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Sears Tower string project

Thinking about shadows has reminded me about an old project that never got finished. To take a piece of string the same length as the height of the sears tower -- 1450 feet. Attach one end of the string to the corner base of the Sears Tower and then take the string and walk down the street and stretch it out to full length. I wonder how far the string will go. Let's do the math together, shall we?

1450 feet divided by 3.
That's 483 yards.
Crap. That's like almost five football fields long.
Let's think of it another way, because we don't really have football fields right in the middle of downtown Chicago.
A city block in Chicago is 660 feet. That's 2.20 blocks. That's it? That's nothing! I can so do this! How about we map this out.

Here's a big photo with green lines representing where the string might go. And here's a closeup.

Dang, it's gonna stretch across the bridge all the way to union station. Whoa. Maybe I'll just start at the corner of the Sears Tower, measure the distance with my wheel measurer. And then at the 1450 point, I'll mark an X on the sidwalk and take some photos of the X with the Sears Tower in the background--maybe photoshop in a graphic line.

But one of the things this does is to demonstrate the sheer height of the building into other terms that we are more familiar with. We can walk the distance horizontally on the ground. We are much more familiar with distances that are horizontal rather than vertical.

 Heh heh ... my condo is in that picture! Posted by: Tom on Jun 20, 04 | 5:42 am another way to experience the height first hand is to take the stairs, or do the hustle up the hancock (the marathon of stair climbs) i did it a few years in a row. it was great until my throat started tasting like blood at about flight 45. that was gross. i did make it up in just over 18 minutes though. Posted by: lisa on Jun 20, 04 | 8:18 pm Oh wow! i've wanted to do the hanock hustle... but when i wanted to sign up, they were all filled up. But that was many years ago. When do they have it? Like in February? Why does that month stick out in my head? Posted by: spudart on Jun 20, 04 | 8:41 pm they have something at my gym about that, i think. people get together and do it in a team. Posted by: laura k. on Jun 20, 04 | 9:02 pm i'm almost 6 feet tall. Posted by: unlikelymoose on Jun 21, 04 | 7:49 am yeah its in february every year and you can do it as a team or on your own. it raises money for the american lung association. 1,000 foot vertical climb 94 flights 1,632 stairs Posted by: lisa on Jun 21, 04 | 9:22 am So your 18-minute time yielded: 90.666 stairs per minute 1.5 stairs per second 5.2 flights per minute Did you skip every other step? Or did your feet touch every step? Is it one big long staircase? Or are there parts where you have walk a bit horizontally on the floor to get to the next staircase? Posted by: spudart on Jun 21, 04 | 10:01 am this was last year, at the time i was playing indoor soccer twice a week -before i tore my ACL and lateral miniscus :( sad times so i was in fairly good shape, my foot touched every step, i tried skipping every other step, i lasted about 3 flights that way. its very tiring one flight was sort of like this: ``` \\ \\ ___\\ // // //``` two sets of stairs that switched back and forth with a little platform inbetween. my dad skips every other step and finishes in crazy time, like 15:15 the record is under 10 minutes! which would be an all out sprint. Posted by: lisa on Jun 21, 04 | 10:32 am oh dear, my flight of stairs did not turn out, but you get the idear Posted by: lisa on Jun 21, 04 | 10:33 am I added some pre tags to your post, your little ascii stairs would show up correctly. : ) Gosh, it would be tough to predict your time by training, because where in the world can you train on a set of stairs that are 94 stories tall? Can you just go inside the Hancock and run up their stairs? Or the Sears Tower? Or the Aon Center? Otherwise, you'd be limited to training on a building that has like 24 stories. But then what about that 42nd floor where you start tasting blood? : - > (that's a dracula smily) Then again, the Sears Tower stairs and Aon Center's stairs are certainly different that the Hancock's. And the thing about the stepmaster at the gym, it's got only like three stairs at once. I wish the stepmaster had like 15 stairs. It would make for one MONSTER machine, but then you can really run up the stairs more for real. But i still like the stairmaster. And the moonwalker. And the stepper machine. Now i just want my gym to get a big gerbil ball to run inside. Or maybe even one of those gerbil wheels that are made of metal and squeak. Posted by: spudart on Jun 21, 04 | 10:46 am