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Crew Builds a Flying House Modeled After UP!

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the carl-approved dept.

Idle 56

The people at National Geographic have built a house modeled after the one in the movie UP! for a new TV series called How Hard Can It Be?. The house flew for about an hour and reached 10,000 feet. There was no report of anyone spotting The Beast of Paradise Falls.

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How hard could it be? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35410830)

It depends on if you want the house to land in one piece and contain any survivors...

Re:How hard could it be? (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411528)

If The Wizard of Oz is any indication, who it lands on could be a big liability as well...

Stupid Graphic (2)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410860)

Would have been a neat video had they not placed the damn banner so it took up 1/4 of the screen.

Re:Stupid Graphic (4, Informative)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35410894)

Here's a link [youtube.com] to one that doesn't suck.

This is why we can't have nice things (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411002)

I sure hope they recycled that helium. Aren't we supposed to be running out?

Re:This is why we can't have nice things (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411064)

We'll make more. [epa.gov]

Real article (2)

ConaxConax (1886430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411024)

The gizmodo page is a generic link which takes me to a frontpage.

Here is a proper one! http://uk.gizmodo.com/5778006/the-house-from-up-has-been-built-in-real-lifeand-it-flies [gizmodo.com]

Small house movement (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411292)

From the Gizmodo article:

Sure, the 16 by 16 feet house is not a full house

250-odd square feet "not a full house"? Some people would beg to differ [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Small house movement (0)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411502)

Turn in your computer geek card... everybody knows 16x16 is 256!

TFA is pretty light on technical details, like how much did the payload weigh and how much helium was required. Personally, I didn't think a cluster of balloons that small could lift a human, but I could be wrong.

Re:Small house movement (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412928)

TFA is pretty light on technical details, like how much did the payload weigh and how much helium was required.

As I understand it, there might be more technical details in the actual show that will be shown on National Geographic. Unfortunately, Comcast basic digital cable doesn't have Nat Geo; only higher tiers have it. Damn bundling.

Re:Small house movement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413082)

15.5*15.5 = 240.25, 16.5*16.5 = 272.25
"250 odd" falls quite nicely between those limits.

NO, THIS is the REAL ARTICLE! (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412150)

real American can-do spirit [wikipedia.org] as opposed to colorful Hollywood fantasy.

Helium Shortage (1, Troll)

yoldapirate (1304207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411338)

Really mankind? After http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.08/helium.html [wired.com] are we really in the position to waste our helium on a freaking flying house? I weep for humanity.

Re:Helium Shortage (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411570)

Indeed. Using it for balloons at parties is much more justifiable.

Re:Helium Shortage (1, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411850)

We have this thing called "money" that is used to purchase scarce goods on a thing called a "market". It ensures that people pay a high premium for more scarce goods.

It lets people do the things they want to do, free from moralistic assholes like yourself trying to dictate how other people spend their time and resources.

Re:Helium Shortage (3, Interesting)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411918)

What happens when the government mandates that the scarce yet valuable good is sold at an extreme loss as fast as possible? If the market were to decide how much helium cost, and not the government, a birthday balloon of helium would cost ~$200.

Surely, that is the way we are meant to use such scarce resources, right? Mandate they be sold at a 99% discount so we can empty our stockpile before 2012 and wonder why scientists can't get any?

Besides, you can probably use it to prove that coal plants emit more dangerous radiation than nuclear plants, and everyone knows that is a de facto illegal act. Just like being able to prove what the police actually did to you.

Re:Helium Shortage (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412346)

They aren't selling it "as fast as possible". There's a set amount they draw from the reserve every year.

It was wrong for the government to spend so much money distorting the helium market in the first place. Selling off the reserve is a necessary evil to correct past wrongs, and once it's complete, the market for helium will no longer be distorted.

Re:Helium Shortage (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414184)

If you are so certain of that, perhaps you should buy up all the helium you can afford, hold onto it for two years, and sell it to scientists at a massive profit in 2013.

Re:Helium Shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35412334)

The sun is full of helium and if that is too far away for you, we can make some more if we run out. The process is illustrated in this instructional video [imdb.to] . There's no shortage of hydrogen on this planet.

Re:Helium Shortage (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412920)

Funny, but apparently no one else got you.

Re:Helium Shortage (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415388)

If you're really worried, there's zettaaton quantities only a couple light-minutes away.

Feel free to go collect it.

=)

Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35411436)

A complete waste of time and money. Seems Habitat for Humanity would have been a better use of all that man power.

Re:Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35411864)

A complete waste of time and money. Seems Habitat for Humanity would have been a better use of all that man power.

I can't see how an airborne house would be a practical answer to providing decent living conditions for people of limited means.

Not everyone needs a mansion (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413212)

Even if getting a house to float isn't an end goal in itself, it might increase awareness of smaller houses. Not everyone needs a mansion. If a 16x16 ft cottage is "decent living conditions" and fits better within "limited means" than the bloated houses common in U.S. suburbs, then of course Habitat should be building smaller houses.

Re:Waste (1)

omarius (52253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35419394)

Using time and money to create joy and whimsy is, and always will be, worthwhile. It's part of our humanity, all the arts, and a big swath of science and invention. I am glad we have people who do such things, and people who enjoy them, rather than everyone being a practical curmudgeon such as yourself, AC.

Great, so they've made... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35411488)

An Airship. Big deal

When you can lift a house off of the ground that was not purpose built for it, then let me know.

Re:Great, so they've made... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413934)

This is not an airship. Airships have engines. (See: Goodyear Blimp, Zepplins, Thermal Airships, etc.) This is a balloon-- no engines, no props, no rotors. Lighter-than-air, Free Balloon.

Stupid Gizmodo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35411604)

Don't second guess me! If I ask for gizmodo.com, don't send me to gizmodo.de. The front page of gizmodo.de doesn't have a story about a floating house!

(And just because google.com also redirects to local google URLs doesn't make it right to do so.)

Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35411742)

who is sofa king sick of hearing about this rubbish?

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413646)

You're the only one who knows what the blaze you're talking about. "Sofa king sick"?

Precision F strike (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415432)

"Sofa king", "so fcuking", "so fscking", "so foquin", and the like are censor dodges for the present participle of a certain slang word starting with F [tvtropes.org] .

MythBusters .... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411778)

MythBusters should try this. I am sure they could do better. ;)

Re:MythBusters .... (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412354)

Yeah, Mythbusters should do this.

I'm sure they could misinterpret the story and come up with a way to completely flub it despite the fact that it has already provably been done. Thus ensuring loads of Aspberger's fueled hate-mail from internet experts detailing exactly how they got it wrong. Thereby allowing for sizable ratings when they eventually get around to repeating the test, this time not so egregiously screwing up the parameters.

Not that I have an opinion on the matter or anything...

Re:MythBusters .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412398)

They don't need to. It's been done now. There's no myth to bust.

Re:MythBusters .... (2)

thinktech (1278026) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413232)

Mythbusters is now going to see if something in an animated cartoon is really doable? What next? will they paint a tunnel opening on a rock wall and see if the road-runner can really go through it?

Re:MythBusters .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35415908)

Never mind your childish road runner cartoons. Give them a copy of Dragon Pink and let's see if they can recreate that cute Pink-haired cat-girl.

Re:MythBusters .... (1)

ikeman32 (1333971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443320)

MythBusters should try this. I am sure they could do better. ;)

Mythbusters already has done something similar. The myth was about helium baloons causing a person to fly away when the grab a whole string of baloons. They actually got a child to sit in a harness like chair and raiser her off the ground, I think she was four or five, tipping the scales at oh, 50 lbs more or less. Their method appeared sound, findout how many helium ballons it takes to lift 1 lb then calculate the amount of balloons it would take to lift the test subject. First result based on original calculations, test sbject did not fly or float for that matter. I forget the original amount of baloons needed for the calculations but it was in the tens of thousands. They finally managed to get the test subject, a real live five year old to fly but it took a rediculous amount of helium filled ballons in the hundred thousand range.

Bear in mind that these are just ordinary baloons like you would get at a carnival or circus etc.As a kid I remember that a standard sheet of 8.5 X 11, rolled up, was usually sufficient to keep a single baloon grounded. Two baloons and it would get lift, three ballons and up up and away. The house in this video is little more than a wooden frame with a thin shell and they were using huge baloons like the kind they use for weather balloons. I wonder how many of those balloons it would take to give lift to a five year old?

Re:MythBusters .... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35443538)

Ah I remember that one, but they didn't do a house. Didn't they use a dummy kid (like Buster), not a real one?

Re:MythBusters .... (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#35472168)

They tried something similar after an urban legend/myth of a military pilot that failed out of flight school. He was so desperate to fly that filled weather balloons with helium and attached them to a lawn chair. According to the myth, the man got up fairly high over restricted air space causing Air Force jets to scramble. You could imagine when the pilot radioed, "Uh, we got some guy in a lawn chair attached to weather balloons.

Anyone in the house? (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35411994)

There seems to be some hedging on that point. Seems like a waste of good He without two people in costume going along for the ride.

.

Re:Anyone in the house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35412068)

I'm not sure in this case, but I know one of the pilots (his name is Jonathan Trappe). We had talked about this back in February and at that point, he was certainly intending to be inside.

I should email him...

Re:Anyone in the house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414318)

There were two pilots on board. If you search out the Nat Geo photos released, you'll see one guy waving out the window when the house is flying. Crazy sonsabitches. I envy them still.

Is expanding helium that cold... (1)

proc_tarry (704097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35412016)

that it should require heavy gloves, hats, and coats?

Re:Is expanding helium that cold... (1)

erikscott (1360245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35413170)

I have some experience flying 15 foot diameter balloons for research. If you use a regulator to control the flow of He then the regulator can get frosty. If you skip the regulator and just use a CGA580-to-hose-barb adapter, then it will ice over pretty quickly and you'll be glad you have work gloves. Our experience was that as long as there was still humidity in the air to freeze, it wouldn't get colder than 0 Celsius. Which was exactly what we expected. Oh, and skipping the regulator sounds like a good idea - faster flow, faster fills. Except it isn't - the rate limiting step is how fast the balloon will accept gas before it just tears itself up. And no, you don't need a coat unless it's just generally cold outside anyway.

Re:Is expanding helium that cold... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414670)

I think the gloves, hats, and coats are better explained by the line 'working through the night in near freezing temperatures'.

Re:Is expanding helium that cold... (1)

proc_tarry (704097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35414842)

Right. But were the "near freezing temperatures" caused by the expanding helium?

Re:Is expanding helium that cold... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415050)

Probably because they were in the California High Desert. It doesn't say when this was filmed, but it certainly gets very cold there in winter.

Re:Is expanding helium that cold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414732)

How do you think air conditioner works? It may not be helium, but the property is innate to all gasses.

sorry but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35412420)

shit film- don't waste your time.

Re:sorry but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35413664)

Don't like seeing Hitler getting spanked, huh?

House Prices Metaphor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35414966)

This only helps remind me of how expensive house have gotten in Australia.

wrong film (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415672)

"Up!" is a skinflick by Russ Meyers. "Up" is the Disney film.

Commentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35416362)

That's really nice but I find the reporting style grating; trying to introduce a false sense of tension (how are you feeling, right about now?) and I'll never get used to that habit of presenters wanting to introduce themselves. 'Hi, I'm icouldntgiveamonkeyswhoyouarejustthefactspleasethankyouverymuch'.

Helium shortage? (1)

th77 (515478) | more than 3 years ago | (#35420558)

So *this* is why we have a pending helium shortage?

Ridiculous waste of $ and time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35426206)

WTF! I thought helium was in short supply? "Each balloon requires an entire tank of helium".... What a waste of money and scarce natural resources. How much money was wasted that day? For what end? To simulate a stupid scene in a freaking cartoon!?! I'm ashamed to be be related to this in any way, even a distant relation as far as even living on the same continent with these stupid, wasteful, asses.

Designed after a house in Berkeley CA (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433362)

The Up house was designed after a friend of mine's house in Berkeley. He'll kill me if I reveal the location, but the Pixar director had been eying the house for years apparently and through a mutual friend made acquaintance with my friend, the owner. They sent a team from Pixar over to take pictures and measurements and from watching the movie, the animated house is pretty darned similar. So these guys have essentially re-built a house in already standing in Berkeley and floated it. FWIW.

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