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(CNN)   Good news everyone, I've discovered a method of transporting people from LA to NY in 45 minutes   (cnn.com) divider line 18
    More: Followup, Elon Musk, Los Angeles, magnetic levitation, energy usage, Rand Corporation  
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8374 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Jul 2013 at 8:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-07-16 10:36:45 PM
4 votes:

StopLurkListen: One of the most dangerous things you'll probably do today is get in a car. Over thirty thousand people in the United States are killed each year in cars.


Yup.  Let's say we built tube-trains 100 years ago.  What if someone came along in 2013 and said this?

"My idea is that essentially any adult, even really dumb ones, would have a 2 or 3 ton ground vehicle that can go essentially wherever the occupant wants.  To prevent collisions, we'll draw lines on the ground and ask people to pretend that they are actual barriers.  If it's really confusing, we'll put up a system of flashing colored lights and written instructions and ask everyone to memorize what they mean and obey them.  Yeah, I've seen people who can't figure out how to order at a McDonald's, but I'm sure they'll correctly process written instructions as they're hurtling around at 60+ mph.

We'll also lay down, I don't know, 4 million miles of wide concrete strips so that these 3-ton things don't bounce too much as they move around.  We'll load each vehicle up with ~100 pounds of extremely flammable liquid and draw power from a series of controlled explosions.  We'll start that using a big tank of lead and concentrated sulfuric acid.  My initial estimates are that this system will kill roughly as many people each year as breast cancer or alcohol does, and that's before we think about the lung disease from the reduced air quality."


Alternate Universe Fark would blow up.
2013-07-16 10:07:42 PM
2 votes:
resources0.news.com.au
2013-07-16 10:06:55 PM
2 votes:

Hollie Maea: way south: maybe Elon has a trick up his sleeve. Gotta wait and see I guess.

He's one of the smartest most visionary people on Earth, and he has been working on this project for almost three years.  In addition to the technology, he's worked out the energy consumption and economics.  You can be pretty certain that this idea is a bit too robust to be broken up by a few Farkers who just heard about it.


Sure, he founded PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors.  And he was involved in getting SolarCity rolling.  But what else has he ever accomplished?

The idea sounds kooky, but I can't think of any reason why it couldn't work.  Bullet trains work great in a number of countries, and this sounds essentially like an enclosed bullet train or long-distance subway.  Interested to learn more.

Befuddled: One of the nice things about air travel is it is essentially impossible for the average idiot to do harm to aircraft as they criss-cross our nation as they are out of sight and out of reach. Putting a high-speed transportation system on the ground is asking for some dumbass to cause a wreck.


Which is why rail and subway systems have never worked in history.

netringer: Cool, but I'm already screaming with claustrophobia.  They have to have escape tunnels because we know something would go wrong.  Not a mention what happens if there's a sudden decel from 4500MPH - I guess the passengers bodies could be sent home in an envelope.


Which is why airplanes have never caught on for traversing long distances.  I mean, if anything went wrong with one of those things at 30,000 feet, that would sure be a disaster.

There are reasons to think this might not work, but these are dumb objections.
2013-07-16 09:08:23 PM
2 votes:

kimwim: reported: Seems simple in theory, but the construction costs would be prohibitive for any large-scale system.

So is building another highway.


It would be cheaper than what is going to be spent on the damn white elephant high speed rail system here in California.  That piece of shiat serves only one purpose.  It's a method of putting huge amounts of taxpayer money in the pockets of the "right" people.
2013-07-17 09:24:36 AM
1 votes:

retarded: Bunch of pessimists up in here.


God, that's for sure.  It seems like the national motto is "that'll never work".  Probably no conincidence that the national activity is whining about how "they" haven't yet provided us with flying cars.
2013-07-17 02:14:21 AM
1 votes:

Hollie Maea: Pray 4 Mojo: Hollie Maea: I really am serious about trying to replace my day job with a "Build the Portland Hyperloop" scheme.

Good luck!

I have another question... and this one is ridiculous... but I cant stop thinking about it.

My train pod thing is traveling in the tube at full passenger capacity... and full speed... out in the middle of the desert. One of those worm things from Tremors comes up and breaks a section of the tube bending it up at a 45 degree angle just as we reach it. Exiting the tube at 4000mph... how far will we travel... and how long will it take to hit the ground (assuming it's roughly level for that distance).

Well, really you would be dominated by air drag.  You'd be way over supersonic, and I don't have the slightest ability to calculate that.  If you neglected air resistance (might as well, since you'll either burn or blow up long before you land if you don't) then the equation for 45 degrees is simply X = V0/G = (1788m/s)^2/(9.8m/s^2)= 326km = 202 miles.

Wheee!!!


And it will probably take long enough for the occupants to be about medium rare, if the capsule is anything like an X-15. In the diagram below, I think 'excessive heating' refers to above or about 1300 degrees F.

history.nasa.gov

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-60/ch-1.html
2013-07-16 11:43:05 PM
1 votes:
This may work for NY/LA traffic, since it's almost entirely on land. But the whole "2hrs to China" thing is nonsense. The risks of a rupture over water are just too extreme. If part of the tube breaks in Nebraska, you just stop the train and send out a crew to fix it. if part of the tube breaks in the middle of the atlantic, it floods, and strands people in a little metal tube out in the middle of the ocean for who knows how long, presuming the flooding doesn't kill them. Humans are meant to simply exist over land. Doing so over water adds an exponential amount of problems. It's the same deal with flying cars and space elevators. If there's a problem on the ground, you stop and fix it. If there's a problem in the air/space you fall or suffocate and die.
2013-07-16 11:20:50 PM
1 votes:

Pray 4 Mojo: Hollie Maea: I really am serious about trying to replace my day job with a "Build the Portland Hyperloop" scheme.

Good luck!

I have another question... and this one is ridiculous... but I cant stop thinking about it.

My train pod thing is traveling in the tube at full passenger capacity... and full speed... out in the middle of the desert. One of those worm things from Tremors comes up and breaks a section of the tube bending it up at a 45 degree angle just as we reach it. Exiting the tube at 4000mph... how far will we travel... and how long will it take to hit the ground (assuming it's roughly level for that distance).


Well, really you would be dominated by air drag.  You'd be way over supersonic, and I don't have the slightest ability to calculate that.  If you neglected air resistance (might as well, since you'll either burn or blow up long before you land if you don't) then the equation for 45 degrees is simply X = V0/G = (1788m/s)^2/(9.8m/s^2)= 326km = 202 miles.

Wheee!!!
2013-07-16 11:03:11 PM
1 votes:

rogue49: Need to figure out how to cancel Inertia


No need to cancel it...just capture it with regenerative braking.
2013-07-16 11:00:28 PM
1 votes:
syntheticsean.files.wordpress.com

Yeesh.  90 comments and I am the first to bring up Friday?
2013-07-16 10:44:27 PM
1 votes:
img.trekmovie.com

Roddenberry used the concept Twice in the 70's for Genesis II and recycled the sets for Planet Earth.
A Vacuum global subway system that was still left intact after the 'Apocalypse' as it was pretty much bullet proof and self contained and solar and nuke powered.
But then again this wasn't his (Roddenberry's) idea; the idea of a fast 'rail gun' type subway has been around for long time.

I think Tesla dude must have grown up watching the same 70's SciFi.
2013-07-16 10:10:09 PM
1 votes:

Pray 4 Mojo: StopLurkListen: Not much that goes wrong when flying or driving is survivable, either. Or motorcycling or riding a train or really any activity that makes your little meat body go faster than it can run.

WTF kind of cars are you driving? In most (I would venture 99+%) technical or equipment failures in a car... it will simply stop working, slow down and eventually stop.


One of the most dangerous things you'll probably do today is get in a car. Over thirty thousand people in the United States are killed each year in cars.

You odds are obviously extremely good that you won't be killed, but we're not talking about the odds of something going wrong, we're talking about surviving when something does. Going sixty miles per hour in your car and hit something? Good luck. You'll need it because you just ran out of all of it. Those thirty thousand killed didn't die from coasting and eventually stopping ... I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say the stop was probably a bit more abrupt.

And before you think I'm an anti-car safety crusader or something, I'm just putting this in perspective for you. Surviving accidents is pretty much out of the question above sprinting speeds. Avoiding accidents should be priority #1.
2013-07-16 09:36:43 PM
1 votes:

way south: maybe Elon has a trick up his sleeve. Gotta wait and see I guess.


He's one of the smartest most visionary people on Earth, and he has been working on this project for almost three years.  In addition to the technology, he's worked out the energy consumption and economics.  You can be pretty certain that this idea is a bit too robust to be broken up by a few Farkers who just heard about it.
2013-07-16 09:31:47 PM
1 votes:
THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT


"They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"Meat. They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal!  Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"

"Both."

"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."
2013-07-16 09:13:41 PM
1 votes:

RatMaster999: DamnYankees: Doesn't seem all that practical. And what if the tube ruptures?

Unless the tube ruptures right were the capsule is, I imagine there would be something of a jolt, then the thing slowing down do to wind resistance.  Though, with sensors in place to detect changes in air pressure through the system, you could start slowing the capsule with the magnets before they hit the wall of air.

Just my guess, I was an English major, not an engineer.


Do != due

I point this out because you are an English major.


See! I'm helpful!
2013-07-16 09:03:02 PM
1 votes:

DamnYankees: Doesn't seem all that practical. And what if the tube ruptures?


Unless the tube ruptures right were the capsule is, I imagine there would be something of a jolt, then the thing slowing down do to wind resistance.  Though, with sensors in place to detect changes in air pressure through the system, you could start slowing the capsule with the magnets before they hit the wall of air.

Just my guess, I was an English major, not an engineer.
2013-07-16 09:01:03 PM
1 votes:
Sorta-kinda repeat. Oh well, slow news day...

DamnYankees: Doesn't seem all that practical. And what if the tube ruptures?


Not much that goes wrong when flying or driving is survivable, either. Or motorcycling or riding a train or really any activity that makes your little meat body go faster than it can run.

Agree with the practicality, though. Why *does* your little meat body need to go from LA to NY in minutes? The Concorde could go from London to NY lickety-split but it couldn't make enough money to stay in business, except for subsidies in the name of national pride -- and it's route (thin air) required no construction or maintenance ...
2013-07-16 07:49:41 PM
1 votes:
Doesn't seem all that practical. And what if the tube ruptures?
 
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