Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mass mass-transit
  (+63, -7)(+63, -7)(+63, -7)
(+63, -7)
  [vote for,

Kiritimati is a small island currently located bang in the middle of the Pacific (or, if not quite bang, at least close enough that moving it to bang would be a simple task).
So, install a sizeable electric motor on the island (solar powered, or run from an extension lead to the nearest continental outlet.) On the pivot, mount a sizeable horizontal two- armed rotor (about 5000 miles from tip to tip, or roughly 8046.72 kilometres) made of an adequately stiff material. At each rotor tip are biggish (say, 5- to 10-mile- long) hulls designed to aquaplane on the water. The motor turns at something like 0.001 rpm.
If the length of the arms is just right, and if Kiritimati is repositioned just a little, the hulls will sweep past the west coast of the USA, New Zealand, Japan and southern Alaska every few hours. The difficulties of embarking and disembarking at such high speeds will be offset by the speed and convenience (well, OK, just the speed then) of this mass-transit sytem. And it would look so good from space.

Basepair, Jun 24 2005

a global transportation solution [hob, May 17 2009]

the morning commute [hob, May 17 2009]

Space Elevator Light Space_20Elevator_20Light
The idea [baconbrain] refers to, I think. [bristolz, Jun 25 2005]

Discovered by a Frenchman http://en.wikipedia...rd-Gustave_Coriolis
[DenholmRicshaw, Jun 27 2005]

Coriolis Force http://ww2010.atmos...es/mtr/fw/crls.rxml
an artifact of the earth's rotation [ato_de, Jun 28 2005]

Kiritimati chat http://www.weirdtow...kiritimati_chat.jsp
[normzone, Jun 28 2005]

Kiritimati map http://www.worldatl...trys/oceania/ki.htm
[normzone, Jun 28 2005]

Kiritimati + nude http://www.google.c...search=&safe=images
Ok, I don't recommend following any of these links, but it's an exercise in Google possibilities. [normzone, Jun 29 2005]

Possible Gnarly extras Gnarly_20Surf-Plough
Dude. Surfs up. [theleopard, Jun 23 2007]


       Hang on a minute - 25 km per minute by my rusty reckoning - this is going to be bangingly noisy and dangerous. Automatic bun as long as you paint bits of it yellow like an aeroplane propeller.
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 24 2005

       Hmmm - 15.5342798 miles per minute, sounds about right. I was actually going to put LEDs along the arms to spell out messages which could only be read by aliens with very long visual latency and big telescopes.
Basepair, Jun 24 2005

       But the LEDs can be yellow. Bun, then?
Basepair, Jun 24 2005

       Yellow LEDs of course.   

       In space no one can hear you scream. In fact they can't hear anything.   

       I'm still a bit worried about these damn aliens though. Anyone who can sit through a 1000 minute "ring cycle" must be - well - alien   

DenholmRicshaw, Jun 24 2005

       Just think of the world chapionship games of Got It, Dropped It, that could be played.   

       Slow it down to an acceptable spin rate, allowing dis/embarkation and this is almost feasable. Almost.   

       Or lose the rotation altogether and use Kirimati as a transoceanic multi-bridge hub.   

       Keeping the rotation, it would be an interesting exercise to calculate speeds and arrival/departure times... e.g. if I'm going from San Francisco to Tokyo, depending on rotation speed, it might be better for me to park on the tip of Rotor 3 and ride, rather than drive in and back out again.   

       Is earth curvature going to mess up your design? The equatorial bulge means you've got to build some serious flex into the rotors.
waugsqueke, Jun 25 2005

       At these scales, I doubt you could get a material rigid enough to worry about straightness. After the structure is built on a large planar surface somewhere it would easily conform to the curvature of the earth.
joeforker, Jun 25 2005

       excellent - flawless plan [basepair]. Can I suggest that we look seriously at a similar plan for the Azores, which I'm reliably informed are near as damn in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
jonthegeologist, Jun 25 2005

       I'm trying to grapple with the difficulties of embarking and disembarking. How about getting on at the centre and using some sort of halliard arrangement to pull you out to the tips? Then if we overlap the whole machine with the Azores one (somehow - but thank goodness we made the Azores one go clockwise and the Kiritimati one go anti-clockwise) and get the tips to match for a significant part of the journey, you could hop off one onto the other.   

       Ear muffs would be important.
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 25 2005

       I foresee a new extreme sport - watersurfing off the back.
moomintroll, Jun 25 2005

       Nearly speechless in admiration+ An interesting navigating challenge for ships on the water, though.
theircompetitor, Jun 25 2005

       I can't search out the idea, but I swear somebody suggested a spacecraft launcher much like this, based at the South Pole. I say combine the two, with a tall tower build near Christmas Island, and add giant Ferris Wheels at the ends of the arms. The wheels would let the cars drop toward the ground moving slowly, so folks could jump aboard. Then the cars would go up and forward, while the passengers' breakfasts trail along behind.
baconbrain, Jun 25 2005

       //Can I suggest that we look seriously at a similar plan for the Azores//
By all means. Which particular Azore did you have in mind?
Basepair, Jun 25 2005

       //I'm trying to grapple with the difficulties of embarking and disembarking.//
Grappling might work, depending on the elasticity of the grapple. The arms are going to be going at 2 x pi x many = 6.3 x many miles per hour.
An alternative is to have smaller rotors near each of the embarkation/demarkation points. You step into one of these smaller rotors, which is then synched (like meshing gears) with the big one, and hop across at the critical moment. Of course, these secondary rotors would also be fairly large, and it would be more efficient to keep them spinning constantly. So, you embark on the secondary rotors via tertiary rotors, and so on and so forth until you get down to something the size of a kid's roundabout (indeed, why not *use* a kid's roundabout, thereby reducing the cost of the whole enterprise).
This micro-rotor will be light enough to spin-up and slow down on demand. Unfortunately I suspect it will have to spin at several thousand rpm if everything is to be synched. However, rest assured that I am working on this.
Basepair, Jun 25 2005

       //An interesting navigating challenge for ships on the water, though// Ah, but who'll be bothering with ships then, eh?
Basepair, Jun 25 2005

       //...a spacecraft launcher much like this, based at the South Pole. I say combine the two...//
This plan was already tried in London. However, the planners made the fatal mistakes of (a) thinking too small (b) mis-locating the London Eye and (c) forgetting to lubricate the bearings in the Dome's hub.
Basepair, Jun 25 2005

       [basepair] On reflection, I'd've thought the island of Pico serves our purpose well.
jonthegeologist, Jun 25 2005

       Ah, but reflection would put it somewhere near Tasmania, would it not?
Basepair, Jun 25 2005

       And in any case, wasn't Pico the sixth and smallest of the Marx Brothers?
Basepair, Jun 25 2005

       I've boldly worked out* that 2 counter-rotating, 1000 minute per revolution, 4000 km*** radius rotor arms would spend 11** minutes being less than 10 metres apart if properly synchronised.   

       Plenty of time to hop across.   

       * I would point out that this was done on the back of the family envelope so the calculation might have got mixed up with the shopping list.   

       ** In fact, I think it's 22 minutes   

       *** no - it's 42 seconds   


       (and I assumed that the centres are 8000 km minus 10 metres apart to get maximum overlap time)
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 25 2005

       It is a wonder that no-one has yet produced an LCD envelope, with a back on both sides.
Nevertheless, extensive checking* suggests that your 42 seconds is indeed correct - time enough for all but the tardiest of passengers to board.

*i.e., I checked your spelling and punctuation, and figured that if these were OK then the numbers were probably sound too.
Basepair, Jun 26 2005

       Nice name. Large slowly rotating bun for you.
DesertFox, Jun 26 2005

       Would the Coriolis effect need to be taken into account?
Stoo, Jun 26 2005

       //Would the Coriolis effect need to be taken into account?// Glad you spotted that one. Passengers will be given clockwise-twisting spiral straws with their drinks. If [jonthegeologist]'s Azorotator becomes operational, naturally those passengers will be given widdershins-twisting spiral straws.
Basepair, Jun 26 2005

       If the length of your rotors is right, the Coriolis effect will drive the rotation, just like it drives the rotation of weather systems. Once you've given your rotors an initial spin you can turn down - or even turn off - the electric motor on Kiritimati.   

       Or if you want to be even more halfbaked, you might want to see if the Coriolis effect will apply enough force to your rotors to allow the motor to be switched over to a dynamo. Hey presto! Free power tapped from the rotational energy of the planet. How halfbaked is that?
Stoo, Jun 26 2005

       Blimey! I will have to read up on Mrs. Coriolis and her effect.
But I thought it only worked because of the interaction between the rotation of the earth and the north-south movement of air? (I can see how, if you drive air from the equator to the pole, it must start spinning to conserve angular momentum. But if you have a fixed axis of rotation, will the effect drive the rotation?).
If this works, then it could power the LEDs that I wanted, and perhaps provide enough surplus to heat those little hot moist towels that stewardesses like to proffer.
Basepair, Jun 26 2005


       The rotors would have to be positioned so the hulls didnt cross the equator. (Coriolis effect creates rotations in opposite directions in each hemisphere.) I suggest switching Kiritimati for Ascension Island, which is close to the centre of the South Atlantic. Hulls would circle from West Africa to Brazil   

       If the system has a fixed centre of rotation, then I guess there wont be any Coriolis effect whilst the hulls are travelling precisely East-West, but when their motion has a north-south component, I reckon the Coriolis effect should give them a kick up the backside. (In the spirit of all halfbaked ideas, I wait to be corrected.)   

       The size of the force would be small, but if its applied over a large enough distance - as in this case - the result might be significant. Would the energy supplied be equivalent to getting your trolley dollys hot and moist in the towel department? I do hope so.
Stoo, Jun 26 2005

       I'm still not convinced, even for the north-south-moving cars. But I may be misunderstanding the Coriolis effect. So, if I have a carefully-balanced turntable and I live in the northern hemisphere, it'll start rotating relative to (say) my house? Would this work with a single Corioli, or do you always need two of them?

As an aside (and since I can't get my head any further around the Coriolis effect), doesn't the whole hot-moist-towel thing strike people as odd? Is it a modern residuum of some ancient heraldic act?
Basepair, Jun 26 2005

       Coriolis always does my head in, so I wouldn't be hugely surprised if I've made a terrible gaff, but...   

       The Coriolis effect is so small it only has a measurable impact on things moving on a global scale, like weather systems. If your balanced turntable was the size of the South Atlantic, and you got it moving initially, then yes, I reckon the Coriolis effect would continue to turn it, if there was negligable friction.   

       Can anyone explain why not?   

       Hot towels... why heraldic?
Stoo, Jun 26 2005

       // if there was negligable friction // trouble is, the hulls in the water are likely to cause considerable friction, so I suspect that any effects Mrs Coriolis could create will be quickly extinguished.   

       Move the centre back to Kiritimati [basepair].
jonthegeologist, Jun 27 2005

       I have to ask - which way would the water go down the plugholes in the on-board facilities?
coprocephalous, Jun 27 2005

       That's a damn fine name for the idea. Might I suggest adding '-atron' or '-ajig' to the end?
harderthanjesus, Jun 27 2005

       Would this qualify for the water speed record?   

       Currently this is a mere 511 kph.
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 27 2005

       I think the water speed record would indeed be broken. I'm sure that someone with access to a calculator and a pi can figure it out.....

Also, investors will be glad to hear that I've come up with a better embarkation/ debarkation system. Instead of progressively smaller "access rotors" at each port, we just make the two hulls on the arms of the main rotor circular (ie, discy), and have them spinning on their own pivots at the ends of the main rotor. If the main rotor is spinning clockwise, the hulls must spin counterclockwise. Then, as each hull sweeps past a coastal port, it will effectively 'roll' along the coast rather than just sweeping by. This should greatly simplify boarding and deboarding.

I think what is really needed here is an illustration of a suitably diagrammatic picture image, but I hope you get the point. It's be a bit like one of those fairground rides where the circular cars spin as they travel around on a larger turntable. Only this would be bigger and we could charge more than £1 per ride.
Basepair, Jun 27 2005

       The Corliolis effect is, in essance, a phantom force. It is the relative effect on the direction of force that results from a spinning object. Example: A kid on a clock-wise merry-go-round throws a ball straight across the circle but the merry-go-round is spinning fast enough so that her friend (sitting, say 120 degrees, to the left) can catch the ball. The two friends see the ball "curve" since they are in the system. Any observer would see the ball travel in a straight line and see the friend rotate into position to catch the ball. We are on a big merry-go-round (Earth) and don't notice (normally) that it is spinning so weather and other moving masses appear to "curve" when moving instead of us moving into it. Water or weather (or whatever) traveling in the northern hemisphere will appear to move clockwise and in the southern hemisphere it will apper to go counter-clockwise. If we were watching from space it would appear to go straight. Weather has a lot of other forces associated with it also. Its a relativity dealie. Since it is not a real force I doubt it would be able to power the machine.   

       Why not build one of these on land? Imagine being able to reach New York from L.A. or Paris from Belgrade in a fraction of the time it now takes. There could be lots of smaller circular land routes. Build a huge track for it to rest in and it would likely cut down on the friction associated with the water surface.   

       I like the Coriolis aspect - thank you, [Stoo] for bringing this up. I like it even better after learning about the Phantom Force aspect. I applied to be in the Phantom Force, but I was too heavy.   

       I assume the two ends of this are floating on water? Or maybe not - too much friction. I wonder if the thing is large enough that it could be powered by the difference in tidal forces between the two arms.   

       Finally, where is [Worldengineer]? Insanely strong materials, gargantuan rotating things ... what more does it take??
bungston, Jun 28 2005

       //The Coriolis effect is, in essance, a phantom force.//
I suspect that this is true, and that you're right.

But what if one could arrange to have only one Corioli?
Basepair, Jun 28 2005

       I supose that if you were above the equator and had a floating centrifuge that it might be possible to move somewhat linearly and have the arm appear to move in a circular fashion, but I'm not quite sure how it would work out. I think that might defeat the purpose of having the arm spin. I'm not an expert on Corliolis effect but I used to study a lot of oceanography for NOSB a long while back and I remember some of the research I did on the topic though.   

       So the hulls are spinning at the same speed as, but in the opposite direction to, the main rotor. Sort of like little wheels with a point of contact on land.   

       When the hull is rotating, the part that is nearest the centre of the rotor will be travelling at twice the speed of the rotor relative to the water.   

       The water speed record will be smashed; noisily.
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 28 2005

       Any difference in the centralization of the hub could be compensated for by having the arm telescope. The money saved on moving the island could be spent on recreational facilities for passengers...this is probably too fast for fishing, damnit.
normzone, Jun 28 2005

       [Denholm] - Quite right and well put. I think the acceleration/decelaration cycle could be marketed as a plus. We will, of course, have to modify the in- chair cup-holders accordingly.
[Normzone] the telescoping idea is ingenious, but it would mean you'd be running an unbalanced centrifuge, which is never a good idea. It might rip Kiritimati right off its mountings.
However, there is a third option. If (say) Japan is a few tens of miles outside the radius of the rotors, just lengthen the rotors by a few millimetres on every revolution, and ensure that the rotating passenger cars have an abrasive surface. Soon enough, the coastlines of the US, southern Alaska and New Zealand will have been eroded until they are the same distance as Japan from the hub. They will also, of course, attain crescent shapes ideally suited to boarding and disboarding. A win-win situation.
Basepair, Jun 28 2005

       I used to work for an outfit that built centrifuges the size of automobiles - if you built the bearings and supporting structure tough enough, off-balance loads could be tolerated. But it might get noisy.
normzone, Jun 28 2005

       How big are the hulls? The marketing chaps need a feel for the acceleration and decelaration involved.
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 29 2005

       Hmmm. ++
sartep, Jun 29 2005

       The hulls don't actually have to float in the water. If you make them a mile wide, they could be ground effect gliders, flying relatively close to the water. The stiffness of the arms could be augmented by an airfoil shape to help keep it from sagging.   

       Couldn't the extreme temperature difference between the Equator and North Pacific be harnessed somehow to provide energy?   

       And I don't believe [TheAC]'s assertion about the coriolis Phantom force bit anyway (my lack of actual knowledge on the subject leads me to suspect that the large lump in my mouth may be my foot, but what the hell, I'm talking out my ass anyway, that's a good place for it for a while.) to wit: when seen from space, clouds actually do spin; it's the satellite pictures that show us that in the first place. My oceanography professor asserted that the coriolis effect is real, but miniscule, so it only effect things easily pushed, like water vapor in the atmosphere.   

       And I hope you don't bump into the space elevator, if they ever get that thing up.
oxen crossing, Jun 29 2005

       Hello everybody am new, Just a thought with the sheer size of this thing would the resulting centerfugal force produced by this be able to shift the earths orbit ? Or slow its spin ? As for the getting on/off part, why not just have a boat or group of boats full of people get semi scooped up as the arm spins by ?
AbyssUK, Jun 29 2005

       Stand in the corner, EDJ, with a comment like that! I mean, what the friggin' hell?
daseva, Jun 29 2005

       /would the resulting centerfugal force produced by this be able to shift the earths orbit ? / - What a great notion! If you really got it going it should slow the Earth's rotation, no? It would be nice to park my house at about 7 AM.
bungston, Jun 29 2005

       Environmental concerns aside, I've always wanted to run for world dictator on the thirty hour day platform. If this slows the rotation, that would be helpful to my campaign.   

       I figure two more hours for work, two more for sleep, and two more for play.
normzone, Jun 29 2005

       //How big are the hulls?// Much, much bigger.

//Coriolis also affects things like artillery shells, while they are in flight. It's a real force// I think that when [TAO] called it a 'phantom force', he meant that the apparent force is simply the result of the interaction of other forces (just as 'centrifugal force' is really just a reaction of something against being accelerated in a circle.)
So, I can well believe that it can't be used to extract power from something with a static axis. I could be wrong though - just show me a turntable that turns spontaneously.

//Would there be a counter-reactive force on the spinning of the earth due to gyroscopic forces?// I'm not sure what this means. I guess there would two effects: (a) In spinning up the rotor, you must also be tending to spin the earth the opposite way about the same axis, which would augment, decrease or otherwise interact with its existing rotation. But since the earth is a lot more massive than the rotor and has a somewhat larger diameter, this effect would be negligible (and would be reversed if you slowed the rotor back down again). (b) Gyroscopically, I can't imagine that having a few thousandths of a percent of the earth's current mass spinning differently is going to have much of an effect either. Presumably much greater masses of atmosphere do all kinds of weird twisty dances without anything awful happenning.
Basepair, Jun 30 2005

       Um... It'll be a big propeller that will knock the Earth out of its orbit, right?   

       (Just kidding)
Madcat, Jun 30 2005

       [UnaBubba] Ooops - I just accidentally deleted your anno instead of adding my own. My apologies - no malice intended.

But regarding the effect on the earth's rotation, I am quite happy to reduce the total mass of the in-chair cup-holders if this will help. Weight could also be saved on the stewardesses uniforms.
Basepair, Jun 30 2005

       There's a rumour going round the marketing department that the speed is huge and the "g forces are awesome man".   

       There's a tipping point coming. I can see the fear in their faces - careers are in the balance - they need reassurance.   

       Can we announce the IPO yet?
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 30 2005

       "Kirimatecentrifugomobile Corporation wishes to deny rumours that the application of Symmetricaligned™ G- forces during transit can greatly reduce the appearance of cellulite. These rumours are based on the unsubstantiated testimony of passengers and have yet to be scientifically validated."
There, that should take care of things.
Basepair, Jun 30 2005

       But - our stock options?
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 30 2005

       I think a robust denial of miraculous beautifying effects should have the same effect as the robus denial of mis- deeds by politicians. Relax and invest.
Basepair, Jun 30 2005

       //But - our stock options?//   

       It's all in the timing, what we don't tell them is that we are running the scientific investigation, the results of which will be released to the media with much hype and fanfare as soon as we've found the evidence we want...I mean as soons as the apropriately validated results present themselves, scientifically.   

       We ride the 5 day hike in the stock price, and the smart ones bail out to live on an island somewhere in the mediterranian before it all goes belly up.
zen_tom, Jun 30 2005

       Will it still have yellow LEDs?
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 30 2005

       There will be yellow LEDs aplenty. Fear not.
Basepair, Jun 30 2005

       Don't live on an island - some bugger will build a supersonic centrifuge thingy on it (after nuclear weapons testing of course).
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 30 2005

       I think the Med ought to be pretty safe - wrong shape. Although living under the flight-path of the Cypro-Spano- pault could be a tad risky.
Basepair, Jun 30 2005

       I was thinking that the med would be 'crumply' enough that no-one would want to build one of these things. Somewhere in the Greek archipelago would be quite nice, or tucked out the way either side of Italy.
zen_tom, Jun 30 2005

       Keep away from the French end - they might resume atmospheric testing at any moment.
DenholmRicshaw, Jun 30 2005

       Regarding embarking and disembarking (I hear you can get this done to noisy dogs): What if, instead of rotors we had one giant disc. Then specially designed cars, with wheels capcable of moving very fast in reverse, could be dropped on to the rotating disc. The cars inertia would mean that it was initially not moving in relation to the point of origin, but would be going very fast in reverse in relation to the disc. Gradually applying the brakes would bring the cars disc-relative speed down to zero in a nice smooth manner.   

       Disembarking would be this process in reverse (ie reverse the car until it was not moving in relation to the destination) and then drop off the edge of the disk.   

       Destinations outside of the disc's radius could be reached by not putting the car in reverse and just dropping off the edge on to precisely positioned ramps and stunt jumping to the new destination. Kind of gives a new meaning to 'off ramps'.
MikeyTheBikey, Jul 01 2005

       Why don't we just set like a giant magnet ring in the ocean instead of having the hulls resting in the water that would really cut down on friction. Of course, then we'd have to make sure that the cabins are protected from magnetism.
l like bananas, Jul 01 2005

       And, on the bottom of the arms, have electric shavers, so that any marine mammal in the whole ocean can just come up for a free haircut.
sophocles, Jul 01 2005

       Hey, marine animals have to pay, too!
daseva, Jul 01 2005

       think it went tits up on wall street today
po, Jul 01 2005

       //No-one has pointed out how we're going to power this thing.//
I respectfully refer the annotator to the text of the idea above, where he will find that this problem has been adequately addressed.
Basepair, Jul 01 2005

       could we please address the problem of the many thousands of endangered species of seabirds that this gizmo (and I use the word advisedly as he is one of my favourite halfbakers) may possibly decapitate.   

       for the above read - insanely jealous
po, Jul 01 2005

       //Could we please address the problem of the many thousands of endangered species of seabirds that this gizmo may possibly decapitate?//
Obviously any large scheme such as this will have its fringe benefits. The on-board kitchens will be of the highest standard.
Basepair, Jul 01 2005

       mmmm seagull.
po, Jul 01 2005

I will, with respect, quote from the idea as posted above, for the hard of reading:
"solar powered, or run from an extension lead to the nearest continental outlet."
Basepair, Jul 01 2005

       Is that where they get continental breakfasts from ?
normzone, Jul 01 2005

       I don't know. But presumably anyone who lives on an island is incontinental.
Basepair, Jul 01 2005

       well, I had a nasty experience but it was a false alarm.
po, Jul 01 2005

       [SALARM evaluates the string S as an expression if X evaluates non-zero. The return value is set to the result of evaluating expression S. If X evaluates to zero, S is not evaluated and the return value is zero]   

       The fall Salarm lines are out ?
normzone, Jul 01 2005

       Oh [normzone] I can see ideas (puns actually) forming...Intercontinental Ballistic Breakfast....nahh maybe not.
zen_tom, Jul 01 2005

       It is very bad form to mutter whilst forelock-tugging. And I suspect we can do without that third wire (and perhaps even the second one). The reason that the earth wire is called the earth wire is that it's connected to the earth.
Basepair, Jul 01 2005

       Unlike a few Halfbakers I could name.   

       Not you, [Basepair], you are real connected. This is a very goood idea. Nice man, [Basepair]. <Backs away, tugging forelock and looking for a rock.>   

       It seems to me you run a fair chance of having poor little Kirimati Island torque down into the seafloor, leaving everybody on it thoroughly screwed.   

       Once you get up to speed, you could use a Coriolis-oid drive that I think might work. Install sliding weights in each arm. When you pull them in toward the hub, the rotation speeds up, in the old 'conservation of angular ice-skater' bit. If you let them slide back out, the rotation slows back down, of course. It has seemed to me that if you were to give them a very strong push outward, rotation would somehow be . . sped . . up . . .. No, now that sounds crazy.   

       I'd better go check my connection.
baconbrain, Jul 02 2005

       //It seems to me you run a fair chance of having poor little Kirimati Island torque down into the seafloor, leaving everybody on it thoroughly screwed.//
Au contraire! A simple modification of this scheme will in fact work to Kiritimati's advantage *and* ensure the long-term viability of the Kirimaticentrifugomobile. Here's how.
First, we dig a series of very deep mine-shafts around the edges of the island. The shafts are not vertical, but helical, spiralling around the island as they descend, and centred on the middle of the island where the hub is located. Each shaft is about 10m wide and they are spaced 10m apart at the surface. When the last shaft has been completed, the island of Kiritimati will effectively become the head of one giant bolt.
Now, when the rotor is first spun up to speed, the reaction torque will (as noted) tend to twist the island. Assuming we have chosen the correct direction of rotation, the result is that Kiritimati will actually screw itself *out* of the ground and rise above sea level. This will be of considerable benefit to the inhabitants, who are currently concerned about sea-level rises which threaten to swamp 50% of the island.
Once the rotor is up to speed, the torque needed to maintain rotation wil be much lower, and the island should stop unscrewing itself and remain stable in its new elevated location.
If, however, the rotor is ever stopped, the braking force (presumably applied by regenerative braking, using the drive motor) would have the reverse effect, and will actually screw the island right back down into the ever-rising waves.
Thus, we can hand over management of the rotor to the Kirimatinis, safe in the knowledge that the service will be impeccably maintained for generations to come.
Basepair, Jul 02 2005

       Very clever. Is that a metric thread, then, to ISO standards?   

       Once you get it all going, and Kirimati is up above the ocean, the locals may just pour in a bunch of LocTite, or whatever thread-lock formula is available at Betio Hardware, and not have to worry about it screwing down again. If they do too much mucking around with it, you'll have to Helicoil the whole island, which might require a custom order.
baconbrain, Jul 02 2005

       // the locals may just pour in a bunch of LocTite// That, I have to admit, is a flaw in my plan. However, a quick and fruitless Google search for Kirimati + Loctite suggests that it is unavailable on Kirimati itself. It is available elsewhere in Kiribati, but (a) I doubt that the required quantities are readily available and (b) based on the current population of Kirimati, and assuming complete participation in the Luddite rebellion, it would take them approximately 178 years to open all of those teeny little tubes.
Basepair, Jul 02 2005

       We're forgetting precession. Combine the angular momentum vector of the spinning Kiritimati widget with the spinning of the Earth and you get a broken erection.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 02 2005

       //We're forgetting precession// Denholm, Denholm, Denholm - rest easy. It's all taken care of. At the opening ceremony we'll have a simply HUGE precession. Kirimati high-school marching band, majorettes, jazz band, floats, the works. No expense will fail to be spared. We might even get some of those.....ah. Hang on.
Basepair, Jul 02 2005

       OK. Spoke to the financiers and they were actually quite keen on a second rotor mounted on the same shaft but higher up and spinning the opposite way. We can use it for first-class passengers. Should cancel out the precession, according to the back of my digital envelope.
Basepair, Jul 02 2005

       I was under the impression that the direction of torque was just a fancy term for clockwise or counter-clockwise. Unless the island or central rotor housing was threaded then it would just stay in place. If it was threaded then just thread it the other way so a clockwise rotation would lift it up.   

       As for the sinking islands, if the hulls were angled out a bit as to cause a wave heading outward and if the device was going fast enough, then a giant wave could be created that would flow outward. Water would be drawn away from the center, thus saving Kiribati and effectively screwing the 100s of millions of coastal inhabitants of Western N.A. and Eastern Asia.   

       //Unless the island or central rotor housing was threaded then it would just stay in place.// Errr, see the above annotations. Not only was this proposed several anno's ago, but the drilling rigs are currently working around the clock.

We considered the wave option, but then we considered our investors.
Basepair, Jul 02 2005

       I did read the above annotations and wanted to point out that the direction of torque was irrelevant in response to baconbrain's anno. Unless the machine was threaded (and for what purpose, other than what you had said after his anno, I don't know) then the torque direction would have no bearing on the fate of the island.   

       //"solar powered, or run from an extension lead to the nearest continental outlet."//   

       I have a better idea, borrowing from another half-baked idea on the site. Why not use the rusting-out nuclear boats in the world (mostly Russian) and use their nuclear reactors to power the Kiritimaticentrifugomobile.

Oh and how noisy is this thing going to be? I have yet to see a good answer on this subject...

PS: This thing deserves croissants just for the name alone.
Kozi4361, Jul 03 2005

       "simply HUGE precession"   

       Excellent. A good, big precession to quieten those mealy-mouthed naysayers.   

       Get some celebs along as well for the inaugural "first class lounge spinning the opposite way" thing.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 03 2005

       "Oh and how noisy is this thing going to be?"   

       I think bits of it will exceed Mach 2. This is a selling point of course.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 03 2005

       In other words, people in the middle of Africa will hear strange, booming noises. The Elephants will hear noises far beyond the range of human hearing, in low sound waves, and go crazy. People will blame the Norse gods.
Kozi4361, Jul 03 2005

       // I did read the above annotations and wanted to point out that the direction of torque was irrelevant in response to baconbrain's anno//
Ah, fair point, TAO, and my apologies. But nevertheless, I think the thread concept does have its advantages, even if it only solves the problem which it creates.
Basepair, Jul 03 2005

       //I think bits of it will exceed Mach 2. This is a selling point of course.//
Indeed it is. In fact, I believe that Mr. Gilette has already cottoned onto this idea, having produced a razor which he claims attains Mach 3.

A fringe benefit of the sonic booms, incidentally, is that there will be no need to publish timetables or announce arrival and departure times*. Anyone with easy access to an elephant will be able to tell when the next passenger hull is approaching.

*[Edit] - that should, of course, read "arrival-and- departure times".
Basepair, Jul 03 2005

       Boom - Bang - Crash!   

       What was that?   

       That was the 10:13 and you've just missed it.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 03 2005

       Ah, but this is where the elephants come in. They are allegedly sensitive to low-frequency noise carried through the ground, and this ought to travel faster than sound in the air and also faster than the hulls, hence giving sufficient notice.

Alternatively, we run the rotor fast enough that the sonic boom of one arm/hull arrives just before the *next* hull arrives.
Basepair, Jul 03 2005

       So when my elephant starts to shuffle around uncomfortably, I think the next hull is arriving.
What if she just needs to go pee?
What if I'm standing behind her when the sonic boom arrives?
baconbrain, Jul 03 2005

       This is where the reality TV show "Can you catch the Kiritimati" comes in! If you're standing behind your elephant when it has to pee, not when the Kiritimaticentrifugomobile is coming, then that's all part of the show! If you manage to konw that the hull is coming and can make it aboard, you win a prize... the prize? A small plastic anti-rain garment so that you can be protected when your elephant isn't just feeling low sound frequencies. You must compete multiple times to complete the set of clothes.
Kozi4361, Jul 03 2005

       Back to those aliens - what are we going to tell them with their long-latency telescopes?
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 03 2005

       "Help! Our planet is run by stupid people!"
wagster, Jul 03 2005

       //What if I'm standing behind her when the sonic boom arrives?// Well, in that case, it is highly unlikely that you would be in a fit state to be allowed on the Kirimaticentrifugomobile anway, so I'm afraid that passes beyond the remit of KiriCorp and becomes, frankly, a matter between you and your pachyderm.

//This is where the reality TV show "Can you catch the Kiritimati" comes in!// KiriCorp's lawyers will be in touch shortly, Mr4361. Either you are as smart as the KiriCorp promotional team, or you have had unauthorized access to corporate information.

//Back to those aliens - what are we going to tell them?//Well, we will start by broadcasting KiriCorp's standard disclaimer. Given the inevitable time delay due to the speed of light, plus the slow rate of transmission, plus the considerable length of the document itself, that ought to give us about 20 years to plan our next move.
Basepair, Jul 03 2005

       ...or perhaps we could simply transmit "Ceci n'est pas un Kirimaticentrifugomobile." ?

Did you have something else in mind?
Basepair, Jul 03 2005

       "Bring back bread"?   

       Aliens stole our bread?
Basepair, Jul 04 2005

       Hey, man, that was our money! Frickin' aliens! Now how we gonna build the Kirimaticentrifugowhatzit, man?
baconbrain, Jul 04 2005

       *shhh* Let us not alarm the investors. We can actually crem the necessary funds from Island ScrewUp, inc., a sister-company which has been developed exclusively to promote the concept of screwing low-lying islands upwards out the the crust to protect them against rising sea-levels. It'll all work out in the end.
Basepair, Jul 04 2005

       //KiriCorp's lawyers will be in touch shortly, Mr4361. Either you are as smart as the KiriCorp promotional team, or you have had unauthorized access to corporate information.// "Can you catch the Kiritimati" Has three K sounds. Therefore it is superior to anything your promotional team in advertising's dungeon of moral decay can come up with. It also has alliteration.
Kozi4361, Jul 04 2005

       I think you'll find that "having three K- sounds" and "alliteration" are pretty much one and the same thing. (Our corporate dungeon of moral decay has an extensive library of language reference books.)
Basepair, Jul 04 2005

       3k's is pretty worrying.
po, Jul 04 2005

       "Did you have something else in mind?"   

       Invest your galactic mega-dollars here.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 04 2005

       [po] I know - I was giving him/her the naive benefit of the doubt (cute cuddly koalas have three k sounds as well).

Denholm - aliens have a very bad reputation on the investment front. This is primarily because it is very very difficult to tell a counterfeit galactic mega-dollar from a real one, and they know this.
Basepair, Jul 04 2005

       I suppose four k sounds would be better, then? I wasn't thinking along those lines hehe. Can you Catch the Kiritimati Contest!

Oh, and real Glactic Mega Dollars have the Orion constellation formed in electrons hidden within the polysynthetic fibers.
Kozi4361, Jul 04 2005

       //real Glactic Mega Dollars have the Orion constellation formed in electrons hidden within the polysynthetic fibers./ /

Yes, you know that, and I know that. But try convincing your local branch of NatWest of that.
Basepair, Jul 04 2005

       Yes [po], 3k’s is pretty worrying, but six years ago 1k less had everybody really anxious. I heard them all going around mumbling, “Why 2k, why 2k?”
FarmerJohn, Jul 04 2005

       I am shamelessly bunning this idea in recognition of the outstanding standard of the annotations.
Basepair, Jul 04 2005

       "...shamelessly bunning this idea..."   

       Nooooo...that's insider trading. Instant 10 years.
DenholmRicshaw, Jul 04 2005

       We need more (k)s for the investment procurement division. I think 401(k)'s should do it.
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 11 2007

       If only this outstanding standard was standard around here.
wagster, Jan 11 2007

       like a flag?
po, Jan 11 2007

       I'm surprised nobody thought of the foucalt's pendulum effect. If we synchronize this thing to some multiple of 24 hours per rotation, and spin counter to the Earth's rotation, we can save a bit on electricity bills.   

       We may also be able to take advantage of tidal effects. Maybe arrange it so it rides the rising tides "downhill" as the height of the ocean changes between East and West.
5th Earth, Jan 11 2007

       Funny that fishing was mentioned. It's the first thing I thought of (and the first time I've seen this idea). If one could walk out on top of it aways somewhat close to the island, one could cast a line in the water and troll all day long. A makeshift hut, some coconut rum, a radio and a cooker for the catch would make a superb vacation.   

       Like this idea. Superb. [+]
nth, Jan 12 2007

       Wow - that was a trip down memory lane. Some of those posters are no longer around. It would be interesting to reengineer this idea and see how the two resemble each other.
normzone, Jun 23 2007

       Ditto, but this is a true great halfB idea. Wacky, impossible, but scientifically backed up, hilarious and clever.
Germanicus, Jun 23 2007

       Misread the speed as 25km/sec... which is worryingly close to escape velocity.
david_scothern, Jun 23 2007

       //Misread the speed as 25km/sec... which is worryingly close to escape velocity.//   

       Escape velocity on Earth is about 11km/sec, unless you are starting in Milton Keynes. I wonder if the N-Prize teams know of this....   

       And nice illustration, hob.   

       Jutta - a question: the drawings are hosted on the HB? How does one (ie, me) illustrate ideas?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 17 2009

       It's explained in the help file. Basically, the halfbakery does not support author-controlled image uploads as self expression (which is what people generally ask for). Instead, some people have managed to convince me that they know what they're doing, and get to doodle all over everybody's stuff. I do want more of those, but I've been also dragging my feet on vetting.
jutta, May 17 2009

       based on .001 rpm and 8000km diameter, thats a circumference of 25,000 km. 1000 minutes it would take for 1 revolution so thats about 16 hours. 25000/16=1570km/hr or about 1000mph!!! if it traveled at a slower pace of say 50mph or about 80km/hr for embarking reasons that would mean a cross trip from say LA to tokyo of about 156 hours or 6.5 days, slightly slower than a nonstop flight there,lol. Mind you even at 1000mph the g force is a mere 0.021632 m/s² so the centripetal force is almost negligible.
Arcanus, Jan 27 2010

       Excellent - just enough hint of centripugal force to be interesting. Large aquaria could be placed in each hull, with fine markings to illustrate the lateral force.   

       The arms, if wide enough and enclosed, could be used for playing bowls - the combination of centrifetal and Coriolis force might be just enough to be make the game interesting.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 27 2010

       I don't know if I'd ever read this idea before, somehow, though I'd seen the title for sure. I like it.   

       // Kiritimati is a small island currently located bang in the middle of the Pacific //   

       It's also pronounced like "Christmas", not the silly pronunciation its name looks suggests to English speakers. It's actually a transliteration of Christmas.
notexactly, Mar 07 2019

       //It's also pronounced like "Christmas"// This, I suppose, is what happens when you let natives loose with the English language.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 07 2019

       MB ... is this you?
DenholmRicshaw, Feb 07 2020

       [Denholm], this idea is clearly from the brain of a madman, or perhaps a tortured genius. So, yup.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2020

       I'm happy ... you should be too ... eternal {+}
DenholmRicshaw, Feb 07 2020


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