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154465.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:00 am Reply with quote

There's no way that 'terrestrial' TV will use satellites for home broadcast, as the airtime would be insanely expensive. And anyway, why would they, if it's only going 'down the road'.

They use microwave relays like this one:

or, if they can't 'see' one of their towers, they occasionally use a satellite (e.g. the King's Christmas Eve broadcast), but more commonly a leased line or optical fibre, which have plenty of bandwidth and no lag.

Molly Cule
154471.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:15 am Reply with quote

Oh well, it was a nice, not very well thought out thought!

Another thing you can clear up for my Mum ! - if that diameter of the earth is 26 or so miles greater at the equator than at the poles and we are all hurtling around space at 66,000 miles an hour and people on the equator are hurtling even faster.... could someone who lives at the equator, then moves to live at the south pole - unlikely i know - feel the difference? People who live at low altitude feel it when they get high and vice versa, i know it is totally different but still....

154481.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:35 am Reply with quote

The difference in the apparent gravity (i.e taking into account the speed you travel) at the equator compared to the poles is proportional to the square of the speed divided by the radius (distance from the centre of the Earth).

Acceleration in a circular orbit, IIRC, is given a = m(v^2)/r

At the equator, your speed is about 450m/s (roughly 1,000mph), and the radius of curvature is about 6,378,000m, giving you a per-kg acceleration of about 0.03m/s2 upwards.

This equates (ha ha) to about 0.3% of 'normal' gravity (9.8m/s2), so wouldn't be noticeable for a person jumping up and down. If you building some huge structure, though, I imagine it would be significant...

154502.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:08 am Reply with quote

Molly Cule wrote:
could someone who lives at the equator, then moves to live at the south pole - unlikely i know - feel the difference?


It'd be a hell of a lot colder!

(sorry, I couldn't resist)

154514.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:18 am Reply with quote

Equitorial Guinea is not on the equator

Molly Cule
154517.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:22 am Reply with quote

Thanks Chris! I emailed your explanation... she said, sounds like the perfect answer.

Molly Cule
154522.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:30 am Reply with quote

ecuador, meaning equator is though.

why is it called Equitorial then?

154529.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:39 am Reply with quote

I dunno. I think it's because it's near the equator. Anyone? I wonder what we'd get if we asked "Name a country on the equator"

154531.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:45 am Reply with quote

Maybe - though it also cuts through Brazil, Africa (various countries) and Indonesia.

154535.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:52 am Reply with quote

Yeah, I think most people would hazard a guess at a famous African country or Brazil, rather than a tiny country that they've probably never heard of.

154537.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:52 am Reply with quote

Equatorial Guinea acc to Wiki:

Its post-independence name is suggestive of its location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. ... Equatorial Guinea is the smallest country, in terms of population, in continental Africa ... and the smallest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

The incumbent president has never equalled the bloodthirsty reputation of his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema whom he overthrew. On Christmas of 1975, Macías had 150 alleged coup plotters executed to the sound of a band playing Mary Hopkin's tune Those Were the Days in a national stadium.

Along with Denmark it is one of two countries in the world with its mainland on a continent and its capital city on an island.

154631.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:09 pm Reply with quote

According to the wiki article the current President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, reckons that he is in direct touch with God:

(The) state radio station declared that Obiang was "in permanent contact with the Almighty"; a presidential aide on the show also said:

"He (Obiang) can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, and who gives him this strength."

... which ought to give any satirically-minded panellists an opening of sorts.

Equatorial Guinea is the country that Mark Thatcher was alleged to have plotted to stage a coup in. If the wiki article is even 50% accurate, it doesn't sound like it was such a bad idea.

154689.  Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:53 pm Reply with quote

This might work: a question like

If you were building a ladder into space, where would be the best place to put it?

Answer, the Equator for the reasons given above, then notes about the rest of this stuff for Stephen to take it where he will.

A better question might well occur to us, but you get my drift.

154991.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:29 am Reply with quote

The []wiki page[/url] on space Elevators mentions that LiftPort are well on the way to developing the right materials for this to be feasible. Huge long 'carbon ribbons' that the climbers, er, climb up.

And they're selling tickets to listen to muzak for a few hours on the opening ride. (We've done all this before, haven't we...?)

There's even a yearly convention of Space Elevator Engineers:

155040.  Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:39 am Reply with quote

Just no-one try and claim that Arthur C. Clarke invented them as well :)


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