Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Spiderweb Hammock Library

Spidergoat silk might be the best material, but is not essential to the idea.
  [vote for,

Choose a good book, and order a refreshing drink from the bar, then head up to the library's unique roof terrace. Here you will find a giant web constructed at an angle of about 30 degrees. From the web, a large number of silk hammocks hang swaying like cocoons in the cool breeze.

Place your book into the satchel provided and climb into the web in search of a free hammock. The web, made from tightly strung ropes, is sturdy enough not to bounce as you clamber over it, leaving the hammocks free from disturbance. Upon finding one, lower yourself in and settle down to a good read in the sunshine.

Funambulist barmaids will bring you your drink which can be placed into the hammock's drinks pouch by your elbow. A circus net below will catch any clumsy academics, or barmaids carrying one too many beverages on their trays.

theleopard, Feb 10 2008

Possible design plan http://i35.tinypic.com/2hgs0sk.jpg
Plan view of one of the web's polygons containing a hammock. Now with added collapsible roller blind rail to shield you from the blazing sun when it's too hot. Also shows how navigation over the web would be made easy by non-hammocked web polygons being filled with a cross-hatched string net. [theleopard, Feb 11 2008, last modified Oct 02 2009]

(Early) Artist's [sic] impression <poor> http://i38.tinypic.com/fn8t1d.jpg
This is almost exactly what it would be like whilst disregarding silly things like scale, realism, detail, physics and quality. [theleopard, Feb 28 2008, last modified Oct 02 2009]


       //sturdy enough not to bounce as you clamber over it// and what happens if it bounces... does a giant spider come out? Croissant waiting to feed the hungry spider if you confirm its presence.
xenzag, Feb 10 2008

       It's actually a BYOS establishment. I hope that's ok?
theleopard, Feb 10 2008

       //The web, made from tightly strung ropes, is sturdy enough not to bounce as you clamber over it, // This is going to be very tricky if the web is essentially planar.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 10 2008

       Spiders and librarians share many traits; patience, incredible diligence, and a compulsively tidy nature. Maybe giant spiders //OF THE FUTURE// could be trained to fetch discarded books bundle them up and deposit them for a food reward.
WcW, Feb 11 2008

       you had me at sturdy ...as a tubby library goer, i'd be very embarrassed if your spiderweb started rocking violently every time i go looking for a sweet spot where i can read...i wouldn't want to be pelted with a hardbound 700+ page book...   

       ...have a hot tropical bun to go with all the drinks with little umbrellas you're serving...
pyggy potamus, Feb 11 2008

       Even the most tightly strung steel cable would bounce a little bit when you climb around on it. What you want is more of a rigid lattice framework. (It's not going to move anyways like you said).
DanDaMan, Feb 11 2008

       Could it carry a current perhaps so that everyone could plug into the... web? And everyone would be in a Faraday cage to prevent electrocution.   

       This is a beautiful thing.
kerryoco, Feb 11 2008

       [kerryoco], the executive version comes fully plumbed with electricity, water and pimms on tap above each hammock.   

       [Maxwell], upon further structural testing, it might be necessary to pull the web down at its centre to create a kind of a shallow obtuse-angled cone shape. Would this resolve the bouncey issue? I'd like to avoid the lattice idea if at all possible, if only for texture's sake.   

       I love this idea. The only problem I can foresee is pesky shadows being cast by the web above blocking your sunshine. 2 possible remedies: The first is to form the ropes out of a near transparent material (which would nestle snuggly into the spider motif), but I don't know if such a material exists with the necessary strength; the second is to hang the hammocks in cross sections of the web, so that rather than hanging below the web, they are suspended amidst it.
theleopard, Feb 11 2008

       //The only problem//   

       Other than rain, snow, sleet, hail, lightning, midges (not to be confused with midgets) and bird/bat droppings.   

       I imagine bats especially would be attracted to such a structure...although possibly the aforementioned giant spiders of the future could be trained to control the bat population?   

       An intriguing idea, although with the weather in the UK being what it is you might be forced to house it in some godforsaken hell-hole like Centre Parks and even the promise of scantily clad (surely?) trapeze barmaids can't tempt me into a return to that satanic boil on the arse of fair Brittania...not since...the incident.   

       Nevertheless I award you with this BUN, good sir, for promoting the virtues of reading (and alcohol). Don't eat it all at once.
captain jack, Feb 11 2008

       By that reasoning Brits have no use for parks, beaches, sports grounds, beer gardens, balconies, roof terraces, open-air concerts, golf courses and a myriad of other outdoor arenas. I do submit that bird droppings may pose a problem, but not one that wouldn't be easily solved, perhaps with a resident falcon or two.   

       But yes, the trapeze barmaids would probably be wearing those Arabian belly-dance type outfits and are all called Shirley.   

       I daren't ask what happened... that terrible day.
theleopard, Feb 11 2008

       <EDIT> Nobody wants drinks delivered via trapeze, that's sheer idiocy, and nigh on impossible. I meant tightrope walking barmaids. (Or "funambulism" as it is apparently also known.)</EDIT>
theleopard, Feb 11 2008

       BYOS - that's a start, but still needs a resident spider +
xenzag, Feb 11 2008

       In order to shamelessly please, I was thinking of mounting those hydraulic steady-cam arms on to the barmaids to keep the trays steady as they bring you your pimms. Two trays, and you've got six limbs - only need two more for the barmaids to be dressed up like a spider anyway...
theleopard, Feb 11 2008

       //[Maxwell], upon further structural testing...// The basic problem is that you can't provide stability at right- angles to a plane with only in-plane tension members. Your central rope will limit upward oscillations, but not downward ones. Ideally, you want a rope running through the centre in both directions, thereby fixing the centre- point fairly rigidly. However, you've then just reduced the trampoline to a series of "part trampolines" radially arranged around the central rope. These will oscillate too, though to a lesser degree.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 11 2008

       Could be accomplished with a circle of perhaps 8 steel cables above and 8 below attached to the web at about half the web's radius, or preferably closer to the perimeter for the sake of aesthetics. Is it possible to have these cables at tight angles rather than perpendicular to the web, again in an attempt to retain the aesthetics of the structure?   

       [xenzag], barmaids suspended from a crane above lowered down like a spider on a thread? Is your boat afloat?
theleopard, Feb 12 2008

       I like it (+). Eliminate the bounce and keep the esthetic by doing a standard bicycle wheel web out of Spectra (I think this will catch the light well, though I don't know how it fairs in UV), then hang modified hammocks from a second "web" that is 4" behind the first. The second web is just taught bicycle spokes of Spectra supporting hammock like coccoons made up of central hammocks and a rotatable outer translucent shell that the hammock attaches to which is shaped like half a pill. Stiff enough to fix the length of the hammock and rotatable to allow sun shading. When the shell is rotated completely over, the hammock should look coccooned.
MisterQED, Feb 12 2008

       // barmaids suspended from a crane above lowered down like a spider on a thread?// - wearing hungry spider costumes ? (to earn some jam on the earlier croissant)
xenzag, Feb 12 2008

       //wearing hungry spider costumes //   

       Nice. But, to be fair, I'd rather keep this firmly crowbarred away from the realm of the absurd. <awaits a good half- pelting>   

       It's actually a semi-serious idea: A massive public structure for hammocks (first and foremost) in the form of a large spider's web. The physics vex me however, as I would actually like to think I could make this, perhaps in a perfect (alternate) world. Greater minds than mine could figure it out: [marked- for-engineering]!   

       I suppose I can get started on training the funambulists...
Wait a minute...


       No, wait!   

       Spider monkeys!
theleopard, Feb 12 2008

       //It's actually a semi-serious idea//   

       Thread killer.
theleopard, Feb 14 2008


       thread reviver!   

       I think it could easily work, but I'd recommend using rigid bar instead of a tensioned flexible cable web. Anything you have spanning a distance will bend. there's no avoiding it, but with rigid bars, the bending will be less prominent and will vary less with the load. It will vary as the load (read: barwench) scurries across it, but it wont be nearly as noticeable.   

       As for as the math's go, thats a hell of a statics problem you've got there, which I am unwilling to undertake. What sort of scale are you talking about? 10's of feet? Hundreds? I think it's definitely doable on a 10s of feet scale, hundreds would be pushing it, but with strategically placed posts I think it could be done.
bleh, Mar 15 2008

       <apologies for bump but...>   

       Was thinking about this idea and its structural problems and realised: there was no problem. I want a solid structure that doesn't bend too much, but I want it to feel like it's made of woven materials, like ropes and silks. These are not mutually exclusive criteria: have the rigid metal framework covered with a faux rope covering - very little bounce and the illusion of the rope climbing frame.   

       [Maxwell] you know you're stuff. If I wanted to accommodate, say, 100 people on to the web, would the metal frame support them adequately?   

theleopard, May 22 2008

       [+] definitely _the_ bookie's library.
FlyingToaster, Jul 23 2012

       Gold star idea.
Phrontistery, Jul 23 2012

       Always nice to see one of your old ideas get bumped. Cheers [Toaster]!
theleopard, Jul 24 2012


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