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April 02, 2008


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Frankie Roberto

Why don't you ask how the tunnel was built? Did they build it from both ends, and meet in the middle, or from one end only?

Stephen Herbert

Probably time to come clean - there's been some deception here. When we say "tunnel" we tend to think of a wide tube - like the Channel Tunnel. A Telectroscope doesn't need width for all of its length to work. For most of the distance, just a few inches (maybe less?) would do the trick. When the Victorians laid the Trans-Atlantic cables for the telegraph, they invented the method that could be used to lay hollow cable sheaths - which were set in a shallow trough and covered (hence technically, 'tunnels'). Effectively the Telectroscope is a form of opto-telescope (not to be confused with the earlier optical telegraph). Today, we're familiar with fibre optics, and the idea of light not having to travel in a perfectly straight line doesn't phase us, but to the Victorians it seemed impossible. To some, makyoh topography is still something of a mystery, but in theory it COULD just work. (Heaven knows how much money Paul must have spent on cleaning out that 'tunnel' - did he have Dyno-Rod on board?!).

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