Monday, June 25, 2012

Aqueducts and Water Bridges

I am currently rebuilding Ancient Rome to be completed sometime in July.

Rome wasn't built in a day ... neither were the files ... :)

As today's focus is on Water Bridges and Aqueducts ....

Ancient Rome Aqueducts

Email from Blake,

    Good Morning Ellie,

    It's a beautiful, sunny yet cool morning here on the coast of Maine. I am focusing on it warming up a bit so it won't be too cold on the water. But it is a lovely day here and I hope it is too where you are. I do enjoy your blogs and I had a chuckle this morning when I read you were redoing the Rome files. It is true that Rome was not built in a day but when it came down..... an era had ended. So is it just synchronistic that you are working on the Rome files during a time when in present day life, an era could be ending?

Thanks Blake ... indeed an era is ending in more ways than one ... FYI - there is so much lightning and thunder now as I blog this - I feel like Zeus is speaking and agreeing with you ! Maybe I shouldn't have blogged about water ... Flood stories metaphor?

Rime of the Ancient Water Bridge

From Thunderbolts Monday June 25, 2012

Discoveries in space plasma may provide an explanation for a century-old mystery. Sir William Armstrong, an English hydraulics engineer, first observed the floating water bridge in 1893. It defied explanation and was ignored until recently. Findings in space plasma that have renewed attention to plasma's electrical properties, a matter which itself has been neglected for a century, may provide an explanation that has been sitting in plain sight all along.

A water bridge is simple to produce. Two containers of pure water are set an inch or less apart. An electrode is inserted into each one, and a high voltage is struck between them. In short order, a spinning tube of water will stretch across the gap in defiance of gravity. While the phenomenon and its possible explanation are interesting (and may be pursued in the links), this writer will for a moment prescind from the science and comment instead on the century of neglect. (My apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his ancient mariner.) -- Read more ...

Navigable Aqueduct

Navigable aqueducts (sometimes called water bridges) are bridge structures that carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or roads. They are primarily distinguished by their size, carrying a larger cross-section of water than most water-supply aqueducts. Although Roman aqueducts were sometimes used for transport, aqueducts were not generally used until the 17th century when the problems of summit level canals had been solved and modern canal systems started to appear. The 662-metre long steel Briare aqueduct carrying the Canal lateral a la Loire over the River Loire was built in 1896, and remained the longest navigable aqueduct in the world until the 21st century, when the Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany took the title.

The Saga of the Tortoise and the Turtle

Lonesome George, the Galapagos tortoise, was the last known of his subspecies.

Good-bye George, it's been an interesting journey.

The tortoise moves slowly but always reaches his destination and wins in the end.

  Last Pinta giant tortoise Lonesome George dies   BBC - June 25, 2012
Staff at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador say Lonesome George, a giant tortoise believed to be the last of its subspecies, has died. Scientists estimate he was about 100 years old. Park officials said they would carry out a post-mortem to determine the cause of his death.With no offspring and no known individuals from his subspecies left, Lonesome George became known as the rarest creature in the world. For decades, environmentalists unsuccessfully tried to get the Pinta Island tortoise to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies on the Galapagos Islands.

Turtle Island is a term used by several Northeastern Woodland Native American tribes, especially the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy, for the continent of North America. According to Iroquois oral history, Sky Woman fell down to the earth when it was covered with water. Various animals tried to swim to the bottom of the ocean to bring back dirt to create land. Muskrat succeeded in gathering dirt, which was placed on the back of a turtle, which grew into the land known today as North America. In the Seneca language, the mythical turtle is called Hah-nu-nah, while the name for an everyday turtle is ha-no-wa.

The name Turtle Island is used today by many Native tribes, Native rights activists, and environmental activists, especially since the 1970s when the term came into wider usage. In a later essay, published in At Home on the Earth, Gary Snyder claimed this title as a term referring to North America that synthesizes both indigenous and colonizer cultures by translating the indigenous name into the colonizer's languages (the Spanish "Isla Tortuga" being proposed as a name as well). Snyder argues that understanding North America under the name of Turtle Island will help shift conceptions of the continent.

Referring to North America as Turtle Island suggests a view of North America not merely as a land "discovered" and colonized by Europeans and people of European descent, but as a land inhabited and stewarded by a collection of rich, diverse, and civilized peoples, a collection that may have room for both indigenous and colonizer cultures. This re-framing of the continent's identity is intended to bring about a better cohabitation of these two groups of people. Finally, the term suggests to some interpreters a more holistic relationship between the continent's ecology and its human inhabitants, visualizing Turtle Island as an amalgamation of bioregions.

The term has been used by writers and musicians, as well as others. Notable uses include Gary Snyder's Turtle Island, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Turtle Island Quartet, a modern-day jazz string quartet, and soy foods manufacturer Turtle Island Foods.