Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Elevators

This is not the blog from Eeriecon, not quite yet. This is about elevators. The current issue of THE NEW YORKER includes a fascinating article about those conveyances; I wish I had read it before I sold my story "Elevator" to Jonathan Strahan for ECLIPSE 2. But since Eeriecon, like all cons, will feature overcrowded elevators jammed with barbarians and space soldiers, these tidbits seem appropriate. Reassuring, even:

  • The only documented free-fall of an elevator (not counting 9/11) occurred in 1945, when a B-25 bomber flying in fog hit the 79th floor of the Empire State building. The elevator plunged 75 floors with one person, the attendant, aboard. The car landed on several thousand feet of cable, a hydraulic buffer, and a pillow of air pressure compressed by the speeding car in the shaft. The woman survived.
  • Twenty-six people die in elevators in the USA every year, nearly all of them installers or maintnance workers.
  • New York City has 58,000 elevators, which make 11 billion trips each year.
  • The Otis Elevator Company claims that, world-wide, its elevators carry the equivalent of the world's population every five days.
  • In most elevators built since the early 1990's, the door-close button does not work. It's there to provide passengers with the illusion of control.
  • Current technology cannot provide a hoist rope longer than 1700 feet; longer and it becomes too heavy for safety. That's why in very tall buildings you must switch elevators to go to the higher floors.

The hotel for Eeriecon is only four or five stories; I tend to take the stairs.

5 comments:

Luke said...

Have you read Thomas Disch's "Descending?"

Oh wait, that's an escalator.

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tonyon said...
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tonyon said...
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tonyon said...

...space-elevator (orbital station bike wheel-1g)... geostationary orbit, a huge "bike-wheel" is gyrating around its own axis for have 1g-centrifugal. Wheel held in place with 4 CABLES (two of them with a track for Train) FORMING THE STRUCTURE OF A RHOMBUS♦ (minor diagonal of rhombus is the gyration-axis of the Station-Wheel)...rhombus´s below, the carbon nanotubes Track towards Earth...rhombus´s above, the Cable towards the higher counterweight...if...WHEEL´s RADIUS = 250 mts... Wheel gyration´s axis length = rhombus´s minor diagonal = Wheel´s radius = 250 mts... Cable´s length of the rhombus´s side = Wheel diameter = 500 mts. Wheel´s ZONE-1g: habitable length = 1571 mts*50 mts wide*50 mts height, gyrating 360º each 31 seconds, angular-speed = 11.61º/sec, linear-speed = 182 kms/h... Station-Wheel´s GYRATION: AXIS IN PERPENDICULAR (90º) ORIENTATION TO THE ORBITAL TRAJECTORY...and so, while Station-Wheel follows its geostationary orbit, the Wheel does Not changes the spatial-orientation of its axis, and thus there are Not Precession forces actuating (and thus there is Not collision tendency of the Station-Wheel against the rhombus´s cables...but the system must supporting lateral charges against Track produced by the Coriolis effect when Train goes upwards or downwards...), the gyroscopic-rigidity contributes for maintaining forever the gyration axis perpendicular to orbital trajectory... When the Maglev Train slowly arrives, using now their retractable cogwheels by the Zipper-Track (zippers installed on the same Maglev-Track), Train stops in Geo 0g-Station placed over one extreme of the gyration-axis... Passengers disembark and entering into gyratory circular corridor, they take now the interior-elevator of one of the Wheel´s hollow-radius, and tunnel "descending" till Hotel into the final Zone-1g...where while Station-Wheel goes turning, the immense O2 producer Hydroponics Garden receives a filtered Sun light...and there are Earth´s awesome views.