I don't know about you, but what got to me the most watching the long haul excavation and rescue and triumph of the Chilean people at the San Jose de Copiapo Mine (opened in 1889 and shutdown in August 2010 when 33 miners were trapped) was the ingenious and proud method of using the wheel. See above. The New York Times website had a live feed we sat around for a few hours late into the night just watching that powerful and methodical cable, wheel and pulley design do its stuff. It took people down and it brought people up. Simple after all. An invention (the wheel) that has been with us since the mid 4th millennium BCE. Whether first seen in evidence from Mesopotamia, central Europe or the northern Caucasus, take your pick. The other night, and through the next day, it was the beauty of Chile.
Rodrigo Arangua/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images