The Dujiangyan (Chinese: 都江堰; pinyin: Dūjiāngyàn) is an ancient irrigation system in Dujiangyan City, Sichuan, China. Originally constructed around 256 BC by the State of Qin as an irrigation and flood control project, it is still in use today. The system's infrastructure develops on the Min River (Minjiang), the longest tributary of the Yangtze. The area is in the west part of the Chengdu Plain, between the Sichuan basin and the Tibetan plateau. Originally, the Min would rush down from the Min Mountains and slow down abruptly after reaching the Chengdu Plain, filling the watercourse with silt, thus making the nearby areas extremely prone to floods. Li Bing, then governor of Shu for the state of Qin, and his son headed the construction of the Dujiangyan, which harnessed the river using a new method of channeling and dividing the water rather than simply damming it. The water management scheme is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometres (2,000 sq mi) of land in the region. The Dujiangyan, the Zhengguo Canal in Shaanxi and the Lingqu Canal in Guangxi are collectively known as the "three great hydraulic engineering projects of the Qin."
- "Dujiangyan irrigation system" | 2014-04-22 | 66 Upvotes 12 Comments
The Exploratorium is a museum of science, technology, and arts in San Francisco. Its mission is to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide. It has been described by the New York Times as the most important science museum to have opened since the mid-20th century, an achievement attributed to "the nature of its exhibits, its wide-ranging influence and its sophisticated teacher training program". Characterized as "a mad scientist's penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one", the participatory nature of its exhibits and its self-identification as a center for informal learning has led to it being cited as the prototype for participatory museums around the world.
The Exploratorium was founded by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969 at the Palace of Fine Arts, its home until January 2, 2013. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium reopened at Piers 15 and 17 on San Francisco's Embarcadero. The historic interior and exterior of Pier 15 was renovated extensively prior to the move, and is divided into several galleries mainly separated by content, including the physics of seeing and listening (Light and Sound), Human Behavior, Living Systems, Tinkering (including electricity and magnetism), the Outdoor Gallery, and the Bay Observatory Gallery, which focuses on local environment, weather, and landscape.
Since the museum's founding, over 1,000 participatory exhibits have been created, approximately 600 of which are on the floor at any given time. The exhibit-building workshop space is contained within the museum and is open to view. In addition to the public exhibition space, the Exploratorium has been engaged in the professional development of teachers, science education reform, and the promotion of museums as informal education centers since its founding. Since Oppenheimer's death in 1985, the Exploratorium has expanded into other domains, including its 50,000-page website and two iPad apps on sound and color. It has also inspired an international network of participatory museums working to engage the public with general science education. The new Exploratorium building is also working to showcase environmental sustainability efforts as part of its goal to become the largest net-zero museum in the country.
The Exploratorium offers visitors a variety of ways—including exhibits, webcasts, websites and events—for visitors to explore and understand the world around them. In 2011, the Exploratorium received the National Science Board 2011 Public Service Science Award for its contributions to public understanding of science and engineering.
- "Frank Oppenheimer's blacklisting led to the Exploratorium" | 2017-06-07 | 13 Upvotes 1 Comments
The Williamson Tunnels are a series of extensive subterranean excavations, of unknown purpose, in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool, England. They are thought to have been created under the direction of tobacco merchant, landowner and philanthropist Joseph Williamson between 1810 and 1840. Although popularly described as "tunnels", the majority comprise brick or stone vaulting over excavations in the underlying sandstone. The purpose of the works remains unclear and remains a subject of heavy speculation; suggestions include commercial quarrying, a philanthropic desire to provide employment, and Williamson's own eccentric interests.
After being gradually infilled with rubble and spoil during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they remained largely inaccessible until archaeological investigations were carried out in 1995. Since then volunteers have rediscovered and excavated an extensive network of tunnels, chambers and voids across several sites, with sections open to the public. Guided tours are available at the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre and the Friends Of Williamson's Tunnels, and excavation continues as volunteers continue to uncover new sections.