On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood, and the Systems That Make Our World Work
In our daily lives, we're surrounded by wires, pipes, utility poles, cell phone towers, and a myriad of other infrastructure that facilitate almost everything we do. Even though these systems are essential, when was the last time you gave them much thought? Not only is infrastructure shr ...more
The book is organized in chapters about subjects like water, sewage, power, trash collection, road construction, and telecommunications. There's some general facts about each topic, tidbits of its history, and specific examples of how these things work here in Raleigh. The author interviewed and observed numerous local workers, and he presented a good range of informatio ...more
Read past the first two chapters. The proof-reading and the copy-editing does get better, although there are still eye-rolling moments. And the bit about nuclear power obviously wasn't read by anyone with a high-school physics class under their belt, since the alpha particles "go faster than the speed of ...more
Highly recommended. The Audible narration by Bronson Pinchot knocked it out of the park again.
Here, the author walks the reader through how power, water, sewage, roads, and internet access work in an area near Raleigh. Of these, road and sewage were my favorites. The author repeatedly points ...more
There were some editing errors and typos in the introduction and in one or two other areas, but these wer ...more
I think of myself as a pretty average suburban home owner who takes the city's infrastructure for granted. I assume that when I turn on the water faucet ...more
The author describes water, sewer, electrical, natural gas, communications and transportation technology as found around Raleigh, North Carolina.
Huler, after an introduction describing the great Garbarge Disposal that occurred in Raleigh in 2008, begins with dividing up the ground controversy itself via surveying. To my surprise, somewhat traditional survey methods are still in use, in part for legal reasons. He then moves on to the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS), the collection o...more
I readOn the Grid because I had discovered the author serendipitously at the Virginia book Festival several years ago, when he was on a panel with another author I WANTED t ...more
The author focuses on his hometown of Raleigh, so those sections will be most interesting to those familiar with the area, but he also offers a great deal of generalized information. I like having a better understanding of the infrastructure around me and how to ...more
In 2003 I was living in Michigan when the power went out at my office. Little did I know at that time that a large swath of the northeast region had lost their power as well. That was my first personal experience with a mass blackout that was not weather related.
Since that time I have often thought about the infrastructure that makes our world work. Scott Huler has written a book that answers many of those questions. On the Grid is a telling look at those sys ...more
Huler crawls into stormwater drainpipes and follows garbage trucks and gets tours of landfills. He did a ton of research for this book, and it shows. It could have used a stronger hand at copy-editing, but that's a minor detail.
I came away with a be ...more
Lots of interesting historical side-notes. Who knew that Washington, ...more
I didn't enjoy some of the writing as much. I felt like, in order to avoid coming across as a know-it-all, the author sometimes played a little *too* dumb. To me, that's nearly as patronizing. D ...more