Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Earthquake-cancelling Exbose-ive array

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In light of recent events, MaxCo has teamed up with a certified former Bose engineer and a seismologist, and is now rolling out its ExBoseive Earthquake Cancellator.

The system is being tested first on Kiribati, since this seems to be a major transport hub and particularly vulnerable to earthquakes.

A 2.7 mile circular area has been selected for protection, and 300m deep boreholes, at 11ft intervals around the perimeter of this area, have been dug and filled with high explosives.

Each borehole is equipped with seismic sensors, its own computerized analysis platform, a hard-wired connection to adjacent boreholes, and a very very large "No picnicking" sign.

Upon detecting the arrival of a major shock wave, the software in each borehole's computer decides whether, and when, to detonate. It also transmits a signal to the other boreholes in the system, telling them the intensity and direction of the wave before it reaches them. A Cunning algorithm* ensures that a wave of detonations occurs around the appropriate sector of the perimeter, such as to cancel as much as possible of the destructive force of the shock in a Bosely manner.

The system will detonate only the minimum number of boreholes necessary in order to attenuate the wave. Subsequent waves activate further subsets of boreholes, until such time as all boreholes have been detonated, or the quake subsides.

*Developed by Byron P. Cunning, late of Bose Armaments Division.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 19 2010

Similar but not quite as practical as explosives http://en.wikipedia...ismic_metamaterials
[leinypoo13, Jan 19 2010]

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       Are you sure that annotation wasn't meant for another idea?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 19 2010
  

       Ejector bras, by the look of it.
DrCurry, Jan 19 2010
  

       I don't understand the sign, even a massive picnic with whole stiltons, hams, capons, geese, paté, steak pies, pork pies, game pies, pasties, bridies, flans, quiches, jars of picked onions, pickled eggs, pickled gherkins, rolls, cucumber sandwiches, packets of crisps, cakes, buns, doughnuts, big earthenware jars of ginger beer and a crate of champagne couldn't possibly be heavy enough to interfere with the seismic detectors?
pocmloc, Jan 19 2010
  

       You say that, but....one careless picnicker pops a champagne cork at the detector just the right way, and ....balloons. Red. 99.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 19 2010
  

       Of course you could do this with just one Accoustic Wave radio, or at least it seems so by the advertisements.
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2010
  

       or they could just build better buildings, and leave people picnic in peace
koraiem, Jan 20 2010
  

       // build better buildings //   

       Actually, the reverse. Build worse houses.   

       If you live in a mud hut with a thatch roof, and there's an earthquake when you're inside, then typically you end up buried under a load of thatch and surrounded by a pile of soil. Sure, your house has fallen down, but the materials to rebuild are right there beside you, or indeed on top of you.   

       For centuries, Japanese houses were one floor only, and built of wood and paper. Guess why ?   

       The people who suffer in earthquakes are often those whose societies have moved out of straw huts and into substantially built dwellings, but who cannot yet afford the expense of making them "earthquake proof" to North American and European building standards.   

       As to the idea:   

       1. Earthquakes are a massively energetic phenomenon. Those charges are going to have to be fusion weapons, or modified photon torpedoes.   

       2. Given (1) the cure may be as bad as the disease. From a point detonation, the shock wave will propagate isotropically. A sufficiently powerful shock wave capable of nullifying an earthquake shock at a distance +l from the point of detonation will have, according to that nice Mr. Newton, an equal and opposite effect at a distance -l at a point radially opposed. Unless, that is, you can produce a Thermonuclear Shaped Charge, which is a bit beyond your puny species primitive technology at this time...
8th of 7, Jan 21 2010
  

       // Those charges are going to have to be fusion weapons// All the better.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2010
  

       Really ?   

       Step into our office .... we have some brochures to show you ....
8th of 7, Jan 21 2010
  

       //Unless, that is, you can produce a Thermonuclear Shaped Charge, which is a bit beyond your puny species primitive technology at this time...// Actually, Thermonuclear Shaped Charges were designed to be used in Orion. I think we have the technology, and we can build them.
Selky, Jan 22 2010
  

       <obligatory quote>   

       "If you build it, they will come ..."   

       </obligatory quote>
8th of 7, Jan 22 2010
  

       A good reason to never build it, then. Some vetting of 'they' should be conducted, first.
RayfordSteele, Jan 23 2010
  
      
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