(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘elevators

“Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator”*…

Two things make tall buildings possible: the steel frame and the safety elevator. The elevator, underrated and overlooked, is to the city what paper is to reading and gunpowder is to war. Without the elevator, there would be no verticality, no density, and, without these, none of the urban advantages of energy efficiency, economic productivity, and cultural ferment. The population of the earth would ooze out over its surface, like an oil slick, and we would spend even more time stuck in traffic or on trains, traversing a vast carapace of concrete. And the elevator is energy-efficient—the counterweight does a great deal of the work, and the new systems these days regenerate electricity. The elevator is a hybrid, by design…

The history, design, economics, and psychology of the technology that made modern cities possible– the lives of elevators: “Up and Then Down.”

* Daniel Handler

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As we press the button, we might recall that it was on this date in 1527, during the War of the League of Cognac, that an estimated 20,000 mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (angered over unpaid wages) carried out the Sack of Rome (which was then part of the papal States). For three days, they pillaged the city, grabbing valuables and demanding tributes. They overpowered (and killed most of) the Swiss Guard, and took Pope Clement VII hostage (in Castel Sant’Angelo); he was freed only after a hefty ransom was paid. Benvenuto Cellini, witnessed the Sack and described the it in his works.

In the aftermath, Rome– which had been the center of Italian High Renaissance culture– never recovered its momentum. Indeed, many historians consider the Sack of Rome the end of the Renaissance.

The Sack of Rome, by Johannes Lingelbach (17th century)

source

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 6, 2021 at 1:01 am

Placebos for the drug-free…

From Futility Closet:

In most elevators installed since the early 1990s, the “close door” button has no effect. Otis Elevator engineers confirmed the fact to the Wall Street Journal in 2003.

Similarly, many office thermostats are dummies, designed to give workers the illusion of control. “You just get tired of dealing with them and you screw in a cheap thermostat,” said Illinois HVAC specialist Richard Dawson. “Guess what? They quit calling you.”

In 2004 the New York Times reported that more than 2,500 of the 3,250 “walk” buttons in New York intersections do nothing. “The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on.”

TotH to Slashdot (from whence, the photo above).

As we press ahead anyway, we might recall that it was on this date in 1918 that an Armistice was declared, ending World War One. The conflict, which was triggered by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, had involved almost 70 million military personnel, and had direct economic costs estimated at $232 trillion.  8.5 million died during the conflict; 21 million were wounded; and there were 7.5 million prisoners & missing.  Aftereffects included the devastation of the European (especially the German) economy that contributed to the outbreak of the second round of the conflict (aka “World War Two”), and the creation of health problems that included the worldwide influenza epidemic that had killed 22 million by 1920.

A ration party of the Royal Irish Rifles in a communication trench during the Battle of the Somme (source)

 

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