Scott Huler (blog, Twitter), the author of 'Defining the Wind', has a new book coming out this Tuesday. 'On The Grid' (amazon.com) is the story of infrastructure. For this book, Scott started with his own house (unlike me, Scott did the work) and traced where all those pipes, drains, cables and wires were coming from and going to, how does it all work, does it work well, where does it all come from historically, and how its current state of (dis)repair portends to the future.
Scott Huler has a book reading and signing event on Wednesday, May 12th at the Regulator in Durham, then another one on May 26th at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. I'll try to make it to one or both of these - and you should, too.
From the blurb:
Wires, pipes, roads, and water support the lives we lead, but the average person doesn't know where they go or even how they work. Our systems of infrastructure are not only shrouded in mystery, many are woefully out of date. In On the Grid, Scott Huler takes the time to understand the systems that sustain our way of life, starting from his own quarter of an acre in North Carolina and traveling as far as Ancient Rome.
Each chapter follows one element of infrastructure to its source -- or to its outlet. Huler visits power plants, watches new asphalt pavement being laid, and traces a drop of water backward from his faucet to the Gulf of Mexico and then a drop of his wastewater out to the Atlantic. Huler reaches out to guides along the way, bot the workers who operate these systems and the people who plan them.
Mesmerizing and often hilarious, On the Grid brings infrastructure to life and details the ins and outs of our civilization wigh fascinating, back-to-basics information about the systems we all depend on.