The lure of a million square feet of exhibition space and the chance to view new 3D content and play with a variety of motion picture and television cameras drew me away from the blog and down to Las Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters convention this week, and I just returned yesterday dinnertime.
A tiny slice of one of five cavernous exhibition halls
I couldn't stay inside the convention center all day on any of the exhibit days - there's a finite number of times I can stand to have my name and company name read back to me off of the badge hanging around my neck by overly enthusiastic folks in their corporate booths (trust me, I know who I am and what I do) so I would walk the aisles as long as I could stand it and then go out and wander through the great areas of garish flash, plastic, neon and polish that is the Las Vegas strip.
As you've probably gathered by now I don't smoke or drink, and I'm a terrible gambler, so it wasn't difficult to keep moving from one huge casino and resort to another, agog at how each tries to out do the other, even though I've seen them many times. Most are overdone to such extreme levels that one could describe many of them as rococo baroque - with trim.
The friend I stayed with works in one of these palatial looking places, where suites and villas are reserved as complimentary accommodations for regular returning guests who command casino credit limits beginning at a half million US dollars. The kind of rooms where your shampoo is part of a Hermes brand basket with a wholesale value of $600. That kind of palatial. Strangely enough, these well-off folks are often the worst tippers, I was told - and they steal soap, towels and room accessories just like people who pay $50 a night for a room elsewhere. Go figure.
One guilty pleasure I've indulged since first seeing them at a state fair as a child are dancing waters: mechanical water features that are "choreographed" to music. One place - the Bellagio - built its own 8+ acre lake and installed over 1,200 computerized nozzles (or water cannons) for their dancing waters, capable of shooting from 240 feet (73M) to 460 feet (240M) into the air, lit by over 4,000 lights for night performances. There's a daytime shot of them in action below.
The clip up top today made me think of Thailand and so many middle-aged and older farang who go there looking seeking companionship for sale. Those of you who've visited the clubs there (clubs appealing to males and females) will probably know what I mean. One of these days we're going to cover the pay-for-play scene, but for now please just enjoy the clip of "Hey, Big Spender".