This is a really cool post about some vestiges of a highway that was almost built through Boston and Cambridge. When I was in school I heard a rumor of this 695 project and that MIT, for obvious reasons opposed to having a freeway run through the middle of campus, did a few things along the way to deter construction:
- Building 20 was declared a national historic landmark (where radar was invented during world war II) though it was originally intended as a temporary structure and in the time it took MIT to undo that declaration it became increasingly rickety. It is now the site of the new Stata center.
- Parking structures (W45) were built along the path (it was said for the difficulty in demolishing them, thought that makes less sense now than it did as an undergrad)
- The MIT nuclear reactor was built right in the path. My favorite lab experiment ever was testing neutron wave/particle duality in 8.13
- A couple of fusion reactors were built along the same path, though these came later I think. I remember that test firings, especially of the tandem mirror confinement, caused some cool effects even in the control rooms.
Over the holidays I visited the blacksmith I was apprenticed to as a child (roughly 1978-1986, though we couldn’t quite figure out the exact years). This is the welder I learned to TIG weld on and the smaller anvil was what I learned to forge steel against.
Greg Leavitt was a great inspiration to me and set me on the path of making things from an early age. It was also a great lesson in the value of hard work swinging a hammer all day in front of a coal forge. In August. In Philadelphia. 100% humidity, 95 degrees outside, 120-140 in front of the forge. Black boogers.
I have my own anvil and TIG now. Just because you can’t ever really get the coal dust out of your nose.
This cat showed up in the yard yesterday. Pregnant. Eeew.. But very friendly, though terrified of Stella, so perhaps the missing flesh was consumed by a dog…
The second major accident I’ve seen in as many days…
Both green, late model sporty cars. The last wrapped the front end around a tree on an exit ramp and apparently made it only about 100 yards before collapsing, I think, into someone’s driveway. They were being tended to by paramedics when I came by.
This time the driver apparently tried to pass, lost control, hit some parked cars and endoed the car. The driver and passenger got out and walked away. Probably not their car, probably on something or other. Not likely to be found again, unless the next thing they hit is a lot harder. Airbags cheat evolution.
Oh well, at least it provided amusement for the neighbors.
Last year I saw one, but it ran away. This is the first all-black bumble bee I saw this year. It’s completely black and very cool looking. I tried to get some better pictures of it, but it wasn’t super keen on posing.
New plugs for the K100.