** Rust by Jonathan Waldman

Rust: The Longest War starts with a lament that rust sounds o, so boring, whereas it should galvanize (haha) us to action — but despite the author’s best efforts I was left with the impression that yes, rust is pretty boring and corrosion engineers (yes, there is such a speciality) are not exactly fascinating individuals. Still, some chapters held my fairly rapt attention, including the first one, which explains how the Statue or Liberty was restored to health after it got badly corroded, and the one before last, which describes how the Alaskan pipeline is inspected and cleaned using “pig” robots.


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