Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Go underground!

I'm completely digging these two totally unrelated, yet somehow related, photo essays:

  • Jessica Ball's Hydropower at Niagara Falls: The Schoellkopf Power Station
    Somewhere under this rubble (and a lot of poison ivy) is one of the old turbines. It’s quite an eerie site; you can just hear the roar of the American Falls in the distance, but hardly anyone ever comes so far down the trail. Tourist helicopters seem to like to swoop overhead, and it can sometimes give you the feeling that you’re trespassing (even though the trail itself was clearly marked).
    (and while you're here, be sure to follow the link to the related article from the Niagara Gazette: GORGE-OUS: A garbage dump below the falls
    It’s been some 52 years since the whole plant collapsed into the river, and the site is still as powerful to see as ever. The walls scale high and tourists mill around at the top. The thought of the entire plant crumbling to the ground is overwhelming.
  • And over on Geoff Manaugh's blog, you'll find this unbelievably wonderful essay: Caves of Nottingham
    Nottingham, it appeared, is a city of nothing but doors and openings, holes, pores, and connections, complexly layered knots of space coiling beneath one building after another, sometimes cutting all the way down to the water table.

    Incredibly, the day only continued to build in interest, reaching near-impossible urban sights, from catacombs in the local graveyard to a mind-bending sand mine that whirled and looped around like smoke rings beneath an otherwise quiet residential neighborhood.

    and don't miss don't miss Nicola Twilley's write-up of the tour on her own blog Beer Caves Redux
    Nottingham’s cave-based maltings gave the city an important advantage in the ale brewing industry: they were fireproof, as opposed to the timber-framed malthouses found elsewhere in the British Isles; and, most importantly, they maintained a relatively consistent temperature, which meant that malting could go on all year round and wasn’t limited to the traditional October to May season.
The 3d maps of the Nottingham caves are gorgeous! I'm reminded of the drone devices in the recent movie Prometheus, and how they mapped the tunnels on the alien planet. Or, the maps made by these nifty robots.

Enjoy your virtual tour!

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