The collapse last summer of the Minneapolis bridge that carried Interstate 35W over the Mississippi trained a spotlight on a long-standing national problem: how years of neglect, underfunding, and a lack of leadership and vision allowed America’s infrastructure to deteriorate. This special report examines the state of the nation’s infrastructure in 15 major categories—as outlined in ASCE’s three “report cards”—as well as the various causes and costs associated with the problem, and explores some possible solutions.
New Orleans is in the midst of an election season. Around here, we elect just about every public servant above the rank of dog catcher. Among the contests (I just learned today) is that for coroner. The incumbent is Dr. Frank Minyard; the challenger is Dr. Dwight McKenna.
Now, the timing of this particular election makes it tough on candidates challenging incumbents. They’re competing with both Carnival and a Super Bowl featuring the Saints. So Dr. McKenna has to figure out how to grab the voters’ attention. I believe he has got this problem solved. (Hat tip to Library Chronicles.)
If you haven’t already done it, please check out Inside the Footprint. There, Brad V and Curtis P parade the lovely homes in the Mid-City neighborhood that would be destroyed if the LSU-VA Medical Center is built where currently planned.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I watched a DVD of the documentary Faubourg Treme. It’s the story of a vital neighborhood that, for about 150 years, has been hit with one mortal blow after another. Please, let’s learn from our mistakes. Let’s not repeat them.
Everyone’s talking today about President Obama’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and wondering what he did to earn it. They should be talking about the Ig Nobel Prizes, awarded a mere eight days ago. For instance:
The Medicine Prize went to Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California. Unger wanted to know whether knuckle cracking causes arthritis. To find out, he spent 60 years cracking his left-hand knuckles daily, while not cracking his right-hand knuckles.
The Physics Prize went to Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, for their analysis of why pregnant women don’t tip over.