Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The great thing about getting photos back is that you can post them to your blog, and get away with not writing so much

Time for some gratuitous holiday snaps.

The Pont du Gard in southern France. It's about 2000 years old. As I said, the Romans sure knew how to build an aqueduct. The key point is that height is everything, as gravity is the only force the Romans had for getting the water from its source to the city of Nimes. Although there is a river below the aqueduct which is a source of water closer to the city than the one being used, this is of no use as its water is not high enough for there to be a clear downhill route to the city. These days you would just use a mechanical pumping system of some sort, but these did not exist in Romans times, or at least not to a level of sophistication capable of moving this much water. Also, this fact means that a bridge carrying water is built much higher than a bridge carrying people. People can go uphill. Water cannot. (The lower level of the aqueduct was intended as a bridge for people to use, and it remains this to this day). The potential energy stored in the water due to its height is precious, and not to be squandered.

Unfortunately, I did not get a photograph showing me as well as all three levels of the aqueduct. Thus I must post two photographs.

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