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What do the Statue of Liberty and the Original American Kazoo Company have in common?

They're both listed as must-see destinations in the New York section of A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering (www.engineeringsights.org), a new resource designed to entice travelers to add "exciting engineering achievements and activities" to their vacation itineraries.

While some still may be tempted to call a travel agent for vacation advice, the site modestly points out that engineers are responsible for some of the most structurally significant sights to see across the country. The home page of the site asks the thought-provoking question: "Do you realize that nearly everything around you that makes your life more fun ... has been created by an engineer?"

intercst

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"Do you realize that nearly everything around you that makes your life more fun ... has been created by an engineer?"

Every time I drive through Las Vegas, I stop at Hoover Dam, watch the little movie about how it was constructed, and take the tour. Every time, I see something new.

It was such an engineering marvel at the time, and continues to remain so some 70 years later.

The rigging they used to dump the thousands of buckets of cement was just incredible. Not to mention all the tunneling into solid rock that was involved.
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I went to the site and clicked on California. I certainly expected to see some Silicon Valley achievement but NO, cable cars.

Once again, the "professional engineering" societies ignore electrical engineers. I'd like to see the put up a website without the work of EEs.

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Baahhh- who needs EE's:) j/k As an ME, I can attest to the fact that EE's are not talked about very much for the simple fact that most people simply do not understand the concepts. People are more comfortable talking about things that they can see and actually touch. I have suffered through many a meeting where the EE discusses his end of a project to a client and the client just nods his head because he has to take your word for it. Then when the ME talks, the client starts asking about this and that and questioning what's going on. It's kind of a double-edged blade for EE's.
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Sad too, Electrical's the most expensive trade on the job. Clients ought to pay more attention.

nmckay
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"Do you realize that nearly everything around you that makes your life more fun ... has been created by an engineer?"

Here's a story that a friend sent me recently. If it's not true, then it ought to be...

Parable - "Good engineering lasts forever", or, "Lasting effects of decisions made because of a horse's butt" - an amusing anecdote about the power of decisions made long ago and far away
==================================================================

The U.S. standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet 8.5 inches. That is an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and the U.S. railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English build them that way? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that is the gauge they used.

Why did the tramway builders use that gauge? Because they used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that was the spacing of the wheel ruts.

Who built those old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe (and England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And, the ruts in the roads? The ruts in the roads, which everyone had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels, were first formed by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. So the U.S. standard railroad gauge of 4 feet-8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Specifications and bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's butt came up with it, you may unknowingly be exactly right.

The standard railroad gauge resulted from the need to make Imperial Roman war chariots just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

And this continues to make an impact 2000 years later – when you see a space shuttle sitting on the launching pad, there are two booster rockets attached to the side of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory had to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' rumps.

So a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's butt!
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""Do you realize that nearly everything around you that makes your life more fun ... has been created by an engineer?"

I think an even more important for all of us working stiffs...and former working stiffs:

Look around you...at everything you see. It was all made by people who _didn't want to do it_.

I find that a sobering thought with respect to working for missa' charley.

mark
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Once again, the "professional engineering" societies ignore electrical engineers. I'd like to see the put up a website without the work of EEs.


As they say, you can't spell gEEk without one.

<g>
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I went to the site and clicked on California. I certainly expected to see some Silicon Valley achievement but NO, cable cars.
Once again, the "professional engineering" societies ignore electrical engineers.


You may not have found an official EE monument, but I bet you're not web surfing with a typewriter hooked to an Etch-a-Sketch.

We all worship for many hours before the one-eyed deities of PC and TV.
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<< "Do you realize that nearly everything around you that makes your life more fun ... has been created by an engineer?" >>

God was an engineer? (:


Washu! ^O^
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"Do you realize that nearly everything around you that makes your life more fun ... has been created by an engineer?"

For the record, unless her mommy or daddy was an engineer ...
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mjhollen writes:

Baahhh- who needs EE's:) j/k As an ME, I can attest to the fact that EE's are not talked about very much for the simple fact that most people simply do not understand the concepts. People are more comfortable talking about things that they can see and actually touch. I have suffered through many a meeting where the EE discusses his end of a project to a client and the client just nods his head because he has to take your word for it. Then when the ME talks, the client starts asking about this and that and questioning what's going on. It's kind of a double-edged blade for EE's.

it's worse as a chem e. either the customer nods because he/she doesn't know and has absolutely no desire to know or, worse, the customer learned one fact about chemistry yesterday (hmmm...p-orbitals...) and now thinks he/she is an expert on all things chemical (well, can we make it work better with an spd hybrid orbital?)

zay34kc3
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zay34kc3 wrote:
it's worse as a chem e. either the customer nods because he/she doesn't know and has absolutely no desire to know or, worse, the customer learned one fact about chemistry yesterday (hmmm...p-orbitals...) and now thinks he/she is an expert on all things chemical (well, can we make it work better with an spd hybrid orbital?)

Yeah, the worst thing is someone who doesn't know jack about your profession, but after hearing a little about it, thinks they do. Sometimes I think your better off when they don't understand and don't want to understand.
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