Saturday, December 21, 2013

Manlock up!

For Pajama Boy to unstick Big Bertha (Seatle's non-reversible boring machine--they've filled in the tunnel behind her already)?
"The contractor can create a space in front of the cutting head and the ground -- through proper means -- and then the workers would be able to look in front of the cutting head," said Matt Preedy, deputy program administrator for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.
....One of the ways to get to that spot involves going through a manlock, or passageway between spaces of different air pressure. There are manlocks at the front of Bertha's bulkhead, Preedy said, which would allow workers to see what is stopping the 7,000-ton machine.
The problem is that the machine is tunneling through what used to be Elliott Bay, until  Seattle leveled one of its hills and dumped it into the water...and over whatever was already in the water;
"I really do hope it's something in a way unnatural because it's a more fun story that way," joked David B. Williams, a geologist and author who has studied the topography of Seattle.
Williams points out that the first settlers to the Emerald City used anything they could find -- sawdust, timber, even garbage -- to fill in the land around Elliott Bay.
"Anywhere you go in Pioneer Square, you're basically on 'made' land. You find old shoes, newspapers; there's a boat buried in downtown. So you name it -- it could be down there," Williams said.
Historic records show that a boat called The Windward ran aground on Whidbey Island and was towed into downtown Seattle, Williams said. The ship eventually became part of the landfill beneath city streets.
Speaking of 'unnatural', there is an eerie similarity to the problem Democrats are facing from the fallout--rather than landfill--from Obamacare; they forgot to look before they tunneled too, and also bumped into an obstruction (though F.A. Hayek warned us against it, as The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism). Now they're in jeopardy of losing control of the Senate;
Weeks of technical problems with the health insurance enrollment website and anxiety over insurance cancellations for millions of people have erased early advantages enjoyed by Democratic candidates Gary Peters in Michigan and Mark Udallin Colorado.
....Republicans need to pick up six seats to win the Senate in a midterm election year that typically hurts the party in the White House.
A victory in either Michigan or Colorado — both carried by Obama in 2012 and 2008 — would greatly boost their chances. Democrats already are defending Senate seats in seven states that Obama won, including three where incumbents are retiring.
Doing the math; far more people have had their health insurance plans canceled on them, than have signed up for Obamacare's preferred schemes. Ted Cruz's revenge?

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