This morning a friend sent me a podcast (99percentinvisible clearly has roots in public radio) called America's Last Top Model which I listened to on the way to work, and which is perfectly awesome -- it introduces a scale physical model of the Mississippi River basin, an amazing effort for anyone into train models, Legos, or generally playing with water in dirt...
Note - the Mississippi Basin (besides being a fun spelling test for 3rd graders) is 1 250 000 miles² (yes, 1.25 million square miles) in area -- about 3 240 000 km². Even at a 1:2000 scale, this is a BIG undertaking, which is why I imagine photos don't really do it justice... this one's not bad:
|Original caption says it all! (vert scale: 1:100, horiz: 1:2000)|
The Army Corps of Engineers (CoE) project was motivated by the devastating floods of 1927, and construction finally started in the early 40s -- since the US ACoE was a bit tied up at that time, they used German and Italian POW labor from Rommel's N African campaign...
Some more links:
- ...and another link to the podcast and story: http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/americas-last-top-model/