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Seeking Interesting Sites When Travelling the World?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the where-do-you-want-to-go-today dept.

Education 401

An anonymous reader asks: "Is there anyone besides me who likes to travel and look at engineering projects? When I first read Neal Stephenson's Wired article on his trip around the world to watch an intercontinental fiber cable being built from England to Japan (still available at HotWired) I knew this was what I wanted to do with my vacation days. Space launch sites, high-speed rail lines, container ports, technology museums - I've tried them all. Does Slashdot have suggestions for destinations, or for web sites where people share their experiences."

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Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805500)


Why don't you tell us some? (2, Insightful)

dukethug (319009) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805505)

I'd be curious to hear which of these places you found interesting, stories from your travels, etc., etc.

Re:Why don't you tell us some? (2)

FrenZon (65408) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805550)

You could always go to the Leaning Tower of Piza, as you'd be foreverafter be able to belittle other people's whack-ass engineering ideas with "Bah! That'll just end up just as broken as the Leaning Tower of Piza, and have you even seen it??"

I love my job!

Re:Why don't you tell us some? (2, Interesting)

SpaceRook (630389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805648)

You could always go to the Leaning Tower of Piza, as you'd be foreverafter be able to belittle other people's whack-ass engineering ideas with "Bah! That'll just end up just as broken as the Leaning Tower of Piza, and have you even seen it??"

If you want to really be amazed by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, read about [] the measures they've taken to prevent it from totally falling over.

Society for Industrial Archeology (5, Informative)

sphealey (2855) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805509)

You might want to take a look at the Society for Industrial Archeology [] . They sponser conferences and tours that do exactly this, as well as publishing several neat newsletters and journals.

sPh (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805515)

Does Slashdot have suggestions for destinations, or for web sites where people share their experiences."

If your reading this I think you found it already :)

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (4, Informative)

drenehtsral (29789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805518)

I'd vote for teh Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (see the everything2 node). It's cool, they have a WW2 U-Boat you can tour, the first desil-electric bullet train in the U.S., some cool airplanes, an engine from a V2 rocket, some cool old cars, a complete scale model of all the railroad connections in Chicago, and much much more...

In general, it rules, and it's only $9 to get in for the day.

Re:Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805639)

We went there when I was a child. I daresay it was one of the best days of my youth. If you're going to Chicago you should also try and hit Shedd Aquarium.

Re:Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (3, Informative)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805649)

I second that! This was going to be my recommendation, but drenehtsral beat me to it. So I'll nominate the obvious: The Kennedy Space Center. Another place you might stop, if you're in the area, is the Boeing Everett plant [] , the largest building in the world by volume.

Sure, if you're under 16. (1)

PseudoThink (576121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805839)

I went to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry last year with some engineer friends of mine. We are all recent college grads, and found everything way too ordinary and "dumbed-down" to be interesting or educational. It's not their's a museum, and there's only so much they can display, only so much detail they can go into. But that's a problem I've had with almost any exhibit I've gone to see...the exhibitors don't have the time, money, or liability insurance to interactively display anything that's really interesting. Thus, the only interesting things I've really found have been participatory engineering organizations, like Formula SAE [] when I was in college and FIRST [] after I graduated. There are many of these types of engineering organizations out there to choose from. That's probably getting offtopic though...

Re:Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (2)

mattbelcher (519012) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805864)

I had a lot of fun checking out the coal mine and playing with the packet switched-network simulator. Each node on the network is a little button that you can press to take down that node. Then you watch the packets (lights projected from the ceiling) swarm around and find a new route. The Internet exhibit even had a mention of the Free Software Foundation and the EFF.

"Mother Earth, Mother Board"... Great Article (2)

ksw2 (520093) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805523)

Sorry, no personal suggestions for you, but I'm glad to see that others found that article as enlightening as I did. It's been years since it was written, and I still find myself thinking about it and recommending it to others. Neal is a truly gifted author.

Re:"Mother Earth, Mother Board"... Great Article (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805672)

Definitely. One of the best articles I've ever read. Still have the magazine.

On topic, I recommend Hoover Dam. [] Take the tour and see the big-ass turbines in action. Unfortunately the hard hat tour isn't available now (security concerns). Only an hour from Las Vegas!

If in Ottawa try this museum: (4, Informative)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805526)

Canada Science and Technology Museum []

I went twice this year, and it has everything from trains, to boats, to satelites.

Re:If in Ottawa try this museum: (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805790)

Funny thing you mention that, I went on a trip to Canada and visted this museum about 8 years ago. It wasn't anything spactacular, very much reminiscent of the Kennedy Space Center in Houston. Of course, there is much more to Ottawa than this, so it's worth a trip.

First look around your town (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805532)

I know somebody who travelled all the way from Washington State to Europe just to ride a Talgo train. He wasn't amused when I pointed out Amtrack runs Talgos on the route from Eugene OR, through Portland and Seattle to Vancouver, BC. Had he done five minutes of research he would have already taken his trip to Japan for their high speed train. Or he could have skipped Spain and rode the Chunnel train.

People tend to look all over the world for what they want to see or experience without looking in their own city.

Re:First look around your town (1)

Lt Razak (631189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805603)

No kidding. Imagine the number of people that travel to your neck of the woods for *their* vacation!

It's like no one is happy with where they are.

The grass is greener on the other side of the world.

"I don't want the world, I just want your half"--They Might Be Giants

Re:First look around your town (1)

ender's_shadow (302302) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805815)

It's like no one is happy with where they are.

they're not, not when they want to go on VACATION.

Here in DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805537)

They have HUGE buildings full of stuff on all sorts of topics... It's kinda like Disney, but instead of being owned by Disney, it's owned by the Smithsonian Corporation of America. Check out the Air & Space/Star Wars ride! Good stuff.

Let me get this right... (2)

ryochiji (453715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805539)

So you want to spend days travelling to places and see interesting engineering projects? Sheesh. I'd be happy if I had the time and money to just go somewhere.

Sydney Harbour Bridge (3, Informative)

HillBilly (120575) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805543)

Don't just look at it walk across it. Walk over it! The tour guides know their stuff, they'll tell you lots of intresting things about its contruction: why it hasn't rusted away, how it supports itself, and how many rivets were used.

Some of the best money I have spent.

Differing opinion (2)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805806)

and at $150 a pop, boy did you spend it!

My favorite part is that they will not let you take your own camera up there, you must buy one of their pre-shot photos if you want something to remember it by.

All in all, a complete scam, and a very large waste of money. Go to bennelong point instead, and imho you will get a much better view of the harbor anyway, free.

Go watch some rockets in Florida (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805547)

launch schedule []

Re:Go watch some rockets in Florida (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805604)

It is something that you will remember for a long time, plus it is just amazing that they can control that rocket as it has a controlled explosion happening.

My favourite site (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805548)

How about Iraq? (2, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805559)

They have these facilities with huge high-speed centrifuges. They use them to make baby formula I think, but maybe they're interesting nonetheless.

Just look out for white trucks with a 'UN' logo.

Italy (1)

Razor Sex (561796) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805563)

Not for anything technology related, but the food really is that good. Especially the steak.

Re:Italy (2)

_Spirit (23983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805646)

You go to Italy for steak ? :-)

I was going to give you some pointers then I realised this means more of the good stuffs for me !!!!

Re:Italy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805680)

So you went to Italy to eat STEAK? Oh dear.
Reminds me of that guy who recommended a restaurant for its genuine greek pizza...

Re:Italy (1)

StonedZero (615359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805853)

Rome : The Pantheon

SIA ! (5, Informative)

Lt Razak (631189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805566)

I would check out SIA []

A group of us used to do the same thing you mentioned, and we've been to their conferences and tours. One of our friends subscribed to all their newsletters and journals, and passed them around. The ads in there alone will point you to other organizations just like it. It's amazing.

I smiled while reading your description of awe-inspiring marvels of the world. I must say that being able to run a 5K race on the Great Wall of China was most amazing experience I've ever had.

Three Gorges Dam (4, Insightful)

Artagel (114272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805567)

1) It is a huge, huge dam. Supposed to supply something like 10% of China's electricity.

2) Unfortunately, the Three Gorges were an artistic inspiration for centuries of Chinese artists. They will be flooded, and their beauty lost. You can still see them pretty well now, but that won't be true for long.

So that trip is a twofer.

Work for the Project (4, Insightful)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805568)

Just a thought; why not get involved with a project you're interested in and make it your job. You might not get it, but there might be some positions that involve travel that you're qualified for.

I don't know your personal situation, perhaps you have kids or something, maybe it is entirely out of the question. But if I had a nickel for every time someone suggested something "obvious" to me that I hadn't considered before...

Look (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805572)

here []

aghhhhhhhhh! Get a life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805581)

There is more to life than technology, you know?

A Few Ideas (3, Interesting)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805589)

Three Gorges Damn - before they close it up. Until then, it will be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Trans-Siberian railroad. Just because.
Lewis and Clark Bridge, St. Charles, MO / Alton, IL. See the Nova special, Superbridge, first. And close to the Gateway Arch, too.
WTC site. Damn, that thing took hits from two jetliners and it stayed up long enough to get most (not all, alas) of the people out?
Sears Tower, Chicago.
Assembly building at KSC.
The list goes on and on.

Re:A Few Ideas (2)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805613)

Gee, that's a real Freudian slip, eh? Three Gorges Dam, obviously. And the other fellow with the better posting on it hadn't hit submit yet, I think.

Re:A Few Ideas (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805693)

Three Gorges Damn - before they close it up.

"Before they close it"? Is that a euphemism for "Before the dam breaks, causing unbelievable amounts of damage and human suffering"?

Re:A Few Ideas (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805772)

No, before they finish the dam, and flood one of the more beautiful spots in china, displacing millions of pesants, and forever changing the geography, ecology, and economy of the region. Close the dam up so it blocks water.

I have a suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805592)

Get a life

Total Solar Eclipse (3, Interesting)

nategasser (224001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805605)

In August of 1999 I travelled from the US to Turkey to watch a total solar eclipse. The eclipse was fantastic, as was the subsequent travel around Turkey.

It's science, not engineering, but I recommend it just the same. Find a good one here [] or here []

Galileo museum in Florence (1)

HillClimber (530465) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805608)

The best science museum I've ever visited is the History of Science museum [] in Florence, Italy. They have an incredible exhibit of Galileo's telescopes, inclined plane experiments, clocks, and (I kid you not!) his (middle) finger.

Interesting eclipse in Africa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805615)

See details here [] : A solar eclipse will be seen from Africa! To celebrate, the local Muslims will set a hundred random people on fire and hack the arms off a hundred more, in protest against the sun's implied insult to the prophet Muhammad. They will thereby prove that Islam is the religion of peace and that it's the infidels who are fucked up, not them.

In other news, Muslims in Iran still intend to execute a college professor for advocating freedom of conscience, Muslims in India have murdered another dozen or two civilians at random, Muslims in Saudi Arabia have executed fifteen random gays and women for being gay or female, Muslims in Pakistan murdered each other for no reason at all, and Muslims in Chechnya are still refusing to face the fact that they're at war because they VOLUNTARILY CHOSE TO INVADE DAGESTAN for God's fucking sake.

Other random killings and insanity from the religion of peace are expected shortly. Meanwhile, the only Muslims on Earth who are free to vote and speak their minds are living outside of the Islamic world. They're voting for swine and talking complete shit, but that's their right. Of course, they'd move back to an Islamic nation in a minute, if there were a single Islamic nation on Earth that had a functioning economy. But there isn't, so they're all in the West, hating their benefactors, supporting their local terrorist cell, and sending money home.

Re:Interesting eclipse in Africa (1)

DaemonGem (557674) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805762)

And 90% of what you've said has nothing to do with the question. Post your rants somewhere else.

Massive pants (1)

claygate (531826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805618)

There was a massive technological undertaking to create a fabric that could withstand the forces placed upon them when I was wearing pants. I'm a bit of an anomoly with this 300 ton unit, but I get great funding from the science community when I rip another pair of pants.

Re:Massive pants (1)

claygate (531826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805670)

That was supposed to be an anonymous posting by someone else. I do not condone activity like trolling on my name... damnit. Now I will go beat someone in the next room.

as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805623)

you shouldn't take any slashdotter's advice without first consulting a lawyer.

Check the Science Museum in London (2)

m.lemur (618095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805631)

Worth a visit....

The website is here []

The geothermal electricity plants in New Zealand are pretty cool, they runs tours and stuff. You can also check the Echelon base at Waihopai while your there too ;-)

A pinch of humanity (1)

Anonymous Bullard (62082) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805637)

"Space launch sites, high-speed rail lines, container ports, technology museums - I've tried them all."

How about something more, umm, human? Like teaching computer skills to exiled people while learning a thing or two from simply being there?

Some people say it's been the most satisfying thing they ever did. A little compassion can make even everyday gadgets more amazing...

Re:A pinch of humanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805834)

And why aren't/weren't you out there doing that instead of posting to Slashdot, Hmmm....?

Hypocrisy courtesy of The Self-Rightous Slashdot Brigade! Raining of technophiles' parades since 1997.

Machu Picchu, Egyptian Pyramids (4, Interesting)

puto (533470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805653)

I am a techno geek but i have been to Machu Picchu and it was spectacular. Egpyt is next on my list as well as Japan.

But it is good to see things that were built so well with so little technology that survive today. Attesting to human intelligence and cunning. Give you a real good perspective on the world we live in now.

Much prettier than an IMAX movie, plus you are outside.

I love technology museums but the Great Wall of China would be a good thing to stroll down with my lady(plus you geeks could get some choice hentai).

I guess my point is check out something other than the electronic.


Re:Machu Picchu, Egyptian Pyramids (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805711)

I love technology museums but the Great Wall of China would be a good thing to stroll down with my lady(plus you geeks could get some choice hentai).

Wouldn't us geeks get choice hentai in Japan, not China?

Re:Machu Picchu, Egyptian Pyramids (2)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805739)

The Great Wall is truly an impressive feat, and walking on it is quite fascinating/exhilirating/impressive. I would definitely go back.

My only concern (and the reason that I have not visited Machu Picchu) is that a lot of the tourism is damaging the site(s), and very little of the money is going to preserving them. It's a real shame that these things last hundreds or thousands of years just for us to take a trinket home and destroy them.

Angkor wat (2, Informative)

jez_f (605776) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805763)

If we are going in this vein then I would have to suggest Angkor wat, in Cambodia. It has been described as one of the most amazing structures concieved by the human mind. For something more moddern you could try the petronas towers in Malaysia. Tallest buildings in the world, even if they only let you go up to the bridge. Or a bit closer to home (if you are in the US or Canida)is the CN tower and Gloden Gate bridge A bit closer to home if you are in the UK I would say Eden and the Faulkirk Weel, not to mention the london eye. All are great enginearing feets in their own right. I am sure you will get more replys that you can see in a lifetime so I will leave it there.

Re:Machu Picchu, Egyptian Pyramids (2)

AJWM (19027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805809)

Machu Picchu is indeed spectacular. We got there one misty morning before the tourist bus (we'd overnighted in Agua Caliente) and that added to the experience. If you're in Peru, it's also worth taking a flight over the Nazca lines -- although all the steep turns over them to get a good look got everyone in the six-seater airsick except for the pilot and me (also a pilot).

Dunno about the Egyptian pyramids -- the one time I went through Cairo airport my layover was about a half-hour too short to do the "bus to the pyramids, get out, look at them, back in the bus, back to the airport" quickie tour (which was about two hours, as I recall).

Women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805663)

Space launch sites, high-speed rail lines, container ports, technology museums - I've tried them all.

Wow, what a great way to pick up women, why didn't I think of this before!!

Malm bridge (2, Interesting)

jordanda (160179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805668)

The Malmö bridge that spans between Sweden and Denmark is quite a sight if you happen to be in Copenhagen. The best way to see it is to take a flight from SAS and look out the window, land and jump on your connecting flight.

Some engineering feats to consider (2)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805671)

"Is there anyone besides me who likes to travel and look at engineering projects? ... Does Slashdot have suggestions for destinations, or for web sites where people share their experiences."
I've always thought the London Underground was a great engineering achievement... Fast transit, the fares are relatively cheap, and you get black nose hairs free of charge. :^)

Other engineering achievements I'd recommend would be the Petronas Towers [] in Malaysia (these are the tallest buildings in the world right now, and they have an interesting "bridge" between them); the Hoover Dam [] outside of Las Vegas, NV; and the Channel Tunnel [] . If you have a few million to spare, you could always contact Russia to visit the International Space Station [] . I'm sure other Slashdotters will think up many other sights to see...

Re:Some engineering feats to consider (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805866)

I've always thought the London Underground was a great engineering achievement... Fast transit, the fares are relatively cheap, and you get black nose hairs free of charge. :^)

Bah! The NYC subway system is larger, more comprehensive, and more exciting* than the tubes, though you will get better exercise leaving the underground since they're so much deeper.. Depth is a feature, as long as the escalators work :)

* if by exciting you mean "fragrant", shabby, poorly-lit and maintained, dangerous, unreliable and loud. into a random item. (2)

jki (624756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805677)

Does Slashdot have suggestions for destinations

Travelling around the world sure sounds interesting. But... if you stop for a moment, like right now, look at all the items in the room where you are right now. Pick a random item. I see a plastic coffee cup. Then travel in that cup. This one came from italy. It has been designed to provide some extra grip (there's some stripes in it) - there's plenty of tiny little neat things in it that have been developed to produce that very simple item. Then, think how that item reached your desk, how many steps and people have been involved in making that item transport from the manufacturing place to this toys are good items as well, they have lots of design in it, many of them read "produced in taiwan" atleast in our case. :)

Well, I guess this is the poormans version :) and maybe it's time to catch some sleep :)

uhm, obvious question.... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805678)

Are you looking for only HUMAN engineered sites?

Ever considered the Great Barrier Reef? The islands off the coast of Hong Kong or Malaysia?

Both are really cool feats of engineering, only Ma Nature did em. Don't limit yourself to strictly man-made stuff, you'll miss half the fun.

I envy you in your vacation. I desperately need one.

Museum of Science in Florence, Italy (2, Interesting)

BobGregg (89162) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805679)

Just got back from an 11-day vacation in Italy with my sweetie, and I took the time to stop into the above-mentioned museum. It's a little out-of-the-way place on the eastern side of the plaza where the Ufizzi gallery is, basically facing the Arno river. Inside is a huge collection of early astrolabes, thermometers, telescopes, and everything else that Florentine scientists of the 13th-18th centuries used, along with copious explanations. Be sure to pick up the English manual on the second floor (assuming you speak English and not Italian, though if you're reading this then that's a pretty safe bet).

One particular item of interest: after Galileo died, some of his students managed to scavenge the middle finger of his right hand from the corpse when it was appropriated by the Church of the time. They preserved it, and today the remains of the finger are in a little bell jar in room 6, as I recall. The irony is that the item is arranged such that as near as I could tell, it's facing the Duomo (the major cathedral in Florence) where religious figures of the day... ahem. Let's just say that it's comforting to know that, evermore, Galileo gets to give the finger to the Church. :-) Amen.

Check local or AAA tour books. (2)

AJWM (19027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805689)

Really. A lot of this stuff is just where you find it -- a lot of big companies do factory tours, mine tours etc. and the local tourist info places or AAA handbooks will tell you.

I've done tours of uranium mining and milling operations, a day-long tour of Abitibi's forest products facility (from tree farm to pulp and paper mill) in northern Ontario, an iron mine in Minnesota, a (decommissioned) nuclear facility in Idaho, the Jack Daniels' distillery in Lynchburg, etc, etc -- all as side trips on touring around the country. Various conferences often have such side trips for the early arrivers before the first day of the official conference (I did a tour of the Boeing 747 assembly facility that way.)

I suppose in this post 9/11 era some of this stuff might be scaled back, and even before that some of the more interesting stuff required an organized group and advanced notice for clearance (e.g. the NORAD facility in Cheyenne Mountain, which I've toured). Best bet if there's something you're interested in is to ask their Public Relations office.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805692)

for that shit??? Gimme a million dollars and I will take you to places you have not dreamt of. I will take you to abandoned russian nuclear plant.

Mind the Gap. (2, Informative)

stupidnickname (513210) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805700)

I highly recommend the London Transport Museum, [] but probably not for the reasons train buffs (railfans?) would suggest. It's a spectacular repository for historical graphic design . . . .

Boston's Big Dig (3, Interesting)

domsol (17540) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805704)

I've done both the bridge walk and the tunnel crawl (twice for the tunnel), and I have to admit that it's just about the coolest damn thing :)

And I'm going to get to drive on it in a month. ENVY ME!

Largest Building in the World!! (5, Interesting)

spoonist (32012) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805714)

The Boeing Everett Factory [] (where they build the 747, 767, and 777) is absolutely awe-inspiring.

The Hoover Dam [] is deceptively MASSIVE.

The Eiffel Tower [] is a whole lot of iron!

The Leaning Tower of Pisa [] was actually quite terrifying before they put up the railings!! (Think about walking, 10 meters up, on wet, smooth-as-glass marble at like a 15 degree angle)

The Pyramids [] are one hell of an engineering feat!

And, although not human engineering, my favorite has to be Uluru [] . Yeah, it looks like just a big hunk 'o rock, but when you walk all the way around it, it's quite amazing how the hues change with literally every footstep.

Washington DC (1)

ArsonPerBuilding (319673) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805721)

IMO If your looking for engineering, look at the monuments in DC. Sure, they aren't high tech fiber or neato electrical stuff; the granduer required to build them took some engineering prowness.

Museums in Baltimore and Germany (1)

DaemonGem (557674) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805722)

I believe there is a computer museum in Baltimore, as well as a really awesome aquarium. It's a pretty cool place to go. Besides that, I would reccomend the "Deutsche Museum" in Muenchen (Germany). It has some really neat sections, including a section on old computers, like those that would take up the space of most of your house.

Great Wall (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805728)

How about the Great Firewall of China?

Really big, and really small (2)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805729)

You might consider touring places where they make things that are really big (commercial airplanes, locomotives) and things that are really small (semiconductors, watches). To see the bleeding-edge stuff you may need to visit universities.

Another location for really big stuff is strip mines; the Germans are big (pun intended) on really huge digging machines. Also, I believe the Chunnel between England and France has on display the equipment that drilled/dug it.

The ultimate, of course, would be a trip to the Space Station (at the moment it's both the largest and the smallest space station). More reachable is a trip to Biosphere 2, in Arizona.

mind-bogglingly vast (1)

dpletche (207193) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805732)

Check out Kennecott Copper Mine [] near Salt Lake City, UT. Don't worry, you'll be able to find it. It's purportedly one of two man-made features on Earth visible from space with the naked eye, the other being the Great Wall of China. (I don't think they're counting reservoirs.) If you arrive at the right time of day, you can watch them blast away the hillside using tons of explosives. The entire site is crawling with huge trucks and steamshovels, trains, pipelines and the like. The complex stretches for miles and miles, and there's a lot of interesting industrial stuff to see around the area in addition to the tour itself.

Another cool tour is the Soudan Underground Mine State Park [] in Soudan, MN. They run you deep, deep underground in an old iron mine, and show you what it was like working a mile below the surface. That's also where the University of Minnesota built their cosmic ray detection lab [] .

Titan Missle Museum, Tucson AZ. (5, Interesting)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805736)

The Titan Missile museum is the only one like it in the world -- A cold-war nuclear silo open for public tours. Setting foot on the premises before 1983 would have meant you would be shot on sight.

The rocket is still in the silo, but its been drained of fuel and the warhead disarmed. Its connected to the control room by an enormous underground corridor build out of massively reinforced steel with giant springs the size of Volkswagons to absorb the shock of a nuclear strike.

Back during the cold war, Tucson was #6 on the Soviet Union's list of strike targets due to the fact we have a major air base, and a rather large number of defense contractors. They built the silo like a couple hundred feet underground, anticipating that it would get hit by a nuke, and still function. The operator's chair in the control room is even mounted on springs and rails, to allow the guy to do his job in the event the facility got hit. You can even sit in the chair.

The tour includes the actual control room where launch codes were recieved, and the infamous red button & code book are kept. You can even push it..Doing so before 1983 would have meant a couple million people would die.. :) Basically, the whole installation is exactly as it was the day it was made inactive by the SALT-II treaty. Its a fuckin *scary* place to visit, because you realize our own country has thousands of these things. And its huge -- The tour lasts about an hour, to cover the entire facility from control room to silo. All the Titan missles were backfilled with concrete, except for this one.

The tour also requires you to wear a hard-hat. You'll need it. I hit my head on a friggin support girder. :) Admission is pretty cheap, only like $6 or so. The drive there is beautiful, as is the case with most of the Southwest.


Yosemite...hands down. (0, Flamebait)

joshamania (32599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805744)

If you haven't been to Yosemite National Park in the United States, you absolutely must. A couple of years ago, I went the last week of November for a few days. The beautiful on there...the next best beautiful part...most of the people that were there were not Americans.

I was lucky enough to find a small cadre of folks that were there just for the sheer wonder of the place. Mountain climbers and hard-core hikers. Now, I'm a fat-arsed computer programmer, but I still made it to the top of Yosemite Falls. Got some great pictures.

Also, try not to drive into the valley if you don't have to. It cuts down on pollution to have less cars there, plus, those granite walls are so amazing that it's too hard not to just stop in the middle of the road and look...

I've always wanted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805757)

.. to see the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpor

Arecibo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805766)

I just got back from Puerto Rico. One of my "must see"'s was the Arecibo Observatory []

Not "engineering" exactly... (1)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805769)

Once I spent a week in Chiang Mai, Thailand visiting a girl I was dating. When I got there they had just started building a new small restaurant near her dorm. It was finished and open for business by the time I left. I was amazed at how quickly you can build something when you don't have silly things like construction codes and inspections to worry about.

This may come back to haunt me but... (4, Funny)

waterford0069 (580760) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805774)

I designed my honeymoon around a trip to the east coast of Canada so that I could see the Confederation Bridge up close, take pictures for the engineers in my family, and drive over it.

Of course I didn't tell my wife that. She saw it as an opportunity to visit the Anne of Green Gables tourist traps and see several historical sites in the area.

I'd call that a win-win situation.

However, I would like to visit the sites of some engineering failures. I would love to go and scuba dive on the old Tacoma Narrows Bridge (high currents and all).

best restaurant (not engineering related) (2)

lyapunov (241045) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805787)

I detest Montego Bay Jamaica as it has been destroyed be tourism, but it does have the best restaurant on the planet, "The Pork Pit". It is nothing but a circular open thatched roof bar with stool and a little outhouse lookin shack behind it. The menu? Simple, beer, pork (1/4, 1/2, and 1 lb) and hot sauce (and brother, I do mean HOT). The bury the hog and cook it the old fashioned way.

Damn fine eating, you should try it some time.

The BEST place is in USA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805791)

You mom's cunt or the Grand Canyon, same thing.

Since you mentioned neal Stephenson..... (1)

Mastedon (156598) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805796)

You should visit Sealand/Havenco...but I bet it is tough to get a guest pass!

stupid question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805802)

why doesn't the person asking this dumbass question make a website and then submit it if he's seen everything? certainly we couldn't tell him anything he doesn't already know.

The Time Museum (1)

doggo (34827) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805804)

Dang! I used to drive by there every once in a while and I always meant to check it out. What worries me is the phrase "The City of Chicago acquired most of the collection of The Time Museum, Rockford, Illinois in 1999, and the new National Time Museum of Chicago is on exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry . Some of the instruments are at the Adler Planetarium." Whaddaya mean "most"?! So that means the entire collection isn't intact. Dang! Guess I didn't care that much, since I didn't notice the Museum's demise until nearly three years later. Oh well. []

Neal Stephenson article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805807)

The Neil Stephenson article was really a life-changing experience for me. I work as a professional communicator, and since then have constantly pointed to this piece as a superb example of good technical communication.

Aerospace nuttiness (4, Interesting)

Snarfvs Maximvs (28022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805811)

In my trips to Arizona I've visited a number of fantastic places:

The Titan Missile Museum (an old missile silo):

I would love to buy the place and move in,

It's companion, the Pima Air Museum, has tons of old aircraft including an SR-71 and JFK's Air Force 1. Be sure to hit the hangers:

They're both around Tucson.

The Champlin Fighter Museum has lots of great WWII and WWI stuff: It's east of Phoenix, I think.

Harbours and boats (5, Interesting)

_Spirit (23983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805822)

Check out Rotterdam. Do a tour of the harbor by boat, I have done it a couple of times and it's very cool. You can see all kinds of boats, from tiny merchant ships to full size oil tankers. You might see oil platforms, all kinds of factories and the flood barrier that can close of the waterways in case of, well, floods. I think there are also some tours of the container terminals and oil refineries. A good place to start might be Industrial Tourism Rotterdam [] or Tourist Office Rotterdam [] .

Having been born there has nothing to do with my enthusiasm for the place ;-)

It's a shame (3, Interesting)

sc2_ct (626188) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805837)

When I was out at Cape Cod I was driving with my father and we passed a sign that said "Marconi..." and we went back to read the sign. We ended up getting to go to the tower where the first trans-atlantic transmission occured. The place was almost completely destroyed. There were a couple of pieces of concrete, and that was it, except for a couple of plaques and a little model. We need to take more care of our technological history, or we may eventually lose it.

One Book... (2)

jdreed1024 (443938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805838) rule them all, er, ^H^H, ^C.

I mean, this one book contains most of the coolest structures in the world - I myself have based many trips around visiting some of the projects mentioned in this book. It's called "The Builders: Marvels of Engineering" Published by The National Geographic Society. There's a link here []

Doesn't look like you can buy it on Amazon - my copy doesn't even have an ISBN number - so I think you can only buy it through Nat'l Geographic. Still, at $14.95, I wouldn't complain.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites (3, Interesting)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805844)

Unfortunately, these aren't highly technical places, but they are unique and fascinating.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) [] has a list of 730 sites around the world [] that they qualify as "World Heritage Sites" - sites that are one of a kind culturally significant locations. Things ranging from The Statue of Liberty [] to Ancient Thebes [] , and lots of others. I'm sure many of the items listed in this slashdot discussion will also show up on the list. (The Great Wall of China [] is there too)

I try to visit at least one UNESCO World Heritage site on every trip I take. Many of the sites are fascinating for their architecture as well as their cultural significance.

Visit a Linear Accelerator... (4, Informative)

dagg (153577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805845)

I've yet to do it... but I might do it now that I found the link to it:
You'll drive right over the top of the accelerator if you drive between San Francisco and San Jose via I280.

Prediction (2, Interesting)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805847)

Join the U.S. armed services and you may soon be able to make a high-tech vacation to Baghdad to see some of their many engineering projects... and bomb them into rubble.

The Falkirk Wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805848)

If you're into engineering and the likes you'd probably find the Falkirk Wheel fairly interesting.
Link Me Do []
and there's rumours of it being used in the next James Bond movie. Although i'm sure that's just the local's wishful thinking.

Calatrava and UNESCO (2)

BSDevil (301159) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805856)

One of the best reasources if you're just looking to go somewhere that will impress you in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list [] . I've been ot a fair number of the places on the list (one of my goals in life is to see them all), an not one has failed to impress me. The awe-inspiring beauty of many of the natural ones, and the engineering feats of many of the historic civilizations.

Another thing always woth checking out is practically anyting by everyone's favourite engineer-who-wants-to-be-an-architect Santiago Calatrava [] . Personally, I love his bridges, but pretty much everything that he builds is beautiful in appeareance, design, and functionality.

Or just go to Japan, get a JR-Rail Pass, and try to go on every type of Shinkansen in the system. And then spend you last day at an indoor ski hill.

Engineering Sites? (1)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805859)

I've got to say that as for 'Engineering Sites', what about some of the more well known ones like, say, the Valley of the kings in Egypt - The reconstructed temples raised from the Aswan (spelling?) Dam - The Ruins of Rome - the Castles of Europe etc...

Space launch sites, high-speed rail lines, container ports, technology museums be damned - go for something with some staying power!

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4805861) []

Intelligent Farming - Taiwan/Japan (2, Interesting)

jlamorie (7498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805862)

How about looking at the ways that we get food from mother earth? I grew up in the country side of New Zealand, working on farms until I went to University.

Then, I managed a trip to Taiwan, and discovered that they have some amazing ways of farming, and is the most productive place I've ever seen. There was a fair amount of smarts that went into all of that, and I'm sure you'd find something similar elsewhere.


Ted Kennedy's Colon (2)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4805867)

Come check out Boston's Big Dig.
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