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Pangeae or something like it!!!

04/28/2006 8:24 AM

O.K. First of all, do not laugh. What are the challanges to building a continent? Not an island or an oil rig, but a continent, say roughly the size of Australia. The purpose of which would mainly be these items. One, to establish a large scale fishery. Two, to exploit the ocean for new forms of energy (much like wave generators, but different). Three, to operate a large scale capillary system in an effort to control global temps (I know that one is out there, but a man can dream can't he). Four, to build and maintain a pneumatic cargo shipping tube system. Fifth, can you think of a project more engrossing that could propel our economy into the 15% to 20% growth rate over the next 50 years. O.K. I know this is out there, however, I have been floating this idea around in my head for a couple of years now. Why should we continue to shoot one or two people into space every couple of months for billions of dollars per pound. When for the same funds we could conquer the last parts of earth. Would it be possable to cool the waters in front of a hurricane to weaken it. Would it be possible to move our growing populations to the sea when the ice caps melt, instead of moving them inland. There are a million questions and I cannot keep this to myself any longer. Can you imagine the size of the project? How about the size of the engineering team? I am not trying to kill NASA. Well, I welcome all critics and dreamers to respond. And if you happen to be sitting on 200 billion and have nothing to do with it? Well...

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#1

Well, where do I start?

04/28/2006 9:53 AM

One, to establish a large scale fishery. Why do we need a new continent for this? What does a new continent bring to the fisheries picture that the existing continents don't have?

Two, to exploit the ocean for new forms of energy (much like wave generators, but different). See "One." The new continent will have beaches and shoreline - just like the existing continents do. What does it add?

Three, to operate a large scale capillary system in an effort to control global temps Well, I'm not sure what this means, but if there's one thing I think we're all learning it's that we need to try to live in harmony with the ecosystem, not to build new artificial systems to attempt to control it.

Four, to build and maintain a pneumatic cargo shipping tube system From where to where? If it's "from Asia to North America," then just build one. What does a new continent add to the picture?

Fifth, can you think of a project more engrossing that could propel our economy into the 15% to 20% growth rate over the next 50 years Well, I don't think this would do it either.

Here's an interesting question - Where will all the land come from? There's a certain amount of land area now. You're proposing to add (for argument's sake) 1/7 th of this amount in new land area, probably less, but the decimal point is in the right place. Where do you propose to get the earth from? You're either tearing down mountain ranges - I can just imagine the climate consequences, or dredging up sea floor and making the oceans deeper - again this can't be good for the environment. So what's this new continent made out of? Maybe it's hollow. That could be kind of interesting...

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#2
In reply to #1

Re:Well, where do I start?

04/28/2006 10:28 AM

You could suspend the continent over the surface of the ocean using millions and millions of helium balloons. That would mean you wouldn't need much land at all. Or you could even make the continent out of garbage. It's just sitting in landfills...

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#3
In reply to #2

Re:Well, where do I start?

04/28/2006 2:28 PM

What's wrong with the continents we already have? This idea sounds like the old "right, we've messed up the Earth, so now let's colonise space" chestnut. Hmmm....

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Anonymous Poster
#4
In reply to #1

Re:Well, where do I start?

04/28/2006 11:21 PM

A controlled helium bomb loosed in the under ocean mantle would create the land..... if you wished. and no, I don't mean "Hydrogen bomb."

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Anonymous Poster
#5
In reply to #1

Re:Well, where do I start?

04/29/2006 1:46 AM

Build a million reinforced concrete barges (hollow) Put a few inches of dirt on the bottom (inside!)Get energy from sun and wind. Distill water and grow food. Enjoy!

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#6
In reply to #1

Re:Well, where do I start?

04/29/2006 6:04 AM

We have already done enough damage to mother earth , in the name of improving our lives .Actually we have now ended up living with many environmental time bombs ticking and they will wipe out not just us but all the other innocent life-forms who are not a party to this irresponsible act of the humans. Do you still want to do this ? just to fill your pockets ? and where will you spend it when there is no earth to live ? It's time that we think and act responsibly with all the sophisticated tools at our disposal and reverse the damage and learn to live in harmony with the rest of the living earth. Actions ,not just ideas.towards that is the need of the hour.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re:Well, where do I start?

04/30/2006 7:02 PM

Do you not get it? The point of the question was, what are the challenges. I think it would be a great project. One, it would float, i.e. anchored in place, or able to move north to south so that it could maintain a moderate climate. Two, engineers preaching about ecology, please. The point was to challange you, not to bring out your softer side. Do you not realize that we could continue our urban sprawl and take some pressure off of the land and the habitats of the creatures who depend on it. I really thought that you guys would come up with some constructive points. Lame, lame, lame. Come on, your engineers, not enviroMENTALists. What if the egyptians said, "Just buy him a headstone" or if the Vatican said, "We dont need murals, just paint it white." or if the Chinese said, "Wouldn't it be easier if we dug a ditch." or if the Wright brothers said. "Only birds fly, lets build better bikes." Or if Kennedy had said, "That would burn too much fossil fuel, let's just call the Russians bad enviromentalists." Do you get my point here, What if we had said, "It doesnt take that long to go around the horn." Or if Eisenhower had said, "You know, that autoban is a waste of resources, lets doze it and plant trees" Come on... Nothing of scale is done anymore, Why,,,, Because no one has any vision. And it is a shame...ZGRINCH...

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#8
In reply to #7

Re:Well, where do I start?

05/01/2006 9:56 AM

A continent the size of Australia? If you are considering something of that enormity, why not just go to orbit, the moon, or Mars. Politically, there is absolutely no way you could get the countries of the world to agree on that one. Plus, such a large capitalistic venture would be a prize target for terrorism. If you're going to go that big, go to the moon.

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#9
In reply to #7

ZGRINCH is all wet.

05/01/2006 10:07 AM

At first I thought you were just spacing out, or getting high. "Create a continent", indeed. But then you go and pick on my favorite group of people, engineers. Well, you picked some lousy examples from history that are easily refuted. The Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Wall of China were projects decreed by abslute monarchists, which took generations of their people and ground them down into slavery and abject poverty. Such massive wastefulness of human resources would never be allowed in any major nation today, even China (for fear of sparking a counter-revolution.

The Cistine Chapel ceiling murals at the Vatican were not massive engineering projects anyway, but rather simply a very large and complex piece of artwork. The Pope was just lucky to have an artistic genius like Michaelangelo on his payroll!

In reality, several other inventors were very close to creating powered flight when the Wrights successfully launched at Kitty Hawk. While the general public might have been ignorant of the gains being made in the science of flight, scientific journals were full of aeronautical theories and inventions, much of which the Wrights used in their own work. However, in being first, they did reap great economic rewards, receiving patents, and having great success selling copies of their airplane (mostly in Europe, actually), later merging their company with that of fellow aeronaut Glenn Curtiss to form the successful Curtiss-Wright aircraft company.

Also, the other projects you mentioned were primarily deemed necessary for the benefit of military preparedness, including the Great Wall of China. The Interstate Highway system, begun by Eisenhower, and probably sparked by Nazi Germany's autobahn, was originally intended primarily to allow our military forces to deploy quickly if our country were ever invaded, as well as to provide emergency runways for our newly developed jet bomber fleet, which required much longer landing landing strips than could be accomodated by most WWII era airfields. Even Kennedy's "Moon Race" was a response to Cold War "one-up-manship" between the two superpowers, not a true "vison for the future". Lastly, the Panama Canal was also created to solve a military problem, i.e. allowing U.S. Navy ships (and our allies ONLY!) in time of war to move quickly from one ocean to the other as needed.

But to hear you say, "Nothing of scale is done anymore, Why,,,, Because no one has any vision. And it is a shame" and laying the blame on engineers is pure, bogus, nonsense. I see it all the time in industries where I have worked, even to proposals I have made, usually quashed by managers who have very little idea of what true engineering is, even if it came up and smacked them on the nose with a steel I-beam!

No, the real culprits are not engineers and environmentalism, but defeatism, and false pragmatism. In engineering we have a name for it, NIH, which means, "Not Invented Here". In other words, unless something has been successfully used or accomplished before, usually over and over, so-called "tried and true", then managers, in both industry and government (read "politicicians"), are not likely to risk public confidence or their "phoney, baloney jobs" by trying something new, even if the potential payback seems enormous. However, there have been some recent (remembering that projects of great scale usually take a long time also to complete) exceptions, despite your statement to the contrary. One truly amazing accomplishment and large-scale project is the English Channel Tunnel, or "Chunnel" as it has come to be called. Also, look at most major cities of the world, observe the many, and extremely tall "skyscraper" buildings up close, and say that these were not projects of some scale! Recently, the "X-prize" was won by aerospace genius Burt Rutan and his team for the first privately-created manned spaceflight to reach the edge of space and return safely, opening the doors to commercial spaceflight, just as Lindberg's solo flight from New York to Paris led to intercontinental commercial air travel. Also, recently, several major bridge projects have been completed most notably the one in Japan linking several of the northern Japanese islands to the main islands over many miles of open sea. The Alaskan oil pipeline was another major "project of scale" that solved many major technical difficulties AND met environmental challenges!

I suggest you start watching the show "Modern Marvels (on the History Channel, I believe). Maybe that will open your eyes a little!

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#10
In reply to #9

Correction: Japanese Bridge project

05/01/2006 10:34 AM

I must correct my error. The Japanese bridge project connects the main island of Honshu and the southern island of Shikoku, not "Northern islands" as I stated earlier. See the following for more information:

http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/julaug98/worlds.htm

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#11
In reply to #10

Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/01/2006 11:28 AM

The point was and still is, what are the challanges to building such a project. Your arguement is valid, in fact you forgot to mention the three gorges dam in China. Also, the chunnel is a huge financial failure. Where is the vision. I was not picking on engineers, I wanted data, not rant, get it.....

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#12
In reply to #11

Re:Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/01/2006 11:52 AM

Oh, I got it all right. "Do as I say, not as I do". You said, "I was not picking on engineers, I wanted data, not rant, get it....."

Oh, really? Not "picking on engineers"? What do you call this rant:

"I really thought that you guys would come up with some constructive points. Lame, lame, lame. Come on, your engineers, not enviroMENTALists. (SNIP) Come on... Nothing of scale is done anymore, Why,,,, Because no one has any vision."

There are lots of people with vision. Some are working on alternative energy projects. Some are working in basic theoretical physics, where breakthroughs might lead to new technologies. Some are working on applied physics and materials sciences, where breakthroughs can allow visionary projects to become practical reality. Some are working in Congress or other branches of government, to get their non-visionary colleagues to support their vision. Some are solving everyday challenges with creative and novel solutions.

Unfortunately, most of the rest are either writing science fiction novels or posting ridiculous, nonsensical notions on engineering discussions boards while insulting engineers at the same time.

They used to say, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Zgrinch, which part are you?

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#13
In reply to #12

Re:Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/01/2006 5:24 PM

Lets build a giant pyramid instead. We could put it in new mexico in the desert so it would last a long time. Nothing says mighty civilization 5000 years from now like pyramids. We need to seriously start thinking about our legacy as a country. I think it would do wonders for the economy.

As for a continent, that's just crazy.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re:Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/02/2006 8:40 AM

Roger, have you no vision? What good is a useless pyramid? You got the location right, but the wrong edifice. I think we need a Great Wall of New Mexico (plus Arizona and California of course!) It would be a much greater deterrent to illegal immigration than a few lousy strands of barbed wire! Now THAT would be a legacy! ;-)

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#15
In reply to #14

Re:Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/02/2006 9:09 AM

Let's make this happen.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re:Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/03/2006 4:36 AM

I think I hear envy. Since it is always easier to ridicule someone than to actually try to understand a novel idea in order to create constructive critiscism, in my opinion whoever felt "attacked" as an engineer is in fact lame,lame,lame, too scared to dream about something bigger then themselves for fear that a manager or other 'non-visionary' might crush their brainchild like a cigarette butt. MTL : You claim to be constructive in your approach (not in those words, but nonetheless) but you're the first to get defensive and take the discussion off-subject. That's lame. Hiding behind your superiors for excuses... Besides, you are so off-target (for example about the pyramids) it manifests clearly your narrow mind. The pyramids were built by a complete people for their king (something bigger then themselves, get the connection? I didn't think so) during the wet season. This could never have been made by slaves, it was an honest exchange. You are more of a slave then them, but you won't see it. Although you're right about the connection between big world projects and militarey reasoning, it is more of an argument to change all that then anything else. Military reasoning is so primitive, it's boring... zzzzgright: Maybe you should try to change your approach. If this is the first time you speak up about your idea, it is a great preview of how the world receives new and out-of-the-ordinary solutions: with menace. Beware and protect your "child", but keep on dreaming!! Dreaming is essential, it's the only way to a new reality. Since the topic is about your idea, I would like to end with that. Problem is: it's such a big idea for such a small post, it's hard to construct critiscism around it. International rights and political 'gaming' might make such a big project vulnerable. Maybe try it out on a smaller scale first... don't forget: for big projects it takes a lot of people to go in the same direction. Nowadays we need wars to achieve that, the Egyptians had their spiritual bond. Good luck and don't let small-minded people stop you from expanding your horizons. BVD

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#17
In reply to #16

Re:Still dont get it!!!!!!!

05/03/2006 9:29 AM

You're out of your mind. Good luck with your continent.

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