Monday, November 21, 2005

Seeing the Light

Have you ever heard of Rattenberg, Austria? Yeah, neither have I. Not until today at least.

With a population of 440, it's the smallest town in Austria and exists in perpetual darkness during the winter months. With the looming shadow of the romantically named Rat Mountain blocking their sun, the people are naturally upset.

Founded in the 1300s, the town's dismal placement made sense because it helped defend them against marauders. (Though I thought the best defense would be on the mountain, not behind it, but what do I know?) Marauders aren't common anymore so naturally adjacent towns sprang up when the region stablized.

Instead of taking the cue and moving, the people of Rattenberg have decided to build an array of thirty mirrors to redirect sunlight to their town. Keep in mind, this won't be the whole town; only certain areas will be bathed in light.

Granted, that would look really cool from a distance but then you look at the $2.4 million dollar price tag. It's about $5500 per person, and that doesn't include maintainence.

The EU plans to foot half the bill meaning people smart enough to live in cities with sun are paying to bring the sun to those too cheap/lazy/stupid to move one town over.

In the US we have these things called ghost towns. Austria should remember some communities deserve to wither and die.


jeremy h. said...

Wasn't this an episode of The Smurfs?

David said...

OMG was it?

I don't know about that...I do know the smurfs were communists.

"Smurfs live in a village with rules similar to that of a communist society including sharing of everything by everyone, absence of currency, equality (symbolized by same clothing), everyone serving a functional and necessary purpose in the community, etc. Gargamel is said to represent capitalism with particular emphasis being made on his greediness." (From Wikipedia)

David said...

And this is awesome.

Chris said...

Ha ha. Austrians are so much like that. Bunch of provincial antiquated dummies. Yes, most rural Austrian villages are quite like the Smurf village. It's very odd.

Furthermore if you visit Austria and say that you are from California people will apologize. You know why? Because of the "Governator" a.k.a. - Arnold.
SO HILLARIOUS, this summer.