Sunday, December 10, 2006

Building a better nail (link)

Dr. Nail vs. the Monster

By Tom Clynes

In 1995 a Clemson University graduate student named Ed Sutt took off for a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Caribbean. ...  Hurricane Marilyn had just torn through St. Thomas, and Sutt was part of a team examining how and why 80 percent of the island’s homes and businesses had collapsed in the storm’s 95mph winds. 

...  As Sutt moved through the wreckage of roofless and toppled-over houses, he was struck by the sense that much of the destruction could have been avoided. “In house after house,” he says, “I noticed that it wasn’t the wood that had failed—it was the nails that held the wood together.”

Link: PopSci's Best of What's New 2006

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