I watch the History Channel. It soothes my occasional need for something interesting to look at while my mind zones on other things. Modern Marvels is a particular favorite because they manage to explore (superficially) a lot of different subjects that we don’t run into on a day to day basis. For example, last night I was watching Railroads* which was cool because I learned about Bailey Yard (Google Maps Link), the largest railroad switching yard in the world. See the wikipedia link for more info, although the acreage and track numbers listed in wikipedia don’t match what was on Modern Marvels last night.
Coincidentally, the Modern Marvels episode prior to this one was about “The Strongest” stuff, including Tugboats, and I slowly draw near to why I’m writing this post. The tugboat in question, made by the Foss Company in Oregon, is powered by two 4000 hp railroad engines.
Now, if you watch Modern Marvels, you are familiar with the little bit of trivia they sling at you just before every commercial break and the deep intonations of massive importance and wondrous awe. Usually, the tidbits are interesting, but sometimes they manage to state something that might be considered…obvious. For example: [paraphrasing, approximately]
The tugboat is powered by two 4000 hp railroad engines, [deep ominous voice] each capable of pulling a fully loaded passenger train.
*I think it was called Railroads. I went to the Modern Marvels website and the most recent episode they had in their “archive” was February 9th.