Watch the demolition (unbuilding) of the Grace and Pearman Bridges
(old Cooper River Bridges)
The Bridge Blog A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages
Schools and universities are all about learning - and learning is mostlly
brain training. Learning is expedited by repetition and forgetting
is expedited by infrequent use of learned skills or information.
Tracking the building of the Ravenel Bridge and now tracking the
demolition of the Grace and Pearman Bridges bring
many questions to me and help me better understand the role Google
and the Internet play in
just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and
want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity
chasing and learning.
Many young learners do not understand the importance of repetition. More
important, while experienced learners understand the learning process
they often do not realize the destructive effects of the forgetting
process. Over the course of the
bridge project, I have access to only a few experts.
Rather than a liability, this has become an asset and pushed me to improve
my search skills with Google. Soon, I realized that answers
to questions encountered during my photo adventures were often
only a Google-search away. Gene Stead,
my first boss and I put these ideas together in a small essay:
Restoring the Joy in Learning).
Google + Internet have become dependable extensions of my memory.
Insights I gain from you and this project will find their way into the
learning centers in our schools and universities.
During the construction of the Ravenel
Bridge hurricane cables were installed to provide some lateral stability
under high wind loads. At the same time, I was exploring how to harvest
weather data from NOAA and the National Hurricane Center so that MUSC
faculty, staff, students and worried parents of students (and perhaps worried
parents of faculty / staff) could view primary data without visiting
multiple web sites.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami
RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds that are small, Internet accessible,
data files that include
links to weather advisories and storm projection graphics. From these links
we wrote a short script to periodically download the updated advisories and
satellite imagery and storm projections. Our
MUSC site presents this
and other harvested data on a single web page.
For the demolition project, I thought it would be useful to present a
minimum set of data so all of us could follow the interactions between
the weather and bridge demolition. Now, Satya Phanse, one of my guys in
the IT Lab thought it would be
useful to selectively display or hide my introductory remarks and worked
out a short segment of
I learn by example, so I copied Satya's example, adapted it to our
bridge page and after 1 mistake (mine) - it works.