Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pool Observation Bubble

Chill and watch the divers...
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
(+17, -1)
  [vote for,

Build a pool with a sort of observation bubble. It would consist of a clear plastic or glass dome placed in the deep end. Some sort of steady bubbling oxygen source would be rigged underneath it in a way that would provide a constant bubble of breathable air trapped underneath the dome. Swimmers could then dive down to the bubble, swim under it, and sit or stand with a panoramic underwater view of the pool.
npinn, Oct 02 2006

(?) NOAA dive table http://www.ndc.noaa...ecoAirDiveTable.pdf
[Shz, Oct 03 2006]

(?) History of the diving bell http://library.thin....org/28170/221.html
Alexander's was glass [ldischler, Nov 17 2006]

Gateway Swimming pool with bubble http://www.houstona...owtopic=16061&st=20
A link to a discussion thread of a famous Houston swimming pool that featured 18 feet of depth and an underwater breathing bubble as described in this half-baked idea. Also there is discussion of the bubble there. [TheLarryBrown, Jul 31 2009]


       Why is this a non-invention (category). It's just as much as an invention as many other ideas here. However, if you don't remove the first eight words you may find yourself in some deep water (pun intended) with zealous 'bakers.   

       Aside from that, I expect that some kind of pressure problem would cause the viewers' heads to explode, or something similar, but never mind.
dbmag9, Oct 02 2006

       I happened to catch an airing of the movie "Domino" over the weekend wherein one of the Mafia crimelords (Stanley Kamel as Anthony Cigliutti) utilized an underwater clear acrylic bubble in his home pool in which to conduct all of his sensitive phone conversations. By using a waterproof cordless phone inside this bubble he was apparently able to thwart all the electronic eavesdropping equipment that the FBI had trained on him. While the purpose of [npinn]'s bubble is obviously different, the end product sounds very similar.
jurist, Oct 02 2006

       Well yes, it's a diving bell built into a swimming pool. I like the idea. I can't see it catching on due to safety concerns but that doesn't stop me liking it. [+]
st3f, Oct 02 2006

       I don't forsee a lot of risks involved in using this idea. Most home pools are less than 8 feet deep, and unless the users are in a drysuit, their entire body will probably get all wrinkly before they get enough nitrogen compressed into their veins to cause the bends when they come up. Perhaps some real divers can examine the problem, and compute a solution to determine what the risk is.
ye_river_xiv, Oct 03 2006

       No risk of decompression sickness. [st3f] is likely thinking of other safety concerns, such as an accidental face-plant on the not-so-visible bell, someone drowning unnoticed because they're not necessarily expected to surface, et cetera, or at least those would be my concerns. But what better place for a lifeguard than inside the bubble?
Shz, Oct 03 2006

       For safety concerns, I dont think parents or lifeguards would like the idea of swimmers routinely going under and not coming up, regardless of how they were staying under. [-]
MoreCowbell, Oct 03 2006

       I wouldn't have thought you'd be risking any problems with dissolved nitrogen surfacing from a couple of metres. I would, as a caution, avoid flying, climbing a mountain or other low pressure activities for a day afterwards, though.   

       I'd be concerned about the breathability of the air. Since you've got a small quantity of air that is being 'topped up' rather than changed, you may get a build up of toxic gases as well as lowered oxygen. I'd recommend purging the bubble freqently and refilling it from empty.   

       Lastly there's the diving ontop of it/swimming into it and lifeguard issues. If this were a private pool, I'm sure that these could be addressed by good pool design and buddying up as per diving -- you only use the bubble when you're swimming with someone else who watches you (and you watch them). That way if you hit your head they can drag you out/raise the alarm.
st3f, Oct 03 2006

       Very cool.[+]
hidden truths, Oct 03 2006

       For the curious I've linked a (conservative) dive table. It lists all depths up to 20' (6.1m) as unlimited, meaning no decompression required regardless of how long you stay at that depth. It is common practice when sport diving to ascend slowly to 15' and stay there for 5 minutes before surfacing, as a safety precaution, in case you pushed the limits a bit while you were deep. In fact, the longer you stay at 15' the better (on the way up). For practical purposes, you are decompressed if you never went below 20'.
Shz, Oct 03 2006

       [marked-for-deletion] widely known to exist. Even Alexander the Great had one.
ldischler, Nov 17 2006

       I disagree with the mfd - this is for a permanent fixture in a pool, perhaps for social use; not for the predecessors of the (single person, portable) diving bell.
jutta, Nov 26 2006

       This would be a safety nightmare for a public pool, plus you would probably get all the pervos in it watching patrons tread water.   

       I don't think it would be all that helpful for a lifeguard due to its lack of mobility. Leisure pools frequently have a lot of nooks and curves in them, and this device would not allow you to see around walls, nor would it be much help in a crowded environment. In addition, outdoor pools have cloudy water due to sunscreen.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 27 2006

       Wow this is a strange web site. I was so blown away to see so many articles posted.   

       I can tell you first hand that this "observation bubble" idea is awesome and works fine. We had one in Houston exactly like this. The pool was a privately owned "for profit" pool called "Gateway" that operated from sometime in the 50s to sometime around 1980.   

       The deep end was 18 feet deep and had exactly the invention described here. We called it "The Bubble." The bubble was anchored to the bottom of the pool and naturally floated since it was full of air. There was a hole in the bottom of the pool and air continually bubbled up from the hole and was captured underneath the bubble. You could swim down there and pop your head into it and breath with no problem. Three or more heads could fit into it and it was really really fun. The constant bubbling kept the air fresh. I even heard older boys talk of smoking in there. It was really, really fun.   

       It does seem to me to be dangerous, but it operated for 20+ years and I never heard of a problem. I myself spent many hours in it over various years and I'm still here!   

       Some construction complications: Obviously the hole in the pool lead to an air compressor. That air compressor must have had to generate a certain pressure and volume in order to overcome the water pressure and force the air all that way down and out. One simplification: Assuming the hose maintains its integrity, the pool will not tend to drain thru the hole if the other end of the hose stays above the level of the surface of the water. When the generator is turned off, the water would run into the hose as high as the same level as the surface, but no higher than that.   

       The other complication is that the hole in the bottom and its fitment to the hose must have to be very sturdy not to leak. Otherwise water would leak out under the concrete lining of the pool and you'd have a problem. No maintenance would ever be possible, so it would really have to be well constructed and designed to begin with. I guess it's the same as the regular drain hole at the bottom of any pool. I don't know how they work.   

       Another issue is that the bubble will pull hard on its mounts on the bottom of the pool. The larger the bubble and the deeper the water the more it will pull. I've tried to hold a container of air down before and it really pulls. So the mounts must have to be really sturdy as well.   

       It's a fantastic gizmo, but I've never seen or heard of any other one other than this single one.   

       As the decades wore on political pressure mounted on the private owner to open the pool to minorities and he made good on his threat to close the pool and fill it in with dirt rather than ever allowing any non-white to swim in the pool. Sad. See my link to a thread containing an artist's rendering and you can find more discussion of the bubble.
TheLarryBrown, Jul 31 2009

       Talking about something large enough for a few people to sit in, you wouldn't need a hose in the bubble, you can "bubble up" air from anywhere underneath it. A finely tuned pressure relief valve on top could bubble "used" air up to the surface.   

       Re: your last paragraph... that's a bit odd: I don't think white kids are going to pee in the pool any less than non-white kids.
FlyingToaster, Jul 31 2009


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