Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Universe as Reflected on a Taco Truck

Due to its location in a steep-sided valley, the Italian town of Viganella gets no direct sunlight for seven weeks each winter. In 2006 a €100,000 computer-controlled mirror, 8×5 m, was installed to reflect sunlight into the town's piazza.

They could have also just parked a taco truck on the mountainside at the right angle. The town mayor would have had a walkie talkie instead of a computer to direct the movements of the reflector. Sometimes it would go dark if the mayor got a hankering for tacos and asked the taco truck driver to head to downtown Viganella instead of reflecting sunlight. But people would probably be OK with it if the tacos were really good and cheap.

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