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Comment: Storing energy in track elevation? (Score 3, Interesting) 229

by Adam J. Richter (#37301320) Attached to: Tapping Subway Trains For Energy
More seriously, I wonder if subways currently store some of that kinetic energy by putting the passenger platforms at a slightly higher elevation (not as deep in the ground) in comparison to the other portions of the track. If I have my math right, the kinetic energy of moving at 30 meters per second ( ~67 miles/hour) is approximately the potential energy of an elevation of 45 meters in 1 Earth gravity (0.5mv^2 = mgh --> 0.5v^2 = gh --> h=0.5v^2/g --> h = 0.5(30m/sec)^2/(10m/sec^2) = 45 m/sec). I imagine that that would be much too rollercoastery for a local train, and you wouldn't want to have the train fly off the track so easily for arriving a little too fast, but it wouldn't surprise me if a dip of a meter or two is engineered into subway lines for a bit of energy savings.

Comment: How about more frequent elections? (Score 1) 401

by Adam J. Richter (#27271119) Attached to: Australia's Vast, Scattershot Censorship Blacklist Revealed

They need to weight individual MPs votes by their local approval rating.

Interesting, although the devil is in the details of how approval ratings would be measured.

You might want to consider what other improvements are politically and technically practical. Australia already has a relatively sophisticated vote counting system (instant runoff voting, which is not my favorite, but still pretty good in my opinion). So, perhaps the most universally understandable improvement in responsiveness would come from having more frequent elections. Lowering the stakes in elections and reducing the time that a losing politician needs to wait to run for reelection would encourage them to be slightly more honest in stating their opinions and would give them more accurate feedback about what the public really thinks.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil