Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Roof garden oxen power

Appartment buildings power from oxen on roof garden pulling wheels
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Pumping water, raising the elevator, and generating electricity, while feeding off the garden from the sun, and giving off manure to fertilize the garden.
pashute, Dec 08 2012

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       Aha! not if we use their excess methane for lift. They don't need to be fed from the garden. Inner city power-cows... love it.   

       In residential buildings, elevators spend much of their time at rest. One ox plodding away at a capstan for hours charges a bank of batteries, which in turn powers a normal-speed elevator. The batteries recharge when the elevator is not in use. To extend excessive wear on both battery and bovine, you let the ox take a break every time the elevator runs.
Alterother, Dec 08 2012
  

       The weight differential between oxen and elevator passengers could be geared down so that a drop of one story for the oxen could equal several stories of lift as well... after which they could walk back up a ramp to get back to their food source.   

       By my figuring, one ox can lift 4 people at a respectable 2.5 m/s (based on a power of 10,000 W (reasonable for a shortish stint), 1000 N per person).   

       //walk back up a ramp// But I thought we were using methane balloons to lift them back up, or something.
spidermother, Dec 08 2012
  

       This would be a handy solution for some consequences of Mayan Apocalypse :-)
piluso, Dec 08 2012
  

       It would also be useful if some nut-job religious sect developed that forbade the operating of electrical devices on certain days.
spidermother, Dec 08 2012
  

       Well, technically speaking, the Amish forbid the use of electrical devices every day. Only the dairies have electricity, and it only goes to the barn.
Alterother, Dec 08 2012
  

       <Reaches for hanky> <sneezes> pashute! <coughs> Sabbath!   

       Excuse me, it must be the pollen.
spidermother, Dec 08 2012
  

       Aaah ... aaaaah ... a Jew!   

       How soon are these anti-histamines meant to start working?
spidermother, Dec 08 2012
  

       //Well, technically speaking, the Amish forbid the use of electrical devices every day. Only the dairies have electricity, and it only goes to the barn//. I know I could probably do some research to find out buy why do the Amish use electricity in their daries? Refridgeration?
evilpenguin, Dec 09 2012
  

       [+] Pratchett's "man with water buffalo" comes to mind, as does the picture of a suburban street of flat-roofed houses, each with a ruminant on top, spreading gossip amongst themselves, along with the manure.
FlyingToaster, Dec 09 2012
  

       The electric power used in Amish dairies (which due to the practicalities of modern dairy operation can be quite sophisticated) are mostly used to run pastuerizers and refrigerated tanks, but on the larger farms you'll also see electric feeders, manure sloughs, and automated milking machines.
Alterother, Dec 09 2012
  

       A properly counterbalanced elevator uses much less electricity than you would believe. The cost of maintaining an ox would far outweigh the savings in electricity and the extra methane and environmental cost of maintaining the garden would far outweigh the environmental benefit.
Voice, Dec 09 2012
  

       unpasteurized milk cannot legally be sold in several states.
Voice, Dec 09 2012
  

       'round these parts a farmer (rancher?dairyman?) ran a raw milk business, servicing a herd of cows which were owned, fully or partially, by individuals.   

       I think they pretty well bent and loopholed the law as far as it could be, in their efforts to drink unprocessed milk, but they still got busted.   

       And what 21 just said: perhaps the unprocessed stuff is just for in-house, with the governmental blessing of the religious-tolerance department.
FlyingToaster, Dec 09 2012
  

       [21], Amish dairies (and many other Amish businesses) are not solely devoted to the service of their own community-- quite the opposite, in fact. According to their own religious tenets, of which I have only the barest understanding, the Amish do quite a neat job of conforming to state and federal requirements concerning commercial enterprise whilst still adhering to their own beliefs. They even pay their taxes. Just because somebody reads his Bible by candlelight doesn't mean he isn't a shrewd and canny businessman with a detailed understanding of modern finance.
Alterother, Dec 09 2012
  

       Actually, its not a good solution for orthodox Jews. The Torah specifically lists the Shabbat (or Shabbos if your ultra orthodox like me) as a day of rest for everyone, including your livestock.   

       There's a story about a convert to Judaism who had a problem stopping his smoking on Saturday. He went to the reform rabbi who told him she believed if it felt good, it was ok. Then he met with the conservative rabbi who told him that by decree of the Jewish Theological Seminary converts who find it hard to stop smoking may continue to do so on the Sabbath providing they change the brand on that day. Finally he met with an ultra-orthodox rabbi in Monroe who found a simple solution. All he had to do was sell his lungs to a gentile, and split the revenue with the synagogue.   

       Notice I didn't say anything about food. (hint - we are vegetarian at home)
pashute, Dec 09 2012
  

       Ah. I'd forgotten the bit about resting livestock. What do you do about milking?   

       Would it be acceptable to wait in the lift until the ox decided to pull you up, just because it felt good?
spidermother, Dec 09 2012
  

       It would certainly be acceptable for the ox.
Alterother, Dec 10 2012
  

       Especially with the methane buoyancy assist.   

       His burden is easy,
His yoke is light(er than air).
spidermother, Dec 10 2012
  

       <seasonal facepalm>
FlyingToaster, Dec 10 2012
  
      
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