It's funny sometimes, doing homework.
I'm writing out another assignment on the various ways a building material can fail - this time glass - and in the process I came across descriptions of a skyscraper called 'Walkie-Talkie' in London.
Ever heard of it?
Up until today, I hadn't. But now that I have, I have laughed out loud on several occasions, learning about it. An excerpt from my file:
It was, basically, a building which focused the sun's rays onto the street below at such an intensity that, at peak times, it was about 6 times stronger than direct sunlight.
A journalist who brought along a frying pan cooked an egg on the pavement.
A man left his Jaguar on a street nearby and came back an hour later to find the side mirrors melted.
A barbershop had its doormat catch light, spontaneously.
Even funnier thing is, the very same architect designed a curved building in Las Vegas which had the same problem: gathering sunlight in a tight spot nearby, dubbed by locals "the death ray".