Month: April 2017

Remembering where your keys are, is like a box of chocolates

Forrest Gump might have wondered about that, since losing keys are part of life.  Had he been asked about it, he probably would have said keys are lost more often than chocolate. Forrest Wickman reports that  you’ve got plenty of space in your brain and it uses very little energy very efficiently. It stores all kinds of “data”, memories, feelings, facts and so on. Before storing, it has to process the data, as in recording it, deciding where to store it and importantly, deciding in cahoots with other parts of the brain to decide when and what to retrieve. There may be just be too many places for keys. For right handed men, like the right pocket of the last pair of pants worn. Maybe left in the door after juggling too much when entering. Maybe thrown into trash while holding trash and keys in same hand. An elder once said, “everything must have a place and everything must be in it’s place.” Further the importance of cleaning and oiling such things as spades and shovels was part of the deal to keep equipment in good working order. The brain must do those kinds of things for us autonomically although this was overheard in a crowd; “I have to forget something to make room for something new.” Computer hard drives crash, files get corrupted, memory has to be added for...

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March 31, 1889: Eiffel Tower opens

On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers. In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel’s plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world’s tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor. Eiffel’s tower was greeted with skepticism from critics who argued that it would be structurally unsound, and indignation from others who thought it would be an eyesore in the heart of Paris. Unperturbed, Eiffel completed his great tower under budget in just two years. Only one worker lost his life during construction, which at the time was a remarkably low casualty number for a project of that magnitude. The light, airy structure was by all accounts a technological wonder and within a few decades came to be regarded as an architectural masterpiece. The...

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