10 Stories

Body Wearing 'Cement Shoes' Floats Ashore in NYC

The corpse had a Virgin Mary tattoo

(Newser) - Police are trying to identify the body of a man who washed ashore in New York City with his arms tied behind his back and his feet encased in concrete, the AP reports. At a news conference Tuesday in Queens, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that the body was... More »

Researchers Make Electric Concrete That De-Ices Itself

Time to put away the shovels and ice

(Newser) - Get ready for some electrifying concrete news. No, seriously. UPI reports researchers at the University of Nebraska are developing conductive concrete that uses electricity to keep itself free of snow and ice during even the worst winter storms. Sounds like something the East Coast could've used this week. The... More »

18K Tons of Concrete Head for Bottom of Gulf of Mexico

To create largest artificial reef in Western Hemisphere

(Newser) - Workers are planning to dump 18,000 tons of concrete into the Gulf of Mexico—for a good reason. Hurricanes and changing currents have destroyed the reef system in Gulf waters around Florida's Collier County, according to the Community Foundation of Collier County , so the county, along with the... More »

Secrets of Ancient Rome's Amazing Concrete Revealed

Study could bring changes to modern construction

(Newser) - The ancient Romans were so skilled at making concrete that breakwaters poured more than 2,000 years ago are still doing fine. The modern stuff? Give it 50 years before it starts eroding in seawater. Now, however, scientists think they've figured out how the Romans did it—and the... More »

Gargantuan Mansion Sparks Ozarks Mystery

Some say it's a home for aliens, or possibly Brangelina...

(Newser) - Deep in the hills of the Ozarks, between Springfield and Branson, Mo., a 72,000-square-foot house is being built—and locals aren’t quite sure why. Some suggest it may be a military bunker, while others propose it’s a nuclear shelter for “important people”; still others wonder whether... More »

US Sending World's Biggest Concrete Pump to Japan

Same pump manufacturer that worked on Chernobyl disaster

(Newser) - The world's largest concrete pump—a 190,000-pound machine with a 230-foot boom called the "Putzmeister 70Z"—is being sent to Japan to help the troubled Fukushima reactors, reports the Augusta Chronicle . "There are only three of these pumps in the world, of which two are suited... More »

7 Unlikely Threats to the Planet

Mobile phones and concrete are on the list

(Newser) - Environmental hazards lurk everywhere, says LiveScience , which rounds up 7 "secret polluters." A sampling:
  • Cell phones: They use a rare mineral called coltan, which mainly comes from Congo via unsound mining methods. Plus, the phones have toxic chemicals that can pollute upon disposal.
  • Concrete: The way it's manufactured
... More »

Infected Concrete Heals Self: Study

Scientists create self-healing concrete

(Newser) - Bacteria that secrete minerals are a well-known tool for "healing" cracked limestone statues, and the process got a Dutch scientist thinking. He theorized that concrete seeded with bacteria and a substance they transform into calcium carbonate would create a material that's able to seal cracks as they form. It... More »

Atlanta Footbridge Collapse Kills 1

(Newser) - An elevated walkway under construction at Atlanta’s Botanical Garden collapsed today, killing a worker and injuring 18, the Journal-Constitution reports. Workers were pouring concrete for the 40-foot-high footbridge when the collapse set off a scene one EMT described as "sheer chaos." Those nearby described a “loud... More »

Did the Egyptians Invent Concrete?

New theory on the Pyramids: 'less sweat and more smarts'

(Newser) - The Egyptians may have used concrete to build the pyramids, an MIT professor suggests, and he's using materials available at the time (and students as his slave labor), to test the theory on a small mock-up of a pyramid, reports the Boston Globe. "It could be they used less... More »

10 Stories