Over 60 years Of Creativity and Innovation: Every fire begins with a single spark and Transport Technologies founder Bill Gunby was an innovative and extraordinary design engineer who turned that spark into a raging inferno. And that innovation includes the first blow dryer and the first portable cellphone > (over 5 billion sold).
Musical career > Beginning at four years old, he mastered the guitar followed by the organ and piano ! By the age of twelve, he joined forces with his brother (Dr. Neal Gunby > (IQ measured ten points above Einstein) to create the first digital synthesizer, now reported to have been used on over 80% of all recorded music. And as a teenager, he became a world class musician mentored by perhaps the greatest guitarist of all time, Chet Atkins with a career that spanned from Nashville to Memphis Tennessee including Elvis’ Graceland studio, Motown and Bourbon street in Louisiana mixed in his own recording studio.
His first RV >>> Also during his teenage years the “best kept secret” was the multiple lives he was living which redefined multi-tasking. While enrolled in high school he was also taking classes at Georgia Tech and recruited other top recording studio musicians to form a rock n’ roll band called “The Undertakers.” Performing at concerts (funerals?) arriving in black vampire attire and driving his first RV a huge long black incredibly ugly 1946 Cadillac hearse, he also drove the cheerleaders to football games with the opposing team’s name emblazoned on the side, which upset the Principal but delighted the football team and student body !
His second RV >>> The “Undertakers” quickly outgrew the hearse and was replaced with a converted Trailways bus complete with stereo, light show and stage props. And he once drove the bus to his high school and parked where else > but in the “buses only zone“. Parents mistook it for a school bus and parked behind it backing up traffic for miles causing the principal to go ballistic and age noticeably !
New Musical and Video Horizons >> The third generation digital synthesizers could replace entire orchestras and from his state of the art recording studio he began creating audio/video music masterpieces for the likes of Marty Robbins, Reba, Dolly Parton and pop artists like Billy Joe Royal, Dion, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley and others too numerous to mention.
The History behind Xanadu >> Xanadu is the registered trademark of Bill Gunby AKA Transport Technologies and the original musical score for the movie “Xanadu” was recorded and mastered on his synthesizer in 1976. Followed by the movie “Grease” filmed at Rydell High School it featured John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and produced for a mere $6 million, it became the highest grossing most profitable movie musical in history exceeding $500 million.
Technological Horizons >> However, his family who were deeply religeous, informed him that “Rock N Roll was the devils music” and suggested he might gain redemption if he wrote some gospel hymns and utilized his considerable creative talents in pursuit of more serious endeavors.
From CD’s to Videos > And as the music industry migrated away from records to videos, he became a world class cinematographers working with Disney wizards to marry a new generation of synthesizers with a new fangled device called the “computer” that utilized something called “photoshop”. This was later to spawn digital graphic wonders in the form of stunning video light shows pulsating to music as witnessed today on television’s (“Dancing With The Stars”), stunningly dramatic 3D concerts (Dream Weaver with Sarah Brightman) and cinematography special effects used on films such as Star Wars, James Bond and Harry Potter.
Maxi-tasking >> By the age of 18, he had earned a commercial pilot and flight instructor’s license. Later, as an admitted workaholic and prolific design engineer the creativity continued as he established a revolutionary design for prefabricated agricultural buildings and commercial greenhouses which rendered traditional construction obsolete! The company became the second largest of its type in the country and always innovating, he created a revolutionary, inexpensive solar heating system during a time when gas was selling for 25 cents a gallon ! He then produced the nation’s largest solar array which again, with energy savings paid for itself in a few years and has been operating for free ever since. And as gas prices “soared to over 50 cents a gallon”, Congress was so impressed with this new solar system, they approved a $100 million dollar funding guarantee for his agricultural and commercial solar heating systems.
The first portable cellphone >>> Traveling over as many as five states in a day and dissatisfied with the “mobile radiophone” in his jet which only had seven open channels and connections were agonizingly slow. So he approached his brother, Dr. Neal Gunby, to design a circuit board and adopt new broadband connectivity. Gunby anticipated a large growing market so Honeywell was recruited to mass produce the circuit board and they recruited Motorola to make the housing. However, neither company’s “corporate experts” saw any potential in this new fangled device and as a result, it took almost two agonizing years to complete the first cellphone to which Motorola added a heavy bulbous alkaline battery > thus it earned the nickname “the brick”.
Gunby promptly eliminated the oversized battery and inserted an LED window. Meanwhile, the marketing “experts” considered it no more than a novelty arguing that with a phone in the office and one in the home, no one needed another phone ! And incredibly, their first attempts to market the device were directed at Mattel Toy Company > targeting children > which of course failed ! And the reason it failed besides targeting the wrong market was the ill advised strategy devised by “big business accountants” who set the initial cellphone price at $8500.00 ! ! !
And since not too many children had an extra $8500 in their pocket and it cost less than $5.00 to mass produce a cellphone and about $1.00 a month to monitor it, Gunby suggested that “they give the phones away since major profits would come from recurring revenues”. However the“experts” at Honeywell and Motorola rejected this and as sales finally began to skyrocket, prices plummeted and profits soared > > from recurring revenues.
Gunby’s quote > Stupidity knows no limits, ignorance has no boundaries and obviously the “captains of industry” failed to grasp a rather obvious huge marketing opportunity. Ironically, after the Mattel Toy Company disaster, they insisted on “basterdizing” the cellphone into little more than an toy or addictive gaming device which generates meaningless, endless conversations and texting and endangers everyone on the road. And while it is obviously gratifying to know that billions of these new “tinker toys for tots” have been sold, perhaps we should have left it on the shelf ?
As for “trend setters” who must have the latest “toys” the digital smart watch may soon replace the “smartphone” rendering all of them “about as modern as last year’s bird nest”. And for “newbees or wannabees” in the stadium parking lot “tailgating” and watching the football game on their new wrist watch, absorb what they call > “ultra high def and surround sound stereo” as this trendy new smart watch replaces the antiquated cellphone”>>> “they can be proud and tell Dick Tracey to eat his heart out” !
And despite “experts” telling Gunby that “none of these ideas would ever catch on” fifty years later his patents are now measured in volumes rather than pages which also includes the advanced transporters you see on this web site. And not so amazingly, he has been described as > “a modern day Thomas Edison”.
The innovations just kept coming as Gunby’s Millennium system became the forerunner of today’s security, energy management and automation systems. It preceded Lo-Jack and the owner could remotely track his stolen car, turn on the lights, blow the horn, lock the doors and shut off the engine ! It could also provide audio/video security/energy management/automation updates in eleven languages and access was worldwide from any cellphone or computer ! ADT unable to copy it and always seeking a monopoly encouraged the government to block its introduction claiming “an unfair technological advantages”. And some thirty years later, their advertisements now tout the latest rage > “a new breakthrough in automated security which allows you to access digital video and home security from your cellphone” !
On land, water or sky ! Never one to rest on his laurels, in his spare time? he built custom cars which included several which won America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Awards as well as the prestigious Riddler Award for engineering excellence. He subsequently created custom vehicles including custom paint and modifications made to many of Elvis Presley’s one hundred Cadillacs plus special vehicles for television series like Dukes of Hazard plus special effects on Aston Martins used in James Bond films.
A New Ford Truck > > >However, one significant contribution was an ongoing debate with Ford decades ago about the potential market for four door pickup trucks which they insisted would never sell ? And the new Ford hybrid crossover pickups seen on this web site is just another of his latest innovations.
He also pioneered vacuum formed aluminum and composite carbon fiber construction which provided the formula to remove almost 2,000 lbs. off Bernie Little’s Miss Budweiser making it the world’s fastest unlimited hydroplane. He also created numerous stunning yacht designs which made most traditional yachts appear obsolete and which laid the groundwork for “Eclipse” and “Azzam” two of the world’s largest mega yachts (larger than many cruise ships) and his new Xanadu Princess, the world’s largest motor-sailing catamaran > (See Shangri-La below).
Glass, Aluminum and Composites: With a growing reputation as a design engineer and fabrication specialist, he was given the “challenge” to build a replica of the Capital Dome Building in Washington D.C. out of aluminum and glass. Experts said “the complex compound curves couldn’t be done in glass”. And yet Gunby not only built it, he air lifted the five 60′ foot wide sections (1/8″ tolerance) with multiple Sikorski helicopters and lowered each into position in Pershing Park.
The massive 80′ foot tall all glass structure featured an underground kitchen, elevator, three tier lounges and restaurants surrounded by glass with panoramic views of Washington for visiting dignitaries. And later versions of his first glass “octagon penthouse” can be seen on this web site and on Palladium transporters. So from the early roller coasters at county fairs to current theme parks such as Six Flags, Disneyworld or Disneyland’s Fantasialand and Epcot, all are evidence of his innovative skills in advanced construction. The same advanced construction methods you see incorporated into the transporters on this web site !
Below our Sikorsky helicopter, note the intricate detail of the exact model which has been used in a number of movies
Specialized Transporters: Besides moving the “capitol dome building” with helicopters, the transporting of large pre-fabricated buildings and solar heating arrays posed real challenges. Being a design and structural engineer, Gunby began designing and fabricating specialized “transport trailers” to haul these bulky components. Other companies with specialized hauling requirements took note of the unique designs and he soon found himself producing more trailers than buildings. Thus began a forty year odyssey of what is now Transport Technologies.
Few know that the original Lear was a fighter jet converted to carry people. Like most conversions, it was the ultimate compromise however William Lear resisted change so after logging 1.5 million miles, Gunby’s dissatisfaction with the excessive noise, lack of stand-up headroom and accommodations encouraged him to design what was to become the forerunner of the modern corporate jet with aluminum and carbon fiber composites. A stunning example is Gunby’s Xanadu Falcon 50 with stand up headroom, a bathroom, kitchenette, entertainment area and seating for up to eighteen.
The History: Getting back to nature and giving back to the community.
In 1952, Bill Gunby at the age of eight, was working for his father bailing hay on the farm for ten cents an hour ! Eventually, that farm grew into seven farms covering 28,000 acres in two states. One is now Xanadu Plantation near Shenandoah, Georgia which is undergoing a complete renovation as a tribute to his late mother and father. Declared a dedicated wildlife preserve this MEP (Mobile Estate Park) houses a barn with miniature Donkeys and Shetland ponies which pulls multiple puppies inside a miniature stage coach which of course also fits inside a Xanadu transporter. Resplendent with lakes inspired by the movie “On Golden Pond” are Flamingos, geese, ducks, huge owls, eagles and loons. MEA members by invitation only. Not surprisingly, whe Gunby’s are also major supporters of local Animal Rescue saving thousands of animals from euthanization.
What’s Next >>>>
The two Palladium prototype vehicles are undergoing testing and are targeted for release in late 2018. Models will be available with several Cummins engines and in regular and extended lengths with RV amenities and multiple options…
Gunby’s Xanadu Wedge Graphene/Carbon fiber ballistic missle is often seen beside one of several residences. This incredibly comfortable recumbent seating for four features gull-wing doors with hidden tires that appear to be floating on air as it passes by !
The ultimate supercar ! Economically and ergonomically correct with comfortable recumbent seating, the star wars inspired X-1 and X-2 are imminently practical, stunningly beautiful and affordable ! And there are actually two patented designs for X models. (X-1 & X2)
(Xanadu One & Two) Virtually identical in size X-1 has a Ford V-6 hybrid aluminum/composite proprietary special engine that runs on LP gas and can auto-select two, four to six cylinders while weighing only 400 lbs. LP is 124 octane, (30% more energy/power than high test gasoline). It is emission free and 90% is made in America. The most aerodynamic and lightweight car ever built, X-1 weighs 1840 lbs. while seating four under a glass canopy with six airbags and three roll bars. Early testing resulted in over 100 mpg on LP gas and as of this printing LP was half the cost of regular gas which means this is the equivalent of over 200 MPG ! This translates into 2000 miles without refueling while eliminating “global warming” in a clean burning emission free engine which offers a one million mile warranty.
Performance > There are no superlatives which can describe the X-2. With the lowest recorded aerodynamic drag hidden wheels, virtually no parasitic and compounded drag. The patented proprietary design not only creates enormous down force, it also creates dynamic directional control steering with (undisclosed) G forces. The X-2 is faster than a Bugatti Veyron or McLaren and with a detuned engine” > shattered the track record at Indianapolis.
X-2 at 1,972 lbs. is a cross between a “bullet and a rocket” with an aluminum/composite 1005 cubic inch twin turbo/supercharged engine on 124 octane liquid propane (autogas) which produces over 2,000 HP (or 3,000 HP with two stage nitrous). Under a space age all glass bubble cockpit at less than four feet high with gull-wing doors and three wheels hidden underneath including the rear two wheels that are 18 wide , it is technically not a car but a “motorcycle“. Created from aluminum, carbon fiber and graphine which appears to be floating on air as it passes by it “explodes” from 0 to 100 in under two seconds (with G forces which exceeds that experienced by astronauts on launch). Under launch, 72% of the weight transfer is to the rear tires and top speed in excess of 325 mph, > which makes it the fastest car (motorcycle ?) in the world – period ! > Parachutes optional ! Skeptical ? Stay tuned !
What exactly is graphene ? Graphene 101 > It is one of the crystalline forms of carbon, along with graphite, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. Carbon atoms appear in a hexagonal pattern in a one-atom thick layer of graphite. Its interaction with other materials and light give it an inherently two-dimensional nature and produce unique properties while being seven times stronger than steel at a fraction of the weight.
What’s Next ? > > > Do it yourself space travel: Note that an actual jet powered scale model was successfully flown to 60,000 feet where it exceeded the speed of sound. What is it ? VSP1 the Venus Space Probe is a composite drone/sailplane, supersonic jet and spacecraft all in one. The full size space ship seen here fits inside our transporter with the wings folded back. Want to get high? Roll out of our mini-transporter, tilt the deck vertically, extend the wings and ignite the jets for a vertical takeoff to 65,000 feet where the wings fold back and the “stealth fighter” achieves Mach 3. Ignite the three rocket boosters and the “space ship” achieves low orbit. Affordable? For some yes, but even with a “B” after your name, you can’t buy it yet and unfortunately as you will read below, several projects like this were delayed when Bill Gunby died briefly !
The History of Xanadu >> The registered trademark of Bill Gunby AKA Transport Technologies and ironically, the original musical score for the movie “Xanadu” was recorded on Gunby’s synthesizer in 1976 followed by the movie “Grease” filmed at Rydell High School and featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and produced for a mere $6 million, it became the highest grossing most profitable movie musical in history exceeding $500 million.
History of Xanadu Princess > At 62’ x 205’ feet is the world’s largest motor-sailing catamaran. Gunby’s design features a shallow draft which can access secluded coral reefs, yet cruises at 25 knots in a 15 knot wind with silent solar power from GPS computer controlled roller furling sails which generate the equivalent of 20,000 HP. Glass elevators (seen under Luxury Interiors) inside each mast take guest to spectacular views of the ocean.
Range is worldwide and “the lack of sound is deafening” due to silent solar, wind and wave driven power. All of which provides among other components the musical and traditional sounds from the 2000 year old Qin Dynasty which includes BC Zithers, silk screen Ruans and featuring artist such as Kitaro, Missa, Jia Peng Fang, Tangelos, Govi, Segovia, Montoya, Enya, and many others captured in a very special Chinese ancestral, musical tribute.
The History Of Shangri-La >>> Considered one of his best work and most stunning innovation, the book “Lost Horizons” was the inspiration for the modern Shangri-La designed originally by Gunby as a private residence in honor of his wife. An incredible sanctuary in tune with rich Asian history it is the perfect marriage of sea, mountains and blue skies. The stunning castle atop the mountain has 360 degree panoramic views of the mountains, ocean and rain forest valley below while the modern guest “cottages” compliment traditional Asian castles and pagodas. A private airport accommodate large private jets such as Xanadu Falcon while the marina can accommodate mega-yachts like Xanadu Princess (see above).
Summation > > > Every fire begins with a single spark and every story has a beginning and ending. You know the beginning but what you don’t know is this obituary originally began as a result of Gunby being pronounced dead !
The connection to RV’s and Transporters ! Years ago Gunby attempting to avoid an accident, brushed a guard rail at 5 MPH in what was considered a “state of the art” motorhome. That promptly bent the frame enough for the front wheel to exit while almost every component inside were launched forward right through the windshield and into another car. While only miles from a trauma center, he was nonetheless pronounced dead. Forty five minutes later doctors placed him on life support in an induced coma and informed his wife he had “only a 1% chance of living” and if he somehow miraculously survived, would be a “vegetable” for the rest of his life” as a helpless invalid. The local pastor then suggested she make funeral arrangements however when he refused to die, what followed was a two years in rehab during which time he set in motion the concept of “Improving The RV breed” and the revolutionary designs you see on this web site. And as a result, this section was originally supposed to be his “obituary” written by Jim Haney (Disneyworld) which became a testament to his incredible life of innovation and creativity.
Finally Gunby said > “My wife made a deal with God that if he let me live, she would make me retire. And after working sixty five years and cheating death four times, I feel I have earned the right to do nothing – although I’m not very good at it ! As for Transport Technologies I’ve done what I set out to accomplish and it’s now time to pass the torch to others who share my vision of excellence.
However those who know him do not believe he will ever retire because >“Shangri-La is a paradise where you can live forever ! Amen !
Shangri-La totally hidden away and virtually inaccessible except by yacht or private jet, represents possibly the most exclusive and private location on earth. Ultimately it will cover 28,345 acres of mountains and tropical rain forests alongside blue coral reefs and miles of white sand beaches surrounded by 158,000 square miles of magnificent parks and contained within 4,500 year old volcanic mountains which extend vertically 7,500 feet. Featuring magnificent ice covered glacier spires, it has been described as a modern day Utopia.
Atop the mountain, the upper castle seen above totals 18,650 square feet and extends 128′ feet above the top of the mountain with views of the ocean on all sides. Swiss Alps all glass trams originate at the forest below and travel upward terminating at the base of the castles next to glass elevators which extend from the lower kitchens upward peaking at the top penthouse.
Both castles encompass the world’s first “Octagon Grotto/Atrium Penthouses” ! The unique octagon shape encloses the glass elevator which originates at the lower kitchen, then rises to the second floor “infinite” pool level with fountains extending vertically to the peak. This also provides multiple atrium exposures and aviaries, three sided liquid “ice fireplaces”, TV ultra-high def. screen, huge aquariums with fountains and up to 180 aeration/water jets and audio from a 7X sound system with laser pulsating color changing lights and music with automated controlled glass windows >> attacking the senses and staggering the imagination.
The lower saltwater pool is surrounded by matching tropical rain forest decor and has it’s own 5,000 gallon glass aquarium which like the grotto extends below the water line which makes “swimming with the fish” visible from inside the pool as well as inside the sunken grotto. The glass is invisible underwater which prevents anyone from visualizing where the glass begins and ends. This means from the grotto looking through the massive glass aquarium any people and coral fish in the aquarium appear to be inside the pool. And from inside the pool, they appear to be in the grotto ! The grotto also slowly spins 360 degrees with views of fire/ice on the mountain outside past the fish and corals. The exotic fish in the aquariums are similar to the ones below in the coral reef and are frequently transferred back and forth from aquarium to the ocean. From outside on the mountain, what you see is appears to be coral reef and fish inside swimming in the pool with pulsating dramatic aeration and ever changing laser/strobe lights ! And this is what we call ‘attacking the senses” and must be seen to be believed !
In fact, the affect is dramatic and devastating as it emphasizes the penthouses, atriums and fountains with 128′ ft. ceiling heights and massive glass revealing over 3,000 feet of mountain and ice with the laser strobes and accentuating ice/fires fountains with crystals and vertical spires enveloping both forest and oceans along the sides of the mountain. The five private “cottages” are located with views of the ocean in the valley below.
Skiing down the mountain or from the all glass Swiss tram, you see a tropical paradise below with endless rivers surrounding the ocean and coral reefs which are home to the most exotic animals imaginable awaiting including Zebras, Bearden Dragons, Bush Woohoos, Brush Baby’s, Iquanas, Vegas, Flamingos, Chanterelle Fennecs, Lori’s, rainbow Lorikeets, Turaco and Toucans, Peacocks, flying squirrels, loons, geese, ducks, Penguins, owls, Wallaroo, baby Kangaroos, Llama’s, mini-donkey’s (which pull stage coaches for children and puppies), pygmy goats, Fenec fox and extremely rare Koalas and Pandas. It includes our own full time zoo with a 24/7 vetenarian hospital.
The ocean protects multiple coral reefs and tropical forest that covers miles which the entire families will enjoy over one thousand miles of tropical jungles with your Transporter or tow vehicle, Limo’s, jet and ice skis, helicopters, jet powered all glass canopy silent sailplanes, bicycles, trikes and boats which will provide your family the ultimate video and experience with >> Memories Of A Lifetime.…
The single castle along the side of the mountain accommodates three families on three tier penthouses served by glass elevators with ocean views, plus a lower concierge 24/7 kitchen with thousand gallon wine cellar. A 30′ ft. tall pool with rain forest interiors and exotic birds such as hyacinth Macaws and three grottoes surrounded by multiple 3,000 gallon aquariums which hides five spas with water pulsating to multiple LED’s and pulsating music with multiple fireplaces and huge screen ultra-high def. It also opens to hidden balconies for a dramatic mountain views soaring above tropical jungles and coral reefs on the ocean far below. Want to do a little jet skis down the mountain with white powder and try your speed down to the tropical forest and rivers ?
Memories of a Lifetime >>> Silent drone’s capture every adventure in real time on your computer or ULHD TV screens. They can record real time ultra-high def. on cameras from inside and outside the castle. Cinematography on our mobile 90XL transporters allow filming at remote locations including the forest or mountains to relive actual recording studios with synthesizers with strobe lights with cameras reaching below into the rain forest and up to the ice in the mountains with spectacular while music and video lights feature the best of the best life shows all within live moments of your families. Also our Xanadu Princess with professional drones and filmed by cinematographers recording families with the best of Shangri-La’s special effects and ability to capture everything from tropical forest and monkey’s or elephants to our choral reefs in the ocean with clear Kayaks which will generate Memories Of A Lifetime for your family.
The History of Castles > Few know the difference between Mansions, Grand Manors and Castles so here is a primer. Mansions are typically three vertical layers with living quarters on the first or second floors. Grand Manors began hundreds of years ago in Scotland, France and England, are typically larger and have up to two hundred rooms. Castles will typically dwarf both and some are built on high mountains on thousands of acres and may be up to seven or some vertical tiers or layers >>> (See MEA’s > Biltmore House and Downton Abbey).
Castle Construction: Location/location > Castles built on top of mountains over-looking the ocean is generally considered the most desirable location. However, accessibility for electrical and available water increased by the the sheer weight of traditional rock, stone and brick presents almost impossible challenges.
Biltmore House: George Vanderbilt found 28,000 acres within the Appalachian mountains which were accessible enough to build a railroad to the construction site. Beginning in 1896, it took four agonizing years to move thousands of tons of granite and stone to carve out the castle. Hundreds of workers employed who were skilled in stone construction (a dying art) that resulted in a massive construction project. And attempting to build a castle like the Biltmore House in the Himalayan mountains without the benefit of skilled workers or heavy equipment would be impossible even today.
Lastly, granite and stone as in Stone Mountain, Stone Henge, the pyramids and other castles means these monuments are also subject to cracking, deteriorating and crumbling some after only a few hundred years and this continues over thousands of years. An example of nature’s effects are the effects of rain, water and wind in the erosion of the Grand Canyon. And as witnessed by the destruction caused by earthquakes and the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York, steel, mortar and concrete construction have certain limitations.
Shangri-La and Technology > In contrast modern hybrid composites can replace nature and these have been tested for the equivalent of 10,000 years of exposure without crazing, cracking, abrasion or other problems. Therefore theoretically, Shangri-La could still be in existence thousands of years from now !
As for volcanic eruption, Shangri-La is located in an area of the Himalayan mountains has not been active in over 10 million years and high tech seismic studies now shows the entire area in-active for at least another one hundred million years. Foundations sunk over seventy feet deep in the mountain and castles under thousands of tons of advanced steel footings and concrete along with windows are built to withstand hurricane force winds. As for fire protection, the castle(s) have huge water reservoirs with deep wells, for internal and external fire protection with multiple backup generators. And of course in the winter, a good portion of the mountains are covered in snow and ice which creates a fire barrier. Furthermore, in summer for skiing we can produce artificial snow and majestic rainbow ice spires and these devices can create multiple “firewalls” of rain pouring down the mountain to protect the castle(s) from fire.
Thankfully, the solution to building on top of a mountain is found in space age technology. Like Disneyworld, modern castles are not built out of stone, granite or rock which are extremely heavy and worse, almost impossible to transfer to the top of a mountain. Porous, subject to fracturing with poor adhesive qualities they are difficult to work with, have poor water retention or sound proofing, have a poor insulation (R factor) value all of which becomes prohibitively expensive. Hybrid composite construction look exactly like brick, rock or stone and while far lighter are much stronger and have considerably superior quality. Convenient access along with better components and labor cost on a project like Shangri-La are estimated to save more than $2 billion in construction and maintenance costs over time.
Other modern design advantages: The modern castle can also now have multiple kitchens, first floor living quarters and dining for butlers and cooks. And yet like a mega yacht there are typically up to one hundred individuals maintaining the castle and grounds. The second level is usually surrounded by great rooms or reception areas for receiving visitors and dignitaries with libraries and private areas on the third floors for tea (a tradition in China) or dining quarters while living quarters are almost always kept private on the fourth floor or above. Today’s castle will feature modern heating including solar, advanced features and appliances with indoor pools with grottos, aquariums, penthouses and pyramid spires extending over 100′ ft. above the mountain top.
Originally written to become a Gunby obituary produced by James Haney (Disney Productions). The following was written by Gerald W. Fry (Distinguished International).
James Hilton “Lost Horizons” may have seemed somewhat fictional, however Shangri-La is very real and utilizes more advanced space age”star wars”technology than traditional castles as part of a third world existence far more advanced than originally imaginable and one that truly “attacks the sensors“.
Why China ? In terms of tradition, from the oldest civilization on earth, the single significant contribution may have in fact well come from the most important Himalayan Bhutan in what is recognized as > The Living of Eden” in Tibetan and highly respected while reversed as the highest Buddhist Kingdom it became rich cultural tradition with lightened consciousness which virtually changed their quiet compassion from absolute silent love and without saying a thing ! And Shangri-La remained like > another world.
Comparing Cultures >> Note that of the 62,000 living within what remains of the original Shangri-La valley, less than 5% were literate three decades ago. Today, 78% now speak English with a 98% graduation rate and four have graduated college while two are now doctors. (Wake up America !)
With the visit of Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan to Thailand was His Majesty the King, the Thais suddenly became aware of their fascinating neighbor to the northwest and its “Prince Cha. A few months later he was named the 5th Dragon King of Bhutan. Educated at Wheaton College globally Bhutan is now famous for its king having introduced the concept of “Gross National Happiness” as an alternative to the western materialistic construct of Gross National Product. Bhutan is also known as the “last place on the roof of the world” and the “land of the “Thunder Dragon.”
Like the Thais, the Bhutanese are rightfully extremely proud of never having been colonized. They have a strong historical tradition of Buddhist monastic education. Like the Thai monarchy, the Bhutanese one is highly respected and revered. As Thailand shifted from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy in 1932, Bhutan underwent a similar process. Like King Chulalongkorn, the Fourth King of Bhutan introduced reforms to secularize education. He is also the king who presented the vision of Gross National Happiness and started the process to move toward a constitutional monarchy.
Comparing Chinese culture to a current global crisis of violence. Something of it’s original life, unlike Thailand, Bhutan became increasingly more isolated with a totally different approach to international tourism. Also its monarchy is only 100 years old, having recently celebrated its centennial. In 1960, there were only eleven schools in the whole kingdom with around 400 pupils. Bhutan did not open its future university, the Royal University of Bhutan, until 2003. Interestingly, all public education in Bhutan is free and the language of instruction is English. Educated Bhutanese impress visitors with the quality of their English language skills. Because of issues of educational access in remote areas, Bhutan faced major challenges in achieving Education for All. Some students in remote areas must walk several hours to reach the nearest school. Despite such obstacles, now about 81 per cent of primary age children are in school. However, among the adult population over 30, some 84 per cent had no schooling at all. In other respects Bhutan is more like land-locked Laos. It is extremely mountainous. Thus, it must import rice. Its major source of foreign exchange is the export of electricity to India through the development of hydroelectric power. As Laos aspires to be the “battery of Southeast Asia”, Bhutan aspires to be the “battery of South Asia.”
To preserve its pristine culture and natural environment, Bhutan has an extremely cautious and restrictive policy on tourism to keep out the “riffraff” and backpackers. This may partially be driven by their having seen what happened to Nepal and related cultural and environmental deterioration there. Tourists to Bhutan must purchase a minimal package that costs (for a single traveler) $290 (Bt8660) per day during the high season or $240, a day during the low season. Given this strict policy, tourists pose little threat to Bhutan’s precious cultural and environmental landscapes. (Are you listening tourists ?)
Bhutan has many rich cultural forms which its educational system is designed to preserve. It has strong oral communication traditions such as folktales and proverbs. Its monastic education emphasizes spirituality and morality. Its national sport is archery. With its modern education, it is seeking a Buddhist middle way between the modern and the traditional. In terms of learning more about Bhutan, interestingly the world’s largest book, 1.5 metres by 2.1 metres, weighing 60.3 kilograms, is about one of the world’s smallest countries.
Richly illustrated, its title is Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom. After many years of helping develop Bhutan’s extremely artistic and attractive textiles for export, Russ and Blythe Carpenter produced a wonderful read titled “The Blessings of Bhutan” (2002). Also Bhutan has unusual and attractive postage stamps which it markets globally. There is also a delightful book titled “Bhutan Ways of Knowing” (2008) where many Bhutanese intellectuals and writers share their rich culture and its traditions such as rimdro, ceremonies and services to show respect and reverence for spiritual communities and persons. There are also two fascinating films related to Bhutan both with a popular sports theme. The first is titled “The Cup” (1999) directed by the Bhutanese monk, Khyentse Norbu, about several monks who become addicted to watching “The World Cup” on television. It is actually partially based on true events. The other film is titled “The Other Final” about a football game between Bhutan and Montserrat, the world’s two worst football teams. Interestingly in terms of actual happiness, Bhutan ranks eighth in the world in subjective well-being. Despite this impressive ranking and Bhutan’s visionary ideal of Gross National Happiness, there is a dark little-known side to Bhutan related to a group of more than 100,000 “refugees”, most of Nepalese ethnicity, who were in seven camps in Nepal. As of late 2012, more than 60,000 of these individuals had resettled. There is debate about whether many are true refugees since most are Nepalese and many such individuals may have illegally migrated into Bhutan. Related to future Thai-Bhutanese relations, there would be potential for Bhutanese to come to Thailand to help with English instruction – and in exchange Thai students could have a wonderful experience studying at the Royal University of Bhutan and enhancing their English while learning about Bhutan and its rich cultural traditions. By >>>> GERALD W FRY Distinguished International
Grasshoppers: >>> If you are still reading this congratulations. You are the recipient of a wealth of knowledge and if you draw comparisons between this cultural climate and that which currently exist in America you may want to move to China.