Calvin’s father always had the best answers. I remember reading this as a kid and really hoping they test bridges this way. Reality continues to ruin my life.
For anyone who love Calvin and Hobbes as much as I do, there is the complete set available from Amazon. It’s not just a cartoon, it’s a complete philosophy for living.
My son reminds me of Calvin, especially when Calvin goes into dinosaur mode. I miss C&H.
Sorry for being overly serious, but how do they actually test bridges. I am curious.
Thanks for the strip.
@ Helen: Nobody actually tests bridges to failure, so the actual failure load is rarely known. Instead, engineers and bridge designers certify that the bridge will resist *at least* the design load – most of the time it can resist 2 or 3 times the design load without failure.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that engineers use mathematical models to estimate bridge strength. People long ago figured out the equations that describe bridge behavior, so nowadays it's just a matter of picking a material, a geometry, and checking it with a calculator.
It's more complicated than that, with all the different traffic patterns that can happen, boats hitting your piers, rare weather events and earthquakes, and bizarre construction mistakes, but that's it in a nutshell.
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