Monthly Archives: April 2014

Iron Man is in Louisville, Kentucky

Tony Stark is apparently in Louisville, Kentucky. The apostrophe is missing. Sad.

Tony Stark's place in Louisville, Kentucky.

Tony Stark’s place in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Along the Louisville waterfront

Louisville is a seaport, of sorts. The Louisville, Kentucky, “seacoast” is the waterfront along the Ohio River, with that other coastal state, Indiana, just across the water. Barge traffic has moved up and down the river for a couple of centuries, winding its watery way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the waterfront is industrial, or devoted to roads. There are a couple of parks. And a boat ramp, where this sign was found:

"Cars will be launched" could be frightening, unless you had a car that was also a launch, which is a particular type of boat.

“Cars will be launched” could be frightening, unless you had a car that was also a launch, which is a particular type of boat.

Less whimsical is this concrete obelisk, marked off in feet, showing the height of the river above “normal” elevation. At 26.5 feet is a note that this was the height of the 1997 flood. A mark at 29.2 feet shows the 1964 flood level. A mark at 30.1 feet shows the 1945 flood level. And the red arrow at the top points to the air above the 32 foot mark, noting the 1937 flood level, at 40 feet, would be somewhere up there.

Flood gauge along the Ohio River front in Louisville, Ohio, showing the heights of the 1997, 1964, and 1945 floods. A mark at the 32 foot level notes that the 1937 flood would have been up there somewhere, eight feet higher.

Flood gauge along the Ohio River front in Louisville, Ohio, showing the heights of the 1997, 1964, and 1945 floods. A mark at the 32 foot level notes that the 1937 flood would have been up there somewhere, eight feet higher.

Tudor’s biscuits?

One thing that separates the United States from England is the humble biscuit. We simply cannot agree on what a “biscuit” is, and this disagreement was one of the flash points of the American Revolution. (Possibly baking points rather than flash points?)

But apparently not all traces of British occupation were removed by the Revolution, as this bulwark of Britannia can be found in West Virginia. The Tudor dynastic linkage suggests that the establishment even predates the Revolution.

Tudor's Biscuit World, found in the wilds of West Virginia.

Tudor’s Biscuit World, found in the wilds of West Virginia.

Any curiosity about the biscuits were squelched by this sign:

Tudor biscuits, spaghetti and pizza, and a drive through.

Tudor biscuits, spaghetti and pizza, and a drive through.

Louisville and Pangea

Kentucky is not exactly noted for a close association with science. The Creation Museum, in Petersburg, Kentucky, not only opposes most of modern science, but most of modern religion, claiming the Earth was created in six days of 24 hours, roughly 6,000 years ago.

Yet downtown Louisville boasts a remarkable roadside sign that presents, on one side, a metaphoric clock showing the history of planet earth and, on the opposite side, twelve different views of planet Earth as tectonic plates broke apart Pangaea and created the continents we know today.

A clock showing the entire history of Earth, compressed into a figurative twelve hours, with humanity occupying a tiny, tiny sliver.

A clock showing the entire history of Earth, compressed into a figurative twelve hours, with humanity occupying a tiny, tiny sliver. The presence of human brains on the sign is probably not an accident. Click on the image for a larger view.

The evolution of planet Earth over time, shown in twelve different maps on a roadside sign in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

The evolution of planet Earth over time, shown in twelve different maps on a roadside sign in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Click on the image for a larger view.

Obscene traffic sign

And displayed on a public road, no less.

The meaning of this sign is not clear, but it probably would not mount a successful a First Amendment defense against a charge of obscenity.

The meaning of this sign is not clear, but it probably would not mount a successful a First Amendment defense against a charge of obscenity. On the other hand, it clearly is not a help to drivers; trying to quickly understand and act on this information in a few short seconds is probably beyond the average driver’s skill set.

Seriously glorious feat of engineering

No, this is not another Internet posting of a food photo. Instead, it is a posting about art and craft and workmanship.

Who cares what it is, or what it tastes like: this is a seriously impressive piece of engineering.

They say this was shrimp tempura, and yes, it did taste like excellent shrimp tempura, but the design and engineering were truly stellar.

They say this was shrimp tempura, and yes, it did taste like excellent shrimp tempura, but the design and engineering were truly stellar.