Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Build a bridge out of her!

I overheard Sebastian saying to some little friend of his at a party the other day, "Do you know what a span is?  It's the section between two supports of a bridge."  I hope he really wowed her with this statement, but I don't imagine it's exactly the sort of thing that will win him lots of friends.  It is exactly the sort of thing he likes to talk about, however.  It is partially attributable to our reading lots of books about bridges lately, and I also (and perhaps this will prove to have been a grave misjudgement on my part?) showed him some videos of "Galloping Gertie," which I recalled fondly from various physics classes over the years.  This has inspired Seb to new heights, and he has been filling the house with architectural renderings, some of which I have collected here for your enjoyment.  Here is the "Monken Gate Bridge" under construction, above.

As you can see in this close-up view, the supports are formed in the shape of monkeys.
It supports a busy roadway

Here's a shot looking down the length of the bridge.  A marvel of engineering!

But . . . oh no!  What's this?  The engineer did not take the phenomenon of resonance into account!  Torsion waves are beginning to rock the bridge!  The middle span is beginning to fail!  A car (containing, sadly, a small dog---but no people, thankfully!) plummets toward the water below!

This picture (entitled by Sebastian, on the back, "TOTAL COLLAPSE") shows suspension cables twisted and dangling as the roadway disappears under the water, more cables raining down along with the actual rain, and only the two main supports remaining in this terrible storm.  If you think this is scary, you should see the dramatic re-enactments using actual blocks and toy cars.  Harrowing!

I don't know if all this means that he's going to be an engineer . . . or that he should never be an engineer.  Perhaps someone wiser can enlighten me.  I do know that I am always excited to see what he's going to draw next! :)

1 comment:

  1. Let's see. When Cam was about that age, he was busily designing a house built around the concept of shoots. You entered the house through a shoot from outside. You went downstairs by means of shoots. He had it all planned out. Then he looked at me and said, "Of course, I will never build this." Meaning that he was aware that the world really doesn't let you do things that unconventionally. Or that real life overcomes great ideas. So he became a video production guy. Maybe because you seem to be able to film dreams more easily than build them into reality.

    It will be very interesting to watch that boy of yours as the years go by.

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