Friday, February 22, 2013

Cool Stuff, Old and New

London Underground Turns 150

The first train traveled the London Underground 150 years ago last month. It has grown to 249 miles of track that carry 3 million passengers daily. The Institute of Civil Engineers is observing the anniversary with events throughout the year.

Moon Water

When I was in high school, I enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. The title inspired my friends to tease me by saying it with dramatic flair. We all read science fiction, but I tended to read more hard sci-fi and older books (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was 20 years old back then).

Anyway, in this book Heinlein anticipated that there would be water on the moon in the form of underground ice, which would be mined by settlers. Recent studies suggest that there is water ice on the moon, though we are obviously a long way from using it to quench the thirst of moon settlers. By the way, Heinlein also anticipated the Internet in this book, which I read when home dial-up Internet service was a relatively new thing and few people had computers in their homes.

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