Melman
Melman
Joined: Apr 12, 2010
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October 17th, 2010 at 11:44:21 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I plan to see it for myself whenever it opens. I find it rather annoying that they can't give out an exact date when it will be open to the public.



If I may make a comment that doesn't involve blowing anything up... I believe I read that the reason for not giving the exact date/time of opening is to prevent a crowd of first-across-the-bridge wannabees from showing up.

It also lets them open it just as soon as possible. Until recently, the advertised date was in November. Now they're saying late this week. I bet it's open before that.

Did anyone attend the "open house" event yesterday? It looked to me like fewer people showed up than they were expecting... although I was there early and gone by 10:00. So I don't know if the crowds grew later.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 17th, 2010 at 12:28:14 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

It sounds like PeteM knows a lot more on the topic of bombing dams than me, so I'll let him take over on that point.

About the water issue, California could get by without Colorado River water. I believe the major southern California cities gets most of their water from aquifers from northern California. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't California use most of their Colorado River allotment on Salton Sea farming, which is not essential. Meanwhile, Vegas gets almost all its water from the Colorado River.



Los Angeles gets the largest portion of its water from stored runoff (from a long distance away); the northern CA aquifers are in severe deficit from Delta, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Valley farming and the water table there is dropping. There is also a severe pesticide, alkali, and salt contamination problem. The Peripheral Canal (which was the proposed solution to LA's thirst) won't be delivering much usable water at all in the near future. Furthermore, there is increasing political resistance in northern California to sending its water south, which practice has accelerated degradation of local farmland, as above, and has harmed the ecology of the Delta and San Francisco Bay.

California has been borrowing Nevada's share of the Colorado River Compact for some time now. That interstate agreement was, unfortunately, based on runoff figures from the wettest decade on record--the 1920s. Since then, the river has been "in deficit" every year since then, i.e., the allocations exceed the actual usable water available. It is only because Nevada has never insisted on its full allotment from the Compact that California has been able to exceed its own allotment, year after year.

The Imperial Valley does indeed use a large share of California's allotment, but it's debatable whether that area is "not essential" to California's economy (the Salton Sea and immediately surrounding area is not extensively farmed due to high soil alkaline content). If Colorado river water were not available, much of southeastern California would simply dry up and blow away. Also, San Diego is far more dependent on Colorado river water than Los Angeles, because the vast majority of state and federal water projects, starting with the Owens Valley diversions in the 1920s, were targeted toward L.A. San Diego was a relative backwater until quite recently, and never received the benefits of the Central California Project, or any of the other mutil-billion-dollar schemes that were hatched to keep L.A. growing and growing and growing.

A great read on the subject is Marc Reisner's "Cadillac Desert".
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 17th, 2010 at 12:36:27 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

There was an attention getting study done in early 2008 that said Lake Mead could be empty by 2021.



The other problem is that Lake Mead could be FULL by 2050. Full of silt, that is. The amount of silt that comes downstream was vastly underestimated by the dam's builders. It was subsequently thought that Glen Canyon Dam would intercept enough silt to extend Hoover's life by decades. However, the river isn't called "Colorado" for nothing. The river drains a vast area of exposed sandstone and rugged topography. Tributaries dump immense silt loads into the river when storms hit the Colorado Plateau. In the Grand Canyon, the river turns a livid red from the dissolved silt. Fill a glass with that water, and after a few minutes, there will be a half inch or more of silt on the bottom.

That silt has been piling up at the base of all the Colorado main-stem dams for decades. Storage capacity is at 70-80% of original construction levels. The useful life of those dams was originally estimated to be 250-300 years; it now appears to be less than a third of that.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Wizard
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Wizard
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October 17th, 2010 at 1:26:43 PM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

On the water and changing the subject a little, what's with the tremendous decline in depth of Lake Mead? Is that thing drying up or what? (I know, if mkl didn't have me on his blocked list I'd get the answer AND THEN SOME!)



That is mainly the result of weak snowfalls in the Rockies the last 10-20 years. Contrary to popular belief, it has little to do with rainfall and population growth in Vegas. Southern Nevada gets only a small share of Colorado River water. It will never happen that Lake Mean runs dry. If things get really bad then I imagine we could buy some of California's share. On my list of things to worry about, Lake Mead water levels do not make the top 100.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
Nareed
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October 17th, 2010 at 4:52:23 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I have to question if the dam security for nine years has been a huge waste of money, not to mention the inconvenience to the drivers. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.



Well, we've pretty much established terrorists couldn't blow up the dam. Blowing up a generator, damaging the water intake towers or the control rooms wouldn't be too hard without security.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
mkl654321
mkl654321
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October 17th, 2010 at 5:25:10 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Well, we've pretty much established terrorists couldn't blow up the dam. Blowing up a generator, damaging the water intake towers or the control rooms wouldn't be too hard without security.



I suppose the truth of that assertion would depend on what you meant by "blow up the dam". They probably couldn't reduce it to rubble, but they wouldn't need to do that to make the dam fail; destroying its support would be enough. It's like a cork in a champagne bottle. In terms of scale, if Lake Mead was a swimming pool, Hoover Dam would be the width and thickness of a fingernail. The potential energy stored in the lake is immense, and it isn't held back by much at all, in terms of relative mass.

I'm not sure it is necessarily foremost in the minds of the terrorists as a target, though in terms of the damage its failure could cause, it probably SHOULD be. But they seem to want to go after symbolic targets rather than the ones whose destruction would inflict the most damage.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
PeteM
PeteM
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October 17th, 2010 at 6:25:22 PM permalink
Just got back from watching football(49ers FINALLY won). Interesting the way this thread bounces from destruction to water consumption and back.

Granted that the potential energy of the water in Lake Mead is immense,(incalcuable?) I would imagine that even the areas where the dam abuts solid rock are still too tough for any "nongovernmental" action. Those highscalers back in the 30's spent a long time taking the canyon walls down to bedrock before pouring any concrete; and if the explosion isn't tamped, wether by water or drilling, all you get is a smallish crater.

Paco, I don't know if the navy uses shaped charges in its anti-sub torpedoes or not. I do know that they were originally developed as an anti-tank weapon by the Germans in WW II and copied by us and the Brits (God bless the Krauts, they've given us Beethoven, Schwarzwalder cake and the Blitzkrieg!). Sorry to sound pedantic, it's that 20 years in the Infantry and the amateur military history buff in me that won't shut up. I always enjoy your posts about Vegas in general.
"Win with a smile, lose with grace."
Wizard
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Wizard
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October 17th, 2010 at 10:20:12 PM permalink


Picture from Glitz to Natural Bliss article.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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October 18th, 2010 at 12:52:43 PM permalink
Quote: PeteM

Paco, I don't know if the navy uses shaped charges in its anti-sub torpedoes or not.



boned up on torpedoes not too long ago, and the long and the short of it is if we ever get into a war where the state of the art is used, it won't resemble WW2 that much . The developments include "cavitation" for extraordinary velocity and a now evidently favored technique of breaking the back of ship ... the latter comes from study of how a ship is lifted up and then the ends being left with no support as the explosion changes shape, the initial charge going off somewhat below the ship.

this assuming the torpedoes don't go nuke as in the movie "The Bedford Incident", the kind of stuff they used to terrify us with in the 60s
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 18th, 2010 at 1:18:05 PM permalink
Quote: PeteM

Paco, I don't know if the navy uses shaped charges in its anti-sub torpedoes or not. I do know that they were originally developed as an anti-tank weapon by the Germans in WW II and copied by us and the Brits (God bless the Krauts, they've given us Beethoven, Schwarzwalder cake and the Blitzkrieg!). Sorry to sound pedantic, it's that 20 years in the Infantry and the amateur military history buff in me that won't shut up. I always enjoy your posts about Vegas in general.



I used to design torpedos. The principal means of killing a submarine with a lightweight torpedo (think air delivery)
since the 1970's was to follow the submarine (i.e. wake homing) and blow up the screws.

The problem came with the invention of the "Typhoon Class" ballistic submarine (the most famous was the
fictional Red October in the Tom Clancy novels). They have two pressure hulls with nuclear missiles between
the hulls. If you hit their screws probably no one will die and they still have plenty of time to fire all their missiles
before additional torpedos hit them. If the crew knows they will probably die after repeated hits, they may be
more incentivized to fire their missiles. We felt that shape charges would be the only way to create enough havoc
inside the pressure hulls so that the crew had more important problems trying to save their own lives.

Quote: odiousgambit

boned up on torpedoes not too long ago, and the long and the short of it is if we ever get into a war where the state of the art is used, it won't resemble WW2 that much . The developments include "cavitation" for extraordinary velocity and a now evidently favored technique of breaking the back of ship ... the latter comes from study of how a ship is lifted up and then the ends being left with no support as the explosion changes shape, the initial charge going off somewhat below the ship.

this assuming the torpedoes don't go nuke as in the movie "The Bedford Incident", the kind of stuff they used to terrify us with in the 60s



This comment is essentially correct. With a heavyweight torpedo you do not detonate the torpedo on the hull, but instead
detonate it underneath the ship. By blowing a big airbubble, you remove the support of the water under the hull. The ship is
designed to be supported by water, and the weight will crack the hull permitting rapid sinking.

We would develop explosives that used a lot of aluminimum mixed into the mix.
Aluminimum vaporizes and creates a lot of gas which allows the bubble to be extra large, increasing the damage to the hull.

======
As a side note:

You may remember the USS Stark which was hit by an Iraqi bomb on 17 March 1987. Much of the damage was caused because
the Stark the fire in the berthing compartment was so hot the aluminum ladders, bulkheads, and decks melted. The aluminimum vaporized into deadly gas which may have killed more of our sailors than shrapnel damage.

Incredibly, Hazard Perry FFG-7, Spruance DD-963, and Ticonderoga CG-47 ships were largely, constructed of aluminum. The Stark incident lead to Arleigh Burke DDG-51 having a steel hull and superstructure.

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