Browsing: Lifestyle

A Brief History On December 15, 2001, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was finished with an 11 year project that cost $27 million to make sure it kept leaning, a fix that did not fix the original problem! Digging Deeper Of course, the Pisans were in no hurry to correct the lean of their eponymous tower, as the Leaning Tower is an enormous tourist draw, pulling in five million visitors each year. The 185 foot high tower made of marble and stone took 199 years to build, and was intended as the bell tower for the Pisa Cathedral.  The famous…

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A Brief History On December 6, 1884, the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. was completed.  A spectacular structure, the tall white obelisk was the tallest man-made structure in the world when complete, over 554 feet tall, losing that title to the Eiffel Tower in 1889, although it still is the world’s tallest monumental column. Digging Deeper Some other magnificent American monuments include: Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, carved into bare rock to depict the likenesses of four of our greatest presidents.  Completed in 1941, each head is about 60 feet tall with eyes 11 feet wide! Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota,…

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A Brief History On December 2, 1927, Henry Ford revealed the successor to his iconic Model T, the Ford Model A.  While the Ford Model T at one time comprised half or more of all the cars in the world, the Model A was also a success. Digging Deeper After 18 years of production, the Model T had become dated, and sales slowed.  The Model A reached 3 million in sales by March of 1930, and was offered in nine styles, the cheapest of which cost only $385!  A total of 4.8 million were made. The 4-cylinder engine pumped out…

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A Brief History On December 1, 1984, a joint operation between NASA and the FAA conducted a “Controlled Impact Demonstration,’ a fancy way of saying purposely crashing an unoccupied jetliner. Digging Deeper The remotely controlled jet was a Boeing 720, a narrowed down version of the ubiquitous 707.  A 4-engine jetliner that could carry 131 passengers, the 720 was a good representation of the airliners of the time. The doomed jet was loaded with cameras, sensors, and recording equipment, and the data derived from the intentional crash was used to develop new safety standards for airliners.  Conclusions included that airliners…

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A Brief History On November 18, 1996, the Channel Tunnel, or more familiarly, the Chunnel, was the scene of a terrifying event as a train carrying semi-tractor trailers, or “Heavy Goods Vehicles” as they are known in Europe, along with their drivers, caught on fire, probably due to arson. Digging Deeper The driver, or engineer, knew of the fire but planned on going through anyway, but the train stalled 12 miles into the 31 mile long tunnel.  The problem quickly became apparent as thick smoke enveloped the locomotive and the passenger car. Luckily, the event did not turn into a…

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