Bridge Engineering Nerds

I'm not a bridge engineering nerd (yet), but I have been following the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction for one reason: the "I Lift NY" derrick-crane, which is officially the Left Coast Lifter. Here's what it looked like yesterday from the Nyack public viewing area: The Left Coast Lifter is one of the largest, if... Continue Reading →

More on Maud Lee

Additional digitization and indexing of old newspapers has elicited a few new items on Maud Lee, the tragic Wild West show sharpshooter I wrote about in 2010's A Pair of Shootists. One reason I find Maud (stage name: Lillian Cody) so compelling is that she saw such wonderful things during her career--and then spent her... Continue Reading →

SCUBA, circa 1855

While preparing book talks for my forthcoming title, The Heroic Age of Diving, I came across a long forgotten, failed attempt at self-contained underwater breathing apparatus--in 1855! So far, no other experts I've checked with recognize Levy's name. However, Levy was not the only one working on the concept in the late 1840s and early... Continue Reading →

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