Roman Concrete – Better Than Ours. Excerpt:
After 2,000 years, a long-lost secret behind the creation of one of the world’s most durable man-made creations ever—Roman concrete—has finally been discovered by an international team of scientists, and it may have a significant impact on how we build cities of the future.
As anyone who’s ever visited Italy knows, the ancient Romans were master engineers. Their roads, aqueducts, and temples are still holding up remarkably well despite coming under siege over the centuries by waves of sacking marauders, mobs of tourists, and the occasional earthquake. One such structure that has fascinated geologists and engineers throughout the ages is the Roman harbor. Over the past decade, researchers from Italy and the U.S. have analyzed 11 harbors in the Mediterranean basin where, in many cases, 2,000-year-old (and sometimes older) breakwaters constructed out of Roman concrete stand perfectly intact despite constant pounding by the sea.
Rome, of course, is the wellspring of Western civilization. Ancient Greece contributed a lot, as well – the very idea of a republic as a form of government was a Greek invention – but it was Rome that took the ideas and exported them, civilizing much of Europe in the process. But even concrete? Who knew?
Two tidbits from our Rule Five pals over at The Other McCain:
And, finally, it seems the IRS is about to pay $70 million in employee bonuses. Given the recent (and infuriating) revelations about the IRS and their activities, it’s hard to see any way this is anything less than outrageous. Thoughts?
Back to work. Stay tuned, True Believers.