So the saga of the I-85 fire continues. On Thursday (March 31, 2017 a fire underneath a bridge literally destroyed a section of the interstate that runs through downtown Atlanta, Georgia). 

The GDOT have managed to move a significant amount of debris from the site of the collapse in a really good amount  of time. As it was the weekend, and the beginning of Spring Break for most people in the area, many folks came down to watch and take pictures.

The bad news is that the structure has weakened significantly in the southbound lanes of I-85 as well as the northbound section that collapsed. That section of the highway must ALSO come down and be replaced.

For the record, they did catch the people responsible for the fire. As I and /r/Atlanta predicted, it WAS the homeless. Three people were arrested in conjunction with the fire. Apparently the consumption of crack was involved, but there were arrests and first degreearson is the charge. They aren't saying right now how "smoking crack" leads to "ignites a bunch of PVC conduit" but as the trial takes place we will learn more.

Of course, there will be changes as a result of this. People are angrily asking just why there were giant spools of conduit hanging around under a bridge that long in the first place, out in the open. I'm reasonably sure that other people have taken notice of just how much damage lighting PVC can cause in those quantities. I'm reasonably sure that steps are being taken to move materials out from underneath bridges where they're being sheltered from sun and from rain as we speak.

But more sadly, this will probably result in an Inquisition style harassment of the homeless, some of whom do shelter under bridges at night. I'm sure the folks that crash out in that section of bridge near Grady Memorial Hospital will be aggressively removed from the section of underpass they all shelter under together for safety. Because we can't very well go after GDOT or Google for this, and the cost of repairing those pieces of highway is so significant that Georgia is reluctantly asking the federal government, cap in hand, for funds to replace them. 

Tour stop

I get off a tour bus after my daughter. There is an older woman sitting on a mat, mixing a paste with a small spatula on a board.

My daughter kneels in front of her. The woman looks at my daughter carefully, speaks to her, and then feeds her a small bit of the paste. Apricots, perhaps.

I kneel next. The woman looks at me and mixes the paste gently. She looks at me again. "You have a deep and wide capacity for love. You must avoid choosing someone who will burn through your resources and waste them." She feeds me a small taste of the paste. I nod and get up.

The next woman is muttering. That this is not hygienic, she is not going to kneel, she didn't sign up for this. She stands in front of the mat. The woman on the mat goes quiet, stops mixing the paste, is still. Almost inert and not looking at the standing woman.

I wake up.


Lake Street Dive: What I'm Doing Here

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