Public: Engineering
Global Corset Initiative   (+5, -3)  [vote for, against]
reduce unsightly equatorial bulge

The natural spin of the earth flattens a potentially near-perfect sphere into an unsightly oblate spheroid. Aside from the grotesque appearance this presents, the twisting of gravitational forces induces friction within the planet itself generating heat and causing seismic disturbances. A wider Earth also makes a longer day, as the rotational speed must lessen in order to maintain angular momentum.

Certain obvious solutions (such as simply stopping the Earth’s rotation) have consequences equally as bad as equatorial bulge and therefore do not merit consideration, as replacing one problem with another is no real solution.

To enhance the Earth’s appearance in the Solar System, eliminate the dangerous forces generated by gravitational friction within a solid body and shorten the day – which would among other things move happy hour forward – I propose the Global Corset Initiative.

The GCI would consist of an equatorial corset (or girdle if you prefer) tightly cinched around the Earth’s expanded waistline. Much research and development is necessary before such a project can be started, in areas ranging from materials science to planetary engineering. Carbon nanotube technology holds some promise as a material for a Global Corset, but a serious problem arises when one considers how to “lace up” such a girdle.

Typically, the wearer of a girdle exhales deeply and sucks in their stomach as the girdle is being laced up. In order to avoid the tremendous forces required to “lace up” a girdle around the Earth, it would be necessary to temporarily stop the Earth’s rotation, returning the oblate spheroid to its ideal spherical shape. Once the girdle was firmly in place, the Earth could be restored to its normal rotational speed, which would be somewhat faster due to conservation of angular momentum.
-- nuclear hobo, Jul 19 2007

Equatorial Bulge
[nuclear hobo, Jul 19 2007]

This idea had to have come from my login name. Admit it.

I didn't do this, I promise. Just seemed like a serendipitous way to re-introduce myself. Sorry to have been lurking a while. It's an impressive testament to the wonderfulness of the community that a login name stays around a while when the user has been gone, even for several years.

So what's new around here?

(lousy idea, by the way...)
-- globaltourniquet, Jul 19 2007

<rubs eyes> [globaltourniquet]? wow.
-- po, Jul 20 2007

//(lousy idea, by the way...)//


//er, so thats an mfd - lets all!//

-- nuclear hobo, Jul 20 2007

This'll never work, you'll cover too much of the earth surface.

I'd propose an internal structure instead. From anchor points located on the surface, drill through the mantle and core. Once there's a shaft, we'll attach each end of a cable to the anchor point via a turnbuckle.

We'll need multiple anchor points, of course. The benefit of a turnbuckle would be that as the earth shrinks/embiggens we'll be able to make minute adjustments as needed.
-- Noexit, Jul 20 2007

Stopping and restarting the earth's rotation seems like way too much work. Perhaps we could simply mount a giant chisel on the moon and use the earth's rotation as a lathe to shave off the extra stuff around the middle.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 20 2007

Seems had an idea years back that involved taking advantage of the moon and the earth's rotation to get something done (in my case, generate elctricity) - it was resoundly poo-poo'd, and rightly so. G_C, your idea doesn't really offer any resolution for the problems I was up against, not the leat of which was massive human collateral damage.
-- globaltourniquet, Jul 20 2007

We need to get to the heart of the matter: Global obesity. Block all the sinkholes, and with the earth no longer able to swallow things whole, it should slim down in no time.
-- ye_river_xiv, Jul 22 2007

Wouldn't the sinkholes just swallow whatever they were blocked with?
-- nuclear hobo, Jul 22 2007

random, halfbakery