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Tornado observation dome

Build domes and watch tornadoes from them
  [vote for,

Firmly attached to bedrock this heavy, anchored dome of bullet-proof glass would be the perfect add-on (or replacement for!) a tornado shelter. Watch nature's power and majesty from the safety, comfort, and convenience of this luxurious room.
Voice, Jun 07 2011

Dillocam Dillocam_20III
[Klaatu, Mar 05 2013]

and more http://imgur.com/LwrQ5
[bs0u0155, Mar 05 2013]

2x4 cannon http://www.youtube....watch?v=_8hs1e1ET4M
[bs0u0155, Mar 06 2013]



8th of 7, Jun 07 2011

       // dome of bullet-proof glass // Still think I'd rather face bullets than 300MPH 4x4s. I'll still go with a buried shelter with a periscope.
MisterQED, Jun 07 2011

       [+] I got to watch one form overhead once.   

       You'd like it, but I think that domes might keep them away. You never hear about tornados in the hills.   

       This is a great idea, assuming that you can predict the timing and paths of tornadoes accurately enough to place your permanent and, er, extremely expensive structures in locations that will ensure your customers a great show. Given that there are a great number of scientists working very hard on the whole tornado-prediction conundrum and not making a great deal of progress, I would say good effort and reccomend a return to start on this one.
Alterother, Jun 08 2011

       The odds are very small that you would ever have a direct hit by a tornado. Oklahoma has had 2,379 tornadoes between 1950 and 1995. With 69,957 square miles of land, the odds of being hit by a tornado is 1 in every 29.41 square miles (assuming random distribution). Although the odds are slim, if enough people had these, it would make for some awesome footage. [+]
Klaatu, Jun 08 2011

       //between 1950 and 1995.//   

       //the odds of being hit by a tornado is 1 in every 29.41 square miles//   

       The odds of one spot being hit by a tornado once in a _45- year span_ are 1 in every 29.41 sq. miles. Better stock up on Ramen.
Alterother, Jun 08 2011

       //odds of being hit by a tornado is 1 in every 29.41 square miles// You mean there was an average of 1 tornado per 29.41 square miles over that period. The odds of being hit by a tornado is a unitless number between 0 and infinity, and depends on many things, including your definition of //hit//.
spidermother, Jun 08 2011

       The calculation of odds neglects the simple fact that tornados move about.   

       You need to factor in:   

       - the "lifetime" of the tornado.   

       - the distance travelled.   

       - the width of the funnel in contact with the ground.
8th of 7, Jun 08 2011

       With as much dust and debris as are stirred up, it's unlikely that you would see much (with the exception of perhaps the occasional flying cow) besides a grayish-brownish fast-moving haze.
RayfordSteele, Jun 08 2011

       //The odds of being hit by a tornado is a unitless number between 0 and infinity, and depends on many things, including your definition of //hit//.//   

       The odds also alter based on the distance and quantity of mobile homes in your area, because as is generally agreed, God hates Mobile Homes.
MisterQED, Jun 08 2011

       Isn't this baked in the form of all those storm chasing vehicles that drive into tornados? if the vehicle has a downforce skirt, no air gets underneath and the air pressure pushes the car into the ground, preventing it from being blown away.   

       Also monolithic homes can and have been built to withstand hurricanes, mind you they aren't all glass, but they are the only houses that can withstand a category 5
metarinka, Jun 09 2011

       [+] Nice tourist attraction in Tornado Alley!
xandram, Jun 09 2011

       Just in case the tornados fail to appear, you could make the dome double-walled, with a big inlet near the base and an outlet at the top. Simply connect a fire hose to the inlet, add a few toy farm animals and vehicles, and nobody will know the difference.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 05 2013

       you can drastically increase the odds that your armored Torna-dome is struck by a twister. Simply construct a large trailer park around the structure and the natural affinity of tornados for flimsy housing should ensure you'll wait no more than 3-4 days. In the mean time, figure out what type of glass is resistant to concrete-piercing 2x4s. <link>
bs0u0155, Mar 05 2013

       Not wishing to appear skeptical, but I'm skeptical. The linked images don't show any 2x4's penetrating concrete. Not to say it can't happen, but...
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 05 2013

       image 53 in the first link, also see 2nd link.
bs0u0155, Mar 05 2013

       Image 53 in the first link shows timber piercing a display facing - if you look at full size, you can see that it's skimmed polyurethane foam (a patch of the skim has come off). I could put my fist through that.   

       The image in the second link, I cannot explain. However, based on the size of the curb, it looks as if a two or three inch piece of wood has punched a hole through a six-inch-square concrete curb. I say 'looks as if' because that is not what has happened. First, nothing is going to punch a 2- inch hole through a 6-inch unreinforced concrete beam whilst only just cracking it. The concrete beam will be shattered. Moreover, the force needed to do so would, I imagine, tend to fold the curbstone in half, or at least shift it a little, neither of which has happened here.   

       Truthfully, what laws of physics do you believe to be at work here? Do you believe that, if I dropped the curbstone from a ten storey building onto an upended spike of wood (giving the same relative velocities), the wood would pierce the curbstone?   

       Either that second photo has been deliberately set up or (unlikely, but much more likely than the necessary physics to do this for real) the wood has slammed its way through a drainage hole in the curb, wedging the hole apart and cracking the top of the curb.   

       Telegraph pole hits a concrete wall at 150mph (about top speed for a tornado wind), it's probably going to punch through it. 2x4 (or a 2x2 javelin as per second photo) hits a concrete curbstone at 150mph, and the curbstone will not be the one to break.   

       This is just one of the reasons that bunker-busters are not made of pine.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 05 2013

       [Max] - I'll second your comments with one addition. I see no reason that curb held together as it did what with that crack pattern - unless it is reinforced.   

       If that were a reinforced curb (it's not unusual to cast a single or two strands of rio through curbing so it holds together when dickheads run into it) - then I'd say the mystery wood passed through a drainage hole, widening it causing hoop stresses that match the cracks we can see but the steel reinforcing is still intact. Anyhoo, that's what it looks like to me.   

       No way timber busts through a curb like that otherwise at non relativistic speeds. Not staying together like that, not unless there was already a hole.   

       That said, I've seen some shit what with living my entire life up in the cyclone zone in Queensland, Australia, firsthand and through photos. I have seen bits of one tree sticking out of another tree, having penetrated like an arrow, same goes for bits of wood sticking out of telephone/power poles. I've seen where a piece of roofing iron has passed in/out of another roof, cutting through like wire through cheese leaving a scary neat cut. I've seen railway rails tied up like pretzels.   

       I'm just saying that out of a million bits of shit picked up by a storm, of the small fraction that gets up to near the same speed of the wind, and the small fraction of that which makes impact whilst at high speed, there will be a small fraction of those that hit "end-on" with the worst case penetrative capability. That's why mobs like the cyclone building research facility at my old university launch bits of 2X4 at brick walls out of air cannons to see what happens. 'Cause every now and then, it does. It's also why, even when the codes don't call for it, you core fill all external walls on block houses up here. And if you're like my mate, you double brick one room in the house with a sub-ceiling as a shit hits the fan room.
Custardguts, Mar 05 2013

       well, here's your answer <link>. It appears concrete's more than a match for standard 2x4. However, whatever passes for standard construction here is doomed, and even brick and mortar gets you little protection.
bs0u0155, Mar 06 2013

       what would happen if they fired a tube full of custard at a concrete wall?
bs0u0155, Mar 06 2013


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