The Brooklyn bridge; engineering at its best


The Brooklyn bridge is considered to be a masterpiece of the 19th century. It connects the island of Manhattan with Brooklyn over the east river. The original design belongs to John Roebling, a German civil engineer,  who designed and constructed other suspension bridges, such as Roebling’s Delaware Aqueduct in Lackawaxen, PA, and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati, OH, those designs highly contributed to the prototype he had for the Brooklyn bridge. In 1869, he formed the New York Bridge Company and his design was approved. However, during the early stages of construction in  the construction, John Roebling encountered an accident that resulted in his death. The work he left behind was left to his son, Washington Roebling.


John Roebling faced numerous problems that prevented other engineers from  building a crossway connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The first challenge was the width of the river and it’s unique feature of being salty and constantly exposed to tidal conditions and turbulence. Another difficulty was that the east river was a gateway for various ships transporting goods. John’s solution for the first problem was using steel instead of iron, which was commonly used in suspension bridges. Steel made the bridge much stronger and stable. To achieve a solid foundation for the bridge, workers excavated the riverbed in massive wooden boxes called caissons. Compressed air was pumped into them, and men inside would dig away at the sand and rock on the river bottom. Caissons work was very difficult and who ever was working on them was called a “sang hog.” Approximately 30 men died on site building the Brooklyn bridge and their work guarantied the safety of millions who use the bridge until today. The towers loom 276½ feet above the water at high tide. The Brooklyn bridge is  3460 feet in length and was the longest of its kind in the world, being fifty percent longer than any other suspension bridge.





Samsung Galaxy S4



The Samsung Galaxy S4 made a large impact on the world of smartphones ever since it was released earlier this year. “The Samsung Galaxy S4 is easily the most hyped phone of the year” says Steve Kovach from Business Inside. The phone has only few adjustments in it’s appearance compared to the previous Samsung Galaxy S3 “it’s very similar in appearance, so much so that a number of people asking to see it during our review thought we were palming them off with our old S3” asserted Gareth Beavis However, it has numerous modifications in software and functions that appeal to consumers. Although, some of it’s functions are not necessary to almost everyone, they still serve as a luxurious functions to technology lovers.  Jessica Dolcourt, a smartphone reviewer for CNET, said, “while none stands out as a must-have, cannot-possibly-live-without extra, these features do add up to a compelling testament that the Galaxy S4 is more than a step ahead of the pack.”


The Samsung Galexy S4 is equipped with a 5 inch 1080p HD screen, a 4.2 Android OS, a 2 megapixel fron camera, and a proximity center. These features among others allow the phone to preform many tasks and provide the consumer with luxurious shortcuts. Some of the tasks that the S4 can perform are: controling TV, satellite box, DVD player, amp and even air conditioner. Some of the features that the S4 helps its user with are:

-Air view and Air gesture: This allows the user to brows the phone without having to touch it.

– Smart stay: The phone has a sensor that knows when the user is looking at it and therefore keeps the screen working until the user is done.

– Camera soft wear: This allows consumers to take HD photos using a 13MP camera located in the back and modify the photos.



In the market that Samsung is competing in, the Galaxy S4 is a well thought of design. Although the S4 serves as a luxurious smartphone with various applications,  the phone serves many purposes that  different people are  asking for. Hence, Samsung have succeeded in attracting costumers of different interests.The serves people in graphics through its high performance in displaying images and taking them, Business through its updates and notification system, education through its built in planning system, and much more.


The Samsung Galaxy S4



Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC)


In 2008, Amos Winter, a Mechanical engineer graduate student at MIT, began his project of designing the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC). It is a wheel chair that is designed specifically for  people in need in developing countries, such as Kenya. With its unique design, the LFC can help in over coming obstacles such as rough roads and mud that  people face in some countries. Amos states that the LFC was designed “for people who grew up in a village where they were literally dragging themselves to school” .

The design of this wheel chair is extremely impressive and cheap with a coast of less than $200. It uses simple mechanics and science engineering into creating more torque when needed in rough routs and less torque in normal roads. It basically relies on a lever that acts as a gear depending on the position the rider holds it. The lower the rider holds the lever the less torque he/she will produce, hence, it will preform good on a normal road. On the other hand if the rider was facing a rough terrain, then he/she would be better off holding the lever from the top to produce a greater torque. Abdullah Munish, a Tanzanian spinal injury survivor who lives in a hilly town with rough roads says “It is strong and stable in African terrain, and you can travel long distances and uphill without using too much energy, I would say that we have [a] life saver … I just call it my little angel machine.”


One interesting aspect of the design process that Amos and his team went through was their approach. Combining scientific engineering design with consumer design was their method. Matt McCambridge, a designer for Whirlwind Wheelchair International, believes that Winter’s process should produce solid results that grow slowly “rather than inventing something in the lab, then using donor money to make thousands of them and forcing them on disabled people who really have no option but to smile and say, ‘thank you.’ ”

Amos succeeded in many aspects in his design. Although his first two attempts failed to achieve desired goals, his last model was a great success in 2010. The first design in 2008 was not preforming right in rough terrain due to the lack of consumer information. The second design in 2009 fixed the first problem and had the problem of size. It could not fit indoors smoothly. The last design, however, included a lighter frame, reduced wheel width, lower seat, a higher seat back, seat belt, improved caster dynamics, and adjustable lever brakes.


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