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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

Monday Night Owls - How to build something that lasts

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,139 Teacher
We read an article about the best way to build something so that it lasts for a very long time:


Vocabulary Top 10:

provoke - to cause the occurrence of (a feeling or action) : to make (something) happen

tractable - easily managed or controlled

vault - a locked room where money or valuable things are kept

longevity - the length of time that something or someone lasts or continues

celestial - of or relating to the sky

astronomical - of or relating to astronomy (this can also mean 'extremely large' more informally)

languish - to continue for a long time without activity or progress in an unpleasant or unwanted situation

iteration - the repetition of a process; different versions of something

dignitary - a person who has a high rank or an important position

remoteness - far away from other people, houses, cities, etc.

What is the oldest building in your city?
Do you think the clock project described in the article will last 10,000 years?

@Shiny03 @taghried @Ezîza @MarkRavenhoodie


  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To me the most amazing fact is how can oldest buildings still stand.

    As the article said, this is especially true in cities where there are continuous vibrations from motor traffic, other than harmful interactions with citizens.

    Take for instance the Colosseum, the big ancient Roman arena, still standing in the centre of Rome, in Italy.

    It probably involved not just good building materials to build, but also expertise in architecture and the ability to come up with innovative solutions.

    The simple arch is another kind of architectural solution which, not only just support its central part in a magic way, by means of lateral forces.

    It can also support heavy weights, such as a road or railway bridge. In Italy there are many of such example, still dating back to the Roman age, still standing to do their function.

    Sometimes they collapse, though, but generally it happens as a consequence of an earthquake, not by mere aging or oxidising.

    Yet, it's strange to think ancient Romans could have had the intention to build something which would have lasted 2000 years, so far, and beyond to the joy of posterity.

    It's also true that most valuable towns' monuments undergo planned maintenance' s cycles, by scrubbing encrusted particles off their surfaces, just to prevent corrosion from acid nitrogen and sulphate compounds.

    On the other hands, road structure just 50 years old, can collapse, even though they give warning signs long before.

    That's the case with the Morandi motorway fly-over, which suddenly collapsed in August last year, in my town.

    It was probably built with low quality reinforced concrete, just to save on the budget.

    Over time, though, the concessionaire company operating half-country motorways' network, deliberately omitted to carrying out due maintenance, preferring to divert the toll's income to ever increasing dividends.

    The money toll turned victims toll.

    In any cases, I suppose, any built artefact, anything with a strucure or framework whatever is doomed to be destroyed, if anything, by the natural force called entropy.

    According to entropy thermodinamic law, any ordered system, given due time, is destined to destroy, in doing so, reaching the lowest energy content.

    Who knows whether human mind and consciousness will find the same end or will be uploaded to some sort of post-human kind of artificial intelligence, as transhumanism science predict ?

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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