Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does 'Three Little Pigs' Send a Dangerous Message?

"Three Little Pigs" is one of Elliot's favorite stories, but I wonder if it's giving him the wrong message about unreinforced brick masonry.

Here in California, using bricks as a building material is generally a bad idea. And there's no evidence that the third little pig braces his walls with a steel frame. (He doesn't even bolt his house to the foundation for chrissake.)

From the Earthquake Country Alliance:
Houses built of unreinforced masonry — bricks, hollow clay tiles, stone, concrete blocks, or adobe — are very likely to be damaged during earthquakes. The mortar holding the masonry together is generally not strong enough to resist earthquake forces. Anchorage of walls to the floor and the roof is critical. These houses are weak (brittle) and can break apart. Walls may fall away or buckle, resulting in damage.

How can we call ourselves responsible parents if we teach our kids that using brick is OK?