Intro and 1st Chapter of The Church of Facebook now on Scribd!
Cook Publishing has posted the intro and 1st chapter of the The Church of Facebook here at Scribd. You can see the 3D cover shot, look through the generous endorsements, and get a strong taste of what the book is like. To (hopefully) whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from the Introduction:
Imagine that it’s a typically brisk but sunny day in London and, bundled up appropriately against the chill (and with your tiny digital camera in hand), you’re touring around some of the many famous sites the city has to offer. You’ve just passed through beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral and you’re kicking yourself for not coming yesterday; admission is free on Sundays, after all, and you’re on a tight budget. You step out of the massive domed neoclassical building onto the northern bank of the Thames River, opening up your map of central London as you do. Scanning it as the edges flap in the breeze, you notice that just across the Thames from St. Paul’s is the Tate Modern Gallery. The Tate is home to some of the finest modern art in the world despite the fact that it looks like a giant industrial barn where one might milk several thousand cows. You decide it would be interesting to see what the gallery has to offer, and with the raucous sounds of a busy London Monday buzzing in your ears, you look up from your map and across to the other side of the river. And without taking another step, you realize exactly how you’re going to get from here to there.
The Millennium Bridge opened in June 2000, and it is a work of the finest thought and craftsmanship. It was the first pedestrian footbridge to be constructed across the Thames in central London in more than a hundred years and it cost just over twenty million pounds to build. The bridge’s architect, Sir Norman Foster, had been a fan of Flash Gordon comic books as a kid, and drew on some of his memories of Flash when first imagining the bridge’s design. Foster recalled that when Flash needed to get around from place to place in order to save the world, he would hold out his hand and extend something that looked like a Jedi’s light saber to create a “blade of light” upon which he could cross over from one point to another. As you stow your map and start making your way across what has now officially become known as “The Blade of Light,” you begin to understand Foster’s intention in creating much more than just a functional bridge. You’re also delighted to find there is no toll for crossing.
The bridge itself is highly unusual in its design and one of the first things you observe midway across is the view. Your view of the Thames is almost completely unhindered by traditional suspension cables, the fruit of a two-hundred-person design and engineering team that labored in earnest for several years to realize Foster’s vision. Rather than the support cables that hang down in a reversed arc that you’d typically find on a suspension bridge (San Francisco’s Golden Gate is a perfect example), the Millennium Bridge’s cables are tucked on the side and underneath, appearing as “wings” that fly along the length of the bridge. The entire steel structure is four meters wide (about twelve feet) and almost three hundred and thirty meters long (just over three football fields), making it the sleekest suspension bridge in the world. Unlike anything seen before, it was truly an engineering masterpiece.
Or so it seemed to everyone on the dawn of opening day.