Towers: Upright, Leaning, and Collapsed

Sinking and sliding ground, or other creeping degradation, can cause failure.


Current Issue

This Article From Issue

November-December 2020

Volume 108, Number 6
Page 340

DOI: 10.1511/2020.108.6.340

I have long worked at a desk stacked with towers of books and papers. Whenever I returned from an extended absence, I could also expect to find a large pile of mail. On one occasion, it reminded me of a tower about to topple over, its instability coming from a curiously bulky envelope on which all the smaller and flatter ones rested. Reaching inside the puffy package, I felt something soft, which turned out to be a blue T-shirt bearing the slogan “The Upright Towers of Pisa,” printed above a photo of an Italian skyline punctuated by perfectly vertical towers.

To access the full article, please log in or subscribe.

American Scientist Comment Policy

Stay on topic. Be respectful. We reserve the right to remove comments.

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.