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Perpetual Skislope

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the round-and-round-she-goes dept.

Technology 241

the hollow room writes: "How about skiing on a never ending slope? A story at New Scientist suggests that some fool is going to try to build one of these. Built like a huge tilted record player, it can spin at up to 30 km/h. Any takers?"

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241 comments

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Ximian Evolution Rules! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057825)

Support Ximian's latest product.

It's FIRST POST-good!

Re:Ximian Evolution Rules! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058013)

I soon might have to. WindowsME 4.90.3000 lets me to access audio tracks on an audio cd only via the Media Player. Can't rip music into superior formats like OGG or AUPECg2 [washington.edu] .

Too bad Gnome is still slow as shit. I can see the windows and menus being drawn and the parent window being resized to accommodate more widgets. Fucking ugly.

And when you fall on your ass... (4, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057832)

You travel up the hill, go into the equipment area, get sprayed with man made snow, and turn into a mogul.

I want to see it built just for the entries into the Darwin Awards it will generate.

Re:And when you fall on your ass... (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058094)

It would be better to nail the dead corpses of jews to the tube and cover them with snow. You get to kill jews and make a killer moguls course! Two birds with one stone!

hmmm... (2, Interesting)

psyco484 (555249) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057839)

A neverending halfpipe...something tells me this just would not work but it would be damn cool anyway. There are such things actually as skiing treadmills, terrain can be put on them, and stuff like that (obviously you can't do nearly as much as really being on snow), but this idea just doesn't really sound all that new or plausible. Maybe I'm just being pesimisitic.

Re:hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057976)

you mean you have never tried a full-pipe?!?

Pipe (-1, Offtopic)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058044)

Mmm... I wish I could have a pipe full of hash right now.

Yet, I have to settle for beer. Bummer.

The perpetual slope already exists (5, Interesting)

PhatKat (78180) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057842)

I learned how to ski as a kid riding a huge conveyor belt made out of a big rug in the bottom of a sporting goods store. It doesn't sound like much, but it was fun as a kid. The coolest part was that you could turn it on and off with a garage door opener type gadget. I always wanted to turn it up really fast and see how much speed I could get up tucking, but my ski instructor wouldn't let me. Now that I look back, tucking really wouldn't matter. There's no wind resistence to worry about when you aren't actually moving.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (0, Interesting)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057988)

Now that I look back, tucking really wouldn't matter. There's no wind resistence to worry about when you aren't actually moving.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think tucking is entirely about aerodynamics.

You know how figure skaters pull their arms into their bodies to increase their rotational momentum? Or how you expand your body (read: pump your legs) in order to swing on a swingset?

My guess is that tucking has as much, if not more, to do with momentum than aerodynamics. The physics of a tight, compact body with a low center of gravity differ in more ways to a big upright high-centered body in more ways than drag.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (2, Informative)

scotch (102596) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058016)

My guess is that tucking has as much, if not more, to do with momentum than aerodynamics

Your guess is wrong - it's the drag skiiers are trying to reduce when they tuck. These guys are going over 60 mph - wind resistence is a big deal.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (1)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058031)

So you're trying to tell me that, in a vacuum, a skier can move as fast downhill with his center of gravity three feet above the snow as with it 1.5 feet above the snow?

It just doesn't work that way. A disc and a sphere of the same weight will simply not roll downhill at the same speed, even in a vacuum. Besides, the very act of lowering one's center of gravity 1.5 feet would have a definite impact on momentum.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (3, Informative)

wsloand (176072) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058052)

It just doesn't work that way. A disc and a sphere of the same weight will simply not roll downhill at the same speed, even in a vacuum. Besides, the very act of lowering one's center of gravity 1.5 feet would have a definite impact on momentum.

You are comparing different issues. The skiier is not rolling. If the skiier were trying to roll down the hill, then you would be correct, but the momentum that you're describing is rotational momentum, not translational. With translational momentum, it doesn't matter. A proper comparison would be to push an object across a table (like say your CPU and your monitor); they have very different geometries, but the only forces acting on them are your push and the friction of the table (until you get to high speeds when wind resistance matters).

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (1, Informative)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058068)

Uh, no.

You're right that disc and a sphere will not roll downhill at the same speed. That's because the moment of inertia changes. However, a skier does not roll -- he slides downhill.

Just write down the equations for potential and kinetic energy and you'll see that changing the center of gravity won't change shit as far as the speed goes.

Moving the center of gravity up or down changes the potential energy, but since its reference level can be chosen arbitrarily it will have no effect in how much potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058077)

So you're trying to tell me that, in a vacuum, a skier can move as fast downhill with his center of gravity three feet above the snow as with it 1.5 feet above the snow?

Yes. You are correct about the disc and sphere not rolling at the same speed, but this is because they are spinning, whereas the skier is not, and their moment of inertia comes into play.

Absent air resistance, the only forces on the skier are gravity and friction. Both of these forces are the same whether the skier is crouching or standing, assuming he's pointing his skis in the same direction in both cases and maintaining the same center of gravity over the skis.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (1)

jsprat (442568) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058093)

So you're trying to tell me that, in a vacuum, a skier can move as fast downhill with his center of gravity three feet above the snow as with it 1.5 feet above the snow?


He didn't tell you this, but it's true.

A disc and a sphere of the same weight will simply not roll downhill at the same speed, even in a vacuum. Besides, the very act of lowering one's center of gravity 1.5 feet would have a definite impact on momentum.

Where do I start;)
Okay, there's a difference between angular momentum and linear momentum. A skier slides (linear), a disk or a sphere will roll (angular). To calculate linear momentum (like the momentum of a skier): p = mv, where p is momentum, m is mass, v is velocity. Lowering center of gravity has no effect on momentum (or acceleration, for that matter). Decreasing drag at 60MPH, however, has a great deal of effect.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058153)

But a disc and a sphere of the same weight will slide downhill at the same speed, if they're both mounted on the same variety of skis. (The others here have explained why suitably).

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (2, Informative)

waterm (261542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058055)

"You know how figure skaters pull their arms into their bodies to increase their rotational momentum?"

It is not the same. Unless you spin like a figure skater when you ski down the hill.

"The physics of a tight, compact body with a low center of gravity..."

The low center of gravity helps when you are trying to turn (change direction), but the biggest advantages to tucking deal with lowering wind resistance and tensing your muscles like springs to react faster.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058064)

You've obviously never skied.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (2)

iabervon (1971) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058079)

Even if it's partially about momentum, you don't have any momentum if you're not moving, either. On any actual slope, I think the center of gravity aspect of tucking is much more for stability than speed-- if your center of gravity is low, you'll be able to turn more effectively, which is necessary when you're going faster, since people don't normally ski straight down hills competitively (except for ski jump, but even there, you don't care about your speed on the ramp, but your momentum at the end). So the effect of tucking other than drag is to increase the speed that you can deal with, not the speed you can attain.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (1)

jakestein (320099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058095)

I hate to nitpick, but

You know how figure skaters pull their arms into their bodies to increase their rotational momentum?

Angular momentum is always conserved, it's actually the angular velocity (spinning) that's increased when rotational inertia (resistance to spinning) is decreased (by bringing in the arms).

My guess is that tucking has as much, if not more, to do with momentum than aerodynamics.

The momentum of a system (skier) is unaffected by interactions withing the system (standing up or tucking). So it technically has nothing to do with momentum.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058099)

My guess is that tucking has as much, if not more, to do with momentum than aerodynamics.

Only if you're rolling down the hill. But then, some of us do.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058144)

Parent modded +3 "interesting but completely wrong"

Way to go moderators. Heres one for you:

I think the earth is the center of the universe, and that the sun revolves around the earth.

Go ahead - give me my +3 interesting. I can hardly wait!!!

Olympic Sports, Northgate? (1)

FallLine (12211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058080)

Just curious.

Re:Olympic Sports, Northgate? (1)

PhatKat (78180) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058105)

You got it. Does that place still exist?

Re:Olympic Sports, Northgate? (2)

FallLine (12211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058113)

No clue, I moved out of Seattle about 10 years ago and haven't been to Northgate in any of my visits.

Re:The perpetual slope already exists (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058131)

They have one here in the Calif. central coast area I live in, at a snow board shop. Ok if you want to keep in practice or get ready for the real thing, but no substitute for it. You just stand in place and move from side to side.

What this guy has in mind is like an upended record, on a much larger scale, more terrain to move about in, but ultimately still what I would consider a dull experience. Probably good for teaching beginners and little else, since the inside and outside of the track would be moving at different rates you'd get pretty good at turning one way, but would find difficulty adjusting to a real slope. Nothing like screwing up your motor skills and equilibrium.

IMHO it looks terrible. I'm sure it'll be a hit.

Let me be the first to predict... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057844)

...that it's all downhill from here.

Re:Let me be the first to predict... (1)

BurningDog (222744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057984)

never has so little said so much.

Re:Let me be the first to predict... (0)

Dragnet (551689) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058074)

Uphill is always harder, especially when you traverse into the gears and find yourself disemboweled..

Why use a rotating disk? (1, Insightful)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057854)

Why not just use some treadmill like contraption? Seems like you'd circumvent all the centripetal force/motion problems that way.

Re:Why use a rotating disk? (2, Informative)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057869)

One advantage of a disk is that you get different speeds a different points on the radius. if you want to ski faster, you just move out instead of moving to a different treadmill.

Re: disk advantage (2, Interesting)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057896)

But wouldn't that also mean that skiiers who tend to carve/zig zag often would experience large swings in percieved speed as the travel from the inner disc to outer disc and back again? Or perhaps with a big enough disc, this wouldn't be a problem, but then skiing at the edges would be at some seriously scary speeds!

Re:Why use a rotating disk? (2, Insightful)

jacoberrol (561252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057913)

well, actually, a skier's top speed is mostly determined by the slope of the run, weight of the skiier, type of skis etc. your maximum speed relative to the track would be no different on the inside or outside. of course, if you ski too fast on the inside then you get to the bottom. ski too slow on the outside and you would rise to top.

Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058059)

This way you can ski forever :))

Re:Why use a rotating disk? (0)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057899)

I guess it's not easy to keep snow on a treadmill like contraption. With a disk you can just keep the snow on the disk and not worry about them falling off like a threadmill.

Re:Why use a rotating disk? (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057954)

I believe this is basically the treadmill idea, where the skiier stays basically stationary relative the the real earth, it's just that the ground is moving beneath them. So no centripetal force problems. This has the benefit that the snow pack isn't doing anything funny like going upside-down.

This is actually not new (2, Redundant)

Daath (225404) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057857)

Professional skiiers use this to hone their skills and perfect their form!
Newbies also uses this to learn how to ski... I know of some places in Holland (of all places) that they have this - It's like another post here says, it's a big rug you ski on, the instuctor is at the bottom directly in front of you, telling you what to do... :)
Never tried it myself though. I don't plan to turn pro, but I do enjoy the occasional trip to France to ski the alps :)

Re:This is actually not new (1)

Querty (1128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057894)

I know of some places in Holland (of all places) that they have this

Well with a country as flat as ours, where else are we going to practise? ;-)

Recently though, this type of facility is getting more popular (Snowplanet [snowplanet.nl] ).

No substitute for the real thing though

Please read the article.. (2)

OblongPlatypus (233746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057953)

This is actually very new. This is no rug; it's actual snow which they create on the fly as the contraption rotates. Sounds pretty silly to me, and even if they do manage to make it work, I can't imagine it'll be any sort of a hit.

I'm really wondering why they had to make it a rotating structure though; I don't see why they couldn't use a conveyor belt-like design. People will get dizzy this way.

Re:Please read the article.. (1)

Inthewire (521207) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058063)

Because with a rotating surface, up is always up.
Remember, they are constantly reconditioning the surface.
However, with a belt, appx. 1/2 of the surface would be upside-down at any given time.
This would make it difficult (impossible?) to use snow as the ski medium.

Re:Please read the article.. (2)

Teun (17872) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058065)

If the'd get dizzy that would imply their speed is different to the rotation.
And that means they would reach the other side of the slope and start to slip down backwards...

what if the "record" gets a "scratch" ;) (5, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057858)

When this thing is running at full tilt, how the hell do you get off it? Or worse yet, where do you go if you fall, as is sure to happen.

Seems to me there's a lot of issues with physics involved as well, ignoring the problems of getting the thing to actually operate.

People learn to ski on solid, non moving surfaces. What happens when you try to stop.. do you overbalance and fall down? Or how about the race track problem.. you're always turning left, cuz if you turn right you run into the wall.

Basically I see this thing creating more questions than solutions. :p Be nice if the article was more than a brief overview.

Re:what if the "record" gets a "scratch" ;) (2, Funny)

Whatsthiswhatsthis (466781) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058158)

...where do you go if you fall?

If you can perpetually ski, can you perpetually fall?

A good use... (2, Funny)

EricKrout.com (559698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057859)

for all those faulty IBM hard disk drives, perhaps.

Built like a huge tilted record player, it can spin at up to 30 km/h. Any takers?

Couldn't we somehow merge all those screwed-up IBM Death^H^H^HskStar drives into a pseudo Beowulf cluster that would spin that fast?

Of course, I wouldn't want to be skiing on it when a few drives totally die :-/

EricKrout.com officially endorses Ximian GNOME [ximian.com]

Re:A good use... (-1)

I Think You'll Find (558731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057929)

I think you'll find DNS2Go is one of the fastest growing, most reliable dynamic naming services available.

Good Troll strategy :-) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057947)

Extremely original. way to go :-)

-sinserve

always left turn (1, Funny)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057863)

and when you go to an actual ski resort, all you can do is left turns, just like how nascar drivers turn right, by 3 left turns.

Re:always left turn (1)

gmkeegan (160779) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057883)

but what if you suffer from the Zoolander syndrome of not being able to turn left? You fall and kill yourself, then who delivers the eugoogly?

Re:always left turn (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057901)

LOL..."I'm not an Ambiturner!"

Eugoogly? (2, Funny)

mESSDan (302670) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057919)

I'm not sure if you mean "who delivers the eulogy", or maybe you're making some European reference to the person who creates a page about their demise and puts it into Google's cache?

Either way, eugoogly is pretty funny. 'Yougooglie'

Re:Eugoogly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058123)

Let me be the first to say: Duh. Zoolander == a movie. mailto:prudan@hotmail.com email address is prudan@hotmail.com

Misses the key things that make skiing fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057864)

--It doesn't have a variety of terrain... (we've been turning left for a long time haven't we?) To make it even more boring, it rotates at a constant speed.

Kind of like a broken record, eh?

-T

Re:Misses the key things that make skiing fun (1)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057884)

it rotates at a constant speed

It has a constant RPM - but the speed of the skier over the ground depends on how far away from the centre of the disk they are. if the skiable area is sufficiently wide, the difference in available speeds could suit a whole range of skiers abilities.

Uhm... no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057975)

No, since the angular velocity is different (increases the farther from the center) and gravity is always the same, if the disc is flat (more or less), there will be a NARROW band on the disc where gravity towards earth will pull the skiers downward hard enough to keep them moving about 30km/hr or whatever relative to the disc, which means staying in more or less one place.

However, closer to the center, the angular velocity will be lower, and skiers will continue down the slope, which will actually move them into a regieon where the disc is moving more and more nearly perpendicular to their ski's. This will give them a sideways vector element, and they will end up being propelled into the more advanced skiiers further out. Sorry, it wouldn't work.

To see a more detailed description of the coriolis effect as it applies to virtual skiing on a rotary slope, visit~

http://www.whythefuckitwon'twork.com

(And no, AFAIK, this is not a real URL.)

You'd need a different disc for each angle and rotation speed, for every difficulty level you wanted to make.

Each disc would have to be constructed to allow skiers to proceed in only the fairly narrow band, probably close to the edge of the disc. You could make the discs adjustable in tilt x and tilt y, giving a wide variety of course variables, or even have it continually change to give the simulation of real terrain angle changes. Could be fun, but avoiding the same tree over and over again could get boring. People would probably wipe-out on it just to break the monotony, and the fun of being slid by the force carying them forward (or actually, the tree backward) which would slide the skier part way up the tree, then CATAPULT him or her off.

Sign me up!
/
x/ Whheeee!
/|
/-||
/ --||

(That x is a skier!)

Why doesn't someone build a grocery store out of this concept?

But seriously, wouldn't a giant rotating snow-filled drum be more effective for this? Or how about just miniaturizing people and putting them in snow-filled globes?

Re:Uhm... no. (1)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057993)


I know it is a model, not the real thing, but watch Movie #1 [ski-trac.com] .

The inventor seems to think skiers will be able to ski where they want across the entire moving area.

Or better yet: ski up hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058009)

Why not spin the disc backward, fly-Ski-J!

Tether people to the top with bungee cords, spin the disc down, and let them ski up-hill for a change. I might even learn to ski if you did that.

OR!!! Make it a combination ski/bungee jumping event. People have a bungee up and down the slope, and after skiing for a while, the two bungee cords tensions are increased, and finally, either manually controlled by the skier, or remotely by his friends (more fun and involvement for them) the bungee attachment to the lower cord is released at the skiers back. This of course, catapults him forward, and off the disc.

Wheeee!
______-x-----

(Underscore line is disc (viewed at an angle) the x is the skier, and the dashed line is the front bungee cord yanking me... er... him off the disc).

Re:Misses the key things that make skiing fun (2, Informative)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057918)

From the site [ski-trac.com]

During a one hour cycle the speed of the deck varies over a range of 5 - 30 km/h (3 - 19mph). At the lower speed with deck movement almost unnoticeable, the skier has a 380 metre (1200 ft) slope to descend, differing very little from its alpine counterpart


This is no fun, but this is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057870)

instead of a perpetual slope, why didn't he come up with a perpetual apres-ski?

kind of boring (1)

jacoberrol (561252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057874)

Wouldn't riding on a never-ending snow treadmill get a little tedious? Also, how would you accomodate the "green circle skiers" and the "black diamond skiers" on the same device? I assume the slope of this thing would not be very aggressive.

Re:kind of boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057907)

Easily:

\ \ \ \
G x B
/ / / /

Beginners (Green cirle, right?) on the inside, Black Diamonds on the outside. :)

/dev/null

Re:kind of boring (1)

jacoberrol (561252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057930)

Beginners (Green cirle, right?) on the inside, Black Diamonds on the outside. :) Yeah, but there still would be no difference in the slope of the run. Slope is what makes a run more challenging. This would be like telling an advanced skier that the black-diamond hill is the bunny hill. You just have ski it fast ;)

How do I get on? (2, Insightful)

boio (533648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057880)

So how do I get onto this thing? It seems like it would be hard to get started on it since it's constantly moving - and even harder to get off of it.
It would also get pretty boring to ski around in a circle for hours on end... no new scenery. If they put up a big contiguous screen along the edges, and maybe some of the sky too, to prevent you from getting quite so dizzy and provide some additional entertainment.
Then again you could also just go VR skiing and never have to go outside or worry about all these physical limitations.

Re:How do I get on? (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058111)

there is an amusement park where they have some old school carousel where the workers can hop on and off of it at full speed just by learning how to keep their balance.

w/skiis it would be obviously harder but the same idea could apply ;)

This is not new (1)

oherntp (203700) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057882)

I remember 15 years ago as a kid I went to buy my first set of skis with my parents. At the shop there was a big carpeted slope that, with the flip of a switch, started to move like a giant belt sander. I can't remember wher it was but I just asked my parents and they thought it was at a some ski expo. Anyone else remember something like this?

Tom

Re:This is not new (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058137)

Is your email address tom@ohern.net? -- mailto:tom@ohern.net, mailto:tom@ohern.net [mailto]

centrifuge force (0)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057890)

I wonder how a skier would be affected by the centrifuge force exerted by the 30km/h spinning. The article does not specify this, I suppose one of the solutions would be to have an angle much like an oval race track.

This woul actually be interesting, but how do you load and unload as skier? Jump right in? or stop the whole spinning motion?

I guess there will be some technical difficulties, although nothing very difficult, it might imply some impracticalities. However, it'll be cool to see one.

Just remember.. (0)

dmon (133360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057897)

..those old finnish words of wisdom: "don't you eat that yellow snow"

Movies (4, Informative)

spt (557979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057905)

Movies of a working ski-trak [ski-trac.com] !

Okay, it's just a model but they answer the everyone's question about getting on and getting off - there's a stationary area in the middle

Doesn't the snow get worn out? (5, Interesting)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057908)

The problem I'm seeing here is pretty major. If you take a 3000m ski run and compress it into a 300m run, there's still going to be 3000m worth of "snow damage" per skier/run, but it will be compressed into 300m of distance. So the snow is going to be 10 times as chopped up in any one place. And real ski resorts have multiple runs that reduces the traffic on any one run... to even begin to pay for this thing it's going to have to be packed.

Re:Doesn't the snow get worn out? (1, Flamebait)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057999)

The snow is being constantly refreshed by the covered area, new snow being applied, and probably smoothed. You are stupid.

Re:Doesn't the snow get worn out? (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058169)

Assuming the whole 'run' is groomed (no moguls allowed to form) it shouldn't be a problem. In fact, with the new snow application every cycle and a grooming device, you could end up skiing fresh corduroy all day.

I might worry about some of the snow melting (if it wasn't getting too compressed, it'd have to go somewhere), but an adequate run-off system at the outer edge of the disc should suffice.

Geek answer: simulator (1)

grinwell (138078) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057911)

Seems like an awful lot of work when simulators are getting better and better. Seems you could spend that money to develop a better electronic version.

BTW, a google search turns up a number of links to simulators which use treadmills (as has been mentioned earlier as an idea).

Google link [google.com]

Re:Geek answer: simulator (2, Funny)

jacoberrol (561252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057961)

there are some things a simulation just can't capture

1. laughing at that guy, who just crashed, as you ride the chair lift

2. the sense of irony as you face-plant into a snow drift

3. extracting snow from your thermal underwear

4. marching up the hill to retrieve your skis

5. realizing those guys in the chair lift are laughing at you.

uhh..not me (2, Insightful)

crystalplague (547876) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057915)

"However, Nenad Bicanic of the University of Glasgow says that the structure may be feasible. But he says precautions would be needed to ensure skiers could not be pulled into the mechanism at the top of the slope."

I think I'll let them work the bugs out first.

Hang on... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057935)

Didn't M.C.Escher draw one of these?

Oh wait, that was steps...

So um... (2)

evilpaul13 (181626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057937)

Would this mean the motion of the hill moving upwards actually make you keep going downhill?

Anyone else thinking of an embedded Linux system to recognized where a skiier is on the hill and adjust the speed accordingly? =)

Indoor Skiing (2, Informative)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057943)

The japanese have been skiing indoors for years. You can have climate controlled fun year round here at the Tokyo Skidome:
Indoor Skiing [goski.com]

rotational speed is important (5, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057956)

"Scientists debated for weeks over whether 33, 45, or 78 rpm was the best speed for skiing"

GJCTK+ (MOD PARENT DOWN, please) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058039)

Next time, use the GNU Joke Construction Tool Kit (GJCTK+) to make your otherwise lame-as-fuck attempt at humor funny.

I see you started with something funny, the progression of record spin-speeds from 78 to 33 as fidelity increased over the years, but you didn't complete the joke. I mean this as constructive criticism. D-. It could have been better, Mr. Seinfeld. Go back and rewrite.

CA (Teh lysdexic amonynous wordca)

Its missing a critical part of skiing. (1)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057959)

When I go skiing fast, it is of course important to move quickly relative to the ground. This model works fine for that. However... an equally important aspect is the fast wind in your face. I would imagine skiing would be much less fun without the relative air movement.

one problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057962)

You would need to make sure that that no one would turn it from 33 to 78.

Sounds like a winter wonderland for lawyers.... (2, Interesting)

Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057968)

I mean...in the real outdoors, there's nobody to sue since you can't "serve" Mother Nature with a summons....but in a Man-Made fun park, with rotating snow hill and man-made mountains and snow guns.....well, I can just see the lawyers slobbering now.....anyone who falls....well it MUST be product liability....nobody SHOULD design and build a hill where people could fall down....should they? "My client was hurt through the negligence of those Snow-Hill-Builders....I demand compensation for this tragic twisting of my client's knee. She's been disfigured and will not walk untill Tuesday!"

I'm just not convinced that taking EVERY naturally occuring (and read "free") effect of nature and turning it into a private, man-made, man-controlled, homogenized, and lawyer safe sport is a good thing. It comodotizes nature, and creates a situation which blurs the distinction between real life and "Real Life (tm)"

I see this trend with surfing too, artificial wave generators, controlled "fun-parks" where people have to "Pay-per-Wave"....Yeah, Mother Nature does not create the exact same wave every time, but that's the fun of the sport!

Both of these are, in my view, attempts by corporations to get people to pay for something that's inherently free. Surfing for instance...paddle out, ride back for free....Sking too, climb to top of hill, slide to bottom for free...Only with sking, you do pay for the lift (but you can walk for free too)

Perhaps I'm not looking at the best side of this though.....the rotation of the hill might counteract the rotation brought on by too many Irish Coffee's at the bar! Now that would be something.

Natural equivalent (5, Interesting)

jeti (105266) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057969)

If you think about it, there are natural perpetual slopes: Standing waves (wakes?) on rivers.
I even found a very cool video (8MB) [uni-magdeburg.de] demonstrating riversurfing on the Eisbach in Munich.

The old saying... (4, Funny)

FakePlasticDubya (472427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057974)

So couldn't this somehow be used so that someone could end up walking to school, in the snow, uphill BOTH ways?

That will not work (2, Insightful)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057978)

I suppose he wont be skiing straight down so he will need to make turns. Yet when he is making turns, if he is on one side of the slope it will be moving faster under him then if he is on the other side. I have a feeling this discrepency will quickly cause him to fall.

Re:That will not work (1)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058001)

you could bank it such thta you "feel" like you're skiing straight but are in fact turning.

Dirty Linux Hippies are Dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3057979)

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Dirty GNU Hippie community when last month IDC confirmed that Rancid Smelling GNU Hippies account for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all humans. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that Natty haired greasy GNU Hippie have lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Reeking Linux Hippies are collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last [sysadminmag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive /usr/bin/sh test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict the future of the Stinking sweaty Linux hippie. The hand writing is on the wall: Foul-stenched GNU hippies with swampy armpits face a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for them because they are dying. Things are looking very bad for Hairy-backed GNU hippie. As many of us are already aware, they continue to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Troll leader Anonymouse Coward states that there are 7000 goatse.cx trolls. How many ascii art trolls are there? Let's see. The number of goatse.cx versus ascii art posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 ascii art trolls. Pimply-faced GNU hippies posts on Slashdot are about half of the volume of ascii art posts. Therefore there are about 700 Cock-Gobbling GNU Hippies. A recent article put "first post" at about 80 percent of the troll market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 "first post" trolls. This is consistent with the number of first posts.

All major surveys show that Putrid smelling greasy GNU hippies have steadily declined in market share. Slashdot is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Grubby Smelly Linux Hippies are to survive at all it will be among troll hobbyist dabblers. Slashdot continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Dirty GNU Hippies are dead.

This troll was reposted from the Troll Library [slashdot.org] without permission of the original author. If you object to this post, or if you wish to add your troll to the Troll Library, please reply to this message.

ski patrol rescues (1)

crystalplague (547876) | more than 12 years ago | (#3057990)

how would they rescue somebody with a broken leg or something? shut it off? they would have to shut it off ASAP and the inertia of that thing would be hard to stop. not to mention the inertia of the skiers...they would be flying as it decellerated. not to mention the fact that stoping the thing every 5 minutes when somebody fell down and couldn't get up would be hell for business.

Chairlifts... (4, Insightful)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058003)

No chairlifts sounds nice. If you out-ski the turntable you just pull off to the side and ride to the top, then hit the trail again.

But chairlifts also meter traffic. I'm talking out my butt here, but I'm sure that ski slopes do some kind of calculations involving skiers/hour and trail capacity. Without a traffic limiter, the turntable could get 'too busy' on heavy days.

Variation on this idea already done in Japan (1)

ajna (151852) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058014)

The last time I was in Japan I saw something similar to this in concept, if not scale. There was a wide conveyer belt with a carpet-like material on it tilted up at an angle similar to that of a ski slope. A snowboarder was carving turns on this surface, and looked to be having fun. With real (ok, fake real) snow this idea might be popular in Japan.

Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058018)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon.
He will be missed :(



Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other [slashdot.org]
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love.

sounds like Linux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058040)

Very relevant this got posted on slashdot.
Perpetually going downhill sounds like
the story of *linux.

physics? (0)

prizzznecious (551920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058041)

So, if it's circular: which part does the figure of 30 km/h refer to? The outside edge?

Lord. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058043)

How about a snowy conveyor belt on an incline?

Only been doing this in Japan for like 30 years.

Appologies to Derick Zoolander (1)

Crag (18776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058092)

"How can the children learn to ski if they _can't even fit on the slope_!"

Left (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058096)

It seems like always skiing to your left would get old after a while.

I had one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058110)

I got it for free. It was ASCII-based and used my Apple IIgs. Good times.

When I was five (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3058128)

When I was 5 I imagined the slope was from north to south.

When I was 15 I understood it was from high to low.

When I was 25 I undertood I would never be proficient and gave it up...

ive seen it done. (1)

BenTheDewpendent (180527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058152)

Years ago i was at a expo for well stuff and they had some one just skiing in there stationary but kept sking.

It was basicaly a large carpet on a large coveigher belt making an endless loop of carpet.
think huge treadmill that slops down and rolls upwards. i think it tilted side to side and up and down for vaitation in slope and whatnot. it was really kinda cool then.

a large disk just doenst sound like a good idea.. the inner area of disk would prolly suffer much more wear and tear sinice it goes faster. not to mention the uneven speed across the surface of it.

Subject to the ``Skating Force'' of LP days (5, Interesting)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3058157)

Anyone here actually old enough to remember LPS and the skating force? Skiers would be drawn toward the middle of the disk and would have to be constantly turning outward to avoid hitting the spindle at the center of the terrain. Odd, that.

If you've never operated an LP phonograph -- the skating force is due to the differential friction on opposite sides of the needle on a phonograph, and tends to draw the needle inward toward the center of the record. It's large enough to cause a needle to skip, bump bump bump, right over the grooves unless a counteracting force is applied. Low-end turntables used springs to pull the needle outward and combat the skating force; high-end turntables used little weights with little mechanical linkages that were designed to match the changes in the skating force with radius.

You can see skating force in action at the bottom of a teacup if there are a few tea leaves floating around down there at the bottom. The tea leaves (after they're waterlogged) sink, so spinning the tea in the teacup "ought" to make them fly outward in the local gravity field. But in fact, tea leaves at the bottom of the cup tend to pile up in the center (when you spin the tea). Counter-intuitive and mysterious, until you realize that the leaves are also dragging on the bottom of the cup and therefore are subject to the skating force.

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