"Portland cement is the source of the “glue” that holds most modern concrete together. But making it releases carbon from burning fuel, needed to heat a mix of limestone and clays to 1,450 degrees Celsius (2,642 degrees Fahrenheit) – and from the heated limestone (calcium carbonate) itself. Monteiro’s team found that the Romans, by contrast, used much less lime and made it from limestone baked at 900˚ C (1,652˚ F) or lower, requiring far less fuel than Portland cement." -- How Berkeley Lab scientists discovered the secret of Roman concrete's durability
and how it could help make modern concrete more environmentally friendly
We're all familiar with the various types of conflict: man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society, and of course man vs. truculent concrete buffer
. Redubbed, in case the narration isn't your cup of tea.
For 36 years
, engineering students from colleges across North America (and beyond) have aspired to succeed at winter's most prestigious, most arduous, most ridiculous challenge
- to build and ride the world's fastest sled . . . made of concrete.
Tomorrow, if you're in the greater Hamilton Ontario area, you can witness the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race yourself.
Expect to see
A fair warning however, spectators who stand too close might become part
of the action. [more inside]
is a process with which textures, patterns, typography, images,
or works of art
can be "printed" on concrete surfaces, with subtle and dramatic results
. Invented by Finnish designer and architect Samuli Naamanka,
Graphic Concrete is being used in projects all over the globe.
A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.
In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off
to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked
by Phoebe Snow
) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off
, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel
of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned
for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail
. [more inside]
Thomas Edison's Concrete Houses
From 1902 to roughly 1917, Edison was in the concrete
business, and concrete houses
would be one of his biggest failures. [more inside]
Accomplished by seamlessly blending images captured with different photo and microscopy techniques – and some deal of illustration – delve deep into the matter, from the hair
above to concrete
in the Weird, Weird Science Channel
. Via forgetomori
A new study in Science claims that teaching math is better done by teaching the abstract concepts rather than using concrete examples
. From an article
by the study authors in Science Mag (requires subscription):
If a goal of teaching mathematics is to produce knowledge that students can apply to multiple situations, then presenting mathematical concepts through generic instantiations, such as traditional symbolic notation, may be more effective than a series of "good examples." This is not to say that educational design should not incorporate contextualized examples. What we are suggesting is that grounding mathematics deeply in concrete contexts can potentially limit its applicability. Students might be better able to generalize mathematical concepts to various situations if the concepts have been introduced with the use of generic instantiations.
Wearing an old-fashioned diving suit
, William "Diver Bill" Walker
worked in 14 feet of murky water beneath Winchester Cathedral
, digging out the old timber and peat foundations and replacing them with bags of concrete cement and concrete blocks. Staying underwater six hours per day for five years
(1906-1911), Diver Bill moved 25,800 bags of concrete and laid 114,900 concrete blocks, saving the Norman building from certain collapse. [more inside]
Found via these two 1985 David Fincher music videos
, but browsed because of a clear tagged interface and some
, here's DVblog.org
, RON N CANDY
, BIG Baby Jesus
, Rivise Your ideas
, WE'RE ALWAYS WILLING TO GIVE SOMEBODY A CHANCE BUT
, FUCK THE NEDS
, SOCIALISM IN OUR LIFETIME
, READ THE TESTOSTERONE FILES
, I love my Mom
, PASTRAMI DOT.COMMI
, You too deserve HAPPINESS!
, ZAPPA WAS OUR Beethoven
, Aug 2, 1943
, Paul is a weasal
, LED ZEPPELIN RULES
, FUCK YUO...
A Concrete Solution to Pollution
With concerns over global warming and pollution control reaching an all-time high, an Italian company has developed an interesting solution. It is called TX Active: a concrete that literally breaks down pollutants in the air. The effects are significant: 'In large cities with persistent pollution problems caused by car emissions, smoke from heating systems, and industrial activities, both the company and outside experts estimate that covering 15% of all visible urban surfaces (painting the walls, repaving the roads) with products containing TX Active could abate pollution by up to 50%.' Even more significant is that the cost is only 30% over that of normal concrete. Remarkable.
In 1974 Alexander Lipson wrote an excellent Russian language textbook: scanned highlights
, complete book
. However, its value goes beyond the merely pedagogical. via our very own metafilter udarnik languagehat.
Giant Concrete Caterpillar.
Driving on I35 south out of Dallas to Austin, you pass through Italy, Texas, and on the side of the road is Bruco
, the Texas Italian Caterpillar, and the home of the Monolithic Dome Institute
, makers of fine homes
, and churches
. These domes
and disaster resistant
. (See previous thread
). They also can be visually interesting
. These domes are concrete as opposed
to R. Buckminster Fuller
's Geodesic domes
, such as Epcot Center
or the incredibly interesting Eden Project
- Friends Of Vast Industrial Concrete Kafkaesque Structures - a photo essay on the concrete geometries of the Los Angeles River flood control channels. [via inhabitat]
Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete (Flash).
A nice round-up of contemporary concrete architecture, with some stunning pictures, from the National Building Museum. Be sure to follow the "Featured Projects" link on the right.
Toward the end of the First World War, and during the Second World War, the United States commisioned the construction of experimental concrete ships.
In 1907, Samuel Perry Dinsmoor
began construction of his log cabin...out of concrete and stone. The Civil War veteran and sometime Populist politician also built himself a stone mausoleum
with a glass-topped concrete coffin
. Virtually everything at the Garden of Eden (Lucas, KS) is made out of concrete, including its American Flag
Styrofoam + Ceramic Spray =
Profit Instant Housing
A styrofoam house sounds like a really stupid idea but, when the styrofoam is sprayed with a special ceramic spray called Grancrete
), it becomes twice as strong as structural concrete.
It is also cheap, $10 a square foot to build a house as opposed to $150 a square foot for a regular home.
And, where regular concrete can take up to three weeks to fully cure, Grancrete dries in a single day.
The potential impact of this product for developing countries and natural disaster prone areas could be truly incredible.
Saw it on a truck on the street; thought I was hallucinating; Googled it, and yes, they're into concrete pumping, and it's a German company, too. One for the "Bad Business Name Hall of Shame"
that I started with my Blonder Tongue
thread a year-and-a-half ago. Got any more? Think of it as a MetaTurkeyShoot for the day before Thanksgiving...
Ferrocement made from sand and cement applied by hand to chicken wire is a cheap and simple yet long-lasting building material that an unskilled practioner can use to build Anything you imagine for example Ships Dinosaurs Bomb Shelters Computer Desk Sailboats Hobbit Houses Furniture
and Lawn Gnomes
SinkSkim like a concrete canoe.
Building a concrete canoe
(or its cousin, the cardboard canoe
) takes creativity and know-how. The first was made in 1848
, they're now computer-designed, light-weight marvels that move through the water as well as any fiberglass or wooden craft. Concrete canoe building is a competitive sport
in many university civil engineering departments (Clemson
won this year's competition
.) Design your own
, and enjoy paddling around in a nearby
stream, lake or river.