The huge Maurice J. Tobin Bridge that links Boston and the communities to the north is just three years shy of its 60th birthday. Every morning and sometimes in the evening, the two and one quarter mile cantilevered truss bridge backs up with Boston’s famously awful bumper to bumper traffic. With the horrific Minneapolis I-35 bridge collapse last night, it makes one trapped in traffic on "The Tobin" all more nervous.
I have been mid-span which the roadway bump literally starts bouncing which is especially pronounced when a trick goes by. I’m told it’s supposed to do this to relieve stress. Nonetheless, it’s unnerving given you’re 135 feet above busy Boston Harbor represented at that point by the Mystic River. The sensation of potential danger is accentuated by a large and much publicized LNG depot about a fifth of a mile upriver.
And it’s an old bridge like many in America. On Sept. 10, 1973, an overloaded gravel truck was headed north and hit a bridge beam bringing down a section of the southbound roadway above. A similar accident occurred in 1995. Besides localized damage, the bridge as a whole stood tall. And 34 days after the 1973 accident, the bridge was threatened yet again by a giant fire that destroyed 18 city blocks in Chelsea, Mass.
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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