Archive for March, 2003
Made up of soldiers and civilians, scientists and specialists in an enormous variety of fields, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was created over 200 years ago by Congressional mandate to respond, in peace and war, to the nation’s engineering needs. The world’s premier engineering and research and development agency, the Corps has blown up, excavated, grated, dredged, and remolded the shape of our continent as we pushed to expand the nation and harness the forces of nature!
They stun, debilitate, immobilize–providing police and peacekeepers with options other than shouting or shooting. From the ancient caltrop–a multi-pointed contraption hurled by foot soldiers into a horseman’s path–to sting-ball grenades, electrical shock devices, and sound, light, and energy weapons, we examine non-lethal weapons that disperse crowds and take down criminals. And in a whiff of the future, we see why the government thinks stink bombs might prove useful in the war against terror.
Traveling between 135 and 190 miles per hour with an astonishingly high safety record, bullet trains can be found throughout Europe, Japan, and on the U.S. eastern seaboard. How high-speed trains are propelled is rooted in fundamentals that haven’t changed since the first electric trolleys appeared in the 19th century. We see how scientists are looking at new alternatives to electricity, including magnetic levitation that can move passenger trains 345 miles per hour and beyond!
Until recently, the Mackinac Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world. One of the top engineering marvels of the 20th century, the bridge spans the 4-mile wide straits of Mackinac, where Lakes Huron and Michigan come together. The Mighty Mac connects the pastoral northern mainland of Michigan with the state’s heavily forested Upper Peninsula and stands as a testament to the dreams, determination, and hard work of a small few who created a true masterpiece of modern engineering.
Rising almost 1,500 feet high, the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia were named the world’s tallest in 1996 by the Council on Tall Buildings. Connecticut architect Cesar Pelli blended traditional Islamic motifs with the modern skyscraper to create a beacon to the new Asia. Join us as we tour this gateway to the East, an engineering marvel involving experts from around the globe and the determination of Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad to transform his country into a 21st-century power.