Tuesday, March 13, 2007
- Oh, Lawdy, lawdy, you will not catch me walking on this thing...ever. The Hualapai Native American tribe announce the near-completion of a glass U-shaped tourist sky-bridge suspended nearly 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor. Via CNN:
If you're a bridge, the Grand Canyon is probably the last place you'd want to be: 90 miles per hour vertical winds whip upward with tornado-like force, a condition endured by no other bridge in the world. To secure the Skywalk, Lochsa Engineering in Las Vegas has cantilevered it atop the cliff with 94 steel rods that bore 46 feet into the limestone rock. As a result, it can support 70 tons of weight, equivalent to roughly 700 hefty men, although the maximum occupancy is set at 120 people. Three oscillating dampers - steel plates, each 3,200 pounds - inside the hollow bridge beams act as shock absorbers, moving up and down to neutralize the vibrations from foot traffic and wind gusts. For further support, the walkway itself will be constructed of three-inch-thick, heat-strengthened glass and enclosed by five-foot-tall glass walls.Glass walls, glass bottom. If that's not enough, the Skywalk is rumored to be planning a passenger trolley that runs along a track beneath.
- What do you call that fizzy sweet stuff in a can - "soda" or "pop"? The Pop vs. Soda map displays a county-by-county breakdown of naming preferences around the nation. Fun fact: I grew up in a region where nearly 100% of people surveyed call it "soda" (Central NJ) so now I find it strange that almost all native Chicagoans call it "pop." Language gives me away every time.
- Regular readers know I'm a big ol' sucker for typography (hence one of my online aliases, fontsucker), so these two items are are treat: a slideshow presentation from this year's SXSW by Richard Rutter and Mark Boulton, "Web Typography Sucks" [via Kottke], and a new documentary film about the wide-reaching influence of the 20th Century's most pervasive sans serif, Helvetica. [via Neatorama]
- Native tribal leaders in Guatemala plan to
exorcisespiritually cleanse the ancient Mayan ruins of Iximche city after Pres. Bush's visit, citing concern about "bad spirits" he may have brought along.
- The Nation: "Who's Afraid of Gardasil?" The complicated behind-the-scenes marketing and political wrangling behind the new HPV vaccine. [via feministe]
- What happens when a mini-mob takes over the electronics sections of Walmart and Target, hosting an impromptu dance party? Hilarity and surprisingly little security brouhaha ensues, but the video results are very entertaining. But don't try this at your local airport. [Newspeak Blog]
- A sacred Brahmin calf has been pegged as the culprit in a recent series of chicken snatchings:
Ajit Ghosh, owner of the missing chickens, eventually solved the mystery when he caught his sacred cow eating several of them at night. "Instead of the dogs, we watched in horror as the calf, whom we had fondly named Lal, sneak to the coop and grab the little ones with the precision of a jungle cat," said Ghosh's brother Gour. [World of Wonder]While local Bengali veterinarians say Lal's strange diet is probably the result of disease, his owners believe the calf's taste for chicken stems from a previous life spent as...a tiger.
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