Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Trying to contain nuts.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Thames extension

  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

The Nile, the Amazon and the Yangtze are all very impressive, so I'm told. At least one of them has had an online retailer named after it, and things clearly don't get much better than that.

Howevertheless, all of these longest rivers operate under the grave disadvantage of not being in England. It should be obvious to even the simplest dunderhead that the World's Longest River ought to be in this Sceptered Isle.

Fortunately, this is fairly easy to rectify. The current title- holder is the Nile at 4,258 miles. The Thames is currently 215 miles long - only 4,043 miles shorter.

To correct this geographical error might seem difficult - 4,043 miles from either the existing start or end of the Thames puts you in a different country, which would really defeat the object of the exercise.

But wait! If you view the Nile from the air, you will see that it is not quite straight - it cheats by wiggling around quite a bit. Well, if it's good enough for the Egyptians, it's good enough for the English.* We simply need to find a square mile of land, adjacent to the Thames, which can be levelled and concreted - any part of Reading, for example.

Into this levelled area, we need to etch a narrow but extremely loopey channel, curving back and forth on itself in a dense, reticulated pattern. We divert the Thames through this reticulated channel and - Gadulka! - sanity and reason are returned to the world.

Obviously, there will be problems for boats; and the narrow channels might not accommodate the full flow of the Thames. For this reason, a canal could be dug to bypass the reticulated portion. This would cut some 4,043 miles off the journey - an achievement on a par with the Suez canal.

(*Not generally, of course. We do not, for example, want to have a Prime Minister called Two Birds Wavy Line Fish Fish)

MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 07 2016

Anatomical_20Drinking_20Straw drinking straw version (sort of) [xenzag, Jul 07 2016]

https://en.wikipedi...wiki/Willey_Reveley [Ian Tindale, Jul 07 2016]

flow of the Thames https://www.britann.../place/River-Thames
[Voice, Jul 08 2016]

Killer whale naming convention https://www.goodrea...-winged-whale-sings
[normzone, Jul 12 2016]


       // a square mile of land, adjacent to the Thames, which can be levelled and concreted - any part of Reading, for example. //   

       Milton Keynes ? Immediately available, no human occupancy, and most of it is concreted over already.
8th of 7, Jul 07 2016

       It's a winner - see my drinking straw equivalent in the link. [+]
xenzag, Jul 07 2016

       A supreme idea.   

       However, coiling 4,043 miles of river into one square mile implies a channel width of less than 40cm. This may struggle to support the normal flow of the Thames for much of its length, especially with a gradient of essentially zero. The simplest solution is to find the official 'start' of the Thames, where presumably the flow is just a trickle, and extend backwards from there.
mitxela, Jul 07 2016

       May I refer you to the final paragraph of the idea?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 07 2016

       *reticulates splines*
calum, Jul 07 2016

       Hmm, perhaps instead of seeking the title of longest river, you could be content with the longest drivel? Go with your natural advantages mate.
AusCan531, Jul 07 2016

       [+] Rather less complicated would be to divert 95% of the outflow back to the headwaters thus (on average) water flowing into the ocean would have travelled over the 4,258 mi milestone.
FlyingToaster, Jul 07 2016

       I think the solution would be to fold up the river whilst keeping it on the spot. An origami river could be folded, then children could use it to tell fortunes to their friends.
Ian Tindale, Jul 08 2016

       "You're going to contract Weil's disease" ?
8th of 7, Jul 08 2016

       //you could be content with the longest drivel?// I prefer to think of it as waffle rather than drivel, but will bear your suggestion in mind cobber.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2016

       I do like the category choice.   

       EDIT: Hey, no fair, it looked better in other:general !
normzone, Jul 08 2016

       While this idea has all the hallmarks of simple common sense, I fear the cabal of shadowy power figures that control the world of physical geography would find some nit- picking technicality to disqualify the mighty Thames. They might argue that this is a river with an artificial extension, a canal-river Chimera if you will. If it does end up being a canal, it will, of course, be the longest. An even longer one could be made by stretching a tube from a river up some Scottish mountain to the southern tip of the British Isles, which is obviously in the Falklands somewhere.
bs0u0155, Jul 08 2016

       Since all of france is technically a posession of the English crown (and will be again, if the EU exit negotiations go to plan) a bit of digging by surly gallic peasants, and a few smart lads with a few million bags of Portland cement, could extend the Thames through the channel tunnel all the way to the Mediterranean.
8th of 7, Jul 08 2016

       //all the hallmarks of simple common sense// I do apologize.   

       //They might argue that this is a river with an artificial extension// Ah, but have you ever noticed that there are NO satellite images or videos showing the formation of the Nile? None whatsoeveratall. We simply take it on trust from the Egyptians that it was like that when they found it. Just saying.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 08 2016


       //one square mile implies a channel width of less than 40cm. This may struggle to support the normal flow of the Thames for much of its length//   

       All we have to do is raise the speed of the water until it's all getting through in time. Alternatively, just use a very deep channel. The peak flow is 590 cubic meters per second, so get to work!
Voice, Jul 08 2016

       It's relativity at work. Let me explain: If a boat travels from from East to West on the Thames, it takes much longer due to relativistic affects which slows it down as observed by the lone inhabitant of Reading (The occupant of the boat swears he is rowing like crazy). This makes the length of the Thames appear at least....4000 miles long, maybe 5000.   

       This cannot be duplicated on the other mentioned rivers because the occupant of the watercraft will never be reliably observed, since he will have become most likely consumed by alligators or crocodiles.
Ling, Jul 09 2016

       how long would it be if it followed (closely) to the coastline?
po, Jul 09 2016

       If it followed it closely enough, it would have arbitrarily great length. But then it would probably be partly in Wales, which is clearly unacceptable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 09 2016

       Clearly all that's needed is to add a fractal riverbank to a small section of the Thames, giving it infinite length.
mitxela, Jul 09 2016


       Is the length of a river measured along the banks, or along the centre?
pocmloc, Jul 09 2016

       Probably depends on whether the surveyor has a pair of waders.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 09 2016

       …as opposed to one?
Ian Tindale, Jul 09 2016

       You can't keep a single wader. It'll get lonely and pine for the fjords.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 09 2016

       Beautiful plumage, though ...
8th of 7, Jul 09 2016

       What, surveyors?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 09 2016

       Oh yes ... very handsome. It's just such a shame that those pretty bright orange beaks fall off after the mating season.
8th of 7, Jul 09 2016

       I once knew a surveyor of Greek-French-Irish ancestry. Theo D'o'lite, he was called.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 09 2016

       I'm scratching my head, trying to figure out why [MB], realizing that //[i]t should be obvious to even the simplest dunderhead that the World's Longest River ought to be in this Sceptered Isle//, chooses an addition length sufficient to put the Thames, not into the lead, but into a *tie* with the Nile for greatest length.   

       (Holds in reserve the idea for the "Thames Capillary", a 1 meter plastic cube assembled from layers cut with 1 mm^2 channels, capable of holding 1 firkin of Guinness, which can add approximately 40 km to the attached river...)
lurch, Jul 09 2016

       //into a *tie* with the Nile//   

       You make an excellent point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 09 2016

       …as opposed to a pair?
Ian Tindale, Jul 09 2016

       You can also bring in the population from the Nile, Ganges, and the Yang-Tze so that you get the full effect.
pashute, Jul 11 2016

       May I suggest going 'up' with a series of arches constructed out of narrow plastic pipes? Once you've pumped the water high enough to crest the top of the arch, the siphon effect will help with the energy requirements needed to move the water. You could use these arches to simultaneously create the world's largest croquet course. This would provide Britain with its second tourist attraction besides Stonehenge. (a second croquet course?)
AusCan531, Jul 12 2016

       everyone in denial...
po, Jul 12 2016

       [AusCan]'s idea of fitting in more river length by pumping it up a series of vertical pipes saves a lot of space but could also mean that the Thames gets the record for the longest river and *also* the highest waterfall.
hippo, Jul 12 2016

       I am liking this more and more.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 12 2016

       Are the heights of waterfalls added to the length of a river? Or is the length measured as a two-dimensional projection onto the theoretical surface of the globe?
pocmloc, Jul 12 2016

       - and if so, is the length of the river projected onto the theoretical surface of the globe _at sea level_, or at the altitude at which the river is? Could be an important difference.
hippo, Jul 12 2016

       Why not just simply compress the H2O molecules more closely together, and you'd get Nile+ quantity of water into the Thames riverbed.   

       Do I have to do all the thinking here?
not_morrison_rm, Jul 12 2016

       Or, change the specification. Forget about longest river, go for the widest.
Ian Tindale, Jul 12 2016

       How about "widest river with a transverse current"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 12 2016

       No wait, stop — otherwise, Mobius river.
Ian Tindale, Jul 12 2016

       [hippo] most rivers are not at the same altitude along their entire length. Did you mean the spherical equivalent of an inclined plane? But I don't know what the name is for that.
pocmloc, Jul 12 2016

       //most rivers are not at the same altitude along their entire length//   

       I disagree. Many of the world's widest rivers are at the same altitude throughout. The term for such a river is "lake".
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 12 2016

       Those that aren’t the same altitude throughout would be good for water-skiing. In fact, why isn’t there a ‘ski the entire Thames’ pointless unproductive competition (or sport, I think they’re called)?
Ian Tindale, Jul 12 2016

       //‘ski the entire Thames’// Height, width or length?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 12 2016

       What's a 'river'? Define.
xenzag, Jul 12 2016


       // Did you mean the spherical equivalent of an inclined plane? //   

       An inclined plane is simply any planar surface where the direction of gravity is not normal to the plane, resulting in a force vector acting parallel to the plane's surface.   

       A hemisphere (or indeed a sphercal section) on which gravitational force acts at any angle to the circular base would presumably be the equivalent; but for any given hemisphere, if the force acts from below the plane of the curcumference, then there will always be a point on the curved surface to which said force acts normally, resulting in a zero net sideways vector. Unlike the plane, a point mass at that location will be in stable equilibrium.   

       // But I don't know what the name is for that. //   

       Probably Kevin.
8th of 7, Jul 12 2016

       // ... which gravitational force acts at any angle to the circular base would presumably be ... // pointing at an elephant
lurch, Jul 12 2016

       Are you certain? I have it on good authority that all killer whales are named Kevin.   

       Link for veracity.
normzone, Jul 12 2016

       The thinking here is far too lateral, where it should be vertical; the better way forward, relying on the siphon effect, is to drape a length of hose over the top of the Reading Space Elevator*. Several times.   

       *not included in retail price
pertinax, Jul 14 2016

       If it will elevate Reading into space, the price doesn't matter; whatever the cost, it will still be excellent value for money.
8th of 7, Jul 14 2016

       //elevate Reading into space// The sudden loss of atmosphere would probably go unnoticed in Reading.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 14 2016

       The sudden loss of Reading would go unnoticed everywhere else ...
8th of 7, Jul 14 2016

       That was a cruel and unkind remark, [8th]. Reading is a lovely place, populated with cheerful and beautiful people who go about their lives in a carefree spirit from which we could learn much. Add to that the beaches, the climate, the food, not to mention th... Ah, hang on. I'm thinking of Cancun.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 14 2016

       I think it was django who had the idea of extending rivers via inflatable devices. Certainly a surfeit of ideas regarding rivers and inflatable devices. In any case, the ocean side of the Thames could be extended via inflatable trough to the hard-won Falkland Islands which google tells me is 4202 miles from London. That plus the inland distance of the Thames should put it just over the Nile.
bungston, Jul 21 2016


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle