Updating a mid century modern home
The Great Pyramids of Giza and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia were feats of engineering, triumphs of man over nature and gravity, and above all accomplishments of ego and raw power.And the modern, man-made wonders we marvel at—the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal—are echoes of the ancient ones: breathtaking physical manifestations of human ingenuity.This series will explore seven of these new wonders: bewildering achievements, incredibly useful tools and services that we take for granted.None of them is monumental in scale, like the seven wonders of classical antiquity chronicled by Antipater of Sidon more than 2,000 years ago.(The 2009 Colgan Air crash outside Buffalo, New York, which killed 50 people, was the last major commercial disaster within our borders.There have been several fatal crashes involving cargo or chartered planes.*) The air traffic control system—the ground-based radar installations, the onboard navigation devices, the 264 FAA towers, and the software and networks that connect them and manage the movement of planes—actually works remarkably well, even if widespread delays and cancellations sometimes lead us to curse the entire mode of transportation instead of marveling, as we once did, at the triumph of human flight.
They’re one of the many remarkable aspects of an air-control regime that most people never notice—a system that is one of the marvels of the modern world.
Part of this series’s goal is to highlight systems that are overlooked or maligned yet remain both extraordinarily functional and vital to the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people. And serious glitches, on the ground and in the skies, have become more rare.
Between 20, the likelihood of a piece of luggage being mislaid fell by more than half—from a rate of 7.03 per 1,000 passengers to 3.22 per 1,000, as the The global system, of course, is far from foolproof, as the lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and its cousin shot down over the Ukraine made clear earlier this year. S., the world’s busiest airspace, safety has improved dramatically.
Like the ancient wonders, this list is somewhat arbitrary. Sure, the world is filled with new, man-made wonders of an astounding scale, like the CCTV headquarters in Beijing and the Three Gorges Dam.
But monumental buildings and dams have been done before, even millennia ago.
The seven wonders of classical antiquity were architectural marvels, triumphs of human ego and raw power.