Friday, December 9, 2011

Miniatur Wunderland

While pondering what to post next, an email arrived from Marilyn Weidler Ulve.  Titled "Miniatur Wunderland", it sparked an immediate reaction:  "Hey, a Christmas scene to include!"  Not really.

The only requirement of this posting is to somehow connect this awesome YouTube video to the NKHS 62 blog, and that will be done primarily by reflecting on the comparative differences of today's technology versus what you saw in the 50s or 60s.  Remember, after all, the spaceshot to the moon in 1969 was handled by a computer no larger than a Radio Shack TRS80, which today would not begin to power even the typical cigarette lighter, probably.  If a person had only paid more attention during math class, right, Merrilee?

(For the record, this writer has every paper published by the Waterloo Courier in the duration of the flight of Apollo 11, from launch to landing.  Just another historian.)

Perhaps you had a train like the one sitting on the bookshelves next to our fireplace.  It is an off brand dating back to about 1952 or so, had little or no machining that would keep it on the track, and an engine that worked 50 years ago but today is best considered a relic, not a functional toy.  At one point it had a headlight and would smoke when you poured in oil, but its best days are history.  Only a remembrance.

So this Hamburg Wunderland could make you feel how far behind you were back then.  It is so expansive it requires a computerized control center staffed by several computer engineers, as you would expect to see in an actual transportation environment.  And you might just wonder why these folks can't get hired to handle the clogged up freeways in so many major cities?

Thanks, Marilyn.  And now, everybody show it to your grandkids.

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