Thursday, July 31, 2014
  Bertha, meet Moleman.

Seattle's idiot city "government" has completely failed in its idiot effort to dig an idiot tunnel. The idiot contractors haven't yet picked up the brand-new super-high-tech idea of bearings. Forgivable, since bearings have only been around for 5000 years or so.
Bertha, the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine went down from overheating in late January, one-tenth of the way through digging the 1.7-mile State Route 99 tunnel which will carry a double-deck highway and replace the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct. Water and sand clogged the machine’s cutterhead openings and penetrated seven rubber seals meant to protect the main bearing. In repairing the machine, crews will install 216 steel ribs and plates that will add 86 tons of reinforcement to the 7,000-ton machine’s drive block and cutter drive.

But to make those repairs, workers are in the process of digging a pit 120 feet deep to access the machine before pulling its 630-ton cutterhead, drive axle and bearing to the surface in order to replace the bearing and add the steel reinforcements. The pit was initially expected to be completed by the end of this month, but construction is now expected to last into August.
Elsewhere in Seattle, one man has figured out how to dig tunnels without giant machines, but the same idiot fagass "government" is trying to stop him from digging because he hasn't acquired the necessary endangered-species permissions:
Neighbors who live near Cheasty Boulevard South say they've complained about a man who has dug up extensive ditches in the environmentally protected Cheasty Greenspace. Ed Neubold says the man is ruining some of the city's wetlands. Neighbors say he's known as the "Moleman," for digging deep ditches, caverns and steps in the parkland.


Pay billions to incompetent contractors who get stuck in the middle of a job because they haven't heard of bearings. Jail an inventive and competent digger who is REBUILDING CIVILIZATION BY DRAINING YOUR FUCKING MIASMAL SWAMPS, YOU GENOCIDAL ALL-CONSUMING SADISTIC PSYCHOPATHS..

Makes perfect sense in modern Satania.

= = = = =

Later after cooling down: Seriously, Moleman ... or actual moles ... could teach Bertha something. Instead of trying to cut through the entire radius of the tunnel at once, use a hundred little torpedo-like mechanical moles. Each is one foot in diameter, and they're spaced out around the circumference of the circle, moving in unison. The soil and rocks in the middle of the circle should fall spontaneously; if it doesn't, a firehose will do it. Place preformed rings behind the moving moles.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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