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Fountains of Paradise, anyone?

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  • Fountains of Paradise, anyone?

    I came across this story on my surfings

    http://cbs2.com/water/watercooler_story_116173449.html

    and was reminded of Arthur C. Clarkes novel. It sounds possible but do physics allow it?

    Incidentally I came across it on the Fortean Times website. An excellent magazine which used to be subtitled The Journal of Strange Phenomena (it now says The World of... which I don't like.) Heartily recommended.
    The newsdesk, where I found the story, is here. It can keep me occupied for hours.
    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

    -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

    Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

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    "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

  • #2
    I'm by no means an expert on this problem, but looked at purely as a thought experiment, it appears most of the problems are in the engineering rather than pure science domain; some of the engineering problems are difficult enough to require the equivalent of a major breakthrough. Major breakthroughs are hard to predict. I wouldn't make plans or a schedule with that level of uncertainty.

    There are numerous serious practical problems with building a structure this tall. Take a look at some of the problems they were required to solve when building the (now destroyed) WTC in New York.

    Among other curious phenomena is the difficulty of building a "useful" structure with the degree that these things "sway in the wind." Would the structure be rigid (e.g., ordinary buildings) or flexible (e.g., like a vacuum hose)? What sort of support would be required to keep the things from collapsing under their own weight?

    My guess if they've passed the blue-sky stage is that the base must be very large. Very.

    I would love to see a serious investigation of the sorts of problems such structures would create for air traffic. Think of the convection currents. Imagine if there are several of them in different parts of the world.

    The upper stories must have radiation shielding, as well as be pressurized, of course.

    Talking about building tubing that is 60x stronger than steel is all very well, but we need to see something that indicates someone knows how to come to grips with the practical problems before we take this as more than an interesting idea. I've got a lot of questions. Perhaps it's just my ignorance speaking.

    I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm saying it appears (as the Japanese are wont to say) "very difficult."

    LSN

    Comment


    • #3
      Like you say LSN it seems feasible, but what about the corollary problems?
      What about the effect of weather? How will the build up of ice at high altitudes be compensated for? What would the solar wind do to it? Would it become like a massive lightining rod from all the charged particles hitting it outside the atmosphere? Could this energy be harnessed, even?
      It being in place doesn't seem to be too difficult to comprehend, but getting it there certainly does!
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

      -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

      Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

      :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


      "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

      Comment


      • #4
        A modern-day Tower of Babel. :roll:

        Comment


        • #5
          Strange you should say that Mary, because I have Breugel the Elder's Tower of Babel as my desktop wallpaper! I have a large hardback book on his work which has been a treasured possession since I was a lad.
          You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

          -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

          Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

          :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


          "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Typhoid_Mary
            A modern-day Tower of Babel. :roll:
            with the difference that nowadays everybody speaks the language of $...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Governor of Rowe Island
              Strange you should say that Mary, because I have Breugel the Elder's Tower of Babel as my desktop wallpaper!
              That's a beautiful picture. Thanks for the link!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Typhoid_Mary
                That's a beautiful picture. Thanks for the link!
                My pleasure, Mary, glad to point someone towards one of my favouite artists.
                Believe it or not, my doctors surgery (in the middle of a council estate, in the middle of the west country) had prints of Bruegel on the walls. This only served to fuel my fascination.
                You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

                Comment

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