May 30, 2009

Brooklyn Bridge, show me strength through these traversing times!

Welcome to the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen. Flying cars, thank you for your ease of travel over freeway traffic, allowing me to wave down at the poor people as they inch along the 5 on their way to their boring day jobs. Time travel, thank you for showing me what to expect in the beautiful future of human egg birth and watermelon omelets. Hoverboards, thank you. Just thank you. But let us move on to the subject of today's day in history, back to the 19th century, a time when all the unknowns were still unknown, thanks to time travel's as of yet unknowingness. Next paragraph, please!

The day of May 30, 1883 was over 120 years ago. It was, in fact, 126 years ago. Think about the fact that an event occurring in the 19th century could potentially be 209 years ago. Wow, right? The wow factor (as yet unexplained mathematically due to Albert Einstein's early demise) tells us that our 126 years back to this date as opposed to the potential 209 years back to an event occurring in the 19th century means 13 less commemorative coins and zero living fossils.

On May 30, 1883, the newly built Brooklyn Bridge was covered with people traveling along, carrying their things from one part of New York to another. Somebody suggested, somewhere amidst the crowd, that the bridge was poorly build and ready for a collapse. The scrambling populace, grabbing the tiny hands of the smaller people from the underground tunnel systems, decided to find the shortest route off of the bridge. Amidst the chaos, 12 people were trampled to death. That's 12 people who died right there, in 1883, who could have potentially lived into the 20th century. Although, to be fair, the average lifespan back then was only 15 years so most of them would have been dead by 1898 anyway.

The next year, PT Barnum decided to show those trampling idiots not to listen to rumors (or rumours, as the english call them), and ran 21 elephants, the king of trampling, across the bridge at the same time. "Fools!" he cried, "this bridge will outlive you all!" And you know what? He was right.

1 comment:

  1. I need an abacus to read this post.