A week after the the collapse of the I-35W Bridge, I made out to Minneapolis and trekked down with Publisher Joan Kelly and savvy guide and colleague Joe Hoopes to the adjacent Stone Arch Bridge. That’s the historic former railroad bridge turned pedestrian walkway spanning the Mississippi to link downtown Minneapolis with the east side of town. It’s about a quarter of mile upriver (north) from the I-35 Bridge and was full of gawkers like us. One could see the upturned substructure on the east side and I managed to get 200 yards closer by the Stone Arch Apartments to police line next to the east side of the bridge. Cars were still astrewn on the bridge and a hapless railway car was still crushed underneath that section of the span. A crane had been brought in in collapse roadway deck in the middle of the river.
I shot about 50 photos many of which I will shortly post. There are from some distance and the dam superstructure obscured the view of the west side spans roadway that collapsed mostly over land. I could not help but ponder the loss of life had it been 20 degrees below zero, had the Mississippi been running at full tilt in spring, had it happened at night, had there been no construction meaning the bridge would have been open to three lanes each way or had cars had been doing 70 over the bridge instead of being stuck in rush hour traffic. The loss of life is tragic but could have been much, much worse. Many area residents are reporting they felt the bridge sway sideways when they crossed it in the couple of weeks preceding the collapse. And finger pointing is beginning bigtime right up to the Minnestoa Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
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