I know I’m going to have a blast visiting with people here at Netroots Nation. But I’ve already done what will likely be the coolest thing I do: a tour of a local steel plant. There were about 30 of us who took a bus out into the Monongahela Valley and all dolled up in hard hats, Nomex suits, and safety glasses to see how they make steel (Jane will be posting a photo of us, but I’m sure it won’t give you the proper sense of just how gorgeous Jane looks in an industrial suit). 

The video doesn’t give you a full sense of the size and heat of the process. The ladle that appears in the early part of the video is maybe a story and a half high, all moved around on a giant pulley system.

There were a number of us who left saying, "next time I hear someone complaining about their job, I will tell them to shut up unless they’re a steelworker." It is hot, there are tons of steps everywhere. But the whole trip was a fascinating way to understand something about Pittsburgh–and about where our cars and stuff comes from. 



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.