Saturday, February 18, 2012

Geological Oddity at Niagara Falls!

Thursday's Saint Paul Pioneer Press printed an article by Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times: "A tightrope walk over Niagara Falls? Canada says it's OK"

There's probably a joke somewhere to be had about "tightrope walk" and "falls" being in the same sentence, but I'll let that go in favor of expressing shock, amazement, and disbelief about something that came later in the article.

The article itself was somehow cramming all the news covered in the headline into 17 paragraphs. Paragraph Number Nine states: "Wallenda plans to install the wire 60 to 70 feet above the 160-foot gorge, which will dip down in the middle, meaning he'll walk downhill during the first half of the 30- to 40-minute walk and uphill until the end."

Read that again carefully, and -- like me -- you may have two questions:

1) Is it even possible to dip any way other than down?

2) How would stringing a two-inch-thick cable cause a 160-foot gorge to dip in the middle?

2 comments:

Eric Robert Lee said...

Yeah, the writer used poor grammar, that's for sure. Like you, I'd expect a little bit more from someone who writes professionally. Still, your anal-retentive side may be showing a bit. I read the paragraph and immediately understood the message without any issues. And to be fair, the concept being communicated is a slightly tricky one.

Dave Burkum said...

That's astute!