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Hurricane Simulator to Destroy Full Size Building 162

Posted by Hemos
from the ka-whump dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "This is a shameless plug, but I thought Slashdot readers might be interested in the hurricane simulator system the company I work for (Cambridge Consultants) helped develop for the University of Western Ontario. The BBC article is light on the kind of technical details Slashdot readers enjoy, so here are some titbits. The servomotors for the 100+ valves are controlled over an IPv4, gigabit Ethernet network connected to an Athlon dual-core AMD64 PC. The entire real-time control system runs on this machine, utilizing well above 90% of each processor core, and roughly 30% of the network capacity. The sampling frequency of the control system places a huge demand on the machine, with about 70,000 context switches taking place every second. Yes, it runs Linux. "
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Hurricane Simulator to Destroy Full Size Building

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @07:59AM (#15604532)
    Does it run on Lin...

    Dammit, you stole my line!
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by LoonyMike (917095) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:00AM (#15604536)
    does it run Vista?
  • Yeah... (Score:4, Funny)

    by insanarchist (921436) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:00AM (#15604537)
    Yeah, but can it run... er... nevermind.
    • Re:Yeah... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rwven (663186)
      To me...it just sounds like an article full of buzz-words. None of that makes a bit of difference as to the outcome. Who, frankly, gives a crap that the simulator uses utilizes "well above 90% of each processor core, and roughly 30% of the network capacity." I do this with my home computer on a daily basis. I'm interested in the core story but trying to win over /. users by using a bunch of words that are "supposed" to mean something just seems lame to me.
      • Actually, that's really important, but it's talking more about the software than the hardware.

        For most problems, it can be very difficult to find a way to write the program so that it efficiently utilizes many processors at once. Typically, a poorly-written MPI (or PVM, or whatever distributed computing model you use) program will leave many CPUs idling much of the time. For some problems the division of labor is fairly straightforward, but for most it's not.

        Now, this comment implies that the code is wel
  • Listen (Score:5, Funny)

    by Provocateur (133110) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:03AM (#15604549) Homepage
    If you guys in Western Ontario want a hurricane so bad why don't you just come live here in Key West, Florida?
     
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:03AM (#15604550)
    10% idle
    89.95% kernel (switching threads)
    0.05% user (generating 70,000 "blow" commands per second)

    Hurricanes may blow, but abusing thread-level concurrancy definitely sucks.
  • by kestasjk (933987) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:05AM (#15604563) Homepage
    The disturbing thing is that this isn't the first Linux installation on a machine which is designed to destroy buildings..
  • Doubts... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:06AM (#15604568)
    I have doubts that you can accurately simulate a hurricane without the space around the house. Some damage is done directly by the wind, yes, but there's a LOT of damage that is done by the wind blowing things into other things and weakening them.

    Do you randomly throw in pieces of tin roof and stop signs to simulate that? And trees? I doubt it, since there isn't enough space in your simulator for that.

    As for being "perfectly repeatable", I have doubts for that as well. That assumes that you could build the exact same house over and over. The article even states that the placement of the nails in the house matters, and I can't see anyone being that perfect.

    Overall, I think it's a neat project, but unlikely to really provide more insight than 'yeah, wind fscks shit up.'
    • Re:Doubts... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrSquirrel (976630) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:14AM (#15604594)
      Yes, flying debris can punch holes in houses and such, but WIND is what will completely tear the house down (remember seing roofs blown off on your t.v. and whole houses collapsing?). The point is, they're NOT going to be able to do a goddamn thing about flying debris (well, they could build all houses out of 10" of tempered steel), what they are trying to do is make houses designed to be as hurricane resistant as possible.
      FTA:"This is relevant because most of the damage to houses occurs in places where there are sudden changes in pressure, such as at the corners and edges of the building.
      "You get swirling and rapid changes from positive to negative pressure," said Mr Wilkinson.
      "If you were going to pull a panel off a roof you wouldn't just heave on it, you'd try to waggle it, and that's the most destructive thing for the wind to do.""
      • Re:Doubts... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:51AM (#15604784) Journal
        I found the article to be pretty fascinating, but I'm really curious as to how they've modeled hurricane winds. The hardware details are pretty mundane, but the algorithms they've used to model a hurricane would be a very interesting subject.
      • Re:Doubts... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by saider (177166)

        The point is, they're NOT going to be able to do a goddamn thing about flying debris (well, they could build all houses out of 10" of tempered steel), what they are trying to do is make houses designed to be as hurricane resistant as possible.


        A cement brick house (standard in Florida) is able to stop any debris hurled at it by a hurricane. The standard test is usually a 2x4 at 120mph or somesuch. One weak spot is the connection between the roof and the wall. If these are not properly secured, the roof will
        • Especially for owners of quarter million dollar beachfront property. The government provides insurance at lower than market rates even for inland properties and will rebuild the same (up to) $250,000 property an unlimited number of times. Owners would probably rather just build a brand new one rather than repair one left standing (nothing is like new like BRAND NEW!) so they build them as if hurricanes were a myth and just evacuate when one comes anywhere near. Afterall, these particular bastards have an in
          • Re:Doubts... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Smeagel (682550)
            $250,000 in the miami area? They can probably rebiuld their front porch with that money...nice theory though. It's quite a bit more likely that they want a beautiful house that they can show off, rather than a cheap house that they can rebuild. Nothing quite says "waste of beach front" like a cement/brick house without many windows.
          • The government provides insurance at lower than market rates even for inland properties and will rebuild the same (up to) $250,000 property an unlimited number of times.

            I don't know what government you speak of, but Citizen's Insurance (the FL owned provider) has to charge (by law) above the highest rate for a given property. It is about 20-50 percent higher than a private provider.

            The private providers *must* provide coverage for homes if they want to sell any other insurance in the state. But the way the
          • Especially for owners of quarter million dollar beachfront property.

            In south Florida that'd be slums. In the Keys you probably can't even get an empty lot for that. My inlaws have some property there (bought about fifty years ago) and I'm sure they could get easily double, maybe triple, that from someone who just wants to scrape the existing structure off and rebuild. (Hey, it'd be worth more after a hurricane destroyed the property -- which it won't, because it's a concrete and steel structure.)

            Just wa
    • I have doubts that you can accurately simulate a hurricane without the space around the house. Some damage is done directly by the wind, yes, but there's a LOT of damage that is done by the wind blowing things into other things and weakening them.

      Yes but scientists have all ready been firing 2X4s directly into different structures in order to test this. Its a lot easier than trying to directly test the effects of wind.

      As for being "perfectly repeatable", I have doubts for that as well. That assumes that you

      • by hahiss (696716) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:01AM (#15604846) Homepage

        Well, what I want to know is when science can evict variance; what are tenant's rights in scienceland?
      • >Yeah. Its odd how some scientist can say a measurement can be perfectly repeatable when one of the major tenants of science is that there will always be variance.

        "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." -Yogi Berra
        • "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." -Yogi Berra

          Theory is always a gross oversimplification.
          Assumptions are made, not because they are valid, but because without them computation is impossible and they seem not to cause too much error in at least some of the cases of interest.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:24AM (#15604639)
      Yeah, I'm pretty sure the guys doing the experiments didn't think of that, good thing you happened to be here to set them straight.
    • I think it might help get rules of thumb, but they do need to simulate objects being thrown at them, of random types and at random locations from random angles.

      I saw a Science Channel show that showed that the biggest weakness of any structure is the windows. The biggest improvement can be had by just using a plastic film over both sides so they can hold the wind out once it's been hit by a large object. Once it lets wind in, the wind tends to gut a building.
      • If you could seal the windows like you say, you'd have to start worrying about overpressure separating structural members. Better the windows break and the furnature gets pushed around than the whole house explodes.
      • I somehow doubt that plastic film is going to help a window much if it gets hit by a piece of 2x4 blown by a 120 MPH wind...

        Which is why folks in frequent hurricane country (eg, Florida Keys) just put thick plywood shutters over the windows. Quite likely the ones already made to fit the windows and attach to the fittings for them. When you get two or three hurricanes coming through in a season, you start getting serious about planning for them.
    • We had three storms last year that knocked out power and two that damaged the house. The wind itself does cause damage but not enought to mention. However, if you add in the raid that comes from the storm then there's lots of damage. I think that after you get 20" - 30" of rain over a few hours it tends to soften things up for the wind. Trees that would withstand the wind force are pushed over once the ground is water logged. Same goes for the house. If you start getting plywood wet it will seperate and blo
    • Perhaps the purpose is not to faithfully recreate the damage caused by a hurricane but to experiment with the hurricane itself.
    • by Froster (985053) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:57AM (#15605188)
      I figured I'd chime in here as a Western Engineering Student, who had Prof. Kopp last year, let you know what he was up to in the Fall. Kopp only taught the second half of my course because the first half of the year (during Hurricane season) he went to New Orleans to study the devistation.

      This project isn't meant to make a perfectly hurricane resistant house (though, you could try based on the results). As far as I know, the aim is to find what little things can be done to the average house to improve the chances of survival for the house, or at least the people in it. In the example of nailing trusses to the walls of the house, anyone who's actually been there to see or nailed a truss can attest to how weak that connection can be, and one possible change is to mandate exactly how the trusses need to be nailed, and perhaps develop a new nailing plate to ensure that the placement of the nail is exact each time (if there is a steel plate on each truss with only one hole, you know where the nail is going).

      Also, for anyone wondering "why Western Ontario?", UWO is home to a very well respected wintunnel lab, which has tested many very well known buildings (Athens Olympic Stadium, CN Tower, numerous tall buildings in China to name a few). You can take a look here: http://www.blwtl.uwo.ca/Public/Home.aspx [blwtl.uwo.ca]
    • TFA discusses a meticulously built, meticulously inspected model home. Ha! Your real simulation needs to evaluate the effects on a house built by the usual motley crew of drug-addled, untrained, dunderheads who were probably herding sheep 3 weeks before they were hired at minimum wage by cheap-ass contractors to work on the house.

      Flying debris aside (which punches huge holes in houses and allows wind to get inside), many homes destroyed by Andrew were found to have substandard construction, some with the ro
  • by Attila the Bun (952109) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:09AM (#15604580)
    BBC article is light on the kind of technical details Slashdot readers enjoy

    ...but not so light as the Slashdot article. Are you telling me that you've built a hurricane machine capable of destroying a building, and the most interesting part is the office PC which controls it?

  • by insanarchist (921436) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:13AM (#15604593)
    ...as if millions of nerds suddenly cried out, "yeah, but does it run...", and were suddenly silenced.
  • by doobie22 (970556) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:14AM (#15604596)
    New form of Execution for when it's all televised.
  • by fernandoh26 (963204) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:15AM (#15604597) Homepage
    I, for one, welcome our hurricane-simulating, house-destroying, Linux-running overlords.
  • by kaufmanmoore (930593) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:26AM (#15604652)
    Hurricane simulation in Canada, The Carolina Hurricanes in North Carolina winning the Stanley Cup, the world is coming to an end.
  • by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:34AM (#15604688) Homepage
    ...is the source GPLed? It would be fun to add some random hacks, like simulating a pickup truck smashing through the roof, on this puppy.
  • Real-time? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Runs on Linux? RTLinux, then? Or some other RTOS? I'm just curious what people are using out there.
  • This seems not good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:38AM (#15604709)
    If you want to know what a hurricane does, study the effects of hurricanes. One of the best studies was done after Hurricane Andrew and the results were published in Fine Homebuilding Magazine.

    What they found that the building code was pretty good. There were a couple of issues.

    The rain of an actual hurricane was responsible for a lot of the destroyed homes. Rain would get up under the shingles and soak the fiberboard sheathing. The sheathing would swell and the roofing staples would then cut into the sheathing and the sheathing would blow off. Once that happened, the house was toast.

    Another issue was that builders didn't always build to code. They found a lot of nails that missed the lumber they were aimed at.

    This experiment misses a couple of things that caused most of the destruction during Hurricane Andrew.

    If you state what winds you want a house to withstand, you can reliably build the house to withstand those winds. I am skeptical that this experiment will turn up anything we didn't already know.
    • by m0nstr42 (914269)
      This experiment misses a couple of things that caused most of the destruction during Hurricane Andrew.

      From the BYLINE of TFA: "A family home in Canada will be deliberately destroyed by scientists to understand how buildings react to hurricane force winds." Not the rain, not the building code, THE WINDS. That's how a controlled experiment works.

      I am skeptical that this experiment will turn up anything we didn't already know.

      I'm sure the researchers didn't do any literature review. At least not a
      • Exactly. The students doing the experiment are Civil Engineering students. I go to UWO, and all they're trying to do is to see how they can make the building stand up to the wind better. Such things like cross braces in the walls may help and better anchoring of the floors above to the ones below. They expect that the top floor will tear off at least once. The house is being built by students at Fanshawe College.
        • Yes, but that's not the point. As the grandparent poster pointed out, excess water was what made the houses significantly more vulnerable to the winds.

          If this thing is simulating anything, it's a tornado.

          I'm also concerned about the fact that the house looks like it takes up just about the whole entire building. Air currents can do some funky things when given enough room and enough objects to bounce off of. Likewise, as another poster pointed out, the simulator doesn't consider the fact that there wi
          • > Air currents can do some funky things when given enough room and enough objects to bounce off of.

            From TFA: "It's not the wind speed we're simulating; it's the actual force the wind exerts on the building."

            That's exactly what they're trying to do. Nowhere did anyone say "So, we're gonna point a big fan at a house in a tiny hangar and..."
  • Storm Surge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NorthWestFLNative (973147) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:45AM (#15604742) Journal
    They're forgetting the most destructive part of a hurricane. Granted strong winds can and will do a significant amount of damage (I still remember what my parents house looked like after Ivan), but the most damage is done along the coastline where they get hit by storm surge. That's not something that can be replicated by a wind tunnel on a full scale. I drove along the southern Mississippi coast about 3 weeks ago. There is wind damage for miles inland, which I would expect, but it's nothing major. However the coastline is devastated. The first floors of buildings are completely washed out, destroying most of the buildings completely. The ones that were multi-story are collapsing in on themselves because their support is gone. Testing building construction in a simulator is a good place to start, but I hope it doesn't give people a false sense of security.
    • How about the very real sense of security that comes from living in Canada far away from Hurricanes.

      Of course we get blizzards but that's something else entirely.

      Don't look at it as Canadians getting to big for their britches look at it as someone steping into the hole that should contain GW.

      We'll step in feet first though.
    • They're forgetting the most destructive part of a hurricane. Granted strong winds can and will do a significant amount of damage (I still remember what my parents house looked like after Ivan), but the most damage is done along the coastline where they get hit by storm surge.

      That's how a controlled experiment works. If they wanted to study flood damage they would have done something completely different. Don't use criticism of someone's hard work as a launching point to tell anecdotes. If this gives a
  • Winds vs. Water (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:54AM (#15604804)
    "As a result, there is great interest in making buildings safer and more resilient to the damaging effects of extreme weather."

    Well the winds could potentially destroy the home, but the mold and rot that comes from the standing water could render it worthless.
  • by Coeurderoy (717228) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:00AM (#15604841)
    In a related News CompTIA warns governments against Linux: Runing Linux is proved to destroy Full sized buildings under various usage situations.

    This proves that Linux can be used by Terorists, drug dealers that want to push competitors out and various other nefarious evildoer.

    A member of CompTIA Steve B. indicated that Linux can even get chairs to fly around.
  • I'd love to see a beowulf cluster of those...but not just the PCs, the whole setup. It's just that, if we can learn something from knocking down a building, how much more could we learn by knocking down an entire city. My greatest fear would be to be the guy that wrote the code and to find a bug, or an incorrect parameter, after the building was destroyed.

    To paraphrase Dave Barry, "Everything should go well, provided the researchers remember to change the settings from 'Biblical Flood' to 'Hurricane'."

  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:07AM (#15604885)
    Linux destroys buildings (and drowns kittens and puppies, too) !
  • ...if it was the Big Brother house.
  • My neighbors run a daily simulation. Just give me a 'ring and I'll have them over in no time.

    House has stood up so far, but I'm living life on the edge, ya know?
  • Woah (Score:1, Offtopic)

    Imagine a Beowulf clus....
  • Awesome project, I think I might have heard about it on "Discovery" channel a while ago. (Or maybe a similar one.)
    It's not every day that a house can be constructed just for the purpose of testing it with such strong winds.

    I live in Nebraska, and I'm sure that some of the findings from projects like yours will find their way into our homes to protect them from tornadoes.
    • Yeah it was on Daily Planet last week but may have been on before that. The Professor Mike Bartlett who was interviewed on the show is bald under his hard hat :D and he's about one of the most "to the book" guys I've ever seen.
  • Sorry in advance! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by ArthurDent (11309)
    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those things!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    is that you designed a gigantic hair dryer that instead of an on/off switch uses a powerful and expensive computer? That is the kind of thinking we like at Microsoft! We need people like you! If you have no problem in waking up in the morning knowing that 50 milion people hate you and you share the same passion as we do, that is listening to the tormented screams and howls of our products' users, drop us a line or two. A glorious career awaits! We might even overlook that unhealthy linux thing you had ... a
  • by Z80a (971949)
    now Airman can be done
    anyone here know how to make a time stopping machine that does some sparkles in the process or at least some bubbles that rolls in the ground?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:42AM (#15605922)
    You don't need to run simulations yet. There are still plenty of real world data to collect before you can adequately simulate any hurricane. There are tens of thousands of buildings of every type here on the Gulf coast that can be assessed right now. Damage runs the full gamut, from light to catastrophic.

    I live in a FEMA trailer. The western eyewall of Hurricane Katrina passed over my house. Various official guesstimates of wind velocity at the time were high Category 3 to low Category 4 - roughly 130mph or 210 kph. In my neighborhood, houses suffered everything from light roof damage from wind and felled trees, to complete destruction; nothing left but a pile of 2x4's. A few houses were swept away entirely, along with cars, boats and anything else that was not tied down.

    My house is an ordinary 25 year old, rectangular, brick clad, single storey building with a simple hip roof and traditional construction. There are no hurricane straps anywhere in the house. The house structure survived just fine. Not a single window was broken, though most had water infiltrate between the panes. Roof damage was minor, it never sprung a leak, but it has been re-shingled since the storm. What put me into a trailer was the storm surge of 15 feet, over four feet of water in the house for several hours. The interior is still entirely gutted.

    Between damage to the wiring, flooring, drywall, insulation, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, appliances, HVAC unit, furniture and all the rest of the contents of the house and garage, I'd just as soon build a brand new house from scratch. There would be a lot fewer headaches, and not much more expense.

    So what's my point? It's simple. If you'll spend a few month in this area, you'll learn more about hurricane hazards than decades of laboratory simulations. There are too many parameters to get right before simulation results will yield much knowledge.

    IANAE, but from my observation of damage from New Orleans to the Mississippi Gulf Coast there are several points to be made.

    1) Straight line winds are just one hazard. The level of damage varies with wind direction, velocity and duration, amount of rainfall, height and velocity of storm surge, duration of inundation, distance from open water, barriers both natural and man-made, proximity and height of neighboring structures, and tornadoes (there were lots of those embedded in the storm). And maybe other factors too, including luck.

    2) No doubt, building codes play a role in preventing or mitigating wind damage.

    3) Those fancy, intricate gabled roofs that are so popular on all the new McMansions? They suck. I don't care how many metal brackets hold them together. They're mincemeat in a real storm.

    4) You can't do much against flood. High Base Food elevation is the only thing that will prevent flooding. Build high to remain dry.

    5) Most of the stuff you own is located below a line four feet above the floor. The cost of a house's structure is relatively small compared to its contents, equipment, and interior finish.

    6) If you're in the storm's bull's eye, like Pearlington, Waveland and Bay St. Louis MS were, there's not much to be gained by expensive reinforcement of an ordinary house structure. You just can't fully protect against the massive energy that a Katrina-sized storm carries onshore.

    7) Don't trust the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect you against anything.

    8) Don't trust your insurance company.

    9) When a hurricane's bearing down on you, don't worry about the house, get the hell out of town.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Straight line winds are just one hazard. The level of damage varies with wind direction, velocity and duration

      And on top of that, you can have the winds shift 180 degrees over the course of an hour without ever letting up. I didn't see anything in the article that suggested the simulator did or didn't account for that, but it's something that definitely happens.

      I agree that while this sounds like an interesting experiment, it's very unlikely that we're going to learn anything that structural engineers don
    • point (9) should be point (1).

      The absolute cheapest thing that can be done is improve the infrastructure around the city to allow rapid
      evacuation in an emergency. (cheapest doesn't mean cheap though...)

      In any event, every municipality should have some estimate of how long it will realistically take to evacuate and what resources are needed to do so. (for example, don't let the bus drivers leave town first, with an entire motor pool of school busses just sitting there because it's beneath your citizens to t
    • Your points are valid. But so are the wind tunnel experiments.

      The experiments can provide a lot of things that cannot be seen in the hurricane-damaged houses. They can monitor in real-time how the buildings get damaged. They can isolate wind damage from rain, debris, and flood damage. Most importantly, they can quickly test several different construction methods to see how well they fare against the winds. Does a nail at a 10 degree angle hold together against 50% more wind than a nail straight in? These ar
  • Yes, but does it make coffee?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    20 years ago, when I worked for CCL, I wrote a proposal for Building Research Establishment in Watford. The CCL-internal codename was "Big Bad Wolf", since the equipment was to simulate simulate wind loading on building materials by sucking and blowing until the materials fell apart. The BRE actuators look remarkably similar to those pictured, so far as can be seen.

    So, is this an up-scaling of that project?
  • Computer-controller simulators? Bah. If you want to learn something about building hurricane-proof homes, take a trip to Bermuda instead.
  • I'm amazed that an Ontario, Canada company developed this. It's not there's a lot of Hurricanes in Ontario.
  • input (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thinsoldier (937530)
    I really have to ask. You North Americans, why the hell do you build your homes out of toothpicks?

    Look at the photo from the article:
    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41805000/jpg /_41805420_001842788_house_getty300.jpg [bbc.co.uk]

    Every hurricane or every news report about tornado alley showing the damaged homes looks like this. This looks like a pile of toothpicks! You really spend thousands of dollars to build and live in these wooden things?

    I'm from the Bahamas. Although I'm the least patriotic person I know, I
    • by jofi (908156)
      If we already spend thousands of dollars for toothpicks and new homes started using the same thing as yours, then they are probably going to want "thousands of dollars * 5" for the house. It's the American way.
    • It's actually somewhat more complex a situation that you might think by watching TV.

      For one, hurricane/tornado damage is self-selecting. i.e. well-built homes aren't damaged, and don't get shown on TV because who wants to see a bunch of wet houses? Same thing with tornados and trailer parks. That kind of construction takes damage incredibly easily, so it always seems like that's where tornados strike. Nope. It's just where the most damage is donw, so it's what gets on TV.

      Secondly, those "toothpick" houses.
      • by cr0sh (43134)
        Last of all, 2x4s, nails and sheetrock. That's not really a complete picture of how modern building techniques work. There's a lot more cross bracing, insulation and heavy reinforcement involved.

        I'll believe it when I see it. Maybe you might get "garbage truck repelling" construction on a new home that is custom designed and built, but I can guarantee that you won't get the same in your standard suburb tract-housing.

        I can't speak for California construction, but I know that here in Phoenix, if you are lucky

  • Hurricane Simulator Destroys Full Size Building

    The BBC is reporting that the much vaunted Hurricane Simulator experiment in Ontario has surpassed expectations by not only destroying the test subject but also the building it was housed in. While some blame the catastrophe on the Big Bad Wolf, more reasoning minds have posited that "maybe they should have used more nails to hold it down".

  • Linux, Sminux. I hate to spoil your fun but the simulator won't work--at least, if you really want to simulate the effect of a hurricane on the structure. The simulator may work for a light tornado, but most of the destructive force of the hurricane would be due to the momentum of the entrained water droplets, not the wind. At about 1/1000th the density of water, air would have about 10 times less force for the same velocity. Good Luck!
  • ...nevermind.

    But seriously, in Soviet Russia, simulator blows you!

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.

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