Two weeks ago we visited Ironbridge, in Shropshire, one of the centres of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700’s. It is a quite extraordinary place, on the River Severn, close to lime and iron ore deposits and upstream from the port of Bristol. It is the birthplace of cast iron, bringing together the coke to smelt it, the steam engines to pump air into the furnaces to heat it, the railways and canals to move it.
We got into a discussion about the meaning of the words "engine" and "engineer". An engine powers a vehicle, but an engineer builds things like bridges and ships. We discovered that the words come from the Latin ingenium, meaning ingenuity and hence ingenious things.
Moving to today, a very good friend of mine has set up a home weatherstation and published it on the web. It’s worth a look. It’s just amazing what you can do with a bit of ingenuity.