Are Steam-Powered Cars in Our Future?

The horse was still the primary mode of transportation at the turn of the 20th Century in Europe and America, but that was poised to change. As people became more prosperous, they turned to the newly invented motor vehicle—available in steam, gasoline, or electric versions—for travel. Steam was already an established energy source for transportation, having proven reliable for powering trains, and by the 1850s it was viable to produce steam vehicles on a commercial basis. While initially more popular with the public than gasoline vehicles, steam cars were eventually a commercial failure. The current interest in alternative energy sources, however, has led to a renewed interest in developing a steam-powered vehicle for personal travel.

Where Fictional Gods Reside: The House on the Rock

The House on the Rock is a real place about an hour west of Madison Wi, that I write about in American Gods, and I had to tone down my description of it and leave things out in the book in order to make it believable. – Neil Gaiman

If the author of the Sandman comics, Coraline, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Neverwhere, and several other dark fantasy/horror works believes that a place needs to be “toned down” to be believable, the creator of that place must be doing something right. The House on the Rock, which provides the inspiration for one of the settings in Gaiman’s novel American Gods, is a regional Wisconsin tourist attraction that opened in 1959 and is still operating today. Even more interesting than a house that boasts attractions like a room designed to look like it stretches to infinity, a 200 foot sculpture of a whale and giant squid fighting to the death, and the world’s largest indoor carousel, is the story of its creator.

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