Friday, May 05, 2006

I Hope The Termites Don't Stop Holding Hands

The History Channel had a program about how some huge bridge was built. Very large beams were fastened together with very large nuts and bolts; very thick cables were made from smaller cables bundled together. It was all quite impressive. But, when you get down to it, what you have is a lot of iron or steel molecules which are held together by some force I don't understand.

Or, to put it another way, we drive across a bridge that is really not much more than a whole lot of tons of iron and steel which stay together because their molecules kinda stick together in some fashion. If they decide not to, then all we have is a pile of molecules like so much sand at the bottom of the river. Along with a bunch of cars and people who just learned how to swim.

We place quite a bit of faith in these chemical attractions, or whatever they are. We are willing to put ourselves 40,000 feet in the air, with faith that all the aluminum thingys will stick together and get us where we are going, instead of a cornfield in Kansas. Short of an earthquake, we have no qualms about being under a bridge and fearing it will turn into dust.

Can you imagine how it would be for all those uppity people if suddenly all fabrics lost their ability to keep the stitches together? We're all equal when we're nude and when there aren't any power suits, we lose a lot of our class distinction.

"The Day Everything Turned To Dust," starring Dusty Springfield and Dustin Hoffman. Opening at a theater near you.


Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

I once met a seaman on a Norwegian freighter, a cook. This ship was riveted, pre-WWII and we repaired it, using welded joints. The cook said that upon arrival in Norway, he was changing ships as he had absolutely no confidence in welded ships because there is no room for expansion in bad weather. Not a bad thought, really. They rivet planes don't they?

Speaking time I had a red hot rivet head fall into my boot and cook my ankle about a 2'' dia. I was cutting rivets and whe ncutting them, you cut empty the rivet as you would scoop ice cream for a cone, and the head dropped off and kerplunk in my boot. Ooooohh that smarted!

May 08, 2006 4:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home