Sunday, July 21, 2019

Philosophy Wire: Falling. To stay up.

Professor George Mylonakis, from Bristol's Department of Civil Engineering, was invited to join a 16-member research team, led by Professor Camillo Nuti at Roma Tre University, to explore this Leaning Tower of Pisa mystery that has puzzled engineers for many years.

Despite leaning precariously at a five-degree angle, leading to an offset at the top of over five metres, the 58-metre tall Tower has managed to survive, undamaged, at least four strong earthquakes that have hit the region since 1280. Given the vulnerability of the structure, which barely manages to stand vertically, it was expected to sustain serious damage or even collapse because of moderate seismic activity. Surprisingly this hasn't happened and until now this has mystified engineers for a long time.

After studying available seismological, geotechnical and structural information, the research team concluded that the survival of the Tower can be attributed to a phenomenon known as dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI). The considerable height and stiffness of the Tower combined with the softness of the foundation soil, causes the vibrational characteristics of the structure to be modified substantially, in such a way that the Tower does not resonate with earthquake ground motion. This has been the key to its survival. The unique combination of these characteristics gives the Tower of Pisa the world record in DSSI effects. [1]

Humans look a lot like the tower of Pisa.
The same reason which led to our fall,
Will also lead to our theosis.
We are sons of God.
And that is why we questioned Him.
Only to love Him again once more…

Our eagerness to understand, our love for knowledge, our lust for acceptance, led us into analyzing the world into pieces. Our eagerness to understand, our love for knowledge, our lust for acceptance, will make us put all the pieces back together at the end. And when we knock on the door of our home, from where we left aeons ago, we are waiting with tears in our eyes to listen to what we always longed to listen.

Welcome back my child…

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