This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
What has this new approach created? Natural Design's newest model sedan, the Millennium 2000, does not use air bags, or even seatbelts. "Seat belts are dangerous, and air bags are kid-killers," complains Wily. So he has come up with something better. The interior of the Millennium 2000 is coated with a patented psychoactive material, called Natural Safe. "All a driver or passenger has to do is think safe thoughts, and this miraculous material will do the rest. In a crash, the material will gently repel any safe thinking person in the vehicle, leaving them free from injury," Wily asserts.
Soon after posting the above article, we received this urgent message from Lewis Jones, a British science writer familiar with Waterstone's work: Here in Britain, we have had an OAE (Office of Alternative Engineering) for many years, as a department of the Ministry of Civil Works. Alec Waterstone began work here as a junior civil servant, and first learned the techniques of Alt Eng while on assignment to Beijing. I knew him well, and admired the innovative ideas that soon revolutionized the entire concept of engineering in British universities. Alas, the lure of big money was too much for him, and it was not long before he left for the United States as part of the notorious Brain Drain.
His ideas are nevertheless still making their mark on this side of the Atlantic. Working by satellite communication, Alec was responsible for the exciting idea of turning the London Eye (the giant ferris wheel that has just been built on the banks of the Thames) by power of thought alone. It was due to begin rotating at midnight on New Year's Eve. However, at the time of this writing (4 January 2000), it has not yet moved -- a sad commentary on the lack of concentration that is all too common among today's citizens, many of whom appeared to be gazing more intently at the fireworks and focusing their attention on the cans of liquor in their hands. This was a sad blow to Alec. Whatever happened to gratitude?
Waterstone showed by rigidly controlled speculation that bridges, in particular, were especially amenable to his theories. Records show that during the construction stages of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, for example, "Waterstone vectors" were unthinkingly rejected by the mainstream engineers of the time. Search through the planning documents, as I have done, and you will not find a single written approval of the technique. To see the results of such a cavalier dismissal of modern thinking, watch the infamous film of the last moments of the bridge -- that is, if you can find a copy of the film, which closed-minded scientists have been trying to buy up and destroy ever since the bridge earned itself the name "Galloping Gertie" and shook itself to pieces in 1940 -- an event they are utterly unable to explain.
It is entirely due to Alec Waterstone that in Britain we have a number of swing bridges (that is, bridges whose center rests on a pivot in mid-river, allowing the entire bridge to be turned through any angle). This means that the bridge can be rotated to any desired position to line up with the prevailing energy channels. This subvariant of Feng Shui applies specifically to movement over water, and has become internationally known as Swung Phooey. In extreme cases, a swing bridge can be rotated 90� to be positioned parallel to the river banks. I am reliably informed that no adverse event has ever occurred to anyone crossing a swing bridge in this orientation
It is not generally known that Swung Phooey orientation is applicable to three dimensions. London's Tower Bridge is known locally as the Waterstone, because its two halves are periodically raised to accommodate energy flows that are occasionally swept upwards as they flow down river during freak atmospheric conditions.
Alec -- if you read this, please come back. We need you!Tacoma Narrows Bridge [ June 16, 2005: Message edited by: HLN Thomas ]