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Friday, August 8, 2008

Dr Muto's Labour To Master Earthquakes

When the Kanto Earthquake hit central Japan in 1923 , 100,000 people lost their lives , another 100,000 were injured but more than 700,000 homes were destroyed. Kiyoshi Muto , then 21 decided to devote his life to seismic architecture. Using new seismographic equipment and computer technology it became apparent that the old idea about the shape of the earthquake wave was false: the waves were not identical. " If every single wave has it's own shape, a building then would not necessarily suffer a
'multiplied' tremor!Each wave needs to be dealt with separately" - working on that hunch Dr Muto thought of making buildings flexible instead of solid. Traditional ferro-concrete walls were too strong , too rigid.After a series of experiments Dr Muto came up with a "slitted wall " - designed in such a way as to contain all the impacts of the earthquake.The framework was applied to the 36-story Kasumigaseki Building when construction started in 1965.On March 2 , 1967 a severe earthquake hit Tokyo but workmen on the 27th floor of the building hardly felt the tremor!His reputation established as the foremost designer of earthquake-proof structures , Dr Muto has enabled Japan to stretch skywards and other earthquake prone nations to finally be able to rebuild from the devastation and destruction ...

Miracle Of The Trees

Many nations plant trees, but no other as Israel has.When Israel was born in 1948 , half it's land was desert and wilderness ; most of the the rest was gaunt gray stone and eroded hills . Today in excess of 600 forests , great and small clothe the once naked land. As many as nine million trees are being planted yearly.Surprisingly , there is no Forestry Department.Forestry is handled by the Jewish National Fund which also involves itself in land reclamation. These monuments of foliage and wood are the result of the JNF's "plant a tree with your own hands" program which hardly no other nation has poured itself into with such fervour , dedication and reverence.