This morning I was looking again at the pictures I put up on Monday of the construction site for Ryon Lab. I was, of course, thinking about the big parking lot out there and I couldn’t help but notice the strange zigzag pattern painted down the middle of it. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that and I wonder what it’s purpose was, if indeed it had any purpose. Zoom in and you can see it here in this photo:
I thought about this for a while, troubled by a niggling sense that maybe I had seen this zigzag somewhere after all. Ten minutes ago I figured it out. Here’s an image from a completely different collection—the papers of long time Civil Engineering professor and administrator Jim Sims (’41)—and there’s the zigzag:
It’s somewhat cryptically labeled “Civil Engineering Experiment” and dated 1959. A second picture makes it clear that this is the same parking lot as the one above:
I have no idea what this experiment is about but it seems to be lined up right behind the edge separating the construction site from the parking lot in the first photo.
I feel both oddly proud of myself and rather abashed that I’ve managed to hone such a peculiar expertise to so fine a point.
Bonus: Just for fun, here’s Jim Sims.