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Leaning Tower of Pisa Secure For 300 More Years

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the galileo-never-slept-here dept.

Science 168

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The tower of Pisa began to lean five years after its construction began, in 1178, and by 1990 it had tilted more than four meters off its true vertical. Conservationists estimated that the entire 14,500-ton structure would collapse 'some time between 2030 and 2040.' Now the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been stabilized and declared safe for at least another three centuries. The stabilization, which cost $30M, was accomplished by anchoring it to cables and lead counterweights, while 70 tons of soil were removed from the side away from the lean, and cement was injected into the ground to relieve the pressure. The tilt has now returned to where it was in the early 19th century. Nicholas Shrady, author of Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa, says that the tower was destined to lean from the outset because it was built on 'what is essentially a former bog.' Shrady adds that the tower previously came close to collapsing in 1838, 1934, and 1995. (The commission convened in 1990 to study the tower's stability was the 17th such.) Although Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped cannon balls from the tower in a gravity experiment, Shrady says the myth is the result of 'the overripe imagination of Galileo's secretary and first biographer, Vincenzo Viviani.'"

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Aye, the Europeans be fit (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635833)

As it is thus in ye olde lands whichst doth overflow with malodorous Gauls, so be it in Pisa, land of bogs and arduous oil-soaked men. The tower, it leans.

Re:Aye, the Europeans be fit (1, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636003)

"ardurous" not "arduous"... :-(

Re:Aye, the Europeans be fit (5, Funny)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636023)

Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a tower on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So, I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp, but the fourth one... stayed up! And that's what you're gonna get, lad: the strongest tower in these lands.

Re:Aye, the Europeans be fit (2, Insightful)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636175)

You had a swamp? Luxury!

Gal Civ 2 perchance?! (0, Offtopic)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636191)

Isn't that one of the tech descriptions for Gal Civ 2?

/me goes to look in the xml files

Yup.... it's the tech description for Soil Enhancement:

<Details>The other civilization leaders said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So, I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp, but the fourth one...stayed up! So now you can do the same! Good luck to ye!</Details>

Re:Gal Civ 2 perchance?! (3, Funny)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636207)

Is Gal Civ 2 entirely written in Python, then?

Re:Gal Civ 2 perchance?! (3, Insightful)

Soft Cosmic Rusk (1211950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636251)

Taken from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"...

Re:Gal Civ 2 perchance?! (1)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636687)

Lol, I thought it was Gal Civ 2 as well.

Re:Aye, the Europeans be fit (0, Offtopic)

Hanyin (1301045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636237)

First off I'm not trying to complain (well, maybe a bit), but I'm wondering why my MP-related quote which was posted nearly ten minutes before yours didn't get modded up. I'm new here, would someone explain it to me?

Re:Aye, the Europeans be fit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636443)

Pretend like the moderation system doesn't exist and everything will take care of itself. People who pay too much attention to mods and their whims either don't last too long, take a serious karma hit for constantly complaining about the system, or end up like this guy http://slashdot.org/~RageTroll+9000/ [slashdot.org] .

The end goal is more quality content (subjective), but plenty of individual unfairness happens too (also subjective).

If you fall into the demographic that enjoys slashdot, keep posting and pretend karma doesn't exist.

Re:Aye, the Europeans be fit (1)

DimmO (1179765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636575)

But... but, I don't want any of that... I want to... sing..

I wonder how many reporters have eaten Obama's cum (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636259)

Just curious. They seem to like him an awful lot. Not that they're supposed to let on about it, but I guess when you're sucking someone's cock you just can't help injecting a little bias when you report on them.

Please proofread summary just a little bit (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635835)

...tower of Pis began...

...buildt on...

The first of those is pretty obvious.

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23635863)

You missed;

...years aer its construction...

Oblig Simpsons quote. (2, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636429)

"I find that work perfectly cromulent."

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (0)

Maavin (598439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635885)

Yeah! Should be: pies!

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23635961)

Nothing useful, interesting or funny to add so you just HAVE to point out spelling errors when nobody cares but other anal spelling nazis?

You sure are a douche. Please kill yourself.

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (5, Funny)

aeSentinel (1197425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636127)

You sure are a douche. Please kill yourself.
Anybody that can't spell a word as simple as "after" should be shoot.

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636135)

What the hell? Nothing even remotely resembling the word after appears in that post, and then you, in turn, have gone and messed up the spelling of "shot". Bravo, sir.

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636165)

Nigger.

Re:Please proofread summary just a little bit (1)

DimmO (1179765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636605)

now, now. There's no need to loose your cool.

It's a famous landmark! (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636145)

It's right besides the Empire Scat Building!

Tower of Pis? (4, Funny)

bushboy (112290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635837)

Hmm, proof readers day off then?

I'm usually leaning when I have a tower of piss.

Re:Tower of Pis? (1)

thetroll123 (744259) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636113)

There's something special about spelling Nazis who don't know how to spell 'proofread'...

Re:Tower of Pis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636241)

"Proof readers" is perfectly legitimate English, inasmuch as he is referring to readers of proofs.

From where comes your assertion that bushboy doesn't know how to spell "proofread"?

Oh yeah. From nowhere.

At least you got the dot dot dot... makes an epic ending to your contentless post...

Re:Tower of Pis? (1)

MaxInBxl (961814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636167)

I'm usually leaning aer I have a tower of piss..

Re:Tower of Pis? (5, Funny)

sessamoid (165542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636215)

Tower of Pis? Is that something like this?

       333333333
      .........
      111111111
     444444444
     111111111
    555555555
    999999999
   222222222
   666666666
  555555555
  333333333
666666666666

Re:Tower of Pis? (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636395)

hahahahaha! Buckaroo Banzai :)

Crap (4, Funny)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635851)

I had Aug 2034 in the office pool.
You bastards.

Re:Crap (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23635953)

I had Aug 2034 in the office pool.

You bastards.
How much is the pool for? A hundred pounds of Detcord and you could still win.

Re:Crap (2, Insightful)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636031)

2034? That's quite some job security you got there.

this is the 4th tower (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23635875)

They said it was daft to build a tower on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em.

Wow, just like Superman III! (4, Funny)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635881)

Hint: Remember when Supes straightened the Tower after being exposed to the tar-kryptonite?

Safe for 300 years (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635883)

Remarks like that are an open invitation for epic failure.

Re:Safe for 300 years (5, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635901)

The tower is safe for 300 years!!
This ship is unsinkable!!

Anyone else seeing similarities?

Re:Safe for 300 years (5, Funny)

Alpha Whisky (1264174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635945)

Are you saying there are icebergs in Pisa?

Re:Safe for 300 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636401)

Only the media called the Titanic unsinkable - neither the White Star Line nor anybody involved in the construction made any such claims. They were happy to demonstrate the new safety measures for the media, though.

Re:Safe for 300 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636435)

- neither the White Star Line nor anybody involved in the construction made any such claims.
How many people were involved in the construction? Seems like a lot. And NONE of them said it was unsinkable? Not one? Please edit a Wikipedia page real quick to provide proof of this claim.

Re:Safe for 300 years (2, Interesting)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635959)

It has beeing leaning for almost a 1000 years already. Giving it another 30% extra after a major update isn't that spectacular.

Re:Safe for 300 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636579)

Please, consider that they could not straighten it up, least the tourists be disappointed...

That's just wrong... (2, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635893)

To me, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was a monument of how human mistakes live on for centuries, and it was a miracle it was still standing. Now they've gone and reinforced it and taken all the fun out of it. They might as well have straightened it... It was also funny to me how an utterly useless building (who'd want to work with gravity pulling you gently towards the open window?) is conserved simply because it's old. If the same thing had happened today, which it does on a regular basis, the building would have been torn down.

Re:That's just wrong... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23635905)

I'm sure the hordes of people sitting around the square in Pisa, selling miniature towers and silver tea spoons, would oppose its being torn down.

Re:That's just wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636053)

Heavens, do you ever get any fun at all in your life? Do you ever laugh? Is there ever anything that you find interesting, fascinating, or just plain beautiful, just for its own sake?

Seriously - no offense, but you sound like someone whose idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday night is to read a phonebook to find spelling mistakes to complain about.

(And if you absolutely insist on an answer to the question why it's neither a) allowed to collapse nor b) straightened entirely: tourism. It's arguably the most important source of income for Pisa (quick, name one thing Pisa is famous for OTHER than the tower! can't think of anything? see, there you go), so there's a perfectly valid economic reason for what they're doing.)

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636125)

Heavens, do you ever get any fun at all in your life? Do you ever laugh? Is there ever anything that you find interesting, fascinating, or just plain beautiful, just for its own sake?
I do laugh. I laugh at the immortalised screwup that is the Leaning Tower. I laugh at Steve Ballmer's latest buzzword-laden, meaningless sentence. I laugh when a politician tries vainly to take a serious stance on an issue they know nothing about; doubly hard when they have a financial interest in that issue. Anyway, it's useless perusing a phonebook for spelling errors. People spell their surnames all kinds of weird ways :P.

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636467)

quick, name one thing Pisa is famous for OTHER than the tower!
The test [oecd.org] .

Admittedly, given most countries dismal performance at the test, there's not much of a difference with the tower...

Re:That's just wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636563)

The SNS: scuole normale superiore of Pisa. Very beautiful building at the Piazza dei cavalieri.
Not much else to see at Pisa. Fortunately, it's very close to Firenze. So while visiting Firenze, reserve a half day to visit Pisa.

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636629)

The tower is just one of the many sites of architecture within Pisa. The Duomo (cathedral), the Baptistry of St John are two such sights. There's also numerous churches and museums that could be worth going to see.

Re:That's just wrong... (4, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636059)

It couldn't be straightened anyway, it wasn't finished before it began to lean, so the upper levels were built to be level with the amount of tilt present at that time.

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636289)

so the upper levels were built to be level with the amount of tilt present at that time.
I think about that.

I live about 9 blocks from the downtown Chicago and when I walk my dog, I like to gaze at the stunning Chicago skyline. I'm literally in the shadow of Sears Tower early in the morning, and sometimes it seems like some of the older buildings between the Tower and me look to be a tiny bit leaning.

It's probably just a trick of the perspective, but as a non-engineer (actually, the anti-engineer), I marvel most of all that man is able to build so high and straight and true.

It comforts me somehow that it wasn't always so.

Re:That's just wrong... (4, Funny)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636405)

I live about 9 blocks from the downtown Chicago and when I walk my dog, I like to gaze at the stunning Chicago skyline. I'm literally in the shadow of Sears Tower early in the morning, and sometimes it seems like some of the older buildings between the Tower and me look to be a tiny bit leaning.

It's probably just a trick of the perspective, but as a non-engineer (actually, the anti-engineer), I marvel most of all that man is able to build so high and straight and true.

There is no proof that humans built any of the buildings in Chicago. Furthermore, we don't have the technology to build higher than two or three stories at most. Obviously the same space aliens that built the pyramids built Chicago skyscrapers. I think a different group of aliens built Los Angeles - Mexicans.

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636639)

:^)

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your comment ... like the body or the subject!)

Stupid builders (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636459)

it wasn't finished before it began to lean, so the upper levels were built to be level

So, it seems that those builders, besides not being able to choose a good place to begin with, were unable to extrapolate. Which part of "if this goes on" they couldn't understand?


If it were me, I would stop building when it started leaning, and do it over somewhere else. To reduce the cost, the stones could be reused, just take it apart and put it back together where the ground is more suitable.

Re:Stupid builders (5, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636627)

Given the way management works, I'd imagine the builders tried to do exactly that, only to be told by their superiors to continue working until it was finished, regardless of the outcome. If it fell, the workers would be blamed for their substandard work. If not, it would serve as a testament to management's foresight and proof of their competence to any who might have criticized their decision. In no case would the project's management ever be held to any kind of responsibility for anything bad that might happen.

It's the way it's always worked, and the way it always will work.

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636117)

To me, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was a monument of how human mistakes live on for centuries, and it was a miracle it was still standing. Now they've gone and reinforced it and taken all the fun out of it. They might as well have straightened it... It was also funny to me how an utterly useless building (who'd want to work with gravity pulling you gently towards the open window?) is conserved simply because it's old. If the same thing had happened today, which it does on a regular basis, the building would have been torn down.

They do their best to keep it leaning, but not falling because that tower is what makes Pisa famous.

And while its true that its current state is manufacturered, this has been the case for a long time. It has been straighten before and it has been reinforced before, so this newest work changes nothing as its state before the latest work was already an artificial one.

Also, you are right, it is conserved because it is old. What do you think they could build in its place that would have more value than the historic value of a building so old?

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

Hanyin (1301045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636143)

To me, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was a monument of how human mistakes live on for centuries, and it was a miracle it was still standing. They might as well have straightened it.
I believe that a non-Leaning Tower of Pisa serves as a much worse reminder of human error than a leaning one. The fact that it's reinforced just to stay up keeps the lesson alive.

If the same thing had happened today, which it does on a regular basis, the building would have been torn down.
So in your opinion we should just tear down every building not in pristine condition? If the same thing happened today we'd tear it down so that we could do something profitable with the space (apartments, office building, etc) and as the AC already said:

tourism. It's arguably the most important source of income for Pisa

Re:That's just wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636151)

To me, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was a monument of how human mistakes live on for centuries, and it was a miracle it was still standing. Now they've gone and reinforced it and taken all the fun out of it. They might as well have straightened it...
Kind of makes me hope that some of my bad source code becomes a national treasure when we finally convert ourselves into a matrix-esque species!

"...and look over there bobby, at the infamous overflowing stack of linked lists!"

Re:That's just wrong... (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636157)

Well you're assuming that it will stand for centuries without any problem. Validating that assumption is useful as an engineering test case.

And the Tower is only useless if art and history and engineering education are useless. While its foundation of course is famously defective, consider this: the oldest parts of this structure are nine hundred years old; the newest parts are seven hundred years old. What the medieval world lacked in civil engineering, it had to make up out of a combination of trial and error, craft, and sheer daring. Because they did not have the civil engineering knowledge, any structure like this that they built might collapse at any time. It's remarkable people even undertook projects like this, which were the work of centuries, many, many short lived generations.

Yet even so, the tower has stood all this time, out of true. At the very least a fitting monument to the generations of craftsmen who built it so well.

In any case the Leaning Tower serves as the bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa, so it is not literally "useless".

Re:That's just wrong... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636163)

Fascinating story here of the cumulative mistakes and poor decision-making that resulted in the alternating lean to the left - lean to the right that it has today. (Kind of like our government I guess ... ) Written from a project management perspective, much of it will sound familiar in today's world. http://www.maxwideman.com/guests/pisa/vision.htm [maxwideman.com]

Re:That's just wrong... (4, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636173)

You sir, are a cold-hearted bastard with no sense for culture, aesthetics and history.

Just because your overly functional mind sees no use for a building doesn't mean other people can't derive pleasure from it.

Re:That's just wrong... (2, Funny)

redGiraffe (189625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636193)

1. build tower
2. it leans!
3. $$$

Re:That's just wrong... (2, Insightful)

ishark (245915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636201)

Uh?????

who'd want to work with gravity pulling you gently towards the open window?

Do you think it's an office building or what? It's a bell tower. As long as it doesn't fall it serves it purpose. What is funny is that there are many other leaning towers around, but for some reason the one in Pisa has become "The" leaning tower.

Re:That's just wrong... (5, Insightful)

MagdJTK (1275470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636223)

Exactly. I mean, when the French stopped using the Eiffel Tower for broadcasting, they tore it down immediately! As an Englishman, I've been campaigning for years for Big Ben to be demolished --- who needs it when we've got digital watches now? Pull your finger out, people of Pisa!

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636409)

Exactly! It's a pretty useless bit of tower. Pretty much good for nothing and by the sounds of it it's a money pit.
Just get rid of the damn thing. There's lots of photos around if anyone in the future wants to see it anyway.

Re:That's just wrong... (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636343)

It's a landmark and even more importantly a tourist attraction. That's why it's valuable. And no, straightening would not have been an alternative, because the only thing that makes this thing at least somewhat interesting is its crookedness. It's like giving a freak show exhibit a correctional operation. Nobody would wanna see it anymore.

If you're looking for useless buildings, you needn't go to Italy. Every country has them. From cathedrals to some person's birthplace to other monuments. Though, are they so useless? They serve, as mentioned above, tourist attractions, as some sort of spiritual focus and if nothing else as a reminder that earlier generations existed and did something spectacular as well. By your logic, the Pyramids would make a pretty nifty quarry.

Re:That's just wrong... (1)

sonofabeach (1168325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636375)

Yeah we maybe we ought to bulldoze those "useless" pyramids, too. So out-dated, and what a waste of space!! If you want ancient Egypt, just go to Vegas!

Same goes for Venice.

Am I right?

You could've had a V-8 (1)

chriscoolc (954268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636493)

You've got a point. Maybe they would have been better off spending all those stabilization funds on eliminating noobishness.

Re:That's just wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636499)

You are right!

Take the 2 big towers that were hit by big birds in NY.... They collapsed them to dust within minutes...
Proof that such mistakes are not tolerated for very long in the US...

Tower of Pies! Delicious! (2, Funny)

Maavin (598439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635897)

Am I right?
Tower Of Pies [herbivoracious.com]

Re:Tower of Pies! Delicious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636339)

Am I right?

Tower Of Pies [herbivoracious.com]
and it's leaning! awesome!

Re:Tower of Pies! Delicious! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636367)

I tried that, but after stacking a few of those things it started leaning to one side and ... hmmm...

Did anyone actually try to take a bite out of that tower?

Well, there's a downside to all this (5, Funny)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635923)

Another 300 years of putting up with Leaning Tower of Pizza jokes.

Re:Well, there's a downside to all this (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636015)

Well, there's an upside to all this

Another 300 years of crafting more Leaning Tower Of Pisa jokes.

OB Monty Python (1)

Hanyin (1301045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23635975)

They said it was daft to build a tower on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em.
But seriously, I'm glad that they mentioned the Galileo thing is regarded as a myth as I've had physics teachers that have retold the story as fact.

Re:OB Monty Python (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636007)

And I've had biology teachers tell the evolution story as fact. We're all in the same boat.

Re:OB Monty Python (4, Funny)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636037)

And I've had biology teachers tell the evolution story as fact. We're all in the same boat.
ahoy, fellow Pastafarian!
yar....why ye be posting as AC?

you should be proud to attach your name to a post declaring your belief that the great pasta in the sky created all life

RAmen

Re:OB Monty Python (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636121)

He is right actually.

Both the Bible, and the Macro Evolution Theory, have not been proven.

So... Neither can be considered a fact.

sometimes you gotta feed em (1)

arstchnca (887141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636341)

Actually, they can be considered fact. I think you will find, however, that discerning minds would only consider one of the two works you mention as fact.

Perhaps you meant to say that neither can be known as fact.

Then again perhaps not. I doubt you meant to say that at all. Writing accurately would belie your selfish agenda; that is, attempting to compare the culmination of human discernment and human logic that is modern science to the culmination of human creativity that is religion.

Trying to do that shows me you aren't very scientific. But you know what? It also shows me that you aren't very religious.

Re:OB Monty Python (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636187)

That's right, it's only a theory, like the theory of gravity and the atomic theory. It's hard to believe they would teach any of that in school. We all know the only explanation of the universe is Unintelligent Design, which says that the creator, blessed be his noodliness, was too stupid or drunk when creating everything. It's the only logical explanation for why Jar Jar Binks could exist.

Re:OB Monty Python (2, Interesting)

paintswithcolour (929954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636063)

It's not completely regarded as a myth; there are a handful of Galileo scholars that think there may be some reality to it. It's all conjecture though, a single source of questionable reliability will forever make it impossible to distinguish myth from fact.

Re:OB Monty Python (3, Funny)

grumm0x (1300553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636631)

Galileo was a smart man, certainly smarter than me. And even I know enough not to take a heavy weight to the top of something that's fixin' to fall over. Unless it was a "Hey, Bubba, watch this!" moment.

Re:OB Monty Python (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636077)

I've had physics teachers that have retold the story as fact

Doesn't matter, fact or not its a useful teaching mechanism. Plus of course the recipient of that knowledge then learns the truth later, which has the effect of reinforcing the basics facts which the original example was used to teach.

Anyway, its a fun story, who cares if its not true? There are so many things for which we don't know the events that discovered them, and people do love a story.

Re:OB Monty Python (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636133)

Also, they're physics teachers, not history teachers. Get your history from those who have been trained in it. You shouldn't even trust what your teachers tell you in their area of expertise, much less random stuff that they tell you that's completely outside of it.

Re:OB Monty Python (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636473)

I suspect this may have come form the Wikipedia page. Certainly it's subjective speculation presented as fact, like a lot on the Tower of Pisa Wikipedia page.

The Wikipedia entry on The Tower of Pisa is a good example of why Wikipedia is troublesome. It's a got a lot of speculation on it that's unreferenced -- and were it referenced, it's sill supposition in many cases. The English is awful too. And yet... there's no way of fixing it, because it's locked off by a cabal of admins. Yep, who needs terrorists to attack free speech!

Hmm. (4, Informative)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636039)

Of course if they straightened it totally it would be worse, because the top leans the other way slightly as the builders attempted to compensate.

a little sensitivity is in order... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636091)

Reading the comments so far about the summary, it seems you're all being just a wee bit insensitive.

It's not "proofreaders' day off", you insensitive clods.

"5 years aer its construction began" is just Scots [wikipedia.org] ...

As all fellow Leghornese would put it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636159)

Let it fall already.... please!!

Very off topic... Moderator points. (4, Interesting)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636161)

I'm sorry, this is totally off topic, but to get an answer to this, posting it in the first thread is my best chance, probably.

I used to get 5 moderator points, then a while ago, I had 10, now I have 15... Does anyone have any clue what on earth is going on? Do they stack over time if unused?

And to stay slightly on-topic: I find it hilarious that they're fixing old engineering mistakes using modern engineering principles that are technically over 3000 years old ;)

Re:Very off topic... Moderator points. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636239)

I used to get 5 moderator points, then a while ago, I had 10, now I have 15... Does anyone have any clue what on earth is going on? Do they stack over time if unused?
I used to have five. Then I had zero. I still have zero. You must be getting mine. Give them back. Please.

$30M? (1)

RavenChild (854835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636245)

For $30 Million do you not think they could save it longer by straightening it?

Person that tagged "typoinsummary" (1)

agent (7471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636267)

You must be new here.

The story of why the leaning tower of pisa was.... (1, Funny)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636273)

...built.

There was a baker who had become rather popular with his breads, sandwiches and soups. He experimented with new and wonderful, and sometimes not so wonderful meal idea. By accident one day a shelf bracket in his kitchen gave way and though nothing had gotten broken various item spilled onto the counter where he was making various products. In cleaning up the mess he scoped meats and chesses and sauces onto a flatten, by the shelf, bread dough. Being the experimental type and not wanting to waste his supplies he decided to put the results in the oven instead of throwing it out.

This was the first pizza, but it wasn't perfected as the dough seemed to be a problem. Regardless he found the meal was good and decided to offer it to his customers, one of which was a close friend and building contractor who had been given a contract for a tower. These fluffy pies were selling well but the bread was still a problem and he couldn't figure out what had gotten mixed in the accident to cause the bread to stay flat rather than rise and spill the toppings.

He got to talking with his building contractor friend and explored ideas as to how to make the dough stay flat. They thought they figured it out, with a hard object (shelf) suddenly against the bread dough to flatten it. The contractor had an idea, that he'd build the building just slightly off level so his good friend could drop the dough from a height that would flatten the dough as it hit he hard ground. And once the building was built they tried it, and it worked. They were going to many many such pies and become rich. Teh lower they dropped the dough, teh thicker the crust, the higher the thinner.

So theu went to work, moving dough ingredients and tools to make it and lots of water up the tower. Of course teh overflow of water that had to keep away from teh spot where they woudl drop teh dough, so the contractor made a drain that diverted the drained water to under the building. This pie production went on for a few months but another problem was discovered, a seasonal one... birds and more specifically bird poop. Seems the bread also attracted birds and the slight tilted angle of the building, upon which teh birds would purch, was also contributing to the collection of bird poop on the ground right where they would drop the dough.

Customer began to notice the underside of the pies and questionable taste. and there were many such customer and notables.

Anyways Italy started to become embarrassed with this "bakers invention" and decided to put a stop to it but realized it word had spread far about this new and wonderful pie invention. So they had to cover it up and deny it ever existed. So they renamed the tower of pizza to Pisa. As things were, teh water being directed under the building weakened the foundation and teh building has ever since continued to tilt more and more.

But the custom of dropping the dough from a height to flatten it, still exist today and some still do it outside, so check the bottom of any pizza you by for white spots.

This story details may be expanded by any other in the know...

70 tons? (0, Troll)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636277)

It seems unlikely that removing 70 tons of soil and replacing it with concrete is going to do anything.
You've got 11,000+ tons of tower with a looong lever arm. Doing anything with under 1% of that mass at the base does not sound too effective.

Re:70 tons? (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636403)

The concrete is probably mostly serving to make the apparent size of the hard foundation larger, so that it is pushing down on a great deal more soil, thus pushing down on each bit of soil quite a bit less.

70 tons of soil is something like 70 cubic meters of soil(on the low end, that's at density of 2g/cc and assuming ton means 1000 kg (where it either should mean either 900 or 2000, I didn't read the article)), which is 'only' a pad that is 12 meters by 12 meters by 0.5 meters. If you go with 0.25 meters, you get something like 25 meters on a side. If you start by figuring that the soil that was there was barely strong enough to do the job, it isn't surprising that a bit of concrete goes a long way.

Re:70 tons? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636415)

My stupid comment about a ton being 2000 kg did not factor into my calculations...

All the other kings... (0, Redundant)

Attila (23211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636279)

... said I was daft to build a tower on a bog, but I built it all the same, just to show them.

everything secure.... unless (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23636331)

something happens to it. everything made by man fails. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

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the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

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meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

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whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

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& pretending that it isn't happening here;

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all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

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Great work (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636347)

I reckon they've actually done a really good job here. With modern equipment, I think that technically they could just fix the foundations and set it back to vertical. But if it's not leaning then it's not much of a tourist attraction anymore.

Stabilising an ancient tower in a still leaning position is pretty impressive.

Geeks' leaning tower (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636413)

Conservationists estimated that the entire 14,500-ton structure would collapse 'some time between 2030 and 2040.' Now the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been stabilized and declared safe for at least another three centuries. The stabilization, which cost $30M, was accomplished by anchoring it to cables and lead counterweights, while 70 tons of soil was removed from the side away from the lean, and cement was injected into the ground to relieve the pressure. The tilt has now returned to where it was in the early 19th century.

Hmmm, I wonder if there will be something similar for our "tower" in the future...

Conservationists estimated that the entire 14,500-MB structure would BSOD 'some time between 2030 and 2040.' Now the Vulnerable Windows of Microsoft have been stabilized and declared safe for at least another three centuries. The stabilization, which cost $30M, was accomplished by anchoring it in a virtual machine with multi-megabyte counterweights, while 70 GB of malware was removed from the side away from the vulnerabilities, and x86 opcodes were injected into the image to relieve the pressure. The open vulnerabilities have now returned to where they were in the late 20th century.

The degree of lean (4, Informative)

Huntr (951770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23636453)

According to the article,

By 1990 it had tilted more than four metres off its true vertical
Then it says

The tilt has now returned to where it was in the early 19th century, with a lean out of true of 3.99 metres

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , they moved it about 45 cm, meaning 45 cm is the difference between toppling in the next few decades vs the next few centuries.
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