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.

4 comments:

Luke said...

Have you read Thomas Disch's "Descending?"

Oh wait, that's an escalator.

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tonyon said...

...space-elevator (orbital station centrifugal 1g)▓▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬←▬▬▬▒▬▬▬Faraway high beyond Earth surface at 183,754 kms...fast orbital speed 49,913 kms/hour...there it is the counterweight great Terminal Orbital Station-1g centrifugal force... Awaits passengers in subterranean Earth Station a hyper-speed vertical electric train of Magnetic Levitation... "Spatial train that coming from Orbital Station-1g and Orbital Station 0g entering at the moment, will depart again after 1 hour"...medium-speed = 5,000 kms/hour: Earth/Orbital Station-0g, distance = 35,795 kms...total travel time = 7 hours... Orbital Station-0g/Orbital Station-1g, distance = 147,959 kms...total travel time = 29.6 hours... Well seized from retractable cogwheels, with slow-speed at the beginning travel of strong gravitation from Earth (or strong centrifugal force from Orbital Station-1g), with conventional zipper track... THE TRAIN DEPARTS►... already enough far, with little gravitational Earth attraction: Cogwheels of...MAGLEV on... Here we go...goooooo!...hyper-speed→...passengers stayed in comfortable private compartments...←already braking enough near from each Station...slow-speed, changes propulsion system again: Maglev off...COGWHEELS on... 7 hours: Train is vertical at zero-speed, the passengers disembark at destination: Geo 0g-Station... Tour continuing again... THE TRAIN DEPARTS►... already entering at dominant G centrifugal field...within of train, living compartments rotates 180º...already enough near from Terminal (electromagnetic shield anti-radiation and UV rays protection)...slowly by zipper track train´s cogwheels are braking strongly "downhill"... 29.6 hours: Train is vertical on Terminal at zero-speed, near from Vital Support Gardens, in spectacular and covered by transparent graphene´s domes with Earth views always in the ceiling, the passengers disembark at destination: counterweight centrifuge 1g-Station... "Be careful and not fall down outside from Station, because then...goodbye"... "Remember that still from here, only can return to Earth on Train, due to high orbital Station´s speed which is higher than escape Earth´s speed"...

tonyon said...

(1)...space-elevator (railroad to the moon)................ ☼ ← ☺▬▬▬←▬▬▬▬▬▬↔▬♦ ☻ → ☼ ...a hyper-speed vertical electric train of Magnetic Levitation with Moon destination...energy receiving from nuclear electric generator on Moon...with only emergency brake rockets...((from Earth, passengers in rocket to space-elevator of Moon located between 20,000 and 70,000 kms high...or...)) awaits passengers in the gyratory World´s around in 27.55 days Pendant♦Station, size as an aircraft carrier, located between 9 and that day 43,638 kms (by elliptic Moon orbit) from Earth surface, and by 1 track (1 train monorail, half length above half length below through Station´s floor, with thin sheet lead anti-radiations), carbon nanotubes track made in hinge joint sections, such as a bike chain drive (so, also the Station can modify its own height with 10 kms/hour speed, starting each perigee to preparing the height for the next, stayting always in perigee (or at whole elliptic Moon orbit if prefer) at 9 kms height from Earth´s surface going due to the continuous changes of Moon´s perigee, upwards for avoid Station´s crash against ground!!...or downwards, by the zipper track carrying the track´s excess (only there is 1 track: main V downward, curved under Station, again H upward till robot), with Track-H extreme firmly hooked to vehicle robot placed at Track-V between 9 and 73,000 kms above Station, by its own service section Vertical track (Station down ↓, robot down↓ putting track under Station...Station up↑, robot up↑ tugging from extreme of Track-H and so climbing track´s excess, no track hanging under Station: such as a bike transmission: a central vertical tunnel, here it is the powerful and slow Station´s cogwheels geared into zipper track, for main Track-V passes downwards through Station´s floor, free gears driving track below in each right angle and other relatively distant vertical tunnel for Track-H passes upwards again with gear above for in < 90º angle, Track-H going only till Robot´s Junction-Railroads on top right triangle: top/service section Vertical track...|...for displacement of Robot...top/Hypotenuse track...\...for Train passing by Track-H from robot´s external surface... Central tunnel-V goes till Station ceiling and there enough cables at tunnel upside fastened, as a upside down parachute, give stability to Station...the tunnel-H, with more wide upside for permit Track-H angular movement when changes robot´s height, and closed and pressurized when Train it is, goes till ceiling and is Station´s platform for embark/disembark)... Track with 347,883 kms in length (plus added kms), surface to surface, at the upper end attached to the Moon surface...