2005_11_theworks.jpgPut this on our holiday wishlist: Kate Ascher's book The Works: Anatomy of a City. Ascher has compiled various facts and figures about New York City infrastructure, which is just the thing for anyone who wonder how the city is put together. Here are some questions about the book's description, with some of our answers:

- Did you know that the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is so long, and its towers are so high, that the builders had to take the curvature of the earth's surface into account when designing it?

- Did you know that the George Washington Bridge takes in approximately $1 million per day in tolls? Nope.
- Did you know that retired subway cars travel by barge to the mid-Atlantic, where they are dumped overboard to form natural reefs for fish? Yes, but we like thinking about it because it's just so cool!
- Or that if the telecom cables under New York were strung end to end, they would reach from the earth to the sun?No!

According to an interview

, Ascher says that she was inspired by David Macaulay's The Way Things Work, which is one of Gothamist's favorites. We're totally going to be repeating trivia from The Works and annoying people this holiday party season a la Rain Man or Professor Frink, give or take a festive drink!

You can get The New The Way Things Work, and there's also the invaluable How Stuff Works online.