Sunday 19 November 2017

Sun block for a century beats dirty water decade

Christian Science church in Dixon, Illinois.
Christian Science church in Dixon, Illinois.

In a week when more than a million people living in the Greater Dublin area got the grim news that they could face another 10 years of disrupted water supplies, the residents of a Norwegian town celebrated as a civic project came to fruition after 100 years in the pipeline.

The town of Rjukan was built a century ago to house workers for a hydroelectric plant. There was one big problem, however. The settlement was wedged between two high mountains, which meant it was deprived of sunlight for six months of the year.

The developers built the houses, but not the vital piece of infrastructure that would provide year-round light and heat. That missing element, envisaged in the original plan, was several giant mountaintop mirrors to reflect sunlight down on the dwellings.

This week, three hi-tech mirrors perched above the valley were switched on, to the delight of the population of Rjukan who turned out with sunglasses, sun loungers and cocktails.

As, to paraphrase Lennon/McCartney, Norwegians would.

* The "What In God's Name Were They Thinking?" story of the week features a church erected by a Christian Science congregation in Dixon, Illinois. While the structure looks pious from ground level, when viewed from Google Maps it looks suspiciously like the male organ at rest.

It didn't help that the church's motto features the phrase "Rising Up". To put a brave face on it, the church posted a message assuring Holy Joes there will be "a giant fig leaf coming soon" It puts a new slant on the term "church organ".

Irish Independent

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