I decided to make this a series because the giggles just keep coming.

In class today, we were learning about the Navier-Bernoulli model of beams and how to analyse them.  I always thought Navier was a pretty cool guy considering his name is inscribed on the Eiffel tower and the fact that I used his equations all the time in fluid mechanics.  Apparently he attended Polytechnique for a couple years before finishing his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees (an engineering school mostly for structures) where he went on to become a professor.  He also designed the first monumental suspension bridge over the Seine in Paris.

Except his bridge developed a crack just before opening and was removed.  He was accused of being too theoretical instead of practical.  At which point the guy behind me in class mutters (very audibly), “Great, so his theory is a piece of shit.  And we are learning this because…?!”

On that note, one of my friends from the US was visiting his grandfather and mentioned that I am studying abroad in Paris, specifically mechanical engineering.  The (generally quite stoic) grandfather just started giggling, muttering something about “French engineers” under his breath and generally just having a good laugh about it.  It’s probably Navier’s fault.

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