Re: WTC and Low Tech

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 11:27:44 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> Wrote:
> > I can't see a rope being much better than jumping. Do they make
> > fold-up pocket parachutes/paragliders?
> How about a strong lightweight elastic tube, you fasten the tube to the building throw
> the other end to the ground, stretch the tube wide enough to get in and then jump.
> The energy needed to stretch the tube as you went down would slow you down as
> you fell, the fatter you were the more it would stretch and the more energy it would use up,
> so it might work for both large adults and small children. Perhaps I just imagined it but
> I think I actually heard of something like this somewhere.

Yeah, I saw it too- the tube is a rather sheer braid, and the person
going thru it can spread out their elbows & knees to slow down, suck in
to speed up. The bottom twenty feet gets a bit tighter to slow the
person down for landing, but I see several problems with this-

* a very long elastic tube can stretch significantly, so that you have
to struggle out of the last thirty feet of tube on the ground, a very
slow process.

* fire resistance would be nil

* it requires at least a little skill on the part of the passenger

A steel cable, harness, and reel with dynamic brake as Spike mentioned
would be far better. High rise fires, once out of control, always trap
people above them. Spike's addition of oxygen bottles is unnecessary,
though- there are fire hoods available on the market now that would be
sufficient for a few seconds passage through a flame. Incorporate this
into a nomex overall...

Doug Jones, Rocket Plumber

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:54 MDT