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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Restroom Trip Policy


picture of restroom problem

As much as it is supposed to simplify our lives, technology seems to make them more complicated as more is expected of us and controls us far more than it frees us. Today's blog post highlights an area of control that most of us never thought we would have to face in the workplace! Here's a note to employees that you would hate to receive from the personnel office:

Re: Restroom Trip Policy

In the past, employees were permitted to make trips to the restrooms under informal guidelines. Effective Oct. 6, 2008, a Restroom Trip Policy (RTP) will be established to provide a more consistent method of accounting for each employee's restroom time, thereby ensuring equal treatment to all employees. Until all necessary equipment is finally put in place on October 6, adherence to the new RTP will be on the honor system.

Under the new RTP, a "Restroom Trip Bank" will be established for each employee. The first day of each month employees will be given twenty (20) Restroom Trip Credits. These credits may be accumulated.

In the next two weeks the entrances to all restrooms will be equipped with personnel identification stations, computer-linked voice print recognition devices, and all the other equipment described below. Before the effective date of the new RTP, each employee must provide two copies of voice prints (one normal and one under stress) to Human Resources. The voice print recognition stations will be optional and not restrictive for this month. Please acquaint yourself with the stations during that period.

Once that equipment is in place and it's possible to monitor the restrooms electronically, if the employee's Restroom Trip Bank balance reaches zero, the doors to the restroom will not unlock for that employee's voice until the first working day of the following month. In addition, all restroom stalls are being equipped with timed paper roll retractors. If the stall is being occupied for more than three minutes, an alarm tone will sound throughout each building's intercom. Immediately afterward our new advanced voice synthesis system will announce the name of the delinquent employee and his or her department. Ten seconds after the alarm sounds, the roll of paper will retract into the wall, the toilet will flush, and the stall door will spring open. If the stall remains occupied, your picture will be taken.

The picture will then be posted on the bulletin board in the respective departments and on our intranet home page. Anyone's picture showing up three times will immediately be terminated. If you have any questions about this new RTP, please contact HR. They have all received advanced instructions.

We know you will want to co-operate so that this new policy can be expedited smoothly.

Human Resources,
Employee Benefits

BUM:mer

divider

Aren't you glad that the preceding is totally made up? But isn't it scary that it's true enough to life to be almost believable?!

The memorial service for my friend Paul Long was at 10:00 a.m. today. His siblings - two sisters and a brother - and several nephews were able to make the cross-country trip to be with Paul's wife and son. You can read several nice tributes - the first an article about him and his family and the second a tribute his school put out on their website about Paul - by clicking here and here.

Back to the topic of today's blog post... I'd love to your comments about how technology has changed your life, both for better and for worse.

quotation...

"Technology has just enabled us to commit the same old sins in a more hi-tech fashion." - Dr. Bob Jones Jr.

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press 3.


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Elevators


This past week has been quite full - lots of grading to do here at midterm time. Plus today's blog post has taken me quite a while to put together, so that has delayed my posting it.

I recently saw a pretty neat website about elevators. I had thought about sharing the URL with y'all, but there were several problems with it. First of all, I did not at all care for the language used on the site and wouldn't want to send people there for that reason. The second problem was that all of the images load from other sites.

The post I did a while back about bridges is one of the most viewed posts on my blog, and it received a large number of comments. People seem to have love/hate relationships with bridges and with elevators. Today's instant vacation took me a l-o-n-g time to prepare, which is not my usual M.O. But I enjoyed doing the searching and researching. I did not include anywhere near all the unique elevators (lifts) in the world. As with the post on bridges, if you have a favorite elevator you'd like to share, just click on the comments link at the end of this post on the blog itself and comment away!

I hope you will find today's post uplifting. 😉

Paternoster lift

The Paternoster lift was first developed in 1884 by Londoner J. E. Hall. A Paternoster or cyclical elevator consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. When you reach your floor you 'simply' step off the lift while the elevator is still moving. Even if you miss your floor and get to the top of the chain, the cabin will stay vertical and lift you over the top where you will start to descend on the other side. You can then step off on the desired floor. Sales were slow at first, probably because the Paternoster did not stop for the passengers to enter or alight - alarming! There are actually a few still in operation today in Europe.

Below is a picture of one still in use in Berlin...

Below is a drawing of the concept...

You can also watch a YouTube video showing a Paternoster elevator in action by clicking here.

Gateway Arch elevator

One of the "must sees" of St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Arch. The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (part of the U.S. National Park Service system) is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West to the pioneers who helped shape its history. Visitors are first amazed at the height of the Arch. Below is a picture from the ground looking up at the Arch.

To go to the top of the Arch, passengers in groups of five enter an egg-shaped compartment containing five seats and a flat floor. Eight compartments are linked to form a train. These compartments individually retain an appropriate level by periodically rotating every 5 degrees, which allows them to maintain the correct orientation while the entire train follows curved tracks up one leg of the arch. The trip to the top of the Arch takes four minutes, and the trip back down takes three minutes. The car doors have narrow glass panes, allowing passengers to see the interior stairways and structure of the Arch during the trip. Below is a picture of one of the cabins.

My wife and I have been on the elevator in the Gateway Arch - it's not our fave!

AquaDom elevator

The AquaDom in Berlin, Germany, is a 82 foot (25 meter) tall cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium with built-in transparent elevator. It is located at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin-Mitte. The DomAquaree complex also contains a hotel, offices, a restaurant, and the aquarium Sea Life Center.

The AquaDom opened in December 2003. It cost about 12.8 million euros. The acrylic glass cylinder was constructed by the U.S. company Reynolds Polymer Technology. The outside cylinder was manufactured on-site from four pieces; the inside cylinder for the elevator was delivered in one piece. The Aquadom has a diameter of over 36 feet (11 meters) and is filled with about 237,750 gallons (900,000 liters) of seawater, containing about 2600 fish of over 50 species. The feeding of the fish and the cleaning of the fish tank is performed daily by divers.

Below is a picture from underneath.

You can watch a YouTube video from inside the elevator by clicking here.

Bailong elevator

If you're afraid of heights, you might want to stay away from the Bailong Elevator, a glass elevator built onto the side of a huge cliff in the Zhangjiajie National Park in China. The stomach-dropping ride takes you 1,070 feet high! The future of this elevator isn't certain - apparently it's bad for the cliffs to have a gigantic elevator stuck on the side of them. If you feel like experiencing this one, you'd better do it now while you still have the chance, since it might be dismantled in the near future.

Below are several pictures of the elevator...

You can watch a YouTube video from inside the elevator by clicking here.

Hammetschwand Elevator

The Hammetschwand Lift, the highest exterior elevator in Europe, is located in Switzerland. It connects a spectacular rock path with the lookout point Hammetschwand on the Buergenstock plateau overlooking Lake Lucerne.

At the time of its construction between 1903 and 1905, it had a speed of three feet (about one meter) per second, and the ride up took nearly three minutes. Its cab consisted of wood fitted with a zinc sheet and could carry 8 passengers. The elevator has been upgraded several times with lighter materials and better engines, resulting in faster travel. The elevator entrance, the engine room and the first 46 feet (14 meters) of this ascent are completely the inside the mountain, while the remaining voyage allows a view of surrounding area. At the top station of Hammetschwand about 3,700 feet (1132 meters) above sea level, one has a breath-taking outlook on the Lake Lucerne and the Alps.

The most recent lift was built and opened by the Schindler Group. It whisks passengers up to the summit of the Hammetschwand in less than one minute which was regarded as a pioneering feat in those days and is probably nothing to sneeze at now!

Below is a picture of the Hammetschwand elevator...

Here's a collage of several pictures of the area...

Taipei 101 elevator

Taipei 101 has been the world's tallest building since 2004.

Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp announced the installation of the world's fastest passenger elevator just exactly where it is needed - in Taipei 101, the world's tallest building. The elevator runs at a top speed of 1,010 meters (3,333 feet) per minute when ascending and 600 meters (1968 feet) per minute on the way down. It can go from the fifth floor to the 89th floor in 39 seconds! And it's official - Guiness has certified it for the 2006 edition.

The world's fastest elevator offers the following new technologies:

- The world's first pressure control system, which adjusts the atmospheric pressure inside a car by using suction and discharge blowers, preventing those riding inside the car experiencing 'ear popping'

- An active control system which cancels vibrations by moving the counter mass in the opposite direction based on the vibration data from a sensor installed in the car

- Optimization in the configuration of the streamlined car to reduce the whistling noise produced by a car running at a high speed inside a narrow hoist-way. This is based on pressure analysis of the atmosphere in the hoistway and on the car surface during operation

Below is a picture of the statistics panel inside the elevator...

You can watch a YouTube video of the stats panel during the ascent of this elevator by clicking here.

I don't know if I'd like this elevator - maybe I'm just not a Taipei personality...?

CN Tower elevator

The CN Tower, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a communications and tourist tower standing 1,815 feet (553.33 meters) tall. It remains the signature icon of Toronto, attracting more than two million international visitors annually. CN originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower, following the railway's decision to divest non-core freight railway assets, prior to the company's privatization in 1995. Since local residents wished to retain the name CN Tower, the abbreviation is now said to expand to Canada's National Tower rather than the original Canadian National Tower; however, neither of these are commonly used.

Below are two pictures of the tower, one by day and one by night...

Below is a picture of someone standing on and looking down through the glass floor...

Sky Tower elevator

The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the central business district of Auckland, New Zealand. It is 1,076 feet (328 meters) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The upper portion of the tower contains two restaurant levels (one with revolving seating) and one cafe level, as well as two observation decks (including some with sections of glass floor). Climbs into the antennae portion are also possible for tour groups.

Below is a picture of someone standing on and looking down through a section of the glass floor.

The elevator itself has a glass floor...

You can watch a YouTube video of the descent of the elevator as seen through its glass floor panels by clicking here.

The tower also features the SkyJump, a 630-feet (192-meter) 'fan descender' jump (an experience between a bungy jump and a base jump) from the observation deck, during which a jumper can reach up to 53 mph (85 km/h). The jump is guide-cable-controlled to prevent jumpers from colliding with the tower in case of gusts.

You can watch a YouTube video of someone doing the jump by clicking here.

Is this really an elevator?

Normally we take an elevator to get to where we want to go. But this elevator seems to take that concept to its extreme!

quotation...

"We can shorten our lives, but we cannot lengthen them." - Rob Loach

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?


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Black and White


When I did a word search in my files in preparation for my last post where I mentioned Sputnik, one of the words I used in the search was "satellite." One of the files that turned up is what I'm posting today. It's something I read and saved years ago and frankly had completely forgotten about. When I reread it, I thought to myself that it would be a nice piece to post on the blog sometime in the future. Well, the following morning I heard on the radio that the program Leave It to Beaver was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. They had a little sound clip from "the Beav'" and from his older brother "Wally." Wally's voice sounded the same, only more mature!

My mind went back to some of the really good, family-friendly shows from my childhood, shows that had valued right and didn't glorify wrong. Not only were the images black and white, but most of the issues were also. Looking back on those programs now as an adult, I realize too that those old shows were laced with "little white lies" and situation ethics. But there were generally always uncomfortable or even unpleasant consequences for the wrong doing and good triumphed in the end. I must admit that I am not a big TV watcher and haven't been for years now. I simply hate to be assailed with profanity, innuendo, violence, immorality, calling wrong right and right wrong, and on and on I could go with the litany of what TV has become.

Today I'm posting the words to a song about the "good, ol' days" of black and white TV.

(If you're under the age of 50, you probably won't fully understand or appreciate this poem about a period of time when, even though it took five minutes for the TV warm up, there would be something actually worth watching...)

Black and White
by Steve Vaus

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go,
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
"Good night David, Good night Chet!"
Depending on the channel you tuned
You got Rob and Laura, or Ward and June.
It felt so good, it felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, the Real McCoys,
Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys,
Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train,
Superman and Lois Lane,
Father Knows Best,
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,
Donna Reed on Thursday night.
Life looked better in black and white.

I wanna go back to black and white.
Everything always turned out right.
Simple people, simple lives,
Good guys always won the fights.
Now nothing's the way it seems
In living color or on the screen.
I wanna go back to black and white.

In God they trusted, in bed they slept.
A promise made was a promise kept.
They never cussed or broke a vow.
They'd never make the network now.
But if I could I'd rather be
In a TV town in '63
It felt so good, it felt so right.
Life looked better in black and white.

I'd trade all the channels on the satellite
If I could just turn back the clock tonight
To when everybody knew wrong from right.
Life was better in black and white.

divider

Here are pictures of a dozen shows to evoke good memories for some...

The Little Rascals (a.k.a. Our Gang)

Spanky and Our Gang

Sky King (and his niece Penny)

Out of the blue of the western skies comes Sky King!

Howdy Doody (and Buffalo Bob)

It's Howdy Doody Time!

Rin Tin Tin

the troops at Fort Apache adopted the orphan Rusty and his German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin

The Lone Ranger (and his faithful companion Tonto)

Hi-Ho-Silver and away!

I Love Lucy (our favorite episode - in the candy factory)

Lucy in the Candy Factory

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

Leave It to Beaver (the Cleaver family)

the Cleavers - Wally, June, Ward, and Theodore (Beaver)

Lassie

Lassie and Timmy the boy who loved her

Father Knows Best

the Andersons - Bud, Kitten, Jim, Margaret, and Princess

The Andy Griffith Show

Barney, Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bea

The Beverly Hillbillies

Granny and Jed

quotation...

"Make every decision based on doctrine. Doctrine is not peripheral - it is foundational." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Have you ever noticed that nostalgia isn't what is used to be?


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10,000 Words


Since my last blog post was more thought-provoking than most and involved more reading than most, I thought I'd post some neat pictures I've received lately. If a picture is worth is a thousand words, the following is worth at least 10,000 words. Have a great weekend!

This takes "do-it-yourself" to a whole new level - an extremely low level!

do-it-yourself car repair

Here's some interesting unreal estate...

cliff hanging at home

Too bad this guy didn't know about bluetooth technology! Sorry, but I find this really disturbing!

Is that my phone ringing?

Now here's a way-outhouse!

a way-outhouse

All I can say is, "NOT ME, MAN!!!"

Not me man!

No one can claim that those doing the food service on this train don't go the extra mile! Or is this a new spin on "Tea for Two?"

great service on this train!

Now *where* did that car go?!?

Where'd that car go?!?

Wow! This is *some* ski show!

quite the ski show!

Faster, Dear! The lava is gaining on us!

Drive faster, Dear!

"Sweetheart, I've got your honey-do list ready ... now where'd that man go???"

hidden husband

quotation...

"I don't need to know what lies ahead. I just need to know God." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.


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