Old Forensics and Current Ethics

I spent some time yesterday reading about an interesting issue concerning an old and famous disaster. The name “the Johnstown Flood” is well-known, but the details of the 1889 dam failure that killed over 2000 people are not so much any more. In short, western Pennsylvania is rough terrain, with narrow river gorges cutting through …

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Engineers Week

The picture above is the annual meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1885, held that year in Deer Park, Maryland. It’s unfortunate that the original is low-resolution, because I suspect there are some truly spectacular beards visible in the shot. It’s currently Engineers Week, an annual event for almost 70 years to …

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Hidden But Unforgettable

“Water Mains Are Bursting All Over New York. Can They Be Fixed?” by James Barron is a good primer on a problem that resurfaces every so often. As usual, the headline is more sensational than the article, which points out that New York has the second-lowest rate of water-main breaks per mile among major US cities. …

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Triumphal

The picture above is a Roman-style triumphal arch across Fifth Avenue, but not the one associated with today’s holiday. That’s the short-lived Dewey arch at Madison Square, put up in honor of victory in the Spanish-American War. In what I assume was unintentional irony, the arch was constructed of “staff” (a form of exterior plaster …

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