Monday, June 3, 2013

Building Bridges


It was a fun lunch excursion today with K.C.   - lunch at Keystone Bar and Grill with their signature dishes of macaroni and cheese (1/2 off on Mondays).  But walking the Roebling Bridge was the highlight.  K.C. suggested I prepare by reading "The Bridge" by David McCullough (who spoke at Miami University in 2009 - see Read to Lead and Call to Action blog entries). I couldn't make it through the 565 pages in time so I also condensed the homework into watching the PBS Ken Burns production "Brooklyn Bridge".

It was interesting to see the connection of the Cincinnati Historical Landmark Roebling Suspension Bridge (1867 - actually 12/1/1866) with the Brooklyn Bridge (1883) - both with Roebling as the architect and visionary.  I was totally unaware of the engineering feat of building a suspension bridge - the underground caissons and their hazards. 

I learned that my talent would not be engineering (and building bridges) when competing in the Solon High School Senior year Physics project building balsa wood bridges.  As I recall my bridge (engineered and constructed mostly with help from Dad), was a arch (from soaking and bending the balsa wood) with reinforced struts.  It held approximately 80lbs of pressure and made it into the top ten.  The winning bridge was a tightly reinforced triangle of tightly glued basal wood - clearly more sturdy from the glue and dense structure.  By the way those balsa wood bridge projects are still going 40 years later and the record is 601lbs.

Building Bridges -  A shrine, a utility, connecting people to each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment