My wife and I are sitting in Sydney International Airport, getting ready to return to Europe, having spent yesterday in an underground commercial mushroom farm south of Sydney, walking past endless racks of shiitake mushrooms growing under fluorescent lights, all of it deep inside a disused railway tunnel cutting through the hills of Mittagong, and having gone “adventure caving” through the limestone hollows of New South Wales the day before that. It’s an unexpectedly underground ending to our time here in Australia.
In any case, some interesting things to read while we fly 22 hours and 45 minutes back to London:
—Is there an “enormous system of caves, chambers and tunnels… hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza”? Discovery asks. “Populated by bats and venomous spiders, the underground complex was found in the limestone bedrock beneath the pyramid field at Giza.”
—A simulated mine roof will allow engineers to predict mine collapse more accurately; you might not be surprised to learn that it is “the only mine roof simulator of its kind.” “Using up to 3 million pounds of vertical force and 1.6 million pounds of horizontal force, it offers researchers the chance to test integrity, stability, and performance under simultaneous loads in the vertical and horizontal directions.” A simulant underworld.
—There is a tunnel down here in New South Wales that is illuminated inside only by glowworms.
—A 6,000-year old building has been discovered in London, on the shores of the Thames, due to the excavatory expansion of Belmarsh Prison.
—Archinect‘s Michael Jackson Monument Design Competition is now underway and looking for your participation.
What is the appropriate scale to remember a man who operated on everything possible – from the studied renovation of his own human form to the creation of an architectural-scale wunderkamer at Neverland Ranch? What design proposal can top his own unrealized plans to construct a 50-foot robotic replica of himself that roams the Las Vegas desert shooting laser beams out of its eyes?
—Is farming a cure for addiction? An experiment in agricultural reform takes root in upstate New York.
—Complete with several odd – and quite loud – musical choices, deep-caver and professional engineer Bill Stone describes his underground adventures… which segues into his intention to build a “gas station” on the moon. Many of his subterranean explorations take him several days – and nearly two miles – beneath the surface of the earth.
More links soon! The plane is boarding.