This has disaster written all over it.
City of Arabia is a centrally-planned city being built in Dubai. When finished in 2008, it will feature residential and commercial towers, the world's largest shopping mall, and a canal-lined walk with cafes and restaurants.
While this all sounds very pleasant in a creepy, control-freaky, Michael-Jackson-welcoming way, it's marred by the tragic decision to tie the whole city together with a monorail system. Dubai is inordinately fond of the adjective "ultra-modern", so it's odd that they would choose a hundred-year-old, archaic form of transportation that doesn't even employ tubes. Also, have they really considered the extreme danger posed by spontaneous monorail combustion, what with all that oil they have lying around? (And yet they have even more monorails planned!)
Oh, but it gets much worse...
Besides the towers and mall and whatnot, the monorail will also go through a themepark called Restless Planet, a pluri-Crichtonesque nightmare that will include more than 100 animatronic dinosaurs able to walk and "track visitors with their eyes".
Their site has a breathless video (10Mio) calling it a "phantasmagorical vision", "a palentologist's delight", and "a lay person's formal introduction to the Jurassic age", but mostly shows hapless tourists on foot being attacked by a plesiosaur and T-rex -- until the monorail passes by in the background and the T-rex chases after it!
Animatronic T-rex running alongside exposed monorail track.
In an interview/article last year, Dr. Michael Dixon, Director of London's Natural History Museum and one of the scientific advisors for the park, had these famous last words:
The technologies are all known — tried and tested — so there's absolutely no risk factor at all. This project will just bring the different technologies together and it will do so on an unprecedented scale.
The fools! Not to get all glavin, but if there's one thing that elementary chaos theory tells us it's that animatronic T-rex and monorail technologies should be kept as far apart and on as precedented a scale as possible. Just because the track is above the Tyrannobot's head doesn't mean it will never catch the monorail, even if you program it not to: Simulacra will find a way.
Well, at least now those wanting a vision of the future of American port security know to look to the last half of Jurassic Park 2.