended increasingly into non-traditional areas like electronics, or even artwork. Machines of this new category are generally called Automated Retail kiosks. The trend of specialization and proliferation of vending machines is perhaps most apparent in Japan where vending machines sell products from toilet paper to hot meals and pornography, and there is 1 vending machine per 23 people.
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DVD vending machine, Tokyo
Liskom (Russia) and Xerox (Global) both have coin-operated or pay-per-copy vending machines.
In the United States, and soon to be available in Canada, the marijuana vending machine dispenses medical marijuana.
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Condom machine, Italy
In schools
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Instant noodles vending machine, Tokyo
In the United States, under pressure from parents and anti-obesity advocates, many school districts moved to ban sodas, junk foods, and candy from vending machines and cafeterias. State legislators in California, for example, passed laws banning the sale of machine-dispensed snacks and drinks in elementary schools in 2003, despite objections by the California-Nevada Soft Drink Association. The state followed more recently with legislation to prohibit their soda sales in high schools starting July 1, 2009, with the shortfall in school revenue to be compensated by an increase in funding for school lunch programs. A similar law passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in June 2005 was vetoed by governor Jodi Rell, who stated the legislation “undermines the control and responsibility of parents with school-aged children.”
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Drinks and snacks vending machines alongside in National University of Singapore, Singapore
With increasing concern over traditional vending machines in schools, healthier vending options have gained popularity and are steadily being adopted by schools around the nation.

Such “healthy vending machines” are marketed as allowing students to perform better in addition to better health.
Over recent years, there has been debate over schools providing condoms for student use, possibly through a vending machine. In late 2012, 22 public high schools in Philadelphia installed vending machines providing free condoms.
Safety and security issues

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A typical American snack vending machine
Risk of falling machines
Most modern vending machines are tested and designed to inhibit theft, with security measures resulting in designs similar in strength to safes. As a result, the machines can be very heavy.
A few people have been fatally injured after having a vending machine topple over them, either while they were attempting to steal from the machine, or venting frustration over a malfunction which caused a failure to dispense the purchased item or the proper change. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (11 November 1988, p. 2697) documents 15 cases in which men trying to get a can out of the machine were crushed.
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Onsen (hot spring) water machine in Kanagawa, Japan
Three died, the other 12 required hospitalization for injuries such as fractures of the skull, toe, ankle, tibia, femur, and pelvis;
intracerebral bleeding; knee contusion; and one punctured bladder. The article states that because the soft drinks are located in the upper half of the machine (so that they can fall into the dispensing slot), the center of gravity of the machine is abnormally high. Because of this high center of gravity, the machine will fall over once it has been tipped only 20 degrees, an unexpectedly small angle. A large, fully loaded soft drink machine can weigh over 400 kg (880 lbs.)

Coin fraud
One issue with vending machines, particularly mechanical vending machines, involves the use of coins of foreign currency, or, in more extreme cases, worthless tokens or washers (commonly referred to as slugs), which have the same size and shape as the coin accepted by the machine. This is done to pay less for merchandise, and sometimes in order to get change that has more value than the originally inserted object.
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Photo booth, Germany
One remarkable example of this was the use of Libyan coins of 100 Dirhams and 50 Dirhams denominations in Maltese vending machines in the late 1990s. The 100 Dirham coin was used in place of the 1 Maltese Lira coin which had, back then, a de facto black market value of approximately 10 Libyan Dinars and thus having a value 100 times higher than that of the fraudulent coin. Similarly, the 50 Dirhams coin was used in place of the 25 Maltese cent, which meant a 50-fold increase of value according to the black market price. However, this problem was quickly solved when the machines involved were quickly replaced with new ones that could detect the difference between the Libyan and the Maltese coins, especially in tourist areas. In another case, the 2 euro coin is similar in size to the 10 baht coin (worth only €0.25). As a result, many vending machines in the eurozone will not accept €2 coins, such is the extent of the 10-baht scam. However, most of the currently used vending machines still accept 5-rouble coin instead of 2 euro coin, which leads to the visible losses of their owners, due to the increasing number of Russian tourists.
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Vending machine for bicycle tubes in Berlin, Germany
In the United States, most vending machines have advanced currency detection techniques that can discern coins by reading the coins’ “magnetic signature;” thus, many American vending machines will not take coins from other countries, even if their sizes are similar. This can cause some issues due to the fact that Canadian coins, which are identical in size and shape to their American counterparts, generally circulate alongside U.S. currency in the northern United States and in small sums are usually accepted at par (the discrepancy between the two currencies is small enough to be neglected), but cannot be accepted in many vending machines due to a different metallic composition. (To a certain extent, this issue also affects Caribbean coinage, countries whose currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar, and the British 5p, 10p, and 50p, all of which are similar in size and value to the U.S. and Canadian dime, quarter and dollar coins; the Atlantic Ocean generally minimizes the cross-circulation of these coins. The coins of the Mexican peso and the euro are much different from those of the aforementioned countries, eliminating the threat of cross-circulation.)
Innovations

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Pushbutton and touch screen ticket machines in Germany

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A Redbox DVD vending machine.

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Stamp vending machine in the London Heathrow Airport

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A Vendtxt Vending Inc. Machine
Vending machines have gone through significant changes and innovations. Many machines are evolving to accept credit cards and companies are now able to monitor a machine’s state from afar.
Classic gumball machines led to people packaging items in small capsules that can be dispensed one at a time from such machines. Larger capsules can be dispensed by claw crane machines.
While most vending machines cannot be stacked on top of each other, the Gacha and Gashapon capsule toys vending machines are designed to operate while stacked on a countertop.

John Greenwick of the Greenway company is a former Mars Electronics employee and former product manager of the first ever bill acceptor. According to him, the industry saw a need for the ability to standardize the acceptance of coins and currency on a global basis. As such, a standard known as MDB (Multi-Drop Bus) was invented. This allows for machines around the world to utilize the same bill acceptor and coin changer devices with an international specification.
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Ice cream machine, Tokyo
Doug M. Sanford of Vending Times notes that “many vendors today do not remember the urgency with which industry leaders called on their peers to install coin mechanisms that held the patron’s money in escrow until the vend was made; to post a telephone number that a customer could call to report a failure and request a refund; to make sure their drivers were cleaning the machines adequately and replacing burnt-out lamps; and so on and on”. More recent innovations include improved coin and bill validation and the rapid adoption of sense-and-feedback systems to verify that the vend was made.
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Cup noodle vending machine in Kyoto, Japan
According to Michael Kasavana, National Automatic Merchandising Association at Michigan State University, the advent of reliable, affordable wireless technology has made telemetry practical and provided the medium through which cashless payments can be authenticated. Research shows that 50% of consumers will not purchase from a vending machine if its “Use exact change only” light is on. Machines with telemetry can transmit sales and inventory data to a route truck in the parking lot so that the driver knows what products to bring in for restocking. Or the data can be transmitted to a remote headquarters for use in scheduling a route stop, detecting component failure or verifying collection information.
Many telemetry technology providers are competing for the standard as the market tests different vending machine setups. Based on early documentation, digital telemetry communication for stocking and Credit Card style payment systems saves up to 40% of the carbon emissions over standard human monitored, and mechanical change systems.
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Book vending machine, United Kingdom
Another innovation is self-service, standalone Automated Retail stores, for example with a touchscreen. Once a product is purchased the robotic arm delivers it into the pickup box and charges the consumer’s credit card.
In the area of service vending machines other innovations include internet kiosks and DVD vending. Cashless vending now allows consumers to use debit cards or precharged “keys” such as the U-Key for added convenience. Vending is a multi-billion dollar industry.

To prevent injuries or death from tipping or striking the machine, most modern snack vending machines equipped with spirals to hold products contain lasers near the access door at the bottom. If a purchased item does not break the laser beam when falling, the spirals will automatically turn, usually three times to ensure that a product will fall. If this still does not occur, the customer will be asked to make another selection or will be refunded their money.
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Los Angeles, California, newspaper vending machine featuring news of the 1984 Summer Olympics
Off-grid fuel cell based vending machines with swappable hydrogen storage tanks are entering the market.
Cashless payments will soon be on many vending machines in the near future. The majority of vending machine operators plan to add credit card swipers to their machines in 2011, according to a study by Apriva, wireless transaction services company. About 57 percent of companies surveyed by Apriva said they planned to expand the number of their machines outfitted with card swipers.

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A Library-A-Go-Go library book machine at the El Cerrito del Norte BART station in California.
Sweden’s Distec company invented the bokomaten machine to vend library books at remote locations and during off hours.
After few decades of gradual progress in innovations, vending machines have seen a trend to integrate more recent technology and innovations such as interactive touch display, digital signage, video analytics to recognize gender and age group, remote content management, cloud manageability for sales, inventory, refill, etc., all of which make them to be known as smart vending machines. A Malaysian company Silkron has developed and been providing the smart vending software and SDK known as Vendron for vending machine makers, vending operators and system integrators to leverage on smart vending technology and capabilities.
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Coin-operated binoculars, United States
Individual countries
China
Vending machines can be found in some places in China. Some vending machines are also built in China.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong has one of the highest number of vending machines in the world. Vending machines there are known as 自動售賣機 (‘automatic selling machine’) in Chinese. Due to high labour cost and limited space, vending machines have been introduced to Hong Kong. Majorities of the vending machines are in the public, with some in the shopping centres and schools.
The majority of vending machines in Hong Kong are stocked with drinks, snacks. Besides that, some vending machines are stocked with cases and accessories for mobile phones and cameras, umbrellas, cosmetics, and so forth.
The vending machines in Hong Kong allow the customer to pay by cash, credit cards and Octopus cards, a type of smart card.
India
Vending machines are not very common in India and are usually found only in major cities or along some national highways.
Vending machines are used to sell snacks, beverages, condoms, public transit tickets, gold and diamond jewellery and change for currency notes.
Several reasons have been attributed to the lack of success of vending machines in India; cheap labour is readily availability and has let to the setting up of several small stores throughout the country which serves as indirect competition to vending machines, a lack of technical knowledge and unease with using vending machines, problems with currency recognition and a lack of machines that accept both coins, notes and alternate payment channels, vandalism and rough use, and poor maintenance of the machines. However, vending machines are a relatively new industry in India and analysts believe that usage will rise with changing consumer habits and lifestyle.

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Fishing bait machine, Spain
Japan
Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every twenty-three people. Japan’s high population density, relatively high cost of labor, limited space, preference for shopping on foot or by bicycle, and low rates of vandalism and petty crime, provide an accommodating environment for vending machines. While the majority of machines in Japan are stocked with drinks, snacks, and cigarettes, one occasionally finds vending machines selling items such as bottles of liquor, cans of beer, prepared food, iPods, pornography, sexual lubricants, live lobsters, fresh meat, eggs and potted plants.
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Cigarette vending machines in Tokyo, with a woman promoting the products

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Beer and sake machines, Japan

The first vending machine in Japan was made of wood and sold postage stamps and post cards.
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Coca-Cola machine at Chiran, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan
About 80 years ago, there were vending machines that sold sweets made by the “Glico Company”. In 1967, the 100-yen coin was distributed for the first time, and vending machine sales skyrocketed overnight selling a variety of items everywhere.
In Japan, vending machines are known as 自動販売機 (jidō-hanbaiki) from jidō, or “automatic”; hanbai, or “vending”; and ki, or “machine”, 自販機 (jihanki) for short. Vending machines are also commonly used in casual restaurants to sell meal tickets, similar to automats: one purchases a meal ticket from a vending machine, then presents the ticket to a server, who then prepares and serves the meal. These are referred to as 食券機 (shokkenki, “food ticket machine”);
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Rice vending machines, Japan

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A Buddhist prayer bead-roll vending machine at Zenkō-ji, Nagano, Japan
In 1999, the estimated 5.6 million coin- and card-operated Japanese vending machines generated $53.28 billion in sales. Vending machine goods and services can cost as little as 50 and as much as 3,000 yen.

With the introduction to services such as “Osaifu-Keitai”, cell phones can now be used to pay for the items bought from these vending machines more easily.
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Vending Machine in Moscow
FoodCube French Fries Vending Machine
A machine that makes fresh French fries, Australia
In 2008, a smart card called taspo was implemented in the majority of tobacco vending machines across the country to restrict sales of cigarettes from them. From such machines cigarette purchases may only be made by those in possession of the card, which is issued to adult applicants (which in the case of Japan, is 20 years of age). The card is held up to a sensor after money is inserted into the machine. Some beer vending machines also require age verification.
Netherlands

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A Dutch “automatiek”
A common feature of snack bars in the Netherlands is known as the automatiek or more commonly the automaat and is similar to an automat. It consists of a wall lined with coin-operated machines. Each has a vertical row of little windows, with a (usually hot) snack behind each, e.g., a croquette, a frikandel or a hamburger. Usually the automatiek is part of a larger establishment and will sell a broader range of food and drinks not suitable for vending machines at a counter. The automatiek is there to service customers that do not want to, or can not, wait to be serviced by a person at the counter. However, some snack bar chains’ business focus mainly on the automatiek, such as FEBO.
After inserting the proper amount of money into a slot, an individual opens one of the windows and removes the snack. On most machines it is possible to open a window which does not contain a snack, so care must be taken when opening a window. The machines are heated so that the snacks stay hot, and snacks will generally be thrown away if they stay in for more than two to three hours. Behind the machine is the kitchen where the snacks are prepared, with the little windows being re-supplied from the back.
Automatieks may provide chairs for customers, but it is also common to have seating only for customers buying food at the counter (as they generally buy larger meals). Sometimes the vending machines are in an outside wall, and no shelter is provided.
These vending machines are often located at railway stations or in busy shopping streets.

Fairs
Every two years in September the European Vending Industry presents their innovations at the trade fair EuVend in Cologne, Germany.

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Burj Al Arab Luxury Hotel Dubai

Burj 1_Al_Arab,_Dubai,_by_Joi_Ito_Dec2007
Burj Al Arab (Arabic: برج العرب‎,Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world; however, 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a ship. Sometimes referred to as “the world’s only 7-Star hotel”, its star rating is disputed.

Site
The beachfront area where Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel are located was previously called Chicago Beach. The hotel is located on an island of reclaimed land 280 meters offshore of the beach of the former Chicago Beach Hotel. The locale’s name had its origins in the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company which at one time welded giant floating oil storage tankers on the site.
The old name persisted after the old Hotel was demolished in 1997. Dubai Chicago Beach Hotel remained as the Public Project Name for the construction phase of Burj Al Arab Hotel until Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the new name.

Design and construction
Burj Al Arab was designed by architect Tom Wright of WKK Architects. The design and construction were managed by Canadian engineer Rick Gregory also of WS Atkins. Construction of the Island began in 1994. It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two “wings” spread in a V to form a vast “mast”, while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium. The architect Tom Wright said “The client wanted a building that would become an iconic or symbolic statement for Dubai; this is very similar to Sydney with its Opera House, London with Big Ben, or Paris with the Eiffel Tower. It needed to be a building that would become synonymous with the name of the country.”
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Burj Al Arab Hotel Elevators
The architect and engineering consultant for the project was Atkins. Fletcher Construction from New Zealand was the lead joint venture partner in the initial stages of pre-construction and construction. The hotel was built by South African construction contractor Murray & Roberts and Al Habtoor Engineering.
The building opened in December 1999.
Features
Burj 3_al_Arab_lobby_March_2008panob
Lobby
Several features of the hotel required complex engineering feats to achieve. The hotel rests on an artificial island constructed 280 m (920 ft) offshore. To secure a foundation, the builders drove 230 forty-meter (130 ft) long concrete piles into the sand.
Engineers created a ground/surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honeycomb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, while it took fewer than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70,000 m3 (92,000 cu yd) of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.
Inside the building, the atrium is 180 m (590 ft) tall.
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Burj Al Arab is the world’s fourth tallest hotel (not including buildings with mixed use). The structure of the Rose Rayhaan, also in Dubai, is 11 m (36 ft) taller than Burj Al Arab.
Rooms and suites
The hotel is managed by the Jumeirah Group. Despite its size, Burj Al Arab holds only 28 double-story floors which accommodate 202 bedroom suites. The smallest suite occupies an area of 169 m2 (1,820 sq ft), the largest covers 780 m2 (8,400 sq ft).

Suites feature design details that juxtapose east and west. White columns show great influence. Bathrooms are accented by mosaic tile patterns.
The Royal Suite, billed at US$18,716 per night, is listed at number 12 on World’s 15 most expensive hotel suites compiled by CNN Go in 2012.
The Burj Al Arab is very popular with the Chinese market, which made up 25 per cent of all bookings at the hotel in 2011 and 2012.

Restaurants

Burj 4_Al_Arab
Al Muntaha
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Al Mahara
Al Muntaha (Arabic for “Highest” or “Ultimate”), is located 200 m (660 ft) above the Persian Gulf, offering a view of Dubai. It is supported by a full cantilever that extends 27 m (89 ft) from either side of the mast, and is accessed to a panoramic elevator.
Al Mahara (“Oyster”), which is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage, features a large seawater aquarium, holding roughly 990,000 L (260,000 US gal) of water. The wall of the tank, made of acrylic glass in order to withstand the water pressure, is about 18 cm (7.1 in) thick.

Rating
While the hotel is frequently described as “the world’s only seven-Star hotel”, the hotel management claims to never have done that themselves. In the words of a Jumeirah Group spokesperson: “There’s not a lot we can do to stop it. We’re not encouraging the use of the term. We’ve never used it in our advertising.” According to the group, the “Seven-Star” notion was brought to being by a British journalist who visited the hotel on a pre-opening press trip. The journalist “described Burj al Arab in her article as above and beyond anything she had ever seen and called it a seven-star hotel.”
Public relations stunts
Several events have taken place on the helipad 210 meters above ground to attract media attention. These include :
• 2004: Tiger Woods teeing off
• 2005: Andre Agassi and Roger Federer playing tennis

• 2011: Golfer Rory McIlroy performing a bunker shot.

• 2013: Heli-lift of Aston Martin Vanquish.

• 2013: David Coulthard performing donuts in a Formula 1 racecar.

Reception
Reviews by architecture critics
Burj Al Arab has attracted criticism as well “a contradiction of sorts, considering how well-designed and impressive the construction ultimately proves to be.” The contradiction here seems to be related to the hotel’s decor. “This extraordinary investment in state-of-the-art construction technology stretches the limits of the ambitious urban imagination in an exercise that is largely due to the power of excessive wealth.” Another critic includes negative critiques for the city of Dubai as well: “both the hotel and the city, after all, are monuments to the triumph of money over practicality. Both elevate style over substance.” Yet another: “Emulating the quality of palatial interiors, in an expression of wealth for the mainstream, a theater of opulence is created in Burj Al Arab … The result is a baroque effect”.
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The Burj Al Arab at night.

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I’M A LESBIAN! ♫ a song for lesbians

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Out of the Closet

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A 4-Year-Old Girl Asked A Lesbian If She’s A Boy. She Responded The Awesomest Way Possible.

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Ash Beckham is awesome. She also happens to be gay, and she thinks it’s hard for straight people coming out of the closet.

At 2:30, she gently confronts a 4-year-old. At 3:30, she explains how hard it is for straight people to come out of the closet. At 7:53, she makes a hard decision. And at 8:56, she shares three rules about pancakes and life that you should follow.

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George Holyoake

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George Jacob Holyoake (13 April 1817 – 22 January 1906), was a British secularist and co-operator. He coined the term “secularism” in 1851 and the term “jingoism” in 1878.
Owenism
Born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, Holyoake was for a brief time a lecturer at the Birmingham Mechanics’ Institute, later becoming an Owenite lecturer.
Holyoake joined Charles Southwell in dissenting from the official policy of Owenism that lecturers should take a religious oath, to enable them to take collections on Sundays. Southwell had founded the atheist Oracle of Reason, and was soon imprisoned because of its contents. Holyoake took over as editor, having moved to an atheist position as a result of his experiences.
Holyoake was influenced by the French philosopher of science, Auguste Comte, notable in the discipline of sociology and famous for the doctrine of positivism. Comte had himself attempted to establish a secular ‘religion of humanity’ to fulfil the cohesive function of traditional religion. Holyoake was an acquaintance of Harriet Martineau, the English translator of various works by Comte and perhaps the first female sociologist. She wrote to him excitedly upon reviewing Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859.
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Prosecution
In 1842, Holyoake became the last person convicted for blasphemy in a public lecture, held in April 1842 at the Cheltenham Mechanics’ Institute, though this had no theological character and the incriminating words were merely a reply to a question addressed to him from the body of the meeting.
It took an intervention by his supporters to stop him being walked in chains from Cheltenham to Gloucester Gaol, and there was a formal memorial of complaint to the then Home Secretary, which was upheld. He was well supported by the Cheltenham Free Press at the time in his actions, but attacked in the Cheltenham Chronicle and Examiner. Those attending the lecture, which was the second in a series, moved and carried a motion ‘that free discussion was equally beneficial in the departments of politics, morals and religion’.
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Secularism
Holyoake nevertheless underwent six months’ imprisonment, and the editorship of the Oracle changed hands. After the Oracle closed at the end of 1843, Holyoake founded a more moderate paper, The Movement, which survived until 1845. Holyoake also established the Reasoner, where he developed the concept of secularism, and founded Secular Review in August 1876. He was the last person indicted for publishing an unstamped newspaper, but the prosecution was dropped upon the repeal of the tax.

In the 1850s Holyoake and Charles Southwell were giving lectures in East London. Harriet Law, then a Baptist, began debating with them, and in the process her beliefs changed.[4] She “saw the light of reason” in 1855 and became a strong supporter of Holyoake and a prominent secular speaker. After a split with Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant, leaders of the National Secular Society (NSS), in 1877 Holyoake, John Watts and Harriet Law founded the British Secular Union, which remained active until 1884. On 6 March 1881 Holyoake was one of the speakers at the opening of the new Secular Hall in Humberstone Gate, Leicester. The other speakers were Harriet Law, Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh.
Holyoake retained his disbelief in God, but after the Oracle soon came to regard “atheism” as a negative word – hence his preference for “secularism”. Holyoake adopted the word “agnostic” when that became available.
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Co-operative movement
His later years were chiefly devoted to the promotion of the co-operative movement among lower-class workers. He served as President of the first day of the 1887 Co-operative Congress. He wrote the history of the Rochdale Pioneers(1857), The History of Co-operation in England (1875; revised ed., 1906) and The Co-operative Movement of To-day (1891). He also published (1892) his autobiography, under the title of Sixty Years of an Agitator’s Life, and in 1905 two volumes of reminiscences, Bygones worth Remembering.
He died at Brighton, Sussex, on 22 January 1906, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery in London. The Co-operative Movement decided that a lasting monument should be built to him: a permanent home for the Co-operative Union inManchester. Holyoake House was opened in 1911, and also houses the National Co-operative Archive: a second collection is also held at Bishopsgate Library.
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Miscellaneous
Holyoake coined the term “jingoism” in a letter to the Daily News on 13 March 1878, referring to the patriotic song “By Jingo” by G. W. Hunt, popularised by the music hall singer G. H. MacDermott.
He was the uncle of the independent MP and convicted fraudster Horatio Bottomley and contributed towards the cost of Bottomley’s upkeep after he was orphaned in 1865.
New Zealand Prime Minister Keith Holyoake was related to him.
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Works
• Rationalism A Treatise for the Times (London: J. Watson, 1845)
• The History of the Last Trial by Jury for Atheism in England A Fragment of Autobiography (London: J. Watson, 1850)
• Christianity and Secularism Report of a Public Discussion Between Rev. Brewin and G. J. Holyoake (London: Ward & co., 1853)
• Rudiments of Public Speaking and Debate or, Hints on the Application of Logic (New York: McElrath & Barker, 1853)

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A Few Weeks Before She Was Crowned ‘Miss World,’ She Was Raped. But This Isn’t Just Her Story.

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Thanks to Carly Gillis Upworthy

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Hala and Madiha Coko El Aleemi احه من كوكو العلمى ‬‎هالة ومديحه

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Hala and Madiha هالة ومديحة

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Devon Motorworks THE Devon GTX

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Devon Motorworks was a Los Angeles, California-based industrial design house, currently specializing in the development of premium lifestyle products.
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Products
The initial product, Devon GTX, was unveiled in 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The vehicle was conceived by Swedish designer Daniel Paulin and Devon Motor Works Founder Scott Devon, who shared a vision for an American supercar that combined classic and contemporary design cues.
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The distinguishing features of the Devon GTX included an aircraft-quality carbon fiber body, “up and forward” articulating doors, two-tone wheel surrounds, minimal front/rear overhangs, dual center exhaust ports and carbon fiber racing seats.
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In validation testing, the vehicle set an unofficial lap record at California’s Willow Springs Raceway.
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Following subsequent testing, spy photos of the prototype appeared online.

Product development for the Devon GTX was led by former Ford executive engineer Andy Benedict, while assembly and manufacturing was headed by Clive Hawkins, founder of the Aria Group. Aerodynamic testing was supervised by Dr. Joseph Katz, Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at San Diego State University.
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Vehicle validation and testing was handled by former 24 Hours of Le Mans champion Justin Bell.

We are so proud to utilize the hallowed Concours stand as the venue to premiere the first offering from our studio, said Devon Motorworks founder and CEO Scott Devon. Each year this event serves as a living homage to the great automobiles of our past, many of which served as our inspiration for the Devon GTX. By being mindful of classic design, and blending our own view of modern transportation, its our sincere hope that we will earn a permanent spot in the landscape of automotive history.
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The Devon GTX is on one hand a race-inspired performance car, offering a 650-horsepower engine and a complimentary transmission and induction/exhaust system that will make it the most powerful naturally aspirated production powertrain system on the market today.
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On the other hand, the vehicles muscular shape represents a new expression of modern industrial design, blending both classic and futuristic cues to warn of the awesome power that exists within its shape.

We set out to design a vehicle that was quintessentially American, both in its shape and in its performance, Devon §äid. Standing still, the Devon GTX tells a story of power, handling and beauty.
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Its classical, yet futuristic design promises an incredible experience. Once under power, the GTX lives up to its promise every heart-pounding second youre behind the wheel.
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The design was led by Devon and noted automotive designer Daniel Paulin. Their approach to the vehicle was to boldly blend power, tactility and aesthetics into one singular form.
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Vital Stats
Engine : 8.4 L., 10-cylinder
Power: 650 hp 6-speed Manual

The vehicles aircraft-quality carbon fiber body sits atop large lattice-structure center-lock wheels. The interior design reflects the companys progressive design philosophy and features carbon-fiber-reinforced racing seats, dual-grained leather surfacing throughout the cockpit and tasteful chrome appointments.

Refinement, quality and uniqueness are conveyed in the cars up and forward articulating doors, distinctive body two-tone wheel surrounds, minimal front/rear overhangs, and dual center rear exit chrome exhaust ports.
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Beneath the skin of the Devon GTX is an 8.4-liter (510 cubic inches) V-10 engine that produces 650 horsepower (484.7 kW) at 6100 rpm. The V-10 engine is mated wîth a track-proven six-speed manual transmission.
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While the Devon GTX has yet to hit an American road, it has made its mark on two of Americas most demanding road courses. In validation testing earlier this year, the vehicle set production car lap records at both Willow Springs Raceway and Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.
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It was not a specific goal to set track records at that stage of validation, but the car outperformed even our aggressive goals, said Devon Motorworks validation and testing leader Justin Bell, a former 24 Hours of Le Mans champion.

We are lòòking forward to additional testing, where Im certain the GTX will eclipse any time weve set to date.
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Devon, Paulin and Bell are just part of an international team of performance and design veterans that make up the Devon Motorworks team.

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