Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Jules Verne Memorial Race

He inspired them all; let's get 'em all together
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With the centenary of Jules Verne's death approaching, I think we need to institute some sort of proper monument to his genius. The world owes Jules Verne a great debt; his fantastical stories have inspired inventors and engineers down the ages. The (French) inventor of the submarine quoted Verne as his inspiration; the Apollo command module 'Columbia' was named after Jules' own moon craft, the Columbiad. 80 days is still some sort of benchmark for going round the globe, though god knows why.

So.. I think we should gather together some of the forms of transport which Jules Verne inspired, and race 'em against each other. Off the top of my head, these would include a balloon (or possibly an airship), a submarine, and a giant capsule fired from a gun. (I'm still looking for proof that he invented the space hopper. Him being French, an' all).

The course would be kind of tricky - I don't really want to resort to a handicap system, so I'd suggest slightly different courses for each vehicle. The start and finish could be on either side of an isthmus - this would give the tunnelling machine and the giant gun the chance to finish at the same time as the (much faster) submarine, which would have to go the long way round.
Spectators would be invited to dress in 19th century clobber and bring their own inventions to display (I foresee a large demand for HB merchandise). How magnificent it would be! In the distance, a white vee of water indicates the approach of the submarine (According to Rule 24, all subterranean or underwater vehicles must cross the finish line as close to the surface as possible), while a distant, thundering vibration means that the mole cannot be far away! And on the horizon, the distant drone of an aeroplane shows just how close this race will be!

(Obviously the race will have to be longer than the gun's range, so whoever gets shot out of that will have to wait while they bring the gun up for another shot.)

moomintroll, Apr 04 2005

Jules Verne Trophy http://www.answers..../jules-verne-trophy
and don't forget Verne's helicopter and orthopter [FarmerJohn, Apr 05 2005]

[link]






       Makes me wonder when Rube Goldberg died, (and exactly how).
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2005
  

       Rube who? Oh, right. Like an American W Heath Robinson.
moomintroll, Apr 04 2005
  

       Except that Heath Robinson wasn't a fictional character, just his creations were.
TolpuddleSartre, Apr 04 2005
  

       We'll need to find Nemo before this can start.
ConsulFlaminicus, Apr 05 2005
  

       With Verne's gun, the moon was in range. Altering the trajectory should give us earth orbit, and thus any range one might care to mention.
david_scothern, Apr 05 2005
  

       Inspired! Here, take my bun, I won't be needing it anymore...
kmlabs, Apr 05 2005
  

       My money goes for whichever vehicle can reach escape velocity. [-]
contracts, Apr 05 2005
  

       This was shaping up to be a great idea until paragraph three. Good principle though.
wagster, Apr 05 2005
  

       What's wrong with paragraph three?
moomintroll, Apr 05 2005
  

       My guess is that [wagster] is not a fan of dressing like a 19th century person.
hidden truths, Apr 11 2005
  

       I have now re-read paragraph three and have concluded that I was being over-picky on April 5th. The clothes are all well and good, I just wasn't sure about trying to race completely different modes of transport against each other. But seeing as they're all in one place already, we might as well - I send you a croissant at a speed which would quite amaze Mr. Verne.
wagster, Apr 11 2005
  
      
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