Image of the Day: Bowling Ball Lumbering

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Oh, the days of yore, when it seemed like a good idea to log the trees near Hungry Horse, Montana by sending four-and-a-half ton steel balls careening through the forest.

"SCORES of times every day in an area near Hungry Horse, Montana, a man-made hurricane takes place. Hurtling through heavy timber with relentless force and a crash heard for miles, a giant steel ball, as big as a garage, snaps trees two feet thick as easily as if they were match sticks," the 1953 Mechanics Today story begins. "Known as the "ball that saves millions," this is a revolutionary method for clearing timber in record-breaking time and far cheaper on a large scale, than anything else ever known."

Wow.

Via Tim Maly
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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