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Archive of posts published in the category: Revolution
Apr
29

The Slowmotion Revolution with commentary, reviews, stories, travel, and links.

your house is just
this side of great distances

Of course this has to do with bikes and books … but first, I figure about half of you out there use Internet Explorer to view Bicycle Diaries. Microsoft‘s nefarious product doesn’t load it very well. It often center justifies the posts putting the right sidebar all the way down to the bottom of the page. Try instead Mozilla Firefox as your browser. It’s FREE, only taking a few minutes to load. It also has a great reputation in contrast to the Windows-based Explorer.

Someone who wants to run Windows on servers should first be made to show what they know about servers that Google, Yahoo and Amazon don’t know.

You’ll not only see my blog as I intend it to be viewed. You and your computer will both be very happy. Firefox is more secure against viruses and hackers as well as less buggy than Explorer.

Speaking of explorers, I’ve been wanting to post one of my favorite poems about travel.

Entering

Whoever you are: step out in the evening
from your room where all is known to you;
your house is just this side of great distances:
whoever you are.
With your eyes which, exhausted,
barely free themselves from the worn threshold,
you raise up, slowly, a black tree
and place it against the sky: slender, alone.
And you’ve made the world. And it is vast
and like a word which ripens still in silence.
And as your will begins to grasp its meaning,
your eyes release it gently.

In 1900 Rainer Maria Rilke, a rather restless traveler, sought refuge with Leo Tolstoy at his ancestral estate, Yasnaya Polyana. Rilke, only 25 years old, already had an impressive array of publications to his credit. Unfortunately, this had done almost nothing to help his anxieties about writing. He shared them Tolstoy; later describing their conversation in a letter to friend,

I still lack the discipline, the being able to work, and the being compelled to work, for which I have longed for years. Do I lack the strength? Is my will sick? Is it the dream in me that hinders all action? Days go by and sometimes I hear life going. And still nothing has happened, still there is nothing real about me . . . .

To which Tolstoy gave a completely unexpected response. With neither sympathy nor pity, he simply said, Write!

Tolstoy could have easily said, bike! At the age of 67, he started teaching himself to ride. Visitors to Yasnaya often commented rather humorously on the sight of the aging anarchist rolling around his estate. Tolstoy was as brief in his response to them as he had been to Rilke.

I feel that I am entitled to my share of lightheartedness and there is nothing wrong with enjoying one’s self simply, like a boy.

Labels: books, kunst, velotariat

Source Article

Apr
20

Transportation Revolution – The Industrial Revolution

Causes

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Before the Industrial Revolution, there was a time lag in almost everything that took place in the United States. It took weeks and sometimes months just to send a letter or pass information. It took months to send packages or goods across the country. Everything happened at a glacial pace. The Transportation Revolution changed all of that. 


Elements

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The five elements that revolutionized transportation are:
  1. Roads
  2. River Traffic
  3. Steamboats
  4. Canals
  5. Railroads

Roads

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Before the Industrial Revolution, there were very few roads, and even they were in bad condition. They were muddy, flooded easily, and were filled with boulders. This made travel by stagecoach or wagon very difficult and dangerous. 

That all changed in 1817. In 1817, Congress authorized the construction of the National Road, also known as the Cumberland Road. This road extended from Maryland to the Ohio River at Wheeling, Virginia. This was the first road to cross the Appalachian Mountains into the territory known as the Old Northwest. The National Road was the largest road-building project to occur before the 20th century, and it was a route of crushed stone. Although this is not as advanced as roads later became, it was a huge improvement! Crushed stone was much easier to travel over. It would not get muddy or flood. Along withthe National Road, states chartered turnpikes, or toll roads. These roads not only provided easier and quicker travel, but also collected revenue for the states. Roads made transportation by wagon much faster than it was before.


River Traffic

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Before the Industrial Revolution, rivers were the easiest and the fastest way to transport goods from the North to the South because the river’s current carried all of the goods to where they needed to go. But how would you transport goods by river if you wanted to go upstream? By the flatboat, the previously used boat, it would be extremely difficult and slow.

With the Transportation Revolution came keelboats. Keelboats were built around a rigid timber in the middle with sails; they were built to go upstream. You could also pole or row them upstream if there was no wind. This improved transportation by river because flatboats could quickly transport downstream, and keelboats could quickly transport upstream. 


Steamboats

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At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the invention of the steam engine became widely popular. In 1787, John Fitch demonstrated the first steamboat, which had twelve paddles and was propelled by a steam engine. From 1787 to the 1830s, steamboats were improved. In 1787, James Rumsey created the world’s first boat moved by jet propulsion. In 1804, John Stevens built a steamboat with a new high-pressure steam engine. Countless people attempted to improve steamboats so that they could carry passengers and cargo. Robert Fulton was the first to accomplish this task. By purchasing a steam engine built by James Watt, he was able to use the engine to power a 133-foot steamboat, the Clermont. In 1807, Robert Fulton’s boat made a journey from New York City to Albany.