Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Lincoln Memorial!

Today marks the anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. It’s definitely one of the most distinguishable landmarks in Washington D.C., a place that certainly isn’t lacking in memorable monuments. But how much do you really know about the famous tribute? I’ve tracked down some interesting tidbits for you to add to your arsenal of info.


1. It took 50 years to happen

Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. Just under two years later, in March 1867, the Lincoln Monument Association was incorporated by Congress to build an appropriate memorial to our 16th president. Apparently that was the easy part. It took the next 34 years to choose a location, and when one was finally chosen in 1901, the area was all swampland. It was another 10 years before the monument was authorized by Congress, and on February 12, 1914 (Lincoln’s birthday) the first stone was officially put into place. Eight years later, the dedication ceremony took place and was attended by Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd. The monument was dedicated by William Howard Taft.
2. The symbolism of the columns

There are 36 columns featured on the Lincoln Memorial. It wasn’t planned this way, but the columns were eventually said to represent the 25 U.S. states at the time of Lincoln’s death, plus the 11 seceded states. The names of the 48 states at the time of the monument’s completion were written around the top; a plaque recognizes the later additions of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959.
3. It’s been the site of some interesting events


Most people probably know that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech took place at the Lincoln Memorial to honor Lincoln for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation.
But it was also where Richard Nixon tried to appeal to Vietnam War protestors a few days after the Kent State shootings. About 30 students were holding a vigil at the monument in the wee hours of the morning. At about 4:15 a.m., Nixon showed up to have a little chat with them. Neither side could be swayed from their opinions.
Also, for President Bush’s 2001 inauguration, the Rockettes danced down the steps while performing their famous leg kicks. Not sure how I feel about that one.
4. The inscriptions

Stop squinting at the pictures – here’s what the inscription over Lincoln’s head says:
You’ll also find the text of two of Lincoln’s most famous speeches – the Gettysburg address, of course, and his second inaugural address. On this one, the word “future” was accidentally carved with an “E” instead of an “F” and had to be fixed. To this day, you can see where the error happened.
5. The stats

Lincoln himself is 19 feet, nine inches tall – but keep in mind that he’s sitting down. The stone for the building is Indiana limestone and Yule marble; Lincoln is made of 28 blocks of Georgian marble. There are 98 steps that go from Lincoln to the reflecting pool, but the number has no significance. The Memorial is on the “tails” side of the penny, and if you look really close you can see a little figure of Lincoln etched in his proper place in the monument. The Memorial is also on the five dollar bill (although I’m sure you already knew that).
6. Is Lincoln using sign language?


If you look close at Lincoln’s hands, his left hand looks like an “A” in American Sign Language and his right hand looks like an “L”. Although the National Park Service denies that the positioning was intended, there might be some truth to this story. Sculptor David Chester French was quite familiar with ASL – his son was deaf. Furthermore, Lincoln signed federal legislation giving Gallaudet University, a college for the deaf, the right to give out “official” college degrees. So it’s very possible that French snuck the reference in as a way to recognize Lincoln’s contributions to the deaf.
7. The Lincoln Memorial goes high-tech

If you’re headed to D.C. and didn’t have time to do your research beforehand, no worries – your cell phone will provide all of the information you need. You can dial (202) 747-3420 to hear park rangers talk about 10 different themes, including “Debunking the Myths of the Lincoln Memorial” and “The Life and Times of Lincoln the Man”. Although I suppose you don’t have to be at the monument to hear the rangers talk – you can dial in from your couch if you really want to.
8. Are Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln the same man?

You know in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone where Voldemort appears on the back of the head of poor Professor Quirrell? Apparently there’s been a rumor circulating for years that the same thing is true of Lincoln and Lee. Supposedly, there’s an outline of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee’s face carved on the back of the Lincoln statue. This has been repeatedly refuted, but the rumor still lurks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Building Stonehenge - This Man can Move Anything

Wally Wallington has demonstrated that he can lift a Stonehenge-sized pillar weighing 22,000 lbs and moved a barn over 300 ft. What makes this so special is that he does it using only himself, gravity, and his incredible ingenuity.

How It All Began

I am a retired carpenter with 35 years experience in construction. In my work experience, over the years, many times I had to improvise on tools that were not at hand in order to get the job done.

At one of these times, about 12 years ago, I had to remove some 1200 lb. saw cut concrete blocks from an existing floor. The problem was that we did not have a machine that could reach some of the blocks. The only obvious answer was to break the blocks into smaller pieces with a sledgehammer and load them into a wheelbarrow. To me, this seemed to be too much labor at the time, so I improvised.

Using a few rocks and leverage, I removed the blocks from below the floor to an area that the machine could reach them for removal. After doing this several times, the technique became very easy and quick. This experience had me consider the possibility that people may have used this technique before modern day equipment was available.

Following My Instincts

Nine years later, after retiring, I decided to explore this on my own. I brought home a one ton block of concrete from a job. Once I got home, I realized that I had to use my techniques to get the block off the truck. After unloading, I found that my technique allowed me to move the block around the yard with very little effort. At that time, my family became very interested in what their "crazy dad" was up to " this time".

In a few days time, I decided my one ton block was no longer challenging, so I made some bigger blocks to play with. Within a few months time, I was moving, rolling, standing on end, and stacking them on top of each other.

I found that I, working alone, could easily move a 2400 lb. block 300 ft. per hour with little effort, and a 10,000 lb. block at 70 ft. per hour. I also stood two 8 ft. 2400 lb. blocks on end and placed another 2400 lb. block on top. This took about two hours per block. I found that one man, working by himself, without the use of wheels, rollers, pulleys, or any type of hoisting equipment could perform the task.

Testing The Technique

A year after beginning my project, my son needed a pole barn moved, due to a desired property split. I decided to put my technique to the test. The wood building was a 30 ft. by 40 ft. and 16 ft. tall. It weighed over 10 tons. In order to move the building, we added another 5 tons of bracing and reinforcement.

The conditions were not good. At first, the field was muddy and I could only work for a few hours a week. Working by myself, I still found that I could move the building at a speed of 6 ft. per hour. With my son helping, we doubled that speed. After 40 man-hours of labor, we moved the building over 200 ft.

I found I could move this building by myself by using physics, no wheels or rollers.

Attempting To Solve A Mystery

For many years people have tried to solve the mystery of the Egyptian pyramids, some even claiming extra terrestrial intervention. I have always enjoyed the challenge of a mystery and I know that ET did not have anything to do with ancient construction. Similar works were done in different places on earth and at different times in history and there has to be a more accurate explanation. I believe skilled individuals performed the work. I have found that this work could easily be done using only primitive tools and physics.

The Tools

I have found that only simple wooden tools and gravity is needed for moving heavy weight. Nothing rigid is necessary. You do not need to lift weight to move it from place to place. Stones make excellent fulcrums and pivot points.

How To Use Physics

I found that the heavier an object is the easier it is to balance it. Since mass has to obey the laws of physics, it resists movement and once it is set in motion it resists change. Also, once a weight is close to balance on a single point, rotation can be initiated and the object becomes stable. The more weight, the more inertia, the more inertia, the more stable, therefore the heavier the better. Additional weight or leverage is used and can be shifted so the weight can be balanced on more than one fulcrum. For horizontal movement the fulcrum is also a pivot. Since leverage is not used under the object it does not interfere with motion. In the classes of levers, the lever is always in contact with the fulcrum, input, and the load. When I am using leverage or weight as input, it only comes in contact with the load and the load rests on the fulcrum. Therefore, the load is my lever. There is evidence of fulcrums on ancient megaliths throughout the world. I have spent years rediscovering The Forgotten Technology of our ancient ancestors. In response to Archimedes most famous quote "Give me a lever long enough, and a place on which to rest it, and I will move the world." I respond with "Give it two places to rest and I can also move the world." I didn't mean to challenge him, all I meant to do is explain it to you.

Lever Classes

Which class is it? According to a Physics book, " Levers are divided into three classes based on relative positions of the input, fulcrum and load. A lever for which the input and load are located on opposite sides of the fulcrum is a class 1 lever. If the input and the load are located on the same side as the fulcrum, the lever belongs to class 2 or 3."

In the technique that I have been using for my demonstrations, the load rests directly on the fulcrum and the input rests on the load. Is the load the lever or have I been moving my blocks without a lever at all?

About My Logo

In order to understand how the ancient wonders were constructed, my logo has to be recognized. It is "The lever that has fallen through a crack in time."

Ancient Construction

Introducing The First Machine To Walk The Face Of The Earth

I have found that ancient legends from around the world are true. Some megaliths could have been set in place by as few as one man. I could build The Great Pyramid of Giza, using my techniques and primitive tools. On a twenty-five year construction schedule, (working forty hours per week at fifty weeks per year, using the input of myself to calculate) I would need a crew of 520 people to move blocks from the main quarry to the site and another 100 to move the blocks on site. For hoisting I need a crew of 120 (40 working and 80 rotating). My crew can raise 7000 lb. 100 ft. per minute. I have found the design of the pyramid is functional in it’s own construction. No external ramp is needed.

The Forgotten Technology

I have began to build a replica of Stonehenge with eight 10 ton blocks on end and 2 ton blocks on top. One man, no wheels, no rollers, no ropes, no hoist or power equipment, using only sticks and stones. In the future, either myself, sons, or grandsons will be able to show this and other forms of The Forgotten Technology to the world. I believe that I have learned to use the laws of physics to my advantage.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Drunk Builders & Mad Architects

When Construction Goes Wrong

How would you explain that all these "structures" passed the quality control and house inspections? Only by the possible fact that controllers and inspectors were drunk too. Or just near-sighted. I really want to believe the latter, but in some countries they are actually neither drunk or blind - but handsomely bribed. See for yourself:

It all starts with mad designs: