The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Newsreel of the 1940 Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge dramatic collapse

On November 7, 1940 the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge dramatically crashed into Puget Sound. after swaying and twisting in the wind.  At the time of its construction (and its destruction) the bridge was the third longest suspension bridge in the world in terms of main span length, behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. The collapse was attributed to the matching frequencies of the wind and the bridge, and became a standard example in physics textbooks of elementary forced resonance, with the wind providing an external frequency that matched the natural structural frequency. I've seen the newsreel before and am always mesmerized by it. The only victim of the disaster was a dog named Tubby.

Graphic: Government debt across the world is out of control

From Government debt as a percentage of GDP. Scary numbers and the U.S. is 6th from the top of the list. How did the entire developed world get itself into such a mess? It's simple – too much spending. Is it sustainable? Here's the top ten:

1. Japan at 226%
2. Greece at 130%
3. Italy at 118%
4. Belgium at 100%
5. Ireland at 94%
6. The United States at 93%
7. France at 84%
8. Portugal at 83%
9. Canada at 82%
10. Hungary at 78%