Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Arches


With completion of the transcontinental railway, a bridge across the Missisippi was needed so that trains would pass through St. Louis. The Eads Bridge was a project they said couldn't be done. Old Man River is treacherous, and this would be the longest span yet built. Engineer James Eads had never built a bridge, but he was intimately familiar with the River. He also used a new materiel, steel. Finished in 1874, the Eads Bridge pioneered the way for others like the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's arched form is reflected in the Gateway Arch, from which this photo was taken.

Eero Saarinen's Arch is also called Gateway to the West. Pioneers crossed the river into an unknown future. Most of them headed West knowing that succeed or fail they would never return home. Kea has suggested that this is the true way to colonise Mars. Saving all that return fuel would make settling another planet far easier. Who knows what monuments will be built to Space pioneers?

Monday's talk was attended by well over 100 people, more than saw Ed Witten last December. (Witten still gets more press.) Immediately afterward lunch was scheduled with Lawrence Krauss, who also doubts the Concorde Cosmology. We saw cosmologists struggle with Powerpoint and "dark energy," while a solution was right under their nose. The life of a pioneer is exciting, but never easy.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, is that you? If so, who writes the blog and post all the nerdy smart stuff?

(Slap!) Ouch! Yes I had that coming.

Steve

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sincere compliments... I never talked to a 100-people audience. Will you be posting a video of your talk ?

I met Krauss at the London conference last year BTW. Nice fellow. Did you manage to discuss with him about your theory ?

Cheers,
T.

4:29 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Why thank you, Steve!

Always a pleasure hearing from you, Tommaso as the crowds get bigger. There was no video in the room but perhaps I can post some of the slides. Unfortunately Krauss was called away and we didn't have time to discuss. I will email him the most important bits.

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