Thursday, November 10, 2005

Halverson's Clocktower Project

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Photo: Children Running to ALPLM

The following text was obtained from Halverson Construction Inc,

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Photo : Welders Prepare Pilings Before Crane Lift

Union Station | Rehabilitation and Historic Restoration

Rehabilitation of the Historic Union Station facility in Springfield, Illinois, as part of the Abraham Lincoln Museum Complex. The project includes: construction of a new 100 foot masonry clock tower; underpinning of existing footings; replacement of the existing roof; interior renovations; and all exterior sitework and streetscape. General Contractor.

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Photo: Powerpole Blocks Sun - Union Station Clocktower

Contract Value: $7,400,000
Completion Date: 2007
Owner: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Architect: White & Borgognoni Associates

Note: There are several other contractors involved with this project.

Union Station Clocktower Born!

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Photo: Union Station Project & BRH Truck 11.09.05

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Photo: Springfield, IL - ALPLM's Union Station

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Photo: Springfield, Illinois Union Station Clocktower

A new era has begun for Downtown Springfield, Illinois! The grand clocktower that once adorned Union Station is finally (after decades of promises) being constructed. I include several remarkable photographs of the clocktower which were taken on one of the first days of the clocktower's construction.

It was very windy when I took these photographs. I must admit to feeling a bit uneasy as I snapped these photographs as I was very near the edge of the building I was standing upon. My fears for my own safety, which were unfounded, were quickly replaced by my concern for the brave construction workers working upon the steel girders of the clocktower!

Other than the intense winds yesterday was a remarkably beautiful November day.

Photo Credit: All photographs taken by JeromeProphet November 9, 2005 in downtown Springfield, Illinois in the general vicinity of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum of which Union Station is a part.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Cloud Tipping

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Image Art: Cloud Cow

This post represents another in my speculative series on weather modification. In this post I examine the possibility that clouds have "tipping points", and can be made to rain if those points can be determined, and appropriate energy applied to the cloud.

When I see a cloud it's hard for me to imagine how something so massive can stay afloat. Clouds if they could be placed upon a scale are quite simply enormously heavy - weighing dozens, and even thousands of tons. The vast majority of this mass is made up of water, followed by particulate matter such as dirt, salt, and organic materials.

For this reading I want the reader to visualize "the cloud" as an airborne mountain - which has many peaks, and valleys. The peaks, and valleys, however shouldn't be thought of in terms of height, but instead probabilities. Each cloud in effect constitutes a massive pattern of wave forms - and therefore unrealized potentials for collapsing those patterns into instances of rain. Some areas within clouds hold high probabilities for precipitation, while within the same cloud other areas hold low potential for rain.

A cloud in effect is an uneven mountain of probabilities for precipitation.

The avalanche effect.

Again, all this is pure speculation, and I've never heard it mentioned before so I might be wrong, yet from simple observation over many decades I suspect I'm correct. I have noticed how one stroke of lightning will generate one sonic boom (i.e., clap of thunder), and within moments rain begins to fall. Perhaps it's just a sequence error in my perception? Perhaps rain was already falling at a greater height, and in some way the falling rain triggered a lightning event? But I doubt that very much since rain falls like any other object in free fall at a known rate, and lightning is a much speedier event!

I believe the intense sound waves (shock waves) which radiate outward from a lightning bolt through the cloud forces water, and particulate matter to condense into rain. I also believe that this is one of the primary means by which rain droplets form.

Cloud Tipping.

It may be possible to analyze a cloud by Doppler radar and specialized software to determine those areas within the cloud that are most likely to precipitate. As mentioned above, each cloud contains areas of high probability, and low probability for precipitation. These areas can be seen as peaks, and troughs of a mountain range. When rain begins in higher probability areas the rain event spreads to other adjacent lower probability areas, in a means similar to an avalanche. Rain condensation furthers more rain condensation, and spreads throughout the cloud.

Thus it might be possible to find the "tipping points" of a cloud, in real time, and force a cloud into a rain event by triggering lightning within, or near the cloud. The lightning, as mentioned above, generates sonic booms, which triggers the primary condensation avalanche.

An analogue exist. In order to prevent random avalanches on mountains explosives are used to created sound waves to trigger avalances at high probability points on the mountain.

The use of explosives sounds a bit dangerous for cloud tipping, but perhaps the development of a portable particle beam generator for such an exercise would be possible?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Does Thunder Make It Rain?

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Image: Water Droplets In Cloud Suspension

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Image: Shockwave from Sonic Boom Forces Droplets Closer

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Image: Water Droplets Condense

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Image: Water Droplets Condense

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Image Droplets Descend To Ground

This is all speculation on my part. I've noticed over the years that a sudden clap of thunder will be followed by a downfall of rain. I've seen this happen hundreds of times, and so there's no doubt in my mind as to the roll that thunder can play in helping to condense rain droplets in a thunderstorm.

For those of you still scratching your heads, let's try the Mr. Wizzard approach. I've noticed small scale, and reproducible condensation events which anyone can test at home. Try filling a styrofoam drinking cup with hot water. Place a see through drink cup lid on the drink cup. Wait until mist forms on the inside of the lid. Then move the drink cup slowly across the table. Make sure that the cup vibrates as you move it across the top of the table. Notice how large beads of water formed along the underside ot the drink cup lid?

Here's another simple Mr. Wizzard style proof of concept observation which you can make. After taking a shower, or bath notice how mist forms on the mirrors? If you have a medicine cabinet which has a mirror this will be easy to do. Leave the medicine cabinet open. Then after mist has formed close the medicine cabinet door. Notice how the mist forms beads across the surface of the mirror?

Vibrations cause the smaller beads of water to condesnse into larger beads of water, and visa versa, depending upon the frequency of the waveform.

Thunder creates shockwaves which spread out from its source - the lightning bolt. These shockwaves create ripples in the atmosphere. Water vapor is condensed within the trough of waves forming rain drops. The rain drops quickly grow in size, and gravity takes care of the rest.

Therefore, lightning via its role in the creation of sonic booms (i.e., thunder) plays an important, and virtually unmentioned role in precipitation.

Image Credit: All Images Created By JeromeProphet of Jerome, Illinois (Springfield, IL).

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