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Eventually, a giant bulldozer with a hefty winch was procured

A brief essay on the lost art of making concrete boats
posted by Sebmojo on Sep 1, 2014 - 43 comments

London's Victoria line has a small problem

The control room is full of quick setting concrete. [more inside]
posted by pharm on Jan 23, 2014 - 89 comments

Giant Concrete Arrows That Point Your Way Across America

Giant Concrete Arrows That Point Your Way Across America
posted by Confess, Fletch on Jul 16, 2013 - 44 comments

What concrete things the Romans have ever done for us

"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.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 21, 2013 - 39 comments

Fortress UK

The Last Stand - the remains of the Britain's coastal defences photographed by Marc Wilson.
posted by Artw on Feb 5, 2013 - 24 comments

Great, now it's pissed off, blind, and in a hole

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.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 17, 2011 - 43 comments

Brutalism and Ballard

The term Brutalist Architecture comes from the French term for raw concrete, beton brut. The style resonates strongly in the works of JG Ballard. (previously, previously) [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Aug 9, 2010 - 85 comments

And they say there's nothing good on TV...

[NSFW]Concrete TV -- bringing you an audiovisual mashup of pornography, drugs, violence, rock'n'roll, the 1980's, and humor** -- via NYC Public Access Channel 67, Friday nights at 1:30 AM.
posted by not_on_display on Mar 5, 2010 - 22 comments

That concrete slab-sided monstrosity may someday be called a masterpiece

In praise of ugly buildings. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 25, 2010 - 191 comments

The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race

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]
posted by Popular Ethics on Jan 29, 2010 - 24 comments

The amazingly exciting intersection of construction materials and bacteria.

Self-healing bio-concrete.
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 20, 2009 - 30 comments

Somethin' New From Chemistry

Graphic Concrete 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.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 10, 2009 - 21 comments

The Lackawanna Cut-Off

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]
posted by parudox on Dec 24, 2008 - 17 comments

She's not a brick house

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]
posted by klangklangston on Dec 3, 2008 - 37 comments

Zoom into Aluminium

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, steel and more in the Weird, Weird Science Channel. Via forgetomori
posted by Tube on Sep 27, 2008 - 7 comments

Abstract concepts vs. concrete examples for teaching math

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.
posted by peacheater on Apr 26, 2008 - 27 comments

Diver Bill

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]
posted by chuckdarwin on Apr 9, 2008 - 38 comments

DVblog: video blog for Quicktime movies

Found via these two 1985 David Fincher music videos, but browsed because of a clear tagged interface and some great content, here's DVblog.org.
posted by cgc373 on Mar 5, 2008 - 3 comments

If they suck, we just have to say goodbye

Fuck SCRaps, 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...
posted by serazin on Mar 27, 2007 - 24 comments

A Concrete Solution to Pollution

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.
posted by PreacherTom on Nov 10, 2006 - 22 comments

Comrade Borodin is a very cultured person

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.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Oct 11, 2006 - 24 comments

Bruco, the Texas Italian Caterpillar Concrete Dome

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, restaurants, and churches. These domes are green 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.
posted by dios on Oct 10, 2006 - 19 comments

FOVICKS

FOVICKS - Friends Of Vast Industrial Concrete Kafkaesque Structures - a photo essay on the concrete geometries of the Los Angeles River flood control channels. [via inhabitat]
posted by carter on Mar 31, 2006 - 24 comments

Liquid Stone

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.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 14, 2005 - 20 comments

concrete ships

Concrete Ships Toward the end of the First World War, and during the Second World War, the United States commisioned the construction of experimental concrete ships.
posted by dhruva on Oct 13, 2005 - 25 comments

Concrete?

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.
posted by Captaintripps on Oct 5, 2005 - 11 comments

Little Instant Houses for You and Me (and the World)

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 (pdf), 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.
posted by fenriq on Apr 20, 2005 - 38 comments

Meister of Your Own Putz

Putzmeister!
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...
posted by wendell on Nov 26, 2003 - 27 comments

ferrocement

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.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 8, 2003 - 3 comments

concrete canoes

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.
posted by me3dia on Dec 4, 2002 - 12 comments

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