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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the up-against-the-wall dept.

Idle 501

meghan elizabeth writes: Temple physicist Rongjia Tao has a utopian proposal to build three massive, 1,000-foot-high, 165-foot-thick walls around the American Midwest, in order to keep the tornadoes out. Building three unfathomably massive anti-tornado walls would count as the infrastructure project of the decade, if not the century. It would be also be exceedingly expensive. "Building such walls is feasible," Tao says. "They are much easier than constructing a skyscraper. For example, in Philadelphia, the newly completed Comcast building has about 300-meter height. The wall with similar height as the Comcast building should be much easier to be constructed." Update: 06/28 04:14 GMT by T : Note: originally, this story said that Tao was at Drexel rather than Temple -- now corrected

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Plus bonus.... (5, Funny)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 3 months ago | (#47320359)

...kaiju protection.

Re:Plus bonus.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320399)

But vulnerable to Titans.

Re:Plus bonus.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320589)

And Mongolians [southparkstudios.com] .

Re: Plus bonus.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320843)

And BASE jumpers

Re:Plus bonus.... (1)

noelhenson (691861) | about 3 months ago | (#47320879)

...kaiju protection.

As I recall, protection against kaiju was negligable at best.

Your taxes at work (3, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 3 months ago | (#47320365)

Homeland Security will jump on this as the perfect opportunity to build a prison large enough to hold us.

Re:Your taxes at work (4, Funny)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 3 months ago | (#47320439)

Okay...I am embarrassed...I WENT to Drexel. A 1000 ft wall AROUND the mid-west?

What happens if somebody decides to fill it with water?

Re:Your taxes at work (5, Funny)

C3ntaur (642283) | about 3 months ago | (#47320475)

What happens if somebody decides to fill it with water?

One can only hope.

Re:Your taxes at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320481)

Fresh water or salt water?

Re:Your taxes at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320813)

You will have a 1000ft deep lake and a really impressive dam.

better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320369)

build the wall on the us-mexico border !

Re: better idea (0)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#47320469)

Yeah, that East German wall did a great job of keeping out the evil capitalists!

Snark aside, he could 3D print these. If it's just a tower of useless space (seems like a waste) then robots could do all the assembly. He'll probably need a few nuclear reactors to make all the cement and steel required, not to mention the mining. And an armada of delivery trucks if robot drivers aren't rolling by then.

Re: better idea (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 3 months ago | (#47320557)

Personally, I'm thinking about experiments in tsunami protection which involves rods/posts set up in such a way it creates a resonance effect that disrupts the whole thing, reflecting the energy back upon itself. Neat stuff, but I'm not an expert and am probably not using the right words.

Still, setting up some massive wind turbines in the correct patterns should have the same effect at massively less cost, and actually provide power to boot.

Re: better idea (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47320605)

The East German wall was put up to keep the East Germans from escaping Communism. Countless people died trying to get over the wall to the West. Is there any documented case of somebody trying to escape INTO East Germany over the wall?

Re: better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320679)

But the *stated* justification for the wall was to protect East German citizens from the nasty fascists.

Re: better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320823)

True it was called "anti-facist protection wall [wikipedia.org] " by the DDR gov.

Re: better idea (3, Funny)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | about 3 months ago | (#47320903)

More importantly, how many tornadoes did Berlin have while the wall was up?

Re: better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320691)

You're HILARIOUS! 3D printing??? Robots!!!???? Oh to be eight years old again!

Such imagination!!

Re: better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320871)

Snark aside, he could 3D print these.

In the Sahara, using sand and solar power [inhabitat.com] .

No more hurricanes?

Re:better idea (1, Insightful)

gargleblast (683147) | about 3 months ago | (#47320513)

To keep the guns out of Mexico, eh? Not such a bad idea ...

Re:better idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320585)

I thought it was to keep the hard working Mexicans from taking advantage of the drug using Americans...
(Fact: For the most part Americans are the consumers.)
But your idea works too.

best idea (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#47320591)

try {
while() {
build_wall();
tear_down_wall();
print( "Recovery!!!!1!!!!1!" );
}
}
catch (error) {
blame_Bush();
}

Now we know (5, Funny)

Punto (100573) | about 3 months ago | (#47320371)

Now we know why there are no Tornados in Westeros.

Flat or angled? (3, Funny)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#47320379)

If you can go with a slope and build it as a triangular prism then it is easy to build, like a long pyramid. Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Re:Flat or angled? (0)

k31 (98145) | about 3 months ago | (#47320447)

Was this inspired by "Attack on Titan"? Because, how do you stop the cyclones from forming within the walls?

Re:Flat or angled? (1)

k31 (98145) | about 3 months ago | (#47320463)

Ah, but, building megastructures which look like mountains is a good idea. It is sort of how we got skyscrapers in the first place.

Re:Flat or angled? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320705)

You do know that, being dead, he cannot help you, right?

Why not windmills instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320403)

Could we achieve something similar by putting up a massive windmill farm? Getting some power out of it might make the idea more feasible.

Re:Why not windmills instead? (1, Funny)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 3 months ago | (#47320599)

Yes! Lets make a giant 1000ft tall bird shredder! We might get some food out of it too >:)

Ridiculously stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320415)

How are these walls supposed to withstand the winds? Does he thinks even low winds would not be able to take down these "walls" ?

Re: Ridiculously stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320567)

I'm sure the physicist knows what he's doing...

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320803)

It is an engineering problem. A physicist would be unqualified for such a problem.

Re:Ridiculously stupid (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 3 months ago | (#47320583)

The idea IIRC is not to disrupt the tornadoes. It's to disrupt the much more benign winds that interact to form tornadoes once they reach the mid west.

A truly idiotic democrat idea! (-1, Flamebait)

JohnnyConservative (1611795) | about 3 months ago | (#47320417)

It is not proven to work! And the side-effects! It will certainly disrupt weather patterns and could worsen the Summer dry periods creating more drought. Might also cause worse winters and hotter Summers. The climate change idiots would love that! Make stronger and more resilient buildings! Like have been done in hurricane and earthquake zones. This is PROVEN to work!

Re: A truly idiotic democrat idea! (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 3 months ago | (#47320615)

The needed resiliency for buildings and communities in tornado alley would be far beyond cost prohibitive without federal and state subsidy. Tornado resilient buildings are fiction. Today even the most resilient areas will succumb to massive disruption of life and economic output due to tornados. I live in Texas, and when Fort Worth had a tornado in the middle of downtown, talk buildings were essentially out of order for months due to damage. These were modern commercial structures too!

Tornado resilient buildings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320685)

Tornado resilient buildings are simply buildings made out of concrete instead of toothpicks held together with toxic glue.

Note: Resilient is not the same as damage proof.

Re: A truly idiotic democrat idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320697)

Proven... I think you should stop using that word.

The Midwest isn't that dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320431)

The rust-belt isn't that bad yet, if you ignore Detroit.

Dual use (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 months ago | (#47320437)

If you're going to build something that large you might as well make it dual use. How about an archology? [wikipedia.org]

Watchers on the Wall (1)

synaptik (125) | about 3 months ago | (#47320443)

Great! Then we can let our hardest criminals 'take the black', and defend the wall from The Others and these monstrous windy beasts.

Ionospheric Modification Experiments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320459)

Just, somebody stop the dickheads and their goddamned ionospheric experiments and that will stop the ten mile high storms they're creating with the chemicals and HAARP from falling sideways out of the ionosphere destroying America.

A theoretical wall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320487)

Really, I've met a lot of really smart physicists, i mean, WAY.
They can't put a nut on a bolt and normally are not allowed in a production lab without an escort.
Then of course you have the other type. Thousand foot wall types. They are usually not allowed out of school.

Re: A theoretical wall? (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 3 months ago | (#47320643)

This why engineers exist to translate. They talk to the physicists so the we don't have to*.

*guess the movie reference?

We'll be overrun by double-wides! (4, Funny)

CQDX (2720013) | about 3 months ago | (#47320489)

The only natural predator of trailer homes are tornadoes. Are we prepared for the inevitable population explosion if we defeat tornadoes in the Mid-West? I don't think we'll be able to build Wal-marts fast enough.

Re:We'll be overrun by double-wides! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320665)

Is that how you make yourself feel good? Shitting on other people? Low lifes like you are what's fucking society today. I hope you die in a fire.

Re:We'll be overrun by double-wides! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320831)

Is that how you make yourself feel good? Shitting on other people? Low lifes like you are what's fucking society today. I hope you die in a fire.

Same to you. Learn to recognize a joke when you see one.

stupid comparison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320499)

to build three massive, 1,000-foot high, 165-foot thick walls

For example, in Philadelphia, the newly completed Comcast building has about 300 meter height. The wall with similar height as the Comcast building should be much easier to be constructed.

But the wall is not similar height, is it? it's 3 times that height. Also, it may be 165-ft thick, but how wide? all the way around the city is how many times wider than said Comcast building? a few thousand? so 9000+ times larger structure is somehow easier to construct?

Re:stupid comparison (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 3 months ago | (#47320543)

You missed the change in units. 300 meters is 984 (that is, about 1,000) feet. Don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us [cnn.com] .

Re:stupid comparison (1)

j-beda (85386) | about 3 months ago | (#47320561)

to build three massive, 1,000-foot high, 165-foot thick walls

For example, in Philadelphia, the newly completed Comcast building has about 300 meter height. The wall with similar height as the Comcast building should be much easier to be constructed.

But the wall is not similar height, is it? it's 3 times that height. Also, it may be 165-ft thick, but how wide? all the way around the city is how many times wider than said Comcast building? a few thousand? so 9000+ times larger structure is somehow easier to construct?

I blame the stupid writers who mix their units. 300m is about 1000 feet. As stupid as various measurement systems might be from anyone's perspective, mixing them should be a capital crime.

Re:stupid comparison (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about 3 months ago | (#47320581)

to build three massive, 1,000-foot high, 165-foot thick walls

For example, in Philadelphia, the newly completed Comcast building has about 300 meter height. The wall with similar height as the Comcast building should be much easier to be constructed.

But the wall is not similar height, is it? it's 3 times that height. Also, it may be 165-ft thick, but how wide? all the way around the city is how many times wider than said Comcast building? a few thousand? so 9000+ times larger structure is somehow easier to construct?

Some points to consider

1000 foot = 304 meter.

It is easier to construct a 3'x3' cube of concrete than a CPU, so size does not seem to be the only factor determining difficulty.

Re:stupid comparison (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 3 months ago | (#47320765)

On the other hand, building a concrete *anything* that is a thousand feet tall and 165 feet thick isn't easy. They're claiming that a one-mile stretch of the wall would cost $160 million, which comes out to 871.2 million cubic feet of concrete, or a cost per cubic foot (including labour and materials) of about $0.18. That sounds really unlikely to me.

Let me put it this way, the hoover dam is actually relatively similar to what we're talking about here. It's roughly 700 feet tall, varies from 45 to 600 feet thick, and is about a fifth of a mile wide... So let's say that the cross section of the hoover dam has about the same area as this proposed wall.

OK, so now we just need the length of the wall. Well, the circumference of the American midwest is roughly 3900 miles (cutting through the great lakes, because what the hell). So basically, what we need to do, is build the equivalent of roughly 20,000 hoover dams.

The hoover dam cost the equivalent of about $750 million to build. I suspect it would cost a lot more today than pure inflation would account for (unions, health and safety standards, etc), but let's say that technological progress would counteract all that...

So, $750 million, times 20,000... and we come up with $15 trillion.

Lasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320505)

What they need is lasers. Frickin' lasers.

Re: Lasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320551)

Haha. Winner!

You know... (1)

amanaplanacanalpanam (685672) | about 3 months ago | (#47320537)

This idea is so batshit crazy...I think we should do it. I don't even care whether it works as advertised. The Great Wall of China will pale in comparison.

This could be our Apollo.

The infrastructure project of the decade (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 3 months ago | (#47320541)

Building three unfathomably massive anti-tornado walls would count as the infrastructure project of the decade, if not the century. It would be also be exceedingly expensive.

If it is not exceedingly expensive, it's not the infrastructure project of the century.

comment titles are stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320545)

the kaiju are coming. the kaoju are coming.

on a less funny note, i'd be kinda embarrassed to be one of his students or colleagues right now. the paper even got into a journal?

Tornado Touchdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320553)

Sounds great. But what happens if a tornado touches down, and starts bouncing around inside the walls? Not being able to move further, does it devastate everything within, like a massive snooker ball inside a table with blocked pockets?

Re:Tornado Touchdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320777)

Tornadoes aren't billiard balls. They don't work like the ones in those cartoons you watch while stoned.

Pedestrian (3, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 months ago | (#47320555)

Construct mighty engines of fearsome complexity and madness-inducing size to redirect the gyronormous aetheric power of these "tornadoes" towards the hated enemy.

Nobody thinks cyclopean these days, that's what's wrong with society.

feasible? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 3 months ago | (#47320563)

I'd like an engineer to take a look at his plans. Claiming it is "feasible", and that it "should" be easier than a skyscraper does not exactly instill confidence.

This guy is also a physicist. It would be nice to know what a geologist would think adding a man made mountain, or three, would do to the bedrock in the mid-west.

Has he consulted with a climatologist? I suspect it would affect the local weather patterns at the very least. It would probably drastically change the weather pasterns on the east coat as well.

What about migratory birds and such?

Re:feasible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320821)

I suspect it would affect the local weather patterns at the very least.

Isn't that the point?

that's all fine and dandy until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320565)

the giants come and destroy it! ...seriously, anything preventing the tornadoes from forming within the wall?

Reminds me of one engineer's maxim (4, Insightful)

Hussman32 (751772) | about 3 months ago | (#47320569)

In theory, everything works in practice. In practice, it doesn't.

Re:Reminds me of one engineer's maxim (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320809)

Reminds me of one engineer's maxim

Yogi Berra wasn't an engineer.

Did he mention (5, Funny)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | about 3 months ago | (#47320573)

That it only works for square tornadoes on an infinite plane of uniform density?

Oh Geeez (3, Insightful)

jmd (14060) | about 3 months ago | (#47320579)

Wouldn't it be cheaper to move all of the people in the midwest to China? That's where all the jobs went anyway

Re:Oh Geeez (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320863)

Or if you are going to build giant concrete things, build them as a series of arcologies across the mid-west to replace cities, with enough room to also provide temporary housing for non-urban residents during tornado season.

Kind of like ancient walled cities, where the surrounding farmers and townsfolk would shelter inside whenever foreign armies attacked.

Humans must be subservient to nature (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320595)

This is stupid. You don't fuck with nature. Tornados disrupt shit in their path, flinging gerbils and seeds and pollen and critters everywhere, that's good, You don't mess with that or you get bit in the ass just like single crop fields, deforesting, preventing forest fires, damming rivers, and uh, polluting the FUCK out of everything and OVERPOPULATING the fucking planet.
This guy, and all you people who think you're human and somehow awesome... can go die of unkillably resistant bacterial infections watching pus ooze from your limbs in your last days.
Idiots.

Side Effects may Varry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320603)

Even if it works, the side effects are unpredictable.

Glorious 1000ft tall side effects

  It would be pretty spectacular if he created something like the first ice-nado of death. It would be an F-10 with an average temperature of -100f

Solar Freakin' Walls! (4, Funny)

jabberw0k (62554) | about 3 months ago | (#47320609)

Hey, those could be Solar Freakin' Walls and they could be made out of scratch-proof glass, topped with windmills and LEDs that you can see in the daytime and generate eleventysix times the electricity of [[transmission garbled]]

Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (4, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | about 3 months ago | (#47320623)

$160 million per mile, to prevent an average of 50-60 tornado deaths per year?

1) Build 1000 miles? Only $160 billion? Is that cost of labor alone? What about the cost of land?
2) Build just for cities? Which cities?
3) How does a city afford even 1 mile of wall?

We can drop nukes in tornadoes too for much less, not that I'm advocating that either.

Just last year, there were 32,850 vehicle fatalities [nhtsa.gov] in the good ol' USofA.

Driverless cars would've prevented 99% of the crashes. Let's concentrate on rolling those out first and soon.

Re:Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 3 months ago | (#47320645)

Fucking this.

Re:Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 3 months ago | (#47320661)

What's the economic damage of shutdowns due to tornados?

A lot of talk about a city's traffic problems essentially focuses on the fact that a major car accident can wipe out productivity for an entire morning or day in a metropolis. How much productivity is being lost due to tornados? If you could prevent them entirely, then it could easily pay back many, many times the construction cost.

Agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320687)

Completely.

Once vehicle deaths are down to a livable number, civilian gun ownership advocates will no longer have it as an overwhelming comparative value used to minimize the sense of risk for such ownership. Until we do this, all arguments about "wanting to save lives" are too easily swept aside by "if you meant that, you would advocate for driverless cars."

Re:Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 3 months ago | (#47320767)

We can drop nukes in tornadoes too for much less, not that I'm advocating that either.

But we should probably keep this in mind in case of Sharknado.

Re:Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 3 months ago | (#47320783)

One mile of this wall would seem to me to be like roughly five hoover dams. The hoover dam cost $750 million in today's dollars. So wouldn't one mile of this super-wall cost $3.75 billion, not $160 million?

Re:Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320891)

In today's dollars, Hoover damn wouild cost $10+ BILLION.

Paper inflation is not the real inflation. Hoover damn is an example why long term projects are generally much cheaper in the long term than initially thought. Keep that in mind when someone says "it's too expensive to build hydro/nuclear plants".

Re:Driverless cars prevent more deaths and cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320837)

meh, $1000/year worth of hooker pussy would eliminate pretty much every school shooting.

Well I have an idea!! (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 3 months ago | (#47320627)

Well I have an idea!! Lets move all our trash to the Midwest and create mountains. Not only will the mountains create a barrier for tornadoes they can also be tapped to natural gas from the rotting trash....Great idea I think :)

Forth wall? (1)

ASDFnz (472824) | about 3 months ago | (#47320631)

Anyone else tempted to get them to build a forth wall?

That way even if there are tornadoes we will not even here about it ;) .

Re:Forth wall? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47320887)

You couldn't "stack" things deep enough to build a Forth [wikipedia.org] wall like that.

What could possibly go wrong? (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 3 months ago | (#47320649)

Needs it's own Bad News Brian meme. Here you go. [memegenerator.net]

The real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320651)

Keeping the Texans out.

And an engineer says... (1)

rolias (2473422) | about 3 months ago | (#47320659)

Good luck with that. Also, keeps out White Walkers and giants.

Stealing our jobs (3, Funny)

penguinoid (724646) | about 3 months ago | (#47320699)

They're coming here, stealing our jobs. We need to build a fence to keep them out, and allow warrentless searches of anyone who looks like a tornado. Ironically, to save on costs, most of the wall will actually be built by tornadoes.

OP summary is bad. (2)

Ectospheno (724239) | about 3 months ago | (#47320717)

The proposal isn't to build a wall "around" anything. The proposal is to build three east-west walls to mimic the mountain ranges that have successfully limited supercell production in tornado alleys elsewhere on earth. Why OP threw in the word "around" is beyond me.

You must be new here. (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 3 months ago | (#47320779)

"Why OP threw in the word "around" is beyond me."
Summaries are required to be inaccurate at the very least, outrageously misleading is preferred if you can manage it.

How many Panama canals? (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 3 months ago | (#47320733)

As an earthmoving project, each kilometer of wall is 18M cubic meters. The Panama Canal was about 250M cubic meters of earthmoving. So every 14KM of wall is one Panama Canal. The proposed Arabian Canal [wikipedia.org] near Dubai (to create "valuable waterfront property" accessable by yacht) would require about 1100M cubic meters of earthmoving. So one Arabian Canal is about 60KM of wall.

In terms of speed, one Bagger 288 [wikipedia.org] can move about 250K cubic meters of earth a day. That's 5KM of wall per year. With one such $100 million machine for every 100KM of wall, the project would take 20 years.

It's a big project, but not impossibly big. Just expensively big.

Effect on Rainfall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320735)

Would the wall affect the amount of rain that fell?

The Ogallala Aquifer [wikipedia.org] has already lost a lot of water. I'd hate to block winds that brought rain, and exacerbate the problem.

Flush (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320757)

Fantasy flush!

Or (1, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 3 months ago | (#47320763)

People could stop living in places where a tornado comes through every few years. You hear the same complaints about people living in flood plains

Here's what we need (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47320773)

Some sort of structure that, when placed in the path of wind, produces a clockwise rotation in it (opposite that of cyclonic rotation). Ideally, these could be built as earthworks in the path tornadoes take to approach high value targets (towns, etc). If the earthworks could be built low and wide, the land could still be used for agriculture.

I'll leave the details to actual mechanical and civil engineers. And collect my patent fees per the usual USPTO process.

Appalachians (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 3 months ago | (#47320775)

I live in the Appalachian mountains. As I watch weather radar, observing weather systems come at us from the west, I've seen dozens if not hundreds of times over the years where very powerful, well-defined weather systems (individual cells as well as frontal systems) totally disintegrate as they cross over from flat regions of North Carolina and Tennessee into Virginia, because they hit a literal 1,000 foot wall of mountains. Tornadoes are extremely rare here. A few years ago we had small one that messed up a couple sheds and the canopy over a gas station, and that was the first in decades. So I do believe this physicist is onto something that would be effective. Whether or not it's practical or acceptable to construct such a thing is another question.

World war z anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320789)

Does he know something we don't?

What the hell? (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 months ago | (#47320799)

Between the Higgs-Boson crap and this thread, I think Dice has decided to declare it "Give A Wingnut A Headline Week". :(

Brilliant idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320835)

These walls, which will allegedly have enough of an effect on the climate to stop tornadoes, will certainly not cause any other form of climate change, like droughts or floods, that might cause much more damage than tornadoes.

Phew, with that out of the way, what could go wrong?

wait a minute (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47320855)

But then there's the fact that that's not how tornadoes work and they won't do anything.

"University of Drexel"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320885)

It's Drexel University, and in any case, google search seems to indicate he's actually from Temple University, not Drexel.

Suggested walls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47320899)

Lets wall of Texas first, keep the cray cray on their side of the wall.

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