Last week at OSCON, I had dinner downtown with David Van Couvering and then we walked over the Steel Bridge to the conference. We were worried about making it there for the opening session, and the wind was howling so I was worried about losing my hat, but there was a photo op. [Updates: an explanation and another photo.]

Factory by the Columbia river in Portland, Oregon
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Factory by the Columbia river in Portland, Oregon

You can see how it works; whatever it is that this thing processes gets stored in those big silo-like objects, then gets loaded into ships on the river. An agricultural product, I bet.

People work, have offices I suppose, up above the silos there; see the windows and doors?

[Update: Robert McCabe writes:]

I worked in Grain Elevators in Toronto during the summers while at university. The structure on the left is the Head House where the grain is ‘elevated’ and weighed before being sent on conveyor belts to the silos. The area on top of the silos houses a network of conveyors that move the grain about at speeds in excess of 40 mph (grain has to be kept from becoming damp and compacted by moving it between silos every few days). The windows are needed to vent the conveyor area as the grain dust is kicked up by the conveyors and becomes explosive, a fuel-air explosion (dust from Soya beans is 45x more explosive than TNT).

The loaders on the dock are on platforms so they reach the top of an empty ship.

[Update: Brian Knowles sends a pointer to a picture of the other side.]

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August 04, 2006
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