History AwesomeButImpractical / RealLife

28th May '16 4:17:22 PM Jhonny
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** [[UsefulNotes/DeutscheBahn Deutsche Bundesbahn]] built their [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/103_235_Dresden_Hbf.jpg Class 103]] single-unit electric locomotives with continuous 7400kW (one-hour peak power output of 7700kW / 10,400 hp). Despite being designed to haul 5-to-7-car passenger trains at 200 km/h (125 mph) with high acceleration, they pulled heavy intercity trains with sometimes 12 or 13 cars at the same speed from 1979 on. Yes, they could do that with ease. No, they couldn't withstand that workload without wearing out alarmingly quickly.
*** To make things even worse, they had a tendency to wear out even quicker when constantly run below 160 km/h (100 mph)[[note]]The speed of 160 km/h is significant in Germany as it is the maximum speed legacy signaling allows. In other words running trains above that speed requires improvements in infrastructure which at the time were not at all common - even in 2016 the Intercity Express (in many ways the SpiritualSuccessor of the Class 103 has significant stretches of legacy tracks allowing speeds no higher than 160 km/h[[/note]], so using them in less straining long-distance services was pretty much out of question, too.

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** * [[UsefulNotes/DeutscheBahn Deutsche Bundesbahn]] built their [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/103_235_Dresden_Hbf.jpg Class 103]] single-unit electric locomotives with continuous 7400kW (one-hour peak power output of 7700kW / 10,400 hp). Despite being designed to haul 5-to-7-car passenger trains at 200 km/h (125 mph) with high acceleration, they pulled heavy intercity trains with sometimes 12 or 13 cars at the same speed from 1979 on. Yes, they could do that with ease. No, they couldn't withstand that workload without wearing out alarmingly quickly.
*** ** To make things even worse, they had a tendency to wear out even quicker when constantly run below 160 km/h (100 mph)[[note]]The speed of 160 km/h is significant in Germany as it is the maximum speed legacy signaling allows. In other words running trains above that speed requires improvements in infrastructure which at the time were not at all common - even in 2016 the Intercity Express (in many ways the SpiritualSuccessor of the Class 103 103) has significant stretches of legacy tracks allowing speeds no higher than 160 km/h[[/note]], so using them in less straining long-distance services was pretty much out of question, too.
28th May '16 4:15:31 PM Jhonny
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** The Germans built their [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/103_235_Dresden_Hbf.jpg Class 103]] single-unit electric locomotives with continuous 7400kW (one-hour peak power output of 7700kW / 10,400 hp). Despite being designed to haul 5-to-7-car passenger trains at 200 km/h (125 mph) with high acceleration, they pulled heavy intercity trains with sometimes 12 or 13 cars at the same speed from 1979 on. Yes, they could do that with ease. No, they couldn't withstand that workload without wearing out alarmingly quickly.
*** To make things even worse, they had a tendency to wear out even quicker when constantly run below 160 km/h (100 mph), so using them in less straining long-distance services was pretty much out of question, too.

to:

** The Germans [[UsefulNotes/DeutscheBahn Deutsche Bundesbahn]] built their [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/103_235_Dresden_Hbf.jpg Class 103]] single-unit electric locomotives with continuous 7400kW (one-hour peak power output of 7700kW / 10,400 hp). Despite being designed to haul 5-to-7-car passenger trains at 200 km/h (125 mph) with high acceleration, they pulled heavy intercity trains with sometimes 12 or 13 cars at the same speed from 1979 on. Yes, they could do that with ease. No, they couldn't withstand that workload without wearing out alarmingly quickly.
*** To make things even worse, they had a tendency to wear out even quicker when constantly run below 160 km/h (100 mph), mph)[[note]]The speed of 160 km/h is significant in Germany as it is the maximum speed legacy signaling allows. In other words running trains above that speed requires improvements in infrastructure which at the time were not at all common - even in 2016 the Intercity Express (in many ways the SpiritualSuccessor of the Class 103 has significant stretches of legacy tracks allowing speeds no higher than 160 km/h[[/note]], so using them in less straining long-distance services was pretty much out of question, too.
28th May '16 3:14:00 PM MidnightMan
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* Speaking of Russia, Soviet 12,000hp diesel locomotives. Yep, twelve thousand horsepower in what counted as one single locomotive. It took a while for Soviets to realise they don't need that much power.

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* Speaking of Russia, Soviet 12,000hp diesel locomotives. Yep, twelve thousand horsepower in what counted as one single locomotive. It took a while for Soviets to realise they don't need that much power. The Baikal-Amur Mainline for which the first four-section, 12,000hp locomotives were built was single-track with sidings too short for anything that justified more than 9,000hp. And before goods trains could grow heavy enough for so much power elsewhere, the Soviet Union was dissolved, and the post-Soviet economy didn't generate enough cargo to make trains that heavy.



** The Germans built their [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/103_235_Dresden_Hbf.jpg Class 103]] single-unit electric locomotives with continuous 7400kW (one-hour peak power output of 7700kW / 10,400 hp), despite being designed to haul 5-car passenger trains at 200 km/h (125 mph).

to:

** The Germans built their [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/103_235_Dresden_Hbf.jpg Class 103]] single-unit electric locomotives with continuous 7400kW (one-hour peak power output of 7700kW / 10,400 hp), despite hp). Despite being designed to haul 5-car 5-to-7-car passenger trains at 200 km/h (125 mph).mph) with high acceleration, they pulled heavy intercity trains with sometimes 12 or 13 cars at the same speed from 1979 on. Yes, they could do that with ease. No, they couldn't withstand that workload without wearing out alarmingly quickly.
*** To make things even worse, they had a tendency to wear out even quicker when constantly run below 160 km/h (100 mph), so using them in less straining long-distance services was pretty much out of question, too.



** Their predecessor, the sole [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRR_S1 6-4-4-6 S1]] No. 6100, was both more awesome and more impractical. It was the most powerful express steam locomotive ever built, but it carried only 40% of its weight on two mechanically independent sets of four driving wheels each. These were overwhelmed by the sheer power of the boiler which made wheelslip almost inevitable at any speed below 50mph.
** [[http://www.aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/triplex/triplex.htm Triplexes]]. So how can the tractive effort of a locomotive be increased? More drivers under the tender. The boiler simply didn't generate enough steam, probably because only half of the steam was blown out through the main chimney. It was practically useless past walking speed.

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** Their predecessor, the sole [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRR_S1 6-4-4-6 S1]] No. 6100, was both more awesome and more impractical. It was the most powerful express steam locomotive ever built, but it carried only 40% of its weight on two mechanically independent sets of four driving wheels each. These were overwhelmed by the sheer power of the boiler which made wheelslip almost inevitable at any speed below 50mph.
50mph. Its main advantage was that it could reach speeds way beyond 120mph. This, however, was illegal.
** [[http://www.aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/triplex/triplex.htm Triplexes]]. So how can the tractive effort of a locomotive be increased? More drivers under the tender. The boiler simply didn't generate enough steam, probably because only half of the steam was blown out through the main chimney.chimney (the rest exited the locomotive through a pipe in the tender), and that wasn't enough for the draught needed inside the boiler. It was practically useless past walking speed.



** The Baldwin 60000, one of the largest locomotives ever made. The designers intended it to be the train of the future, but its sheer size meant that the controls were too complex for most engineers to operate, and the firebox tubes had a nasty habit of bursting. If that weren't bad enough, it was so heavy that the test run damaged the rails it was on, thereby ensuring that the railroad companies would not be interested. It didn't even go faster than any other locomotives. Only one was ever built, and it's been stationary in a museum for the last eighty years.

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** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_60000 Baldwin 60000, 60000]], one of the largest locomotives ever made. The designers intended it to be the train of the future, but its sheer size meant that the controls were too complex for most engineers to operate, and the firebox tubes had a nasty habit of bursting. If that weren't bad enough, it was so heavy that the test run damaged the rails it was on, thereby ensuring that the railroad companies would not be interested. It didn't even go faster than any other locomotives. Only one was ever built, and it's been stationary in a museum for the last eighty years.years.
** The [[http://www.railpictures.net/photo/486227 Union Pacific Coal Turbine]]. ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: So you have plenty of coal at hand, enough to feed steam monsters like the Challenger or the Big Boy. But you want to go away from steam with its abysmal efficiency. What do you do with all that cheap coal? Burn it in a turbine like you would burn liquid fuel in a gas turbine. But wait, you can't simply dump pieces of coal into a turboshaft engine, they'd take too long to burn, so what do you do? Grind the coal to dust in the tender that's been converted to a mobile coal bunker. Why that's a bad idea? Because the coal dust will be accelerated to very high speeds in the turbine whose blades will be under constant bombardment of tiny pieces of solid fuel which actually don't come out of the grinder in the tender ''that'' tiny. Also, the sulphur in the coal will turn into sulphuric acid which will eat away your precious turbine blades. Maintenance of this monster (which still doesn't have enough space for a cab so it has to be [=MUed=] from an Alco PA-1 running ahead which eliminates the need of firing up the turbine for marshalling) will be so costly that you could also have burned mineral oil in the first place.
** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_GTELs Which the UP did as well]]. Their first gas turbine engines ran on 16 wheels and had 4,500hp. The prototype had an on-board fuel reservoir and two cabs, but gas turbines are horrendously thirsty, turbines of that size even moreso, and the range of that locomotive was so minimal that the production units were built with only one cab because the other end was coupled to a 12-wheel oil tender. The third generation became a massive three-section type with 8,500hp which could be increased to 10,000hp by mounting additional electric motors on the tender axles. All these locomotives ran on Bunker C oil which was pretty much refinery leftover and therefore dirt cheap, but they ran on such insane amounts that the UP had to keep them on the lines as much as possible because leaving them standing with their turbines running was too costly, and shutting down the turbines required starting them up again which wore them out more than necessary, and the wear on the turbines was already high: Heavy fuel oil wasn't that much smarter to burn in a turboshaft engine than coal. Besides, Bunker C didn't stay that cheap when new uses were found for it. Now imagine what would have been, had these locomotives still been around by the time of the 1973 Oil Crisis.
27th May '16 4:33:53 PM nombretomado
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** And, as of 2013, games are starting to be developed with 4k resolution. While it gives PC elitists bragging rights over the PS4 and X-Box One not supporting it, the market saturation needed for it to be anything more than a talking point does not yet exist for the above reasons. You'll also need an extremely powerful PC to be able to run a game at 4K, unless you like your framerates measured in seconds per frame.

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** And, as of 2013, games are starting to be developed with 4k resolution. While it gives PC elitists bragging rights over the PS4 [=PS4=] and X-Box One not supporting it, the market saturation needed for it to be anything more than a talking point does not yet exist for the above reasons. You'll also need an extremely powerful PC to be able to run a game at 4K, unless you like your framerates measured in seconds per frame.
27th May '16 8:36:19 AM Quanyails
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** While we are at this, it takes actually exactly ''one'' instruction to make a Turing-complete universal computer. Of course, such computers are no more practical than the aforementioned esoteric programmin languages, and are their thought experiment counterparts. They are notoriously tricky to program for (and it's with the most straightforward subtract-and-jump-if-(not)-equal instruction), and their efficiency is atrocious.

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** While we are at this, it takes actually exactly ''one'' instruction to make a Turing-complete universal computer. Of course, such computers are no more practical than the aforementioned esoteric programmin programming languages, and are their thought experiment counterparts. They are notoriously tricky to program for (and it's with the most straightforward subtract-and-jump-if-(not)-equal instruction), and their efficiency is atrocious.
26th May '16 9:38:27 PM Quanyails
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* The Miracle Blade knives. Billed as super-sharp and all-but-undullable, anyone with any knowledge of metalworking at all will tell you that's impossible. The sharper you make a blade the quicker it'll get dull; the Miracle Blades get around this by having a serrated edge that'll make them cut with *some* usability even when the actual sharpness has long gone to hell, but it's effectively cheating, and the quality of the cut will still plummet as they are used.

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* The Miracle Blade knives. Billed as super-sharp and all-but-undullable, anyone with any knowledge of metalworking at all will tell you that's impossible. The sharper you make a blade the quicker it'll get dull; the Miracle Blades get around this by having a serrated edge that'll make them cut with *some* ''some'' usability even when the actual sharpness has long gone to hell, but it's effectively cheating, and the quality of the cut will still plummet as they are used.
18th May '16 4:56:00 PM Jhonny
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* In soccer flashy offenses like the Dutch Totaalvoetbal of the 1970s have many admirers and are admittedly a delight to watch, but they have netted the Dutch team a grand total of zero World Cup wins. Meanwhile Italy, which is well known for the more defensively oriented Catenaccio, which has been described as "stirring concrete" has won the World Cup four times. Sadly the flashy awesome offensive powerhouse of world soccer has nothing against the incredibly boring (but practical) style of just keeping the opponent from scoring until they make a mistake or are too exhausted. With very few exceptions, the best defense will win against the best offense when measured in games scored/permitted per game. This is part of the reason why the amount of goals scored per game at the highest level has trended down ever since the 1954 World Cup set a record at 5.38 goals per game. Today it is below three and trending downwards still.

to:

* In soccer flashy offenses like the Dutch Totaalvoetbal of the 1970s have many admirers and are admittedly a delight to watch, but they have netted the Dutch team a grand total of zero World Cup wins. Meanwhile Italy, which is well known for the more defensively oriented Catenaccio, which has been described as "stirring concrete" has won the World Cup four times. Sadly the flashy awesome offensive powerhouse of world soccer has nothing against the incredibly boring (but practical) style of just keeping the opponent from scoring until they make a mistake or are too exhausted. With very few exceptions, the best defense will win against the best offense when measured in games goals scored/permitted per game. This is part of the reason why the amount of goals scored per game at the highest level has trended down ever since the 1954 World Cup set a record at 5.38 goals per game. Today it is below three and trending downwards still.
18th May '16 3:46:56 PM Taxi-Pizzatime
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** Cutting-edge gaming laptops allow desktop performance for the game of that laptop's era, but the price of one can easily exceed $1,000 USD, a high price to pay if theft or damage occurs. Laptops also suffer from inflexibility for upgrades, and usually can not have the video upgraded, leaving an insurmountable bottle-neck that can obsolete the machine prematurely.\\

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** Cutting-edge gaming laptops allow desktop performance for the game games of that laptop's era, but the price of one can easily exceed $1,000 USD, a high price to pay if theft or damage occurs. Laptops also suffer from inflexibility for upgrades, and usually can not have the video upgraded, leaving an insurmountable bottle-neck that can obsolete the machine for gaming, prematurely.\\



A miniature desktop box can be a much more cost effective, allowing a degree of portability (provided the destination has peripherals set up), and you can still upgrade the video card when needed.

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A miniature desktop box can be a much more cost effective, allowing a degree of portability (provided the destination has peripherals set up), and you can still upgrade the video card when needed. Homebrew projects exist that can install a desktop machine and monitor into a briefcase for a desktop on the go, and these ''can'' be upgraded with ease, right down to the motherboard.
18th May '16 2:14:46 PM Jhonny
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* In soccer flashy offenses like the Dutch Totaalvoetbal of the 1970s have many admirers and are admittedly a delight to watch, but they have netted the Dutch team a grand total of zero World Cup wins. Meanwhile Italy, which is well known for the more defensively oriented Catenaccio, which has been described as "stirring concrete" has won the World Cup four times. Sadly the flashy awesome offensive powerhouse of world soccer has nothing against the incredibly boring (but practical) style of just keeping the opponent from scoring until they make a mistake or are too exhausted. With very few exceptions, the best defense will win against the best offense wen measured in games scored/permitted per game. This is part of the reason why the amount of goals scored per game at the highest level has trended down ever since the 1954 World Cup set a record at 5.38 goals per game. Today it is below three and trending downwards still.

to:

* In soccer flashy offenses like the Dutch Totaalvoetbal of the 1970s have many admirers and are admittedly a delight to watch, but they have netted the Dutch team a grand total of zero World Cup wins. Meanwhile Italy, which is well known for the more defensively oriented Catenaccio, which has been described as "stirring concrete" has won the World Cup four times. Sadly the flashy awesome offensive powerhouse of world soccer has nothing against the incredibly boring (but practical) style of just keeping the opponent from scoring until they make a mistake or are too exhausted. With very few exceptions, the best defense will win against the best offense wen when measured in games scored/permitted per game. This is part of the reason why the amount of goals scored per game at the highest level has trended down ever since the 1954 World Cup set a record at 5.38 goals per game. Today it is below three and trending downwards still.
18th May '16 1:56:52 PM PDL
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* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag0NtfZRTvg It is possible to turn a can of sweetened condensed milk into a substance similar to caramel by boiling an unopened can in water for 3 hours]]. However, when one considers the gas or electric cost of running a stove for 3 hours (even if it's a wood stove, you still need constant fuel), plus the water needed, plus the cost of a can of sweetened condensed milk (which isn't even available in many countries), it is far FAR cheaper to either buy a jar of caramel, or to make it properly with melted brown sugar and butter.
** Granted, if you don't mind waiting longer, you can do this with a crock pot (removing the label first), and once done the finished product has a frankly absurd refrigeration life. A single can lasts for months, and can even be stored in the original can without complications.
** Thankfully, this special, creamy type of caramel (often called "dulce de leche") can now be found in many grocery stores.
** You can also boil an unopened can of sweetened milk inside a pressure cooker. Takes around 30 to 45 minutes and it's just as good as the original.
* Lots of gourmet cooking techniques and dishes qualify, at least for most amateur home cooks.
** Special mention goes to ''gold foil'', which is exactly what it sounds like - a very thin sheet of reasonably pure gold that you put onto food and then ''eat''. While it is, somewhat surprisingly, safe to eat, the body will simply pass it through, and it has no discernible taste - basically it's a way for the excessively rich to garnish their food with bling while giving the finger to anyone for whom hunger is a daily problem.



* Lots of clothing would come under this, such as extremely high heels that in many situations are crippling, but still popular for aesthetic reasons. Also exceptionally tight and restricting clothing, and clothes worn for [[FetishFuel fetish reasons]] that can be impossible to move in.



* Lots of clothing would come under this, such as extremely high heels that in many situations are crippling, but still popular for aesthetic reasons. Also exceptionally tight and restricting clothing, and clothes worn for [[FetishFuel fetish reasons]] that can be impossible to move in.



* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag0NtfZRTvg It is possible to turn a can of sweetened condensed milk into a substance similar to caramel by boiling an unopened can in water for 3 hours]]. However, when one considers the gas or electric cost of running a stove for 3 hours (even if it's a wood stove, you still need constant fuel), plus the water needed, plus the cost of a can of sweetened condensed milk (which isn't even available in many countries), it is far FAR cheaper to either buy a jar of caramel, or to make it properly with melted brown sugar and butter.
** Granted, if you don't mind waiting longer, you can do this with a crock pot (removing the label first), and once done the finished product has a frankly absurd refrigeration life. A single can lasts for months, and can even be stored in the original can without complications.
** Thankfully, this special, creamy type of caramel (often called "dulce de leche") can now be found in many grocery stores.
** You can also boil an unopened can of sweetened milk inside a pressure cooker. Takes around 30 to 45 minutes and it's just as good as the original.



* Lots of gourmet cooking techniques and dishes qualify, at least for most amateur home cooks.
** Special mention goes to ''gold foil'', which is exactly what it sounds like - a very thin sheet of reasonably pure gold that you put onto food and then ''eat''. While it is, somewhat surprisingly, safe to eat, the body will simply pass it through, and it has no discernible taste - basically it's a way for the excessively rich to garnish their food with bling while giving the finger to anyone for whom hunger is a daily problem.
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