In 1930 the Indiana Bell building was rotated 90°. Over 34 days, the 22-million-pound structure was moved 15 inch/hr... all while 600 employees still worked there. There was no interruption to gas, heat, electricity, water, sewage, or the telephone service they provided. No one inside felt it move.
The speed of light is actually really slow, and this is a pain in the neck.
All you aerospace engineers and economists understand my pain, but I'm not talking about signal delays from Earth to the asteroid belt, or between Chicago and the New York stock exchange. There are local problems too!
I was once working on a project that involved a big honkin’ high voltage power supply. It was powering a bunch of klystrons, devices that produce high-energy radio pulses. In the event that something went wrong in the experiment, the power supply needed to shut down within 20 microseconds. Any longer than 20 and our very expensive klystrons would break, to the tune of a quarter million bucks a pop.
I'm simplifying things a lot, but here’s the basic timeline involved:
Something goes wrong in the experiment (the experiment was a fusion reactor btw, but that’s not relevant here). The clock starts ticking down from 20 microseconds.
The fault detection circuits take 8 microseconds to realize something has gone wrong. 12 microseconds left.
The power supply does its emergency shutdown procedure, which takes ten microseconds. 2 microseconds left.
Everything is shut down and safe. We breath a sigh of relief, and replace about $1K worth of parts.
There was just one problem: When I say “big honkin’ power supply,” I mean big. It was the size of two shipping containers stacked atop each other. The only place with enough room for it was about 1000 yards away.
Hm. 3 micro light-seconds.
So now we have to add an extra step to our timeline:
Something goes wrong. The clock starts ticking down at 20 microseconds.
The fault detection circuits trip. 12 microseconds left.
The fault signal travels via fiber optic to the power supply, 3 micro light-seconds away. 9 microseconds left.
The power supply takes 10 microseconds to shut down
Everything is finished… 1 microsecond too late. We rend our clothing and spend a million dollars replacing fried klystrons.
The solution? Spend a metric buttload of cash on fancier fault detection circuits that will trip much much faster.
But we could have saved a LOT of money if the speed of light were just a tiny bit faster instead.
It does make me sad that people don't understand how programming and engineering are art forms on their own. I guess a lot of the need for creativity and passion has been stripped from it--it used to be something amazing. Even the simplest program is a little AI, even the simplest engineering often means designing or maintaining some kind of machine. A simulacrum! An artificial animal! How is that not creative or magical to you?!
If you’re into Steampunk, animatronics, art, and scientific mechanics, you need to go to the island of Nantes, France and work for the La Machine Company, located in an old shipyard warehouse.
In their warehouses, they make giant fantasy machines. From the very first sketches to fully functioning machines, the entire creative process is on display and shared for the public to observe in the open laboratory.
They made this giant steampunk spider. The company is into a genre of science fiction that fuses futuristic technology with the design aesthetic and philosophy of the Victorian age.
Artists at work in the wood shop. The 2 owners, François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, started out as set designers.
There are two viewing terraces above La Machine’s workshop, where the public can observe the inventors and artisans in action as they carve and create their world of wood and steel.
Some lucky guests are chosen to test out the machines.
This is the Dragon de Calais. Forever at work on new outlandish creatures and creations from an alternate universe, La Machine, acts like an alternative and constantly evolving theme park of sorts.
The Grand Éléphant is one of their most famous creations. Climbing aboard the walking cathedral of steel is like travelling on the top floor of a travelling house – one that blasts steam out of its trunk.
The collective is constantly recruiting too. There’s an application on their website.
The Symphony, a permanent display, is an interaction between machinists and classical musicians: The musical universe is confronted with the mechanical sounds of the flute casserole, the tumbled piano, the Groovagaz - 50 musical machines, in all.
They also invented the Dinner of Small Mechanics.
They’ve made the island the capital of steampunk and offer so many shows- this is the Plant Expedition.
This is the Fire Show on top and Incandescences. Something for everyone.
Judging by the crowds, this is just as popular as Disney World.
if you want to know how stupid elon musk is, for the aesthetics, he painted his space x cold box black. they are always painted white because they aren't trying to absorb heat.
they are essentially giant coolers. they keep cryogenic gases and liquids cold. so he made it more inefficient. like, what a dumb ass. he made his cold box a hot box in fucking texas.
it's so thermally inefficient and he is what nerds think is someone you want sending ppl to space??? really??? he'll fuck you over for aesthetics while losing more money in the process. and the math is wrong