|3. Everything / Maths, Science & Technology / Engineering|
Humans have a passion for reinventing things that have already been
invented by nature. Concrete is a stunning example of this behaviour.
Any rational being, after completing even a cursory survey of the
natural resources of Earth, would conclude that rocks are one of the
most plentiful natural resources, just behind dirt, salt water, and
insects. Not so humans.
Unhappy with the shape and quality of the existing supply, some
enterprising fellow found that if you mix the right amount of sand,
small white chalky rocks and water together, it turns into a soupy
slurry which eventually hardens into a man-made rock. Major problems
ensue if you have neglected to put it in the right place before this
Improvements in concrete technology have enabled the building of the
Hoover Dam, most of Tel Aviv and Brasilia, and thousands of tracts of
the most hideous housing blocks ever designed.
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