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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 13, 2017 9:38 am 
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Why Are There Always Mirrors Next To Most Elevators? It's Not A Coincidence

When was the last time you thought, "Oh rats, I wish this line at the grocery store was just a little longer." Never? Makes sense. It's a universal truth: Waiting for stuff sucks. And because elevators are something you almost always have to wait for, some clever folks came up with a solution to make the wait bearable: mirrors.

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You might not have noticed it (now you will!), but lots of elevators have mirrors near them. This is no coincidence, nor is it some sort of Feng Shui design tip. Mirrors usually hang near elevators so people have something to do while they wait for the doors to open. Yes, hotel lobbies have been fooling you into patiently waiting for years.

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The New York Times explains where this idea originated: "The idea was born during the post-World War II boom, when the spread of high-rises led to complaints about elevator delays. The rationale behind the mirrors was similar to the one used at the Houston airport: give people something to occupy their time, and the wait will feel shorter. With the mirrors, people could check their hair or slyly ogle other passengers. And it worked: almost overnight, the complaints ceased."

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The reason people hate to wait is that we think time spent waiting in line is time wasted, and we could have used that same time to be productive. And the pace of modern society is only making our impatience worse. As Nautilus explains, "The fast pace of society has thrown our internal timer out of balance. It creates expectations that can't be rewarded fast enough—or rewarded at all. When things move more slowly than we expect, our internal timer even plays tricks on us, stretching out the wait, summoning anger out of proportion to the delay." Could the instant gratification of Siri's answers to the questions and lightning-quick internet make us more impatient? Perhaps. Maybe mirrors can help.

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So, why are there mirrors inside most elevators? One survey of complainers said that elevators were too slow. The true reason, then, for placing a mirror in the elevator was to speed things up by distracting people during the ride. After adding an elevator mirror, the designers surveyed the same group of people that had made complaints and discovered that they said the speed of the ride had improved. Moreover, many people suffer from Claustrophobia, which means fear of being in small or closed spaces from which they feel they cannot escape. Mirrors make them feel that they are in a broader space.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2017 9:37 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2017 9:42 am 
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Visiting The Pink Mosque In Iran Is Like Stepping Into A Kaleidoscope

From the outside, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran is a beautiful, if pretty traditional structure.

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But step inside, and you experience an otherworldly explosion of colorful lights. People call it the Pink Mosque, Kaleidoscope Mosque, and Rainbow Mosque—and it's not hard to see why.

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The Pink Mosque isn't your average temple of worship. Opened in 1888, this mosque was built to catch the light of the rising sun through its stained glass windows. According to Muslimheritage.com, "The designers Muhammad Hasan-e-Memar and Muhammad Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi used extensively stained glass on the façade and other traditional elements such as panj kāseh-i (five concaves), which create a breath-taking effect of the interior like standing in a kaleidoscope." Great Big Story describes this site as a "building, adorned with shimmering multi-colored pieces of tile and glass," and says it's "considered the country's third most important pilgrimage site. It functions as a funerary monument, a mosque and a beautiful holy place for thousands of worshippers."

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Though it's called the Pink Mosque for the rose-colored tiles that cover its interior, the name doesn't quite do it justice. Those tiles are just one of many bright, whimsical hues swirling around the place. If you've been in a church, you're probably familiar with stained-glass windows. In fact, stained glass got its start during the Gothic period and the Renaissance (1100–1500s), when it was used to make religious art. According to Khan Academy, "stained glass inspired the lives of the faithful through religious narratives in churches and cloisters, celebrated family and political ties in city halls, and even decorated the windows of private houses."

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This form of art isn't as common in mosques, however, so it's not a regular part of a Muslim's religious life. Save for the Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, mosques painted in the colorful hues of stained glass are a rarity.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 15, 2017 9:38 am 
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Spotted Lake, British Columbia Is A Mineral-Rich Wonder

When you start planning your next summer vacation, be sure to put Osoyoos, British Columbia at the top of your list. Osoyoos is often called "Canada's warmest welcome," with one of the highest annual temperatures in Canada. And it's home to one of the world's most unusual natural wonders: Spotted Lake.

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Spotted Lake

Spotted Lake is situated between the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys in a British Columbia desert and is considered a sacred medicine site for the Okanagan Syilx people. As a result, it's privately owned by Canada's Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. Canada's Okanagan First Nations people gave the lake its alternate name, "Kliluk," which The New York Times notes comes from "the minerals they've used in healing ceremonies for thousands of years."

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Okanagans

Spotted Lake is surrounded by rock piles called cairns, which the people use to mark graves. But the thing that really makes this natural site so fascinating happens during summer months: the lake evaporates and leaves behind colorful, spotted pools separated by hardened walkways.

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But why? This lake is more than a beauty—it's mineral-rich. The spots left after evaporation are concentrations of salt, titanium, calcium, sulfates, silver and other minerals. Each pool will turn a different shade of green, yellow, and brown depending on the mineral deposits and amount of precipitation that year. Apparently, the best time to catch a glimpse of some technicolor spots is late July.

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There's more! Because of the lake's salty conditions, the lake can only sustain minimal life. Scientists have even studied Spotted Lake to better understand ancient Martian lakes (whoa). Although a fence gives tourists limited access, you can still gaze upon its polka-dotted glory from a nearby road.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 9:38 am 
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Live Out Earth's Last Days In Luxury With A Survival Condo

When you think of the apocalypse—and these days, who doesn't?—you probably imagine food and water shortages, destroyed power grids, and people competing to survive. But what if instead of desperation, doomsday came with 9-foot ceilings, a walk-in freezer, and a pool? That's the promise of the Survival Condo Project website.

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LCD screens imitate windows

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The condo itself is a converted Atlas F missile silo. It was built in 1960 to house an intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile, but after years of cleanup and renovations, it has become a 15-floor condo with enough space to house up to 75 people comfortably. How comfortably? As Survival Condo Project CEO Larry Hall told NPR, "Well, it's kind of like a miniature cruise ship. We have everything from a bar and a lounge to a movie theater. We've got a library. We have continuing education classrooms for the children." That's not to mention the indoor pool, workout center, walk-in freezers, and "electronic windows": 55-inch LCD screens flipped to portrait mode that can display an array of different scenery, giving residents the feeling that they're in a normal home instead of 200 feet underground.

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Of course, a doomsday bunker wouldn't be worth much if it didn't also keep you alive. Every unit comes with a five-year supply of freeze-dried food, and the air comes in through a blast-valve-protected intake that's filtered by nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) filters. There are three sources of water and three sources of electricity, plus high-speed fiber-optic internet access. And who could forget fresh produce, which residents can grow in the two-story hydroponic garden. The whole structure is capped by a monolithic dome capable of withstanding winds in excess of 500 miles per hour.

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How much will it cost me? Are you sitting down? For the most basic condo unit—which, I'll remind you, has enough resources for you to survive for at least five years—you'll pay around $1.5 million. The nicest units run as high as $4.5 million.

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But don't expect to walk into a bank and get a mortgage on your luxury bunker. The Survival Condo website stresses, "Most banks will not finance. You must be liquid to become an owner." Of course, once the world ends, who knows what money will be worth? If you've got a few million lying around, there are worse things you could do with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 9:57 am 
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I hope they are going to offer real survival training while you are there. You, and your now seventy-four closest friends, are going to have to come out sometime. :shocked:

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 12:17 pm 
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Bobcat wrote:
I hope they are going to offer real survival training while you are there. You, and your now seventy-four closest friends, are going to have to come out sometime. :shocked:


I would assume they would once the nature of the disaster is understood.

From what I can glean, the "Preppers" among us are already living in this condo. They have a parking garage, so travel in and out of the condo appears a common activity.

If I had the loose change, I'd buy now, while no unavoidable catastrophic threat exists. From the looks of it, there's no dramatic change in lifestyle, so why not? Think about it. You won't need a "bug-out" location ... you're already there!

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Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Henry wrote:
If I had the loose change, I'd buy now, while no unavoidable catastrophic threat exists. From the looks of it, there's no dramatic change in lifestyle, so why not? Think about it. You won't need a "bug-out" location ... you're already there!

There is going to be a "dramatic change in lifestyle" when you come back out after 5 years.

There are reasons I moved out here 40 years ago. :)

I think I was born about 150 years too late. I don't know why anyone would like to live 150 years. Too much has changed in the last 40 and the change is just speeding up.

Living underground with 74 other people is not going to work for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Not for long anyway. A catastrophe which would justify such measures would almost surely cut off external supplies. The refuge would remain habitable only so long as diesel lasted.

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Post Posted: Feb 17, 2017 1:20 am 
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exactly. wind power is intermittent - what's the storage capacity of the batteries? they apparently are expecting nuclear cloud cover and haven't provided solar power. and if a geothermal power plant will be destroyed, who's to say the wind turbine will survive? what's the water supply resource? sewer & waste management? how is the general store stocked w/ consumables (other than food)? if departure turns impossible, the residents best be really creative as to how to support their hobbies and keep their sanity - you can only stock & reread so many books. lotsa questions for the serious purchase contenders. seems to be a truly 'spare change' venture, like a novelty to boast about. and since i don't have the cash, not worth looking for serious answers. love the entertainment factor of the post tho!

and i LOVE the spotted lake post! i was so near but pressed for time, so couldn't even explore the wineries of the region (they weren't open after 9p or at dawn anyhow). but gives me a clue of the bodies of the vino i missed. minerality is acceptable in reds but not my favorite in whites! still, sounds like a good road trip side drive, on par with researching the extremophiles that can survive the yellowstone hot springs!

and maybe i can check for jobs & housing while i'm up there. speshly before the skies turn dark, which it's feeling more likely all the time w/ the new 'leadership' at the helm. being in the hills isn't the absolute safety zone i like to think it is. ;-)


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Post Posted: Feb 17, 2017 9:35 am 
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The World's First Solar Road Explains Why We Don't Have Solar Roads

It seems like a no-brainer: we have solar panels. We have millions of miles of road. Why not cover those roads with solar panels and fix our energy problems for good? Well, France just tried that. Turns out that solar roads aren't the miracle you'd think they are.

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The new test road, called Wattway, makes up a single lane that stretches 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) through the village of Tourouvre-au-Perche in France's Normandy region.

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Wattway logo

Over its two-year test period, it's expected to be used by roughly 2,000 motorists daily. The cutting-edge roadway cost €5 million, or roughly $5.4 million in U.S. currency. So what about its energy-generation stats? It's covered in 2,880 photovoltaic panels, which are projected to produce 280 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy each year and an electrical output of 767 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. How much electricity is that, you ask? It's enough to power...wait for it...the streetlights.

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You might be surprised to learn that Wattway's big claim to fame is how inexpensive it is compared to alternative plans. Each panel is extra thin and designed to be installed on top of roads that already exist, so it saves money in construction costs. Still, that €5 million price tag is just for the initial cost—it doesn't include future maintenance, and how well the solar panels will withstand the pounding of thousands of cars each day is an open question.

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Car trafffic

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Accidents

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Heavy truck traffic

According to the “Ars Technica” website, "their questionable efficiency is one of the main reasons that more solar roads aren't currently being built." The efficiency of Wattway's solar cells is purportedly 15 percent, which sounds low until you realize that most rooftop solar panels only hit about 20 percent. But, “Ars Technica” continues, "that doesn't take into account the fact that the solar panels are flat on the ground, rather than angled towards the sun's trajectory, significantly reducing efficiency at higher latitudes.

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Heavy traffic could also block sunlight; as could snow, mud, and perhaps standing water after rain." Add to that the exorbitant cost and the questionable amount of maintenance, and you start to wonder if solar roadways are more trouble than they're worth.

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Snow on road

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Rain on road

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Post Posted: Feb 17, 2017 9:56 am 
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mtnhsmama wrote:
exactly. wind power is intermittent - what's the storage capacity of the batteries? they apparently are expecting nuclear cloud cover and haven't provided solar power. and if a geothermal power plant will be destroyed, who's to say the wind turbine will survive? what's the water supply resource? sewer & waste management? how is the general store stocked w/ consumables (other than food)? if departure turns impossible, the residents best be really creative as to how to support their hobbies and keep their sanity - you can only stock & reread so many books. lotsa questions for the serious purchase contenders. seems to be a truly 'spare change' venture, like a novelty to boast about. and since i don't have the cash, not worth looking for serious answers. love the entertainment factor of the post tho!

and i LOVE the spotted lake post! i was so near but pressed for time, so couldn't even explore the wineries of the region (they weren't open after 9p or at dawn anyhow). but gives me a clue of the bodies of the vino i missed. minerality is acceptable in reds but not my favorite in whites! still, sounds like a good road trip side drive, on par with researching the extremophiles that can survive the yellowstone hot springs!

[...]



The "Preppers" out there might take exception to any notion that survival precautions are a waste of time and money or that total annihilation is inevitable. They seem a determined bunch of people. It's a different scenario for almost all of them. Whether it's a nuclear winter or a natural disaster or other man-made ones, they all seem to differ along personal fears and economic lines. I agree that this is probably a fad being exploited by entrepreneurial entities and that so many different scenarios makes it virtually impossible to (a) predict and (b) survive. But to us "poor" folk, it's fun to speculate. As for the "Preppers", hey, it's their money.

Spotted Lake is one of those places I'd like to visit some day. Not so sure I'd like to live up there, though.

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