Canal Lock Quotes

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In the secret places of her thymus gland Louise is making too much of herself. Her faithful biology depends on regulation but the white T-cells have turned bandit. They don't obey the rules. They are swarming into the bloodstream, overturning the quiet order of spleen and intestine. In the lymph nodes they are swelling with pride. It used to be their job to keep her body safe from enemies on the outside. They were her immunity, her certainty against infection. Now they are the enemies on the inside. The security forces have rebelled. Louise is the victim of a coup. Will you let me crawl inside you, stand guard over you, trap them as they come at you? Why can't I dam their blind tide that filthies your blood? Why are there no lock gates on the portal vein? The inside of your body is innocent, nothing has taught it fear. Your artery canals trust their cargo, they don't check the shipments in the blood. You are full to overflowing but the keeper is asleep and there's murder going on inside. Who comes here? Let me hold up my lantern. It's only the blood; red cells carrying oxygen to the heart, thrombocytes making sure of proper clotting. The white cells, B and T types, just a few of them as always whistling as they go. The faithful body has made a mistake. This is no time to stamp the passports and look at the sky. Coming up behind are hundreds of them. Hundreds too many, armed to the teeth for a job that doesn't need doing. Not needed? With all that weaponry? Here they come, hurtling through the bloodstream trying to pick a fight. There's no-one to fight but you Louise. You're the foreign body now.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
I began to watch places with an interest so exact it might have been memory. There was that street corner, with the small newsagent which sold copies of the Irish Independent and honeycomb toffee in summer. I could imagine myself there, a child of nine, buying peppermints and walking back down by the canal, the lock brown and splintered as ever, and boys diving from it. It became a powerful impulse, a slow intense reconstruction of a childhood which had never happened. A fragrance or a trick of light was enough. Or a house I entered which I wanted not just to appreciate but to remember, and then I would begin.
Eavan Boland (Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time)
Your moral education’s over.” Jean stared up into the sky as the dockside receded and Bug took them out into the canal’s heart. “Now you’re going to learn a thing or two about war.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
There were some hours to spare before his ship sailed, and having deposited his luggage, including a locked leather despatch-case, on board, he lunched at the Cafe Tewfik near the quay. There was a garden in front of it with palm trees and trellises gaily clad in bougainvillias: a low wooden rail separated it from the street, and Morris had a table close to this. As he ate he watched the polychromatic pageant of Eastern life passing by: there were Egyptian officials in broad-cloth frock coats and red fezzes; barefooted splay-toed fellahin in blue gabardines; veiled women in white making stealthy eyes at passers-by; half-naked gutter-snipe, one with a sprig of scarlet hibiscus behind his ear; travellers from India with solar tepees and an air of aloof British Superiority; dishevelled sons of the Prophet in green turbans, a stately sheik in a white burnous; French painted ladies of a professional class with lace-rimmed parasols and provocative glances; a wild-eyed dervish in an accordion-pleated skirt, chewing betel-nut and slightly foaming at the mouth. A Greek boot-black with box adorned with brass plaques tapped his brushes on it to encourage customers, an Egyptian girl squatted in the gutter beside a gramophone, steamers passing into the Canal hooted on their syrens. ("Monkeys")
E.F. Benson (The Mummy Walks Among Us)
The Mississippi is surrounded by a vast network of concealed plumbing that underlies the whole of the American Midwest. As for the great river at the heart of this maze, it is now for all intents and purposes a man-made artifact. Every inch of its course from its headwaters to its delta is regulated by synthetic means—by locks and dams and artificial lakes, revetments and spillways and control structures, chevrons and wing dams and bendway weirs. The resulting edifice can barely be called a river at all, in any traditional sense. The Mississippi has been dredged, and walled in, and reshaped, and fixed; it has been turned into a gigantic navigation canal, or the world’s largest industrial sewer. It hasn’t run wild as a river does in nature for more than a hundred years. Its waters are notoriously foul. In the nineteenth century, the Mississippi was well known for its murkiness and filth, but today it swirls with all the effluvia of the modern age. There’s the storm runoff, thick with the glistening sheen of automotive waste. The drainage from the enormous mechanized farms of the heartland, and from millions of suburban lawns, is rich with pesticides and fertilizers like atrazine, alachlor, cyanazine, and metolachlor. A ceaseless drizzle comes from the chemical plants along the riverbanks that manufacture neoprene, polychloroprene, and an assortment of other refrigerants and performance elastomers. And then there are the waste products of steel mills, of sulfuric acid regeneration facilities, and of the refineries that produce gasoline, fuel oil, asphalt, propane, propylene, isobutane, kerosene, and coke. The Mississippi is one of the busiest industrial corridors in the world.
Lee Sandlin (Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild)
It was true they'd always been like two adjacent locks in a canal, one opening into the other, pouring off excess feeling, seeking equilibrium, though she was usually the lock in danger of overflowing and he the one who absorbed excess, rose up as she sank down. People thought being twins made them the same, but it was balance, not sameness, she felt with him.
Maggie Shipstead (Great Circle)
Leonardo da Vinci has been called “the most relentlessly curious man in history.”7 That’s hyperbole, perhaps, but Leonardo asked a lot of questions, both of others and of himself. Consider, for example, a single day’s “to-do” list that he wrote while in Milan around 1495.8 Calculate the measurement of Milan and its suburbs. Find a book describing Milan and its churches, which is to be had at the stationer’s on the way to Cordusio. Discover the measurement of the Corte Vecchia [old courtyard of the duke’s palace]. Ask the Master of Arithmetic [Luca Pacioli] to show you how to square a triangle. Ask Benedetto Portinari [a Florentine merchant passing through Milan] by what means they go on ice at Flanders? Draw Milan. Ask Maestro Antonio how mortars are positioned on bastions by day or night. Examine the crossbow of Maestro Gianetto. Find a Master of Hydraulics and get him to tell you how to repair a lock, canal and mill, in the Lombard manner. Ask about the measurement of the sun, promised me by Maestro Giovanni Francese.
Craig Wright (The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit—Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness)
RESISTANCE TO CHANGE? “The canal system of this country is being threatened by the spread of a new form of transportation known as ’railroads’ and the federal government must preserve the canals. . . . If canal boats are supplanted by ’railroads,’ serious unemployment will result. Captains, cooks, drivers, hostlers, repairmen, and lock tenders will be left without means of livelihood, not to mention the numerous farmers now employed growing hay for the horses. . . . As you may well know, Mr. President, ’railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ’engines’ which, in addition to endanging life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.” The above communication was from Martin Van Buren, then governor of New York, to President Andrew Jackson on January 21, 1829. In 1832 Van Buren was elected vice president of the United States under Andrew Jackson’s second term. In 1836 Van Buren was elected president of the United States. It is also interesting that the first railroad into Washington, DC, was completed in time to bring visitors from Philadelphia and New York to Van Buren’s inauguration. Sources: Janet E. Lapp, “Ride the Horse in the Direction It’s Going,” American Salesman, October 1998, pp. 26–29; and The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 20 (Chicago: World Book—Childcraft International, Inc.), 1979, p. 214. 2
Leslie W. Rue (Supervision: Key Link to Productivity)
Until around A.D. 1450, China was technologically much more innovative and advanced than Europe, even more so than medieval Islam. The long list of Chinese inventions includes canal lock gates, cast iron, deep drilling, efficient animal harnesses, gunpowder, kites, magnetic compasses, movable type, paper, porcelain, printing (except for the Phaistos disk), sternpost rudders, and wheelbarrows. China then ceased to be innovative for reasons about which we shall speculate in the Epilogue.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies)
The earliest lock gates moved vertically, subjecting them to great pressure and friction. Leonardo’s innovation was paired mitered lock gates forming a V pointed in the direction of the higher water. Water was deflected to the sides when the gates were swung open, and pressure sealed the lock when the gates were closed. Over half a millennium later, canal locks are still built
Gerard Koeppel (Bond of Union: Building the Erie Canal and the American Empire)
Innovation in China too fluctuated markedly with time. Until around A.D. 1450, China was technologically much more innovative and advanced than Europe, even more so than medieval Islam. The long list of Chinese inventions includes canal lock gates, cast iron, deep drilling, efficient animal harnesses, gunpowder, kites, magnetic compasses, movable type, paper, porcelain, printing (except for the Phaistos disk), sternpost rudders, and wheelbarrows. China then ceased to be innovative for reasons about which we shall speculate in the Epilogue. Conversely, we think of western Europe and its derived North American societies as leading the modern world in technological innovation, but technology was less advanced in western Europe than in any other “civilized” area of the Old World until the late Middle Ages.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies)
Of those who have commanded battalions and squadrons, only the names remain. The human race has nothing to show for a hundred battles that have been waged. But the great men I speak to you about have prepared pure and lasting pleasures for men yet to be born. A canal lock uniting two seas, a painting by Poussin, a beautiful tragedy, a newly discovered truth-these are things a thousand times more precious than all the annals of the court or all the accounts of military campaigns. You know that, with me, great men come first and heroes last. I call great men all those who have excelled in creating what is useful or agreeable. The plunderers of the provinces are merely heroes.
Voltaire
By the fifth day of the quarantine there were no more screams and no more attempted canal crossings, and so Catchfire evaded the namesake fate that had befallen it so many times before in years of pestilence.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))