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Leaving nothing to the imagination


I watched intrigued by the latest engineering challenge hosted by Mysteries of The Lost Empires series (Channel 4, 8 June) Two professional engineers, one American, one British, and a sculpter/carpenter were pitched against one another to solve the problem of how to raise Egyptian obelisks.

ICE vice-president Mark Whitby went to heroic lengths to explain the whole methodology through the skills of advanced calculus. While Richard, the sculptor, eventually delivered the more probably correct solution through an imaginative process more akin to travelling back in time like a later day Dr Who.

'Today I feel like an Egyptian' - exclaims Richard, as his obelisk reaches vertically.

I am frustrated that yet again the engineer is portrayed in that predictable guise of ingenious analyst rather than the creative yet logical thinker we like to believe we are.

Come on Mr Whitby. Number cruncher or innovator? What is it to be?

David Marchant, 55 Russell Square, London WC1B 4HR

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