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Stupid engineer tricks

Following its 25 Worst Computing Ideas, Wired presents a list of the ten worst engineering mistakes.

Via Rachel and Samantha, the latter including a hilarious Slashdot link depicting a contemporary replay of the Great Molasses Disaster.

Also from Rachel, hypoallergenic cats.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
thaadd
Jun. 15th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)

3. Vasa, 1628
Three hundred years before the Titanic, the Vasa was the biggest sailing vessel of its day. The overloaded ship ruled the seas for all of a mile before she took on water through her too-low gun ports and promptly capsized.


I went to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. It's definately something to see, if you ever get in the area. The backstory -
The Czar was building a big ship. The Swedish King (Gustav Vasa) was building a big ship. The Swede wanted a bigger ship than the Russian, and when he heard that the Russian ship was going to have one more level of cannons than his ship, he told the engineers to add another deck, and fill it with Cannons.

...

The Engineers said - uh, bad idea. The king said DO IT. They did it, likely wrote out wills, and when it sailed....the ballast could not hold it verticle. It went out in the silty archipeligo that is Stockholm's bay, and promptly sunk, killing many of the hands. Likely a few Engineers died too, 'though not at the same time.

Later, an obsessive history buff spent every summer using a homemade tool to take cores of the area he thought the ship went down. In time, he cored oak. He did some more dive research, and it was found for sure. They spent a long time escavating it underwater, then moved it carefully ashore, and then spent a long time dripping it with chemicals, so that the wood would not rot. It now stands up, nearly perfectly preserved, in a museum they literally built around it, all climate controled, with much of the stuff from inside in display cases.

K Bye.
wombat_socho
Jun. 15th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
I think the Vasa ranks right up there in Swedish military history with the Great Northern War, and will definitely check out the museum if I get to that part of the world again.
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