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The London Ear

The next logical step.
  [vote for,

The "London Eye" is a large ferris wheel on the South bank of the River Thames, next to Westminster bridge.


It raises passengers high into the air so that they can observe the activity of the teeming hordes of humans (one or two of whom may even be English) below.

The logical continuation of this idea is the erection of the London Ear. This would be a gigantic but correctly-proportioned human ear, 420 metres high*, constructed of durable cladding on a steel frame, rotatable on a turntable base, and concealing a huge "sound mirror" equipped with the very latest in high-gain microphones, amplifiers, sound processors and recording equipment. Visitors to the Listening Room, if they have a "lucky" ticket number, get to sit at the control console and, wearing headphones, steer the dish around to snoop on conversations.

The array also contains radio antennae and suitable decoding equipment to allow other listeners to earwig on mobile phones and walkie-talkies.

The Ear would be mounted on top of the MI5 building, and would be jointly sponsored by the Ministry of (In)Justice, the Metropolitan Police, GCHQ and the NSA.

For the usual reasons, the bugetary spend will not be revealed, government agencies will consistently refuse to either confirm or deny its existance, and it will not be shown, mentioned or described in any official publications.

*Based on the relative proportions of the London Eye and a typical human eye**, the Ear needs to be that big to be on the same scale.

**Does anyone have any useful tips or tricks for re-installing a typical human eye after it's been measured ? They're horribly fiddly things, aren't they ?

8th of 7, May 21 2016

London Eye https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Eye
An observation device and tourist attraction. [8th of 7, May 21 2016]

A Big Ear in Australia https://encrypted-t...i3FUyseSll2q2_ZLLAQ
The Parkes telescope is out in the boonies because its operators don't want to pick up human conversations. But for organizations that do want to do that, one could easily be built in London. [Vernon, May 21 2016]

Big Nose http://www.amazon.c...thony/dp/0722111770
This science fiction novel called a new (fictional) scientific instrument "the Big Nose". A telescope like Mt. Palomar was a Big Eye, of course. [Vernon, May 21 2016]

But New York had it first. https://www.rockefe...gset-van-goghs-ear/
[dentworth, May 21 2016]

Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory https://icecube.wisc.edu/
As mentioned in an annotation. [Vernon, May 21 2016]

for Vernon. http://glennclarkson.com/jodrell.php
[Loris, May 23 2016]


       A radio telescope is often called a "Big Ear". Since we all know that MI5, MI6, Scotland Yard, and who-knows what other govt agency wants to snoop on a lot of radio transmissions, it would only be logical for a large radio telescope to be perched on top of some sort of jointly owned and operated facility. If built tough enough, folks could walk all over it while it rotates and swivels. See 2nd link.
Vernon, May 21 2016

       The "London Nose" ? Yes, good idea, that would probably be a runner ...
8th of 7, May 21 2016

       was looking for pictures of the many listening apparatus on top of the Soviet embassy from back in the day. I imagine they have dusted them off and are back in the hearing biz. or never stopped. idonno
dentworth, May 21 2016

       Can The Ass be far behind?
blissmiss, May 21 2016

       While we're about it, surely an anatomical branding opportunity was missed when they built the Gherkin?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2016

       It is possible that a neutrino telescope could be called a Big Nose, since it detects actual particles, like a real nose does (not detecting wavicles like eyes and waves like ears). They can certainly be big --one in Antarctica occupies a cubic kilometer. See link. If an Ice Cube neutrino detector was built in London, it would certainly melt (be a runny Big Nose).
Vernon, May 21 2016

       // an anatomical branding opportunity //   

       The idea of applying red-hot bits of metal to sensitive portions of the anatomy is unpleasant and deeply disturbing.   

       You've been spending far too much time* with your siblings lately.   

       *i.e. any time at all.
8th of 7, May 21 2016

       Sturton has been in Taipei for the last eight weeks researching for his book on erotic topiary. The intercalary has recently adopted a young tapir and has been spending all his time looking after it. In short, we have not sibbled for a very long time.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 21 2016

       Ian, I see an ass, an eye, and an ear, all in your future. All in your future, young man. All in due time, my pretty.
blissmiss, May 21 2016

       //...so that they can observe the activity of the teeming hordes of humans (one or two of whom may even be English) below.//   

       You know what? I think the borg's jealous of our capacity for assimilation.   

       //**Does anyone have any useful tips or tricks for re-installing a typical human eye after it's been measured ? They're horribly fiddly things, aren't they ?//   

       Don't you usually just substitute whatever metal implement you happen to have to hand?   

You call that an ear?
Now that's an ear. (link)
Loris, May 23 2016

       // borg //   

       Sp. "Borg"   

       // jealous of our capacity for assimilation //   

       Just the opposite - we are selective, we don't take just any Tom, Dieter or Hari ...   

       // whatever metal implement you happen to have to hand //   

       We said we'd put it back how it was. Or at least, try to. The owner was quite insistent.
8th of 7, May 23 2016

       In case of complaint, just throw in a free laser pointer.
Loris, May 23 2016

       [Loris], I picked the Australian ear because of the building, which would fit in London a bit more easily than various other ears, like the biggest of all on Earth, Arecibo in Puerto Rico.
Vernon, May 23 2016

       Vernon, I'm abusing a quote from the film "Crocodile Dundee". Some nutter threatens the (Australian) protagonist with a knife... "You call that a knife?" he says, and he pulls out a much bigger knife. "Now /thats/ a knife."
Loris, May 23 2016

       // Can The Ass be far behind?   

       No, but it would be called the London Derrière
Cuit_au_Four, May 26 2016

       <cymbal sting>
8th of 7, May 26 2016


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