Holy Sh!t. Reading your comment just may just explain the strange phenomena I felt when I was a kid. A few days before Mount St. Helens blew we experienced eerie weather conditions. I have told this story to a number of people over the years, how there was a really strange shift in conditions. I lived near Battle Ground, WA, which is 50mi. SSW of St. Helens. It was 8pm or so in the evening and time to suit up and head down to the barn to feed the horses. Two steps out the door and WHAM - warm, dead air. So warm it gave me the creeps! So strange that to this day I can remember vividly where I stood and my surroundings well past dusk. I went back in and shed my jacket and told my brother to come outside and check it out and then proceeded to check the news to see if she finally blew, not yet, but days laters.
So perhaps this radon precedes volcanic eruptions too?
(Hmm, your message was posted exactly 31 years and 6 hours after the eruption.)
This "focal point" issue is similar to the problems I have with the multi-speaker audio formats like 5.1, 7.1, etc. which are all really an attempt to create 3D sounds. Over 15 years ago I bought a high-end Yamaha sound field processor (A2070) that could mimic live venues to recreate 3D sound environments. It did a stunning job, hands down! It drove the L/R main, front effects, rear effects, center channel (or two!) and the sub making it the original form of 7.1 although there were not 8 separate recorded channels, it just used the 2CH Pro Logic decoding. Years later the idea of recording a track for each channel evolved, 5.1 then 7.1, which I thought would be cool and ideal, but that is where it all went wrong.
The studios do such a poor job of simulation when recording the separate channels, it becomes a huge distraction. First, most people are less affected by audio than visual effects, but it is a HUGE distraction to hear a sound behind you. Your focal point is watching a 2D image that sits in "stage" in front of you and yet you can hear sound from behind you? Your mind will immediately tells you this is wrong. The stage is in front of you and this fantasy world starts at the stage and goes forward, not behind you.
Second, this positional sound became a gimmick and abused by studios. These almost random and poorly timed effects are the bane of movie watching. I don't know which is more distracting, an entirely discrete sound effect (not at all blended with the other channels) going off behind my head, or someone's cell phone ringing. They both have the same annoying effect, although I don't think it will give you a headache like the 3D video will.
Like I said, most people are not as affected by audio artifacts, as much as visual ones, but I was amused watching the Super Bowl in HD at a friends house. Every so often they would attempt to immerse the home audience in the game by cutting off the color commentators and taking a live shot from the stands, meanwhile saturating all 5.1 channels with sounds from the arena, basically a bunch of clapping and cheers. Each time they did this, my host would look up annoyed at his speakers and queried me about their placement. He even declared that he used the microphone to balance the channel volumes, but complained that often times too much sound would come from the effect speakers. I felt better knowing that I was not the only one.
The aerial nature of the ropeway system has the advantage over rough terrain, where roads and rail would have to zig zag through energy robbing country. But because we have already adapted our transportation systems to relatively flat areas, especially long haul expressways, I agree that railroads are better. Really, they are just opposite of one another; trains have wheels on the cars which run on the fixed rail, and the ropeway is a moving "rail" on a fixed set of wheels.
An advantage of the ropeway over the railway is the size of unit transferred; aka packet size and frequency. Railway systems don't adapt well to all the potential uses, the exchange points are extremely inefficient and the rigid one-size-fits-all packet that usually requires a very large often heavy cargo to justify the choice. Ropeway systems offer a smaller, more manageable packet size combined with a higher frequency to achieve a higher throughput. In the ropeway system, new shipping containers are available with high frequency and their delivery time is constant but not all loads can be divided into smaller units.
Why not build a flatbed light rail system? Electric driven, computer routed, flatbeds on rail that could haul individual cars, trucks, delivery trucks or even full size tractor-trailers. Drive into the station, drive on to your individual flatbed cart, use your id and set your destination (cell phone app?). The cart then autonomously pulls into the main line, speeds you to your destination and exits, and you drive off. All that is required is different staging areas to support different vehicle sizes. Carts could be designed to connect and cooperate in such a way where perhaps four smaller car platforms could join to make a truck platform.
For the most part, the freeway system would only need three tracks, one in each direction and a bypass rail for emergencies or high traffic. As mentioned by another poster, it is usually the exchange points that are inefficient; eg. loading/unloading of rail cars, or passengers parking at a metro station and boarding light rail. In this case, you drive on the next available cart and go. Currently, trains as a whole must stop and start to pickup cargo/passengers along the way. The energy loss is tremendous and the patience of the passengers taxed having to stop at every station.
With the flatbed rail system, you get the smaller packet size, higher frequency and constant delivery times afforded by the ropeway system, plus you get the long haul, larger load capability of rail.
Here is a solution I have not heard yet: quid pro quo. A passenger (victim) should be able to choose their TSA pat-down agent (assailant) and the passenger should be able to pat-down the TSA agent to the same extent. I am sure the agent selection would be just as random as the TSA passenger selection, with absolutely no profiling.
...it would be like buying auto insurance after you've had a wreck and expecting the insurance company to cover you for that wreck.
Yes, what do people think the word insurance means? It is like getting a health insurance policy after you are already sick, with like a pre-existing condition, and still expecting to get coverage... oh wait... nevermind
So, I suspect that Christians would dearly hope that God's FB account is not limited to 5,000 friends....
Duh! Just ask any Johovah's Witness and they will tell that it is 144,000. If you want it in writing, see the Bible verse Revelation 14:1.
Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?