Proof that the world’s gone crazy..

Just a couple more peices of proof that the world isn’t entirely a sane place:

1) I recently bought a computer vacuum, in the hopes of vacuuming out my laptop keyboard so it wouldn’t make so many crunching noises. I noticed the air the vacuum was blowing seemed awfully warm, so I looked in the tail end of it – and discovered it had heating elements. Anyone who can offer a sane explanation for this is encouraged to do so. Dropping resistor for a low voltage motor, is all I can figure. Either that, or the engineer lifted the design wholesale from a hair dryer.

2) I was listening to Rush while on a road trip the other day (I’m really not sure why I do this, other than as a exercise for my blood pressure) and he said that no hybrid technology, no new innovation could styme the U.S.’s thirst for oil, that oil was the fluid that kept the engine of freedom and democracy going. What, exactly, does Rush think is going to happen in 50 years? [Oh. I get it. He’ll be dead then so it won’t matter?] And why doesn’t he think new technology can help these things? Even just the ability to shut down while idling in traffic and creep along on a small electric motor looks to me like it would save millions of gallons, what with the state of our fine nation’s freeways at rush hour. 😉

3) I know there was one more, but it’s hiding in the back corner of my mind.

For those of you keeping track, I’m back in Seattle again.

3 Responses to “Proof that the world’s gone crazy..”

  1. goamaki Says:

    omg, listening to Rush would definitely get my blood boiling.
    Maybe the vaccuum maker was making them for computer labs in the arctic. ;D

  2. rarkrarkrark Says:

    heh. I originally interperated “Rush” as Neil, Geddy and Alex, and the rest of the passage made no sense at all.

    Limbaugh’s good for keeping oneself awake at 3am in the middle of nowhere.

  3. anonymous Says:

    I once saw an old 4-story hydraulic elevator control dating from 1975. It had a huge power resistor on top of it with an adjustable tap, as far as I can tell it supplied the low voltage for the indicator lights in the buttons (and possibly for the relays in the control). It was located over a pan filled with hydraulic fluid that had leaked from the pump over the years.

    This elevator was very springy. If you jumped up and down in it you could get it going a good 8″ in either direction. This made jumping in the elevator an attractive pastime for several of my then-coworkers. Eventually it got to point that if you did that while it was moving, it would blow the main fuses. (Not that it needed any help for would regularly blow fuses just as it got to a floor, requiring you to manually pull the door open to exit).

    If the elevator was stopped at a floor and you jumped up and down in it, the following would happen:

    1)Elevator floor-level sensor (which keeps the elevator level with the floor) senses that the elevator has dropped below floor level (as you landed on the floor pushing the elevator down).

    2)Pump comes on to push elevator back up, just as it starts to rebound and go up (as you once again jump)

    3)Elevator floor-level sensor detects that the elevator is now above floor level and turns the pump on to lower elevator, just as it starts going down (as you land).

    4)Elevator floor-level sensor detects that the elevator is now below floor level….etc.

    This was very hard on the contactor for the pump. It was three-phase, with what I think were carbon contacts. If someone was jumping in the elevator, you could see them repeatedly open and close and after a few cycles they’d start making really loud (like almost firecracker loud) popping noises (complete with bright arc flashes) and bits of glowing carbon would come off the contacts. I think this is because they were heating up quite a bit. I think the response time of the hydraulics and the natural resonance of the elevator resulted in a situation where jumping in the elevator leads to the pump always trying to lower the elevator as it was moving up and vice-versa, probably greatly increasing the startup current draw of the pump motor and further heating the contactors up.

    The building management decided to replace the elevator when the fuse-blowing problems started happening every few days. Towards the end, jumping in the elevator caused it to blow a fuse instantly. I think the pump motor was probably totally pooched at that point.

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