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Old 02-07-2009, 20:28   #16
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Actually it's not just quick and easy expediency.

There is an actual reason many US cities use elevated lines versus underground utilities.

Houses and building lots in the US tend to be much larger than their European counterparts. This makes neighborhoods bigger and means that utilities have to span a much further distance to serve the same number of customers.

When you take this to a city-wide level the grid for an American city is exponentially larger than that of a comparably populated European one. (I say American, but I could just as easily say in the Americas as housing in Mexico or many other places looks pretty much identical in structure to that in any US or Canadian neighborhood).

When you send a signal through a wire a certain amount of that signal is leaked out and lost to the surroundings. Whether it be electricity, cable, data, or phone, as the distance increases, the amount of signal dispersed to the surrounding environment increases. In elevated lines, the air itself acts as an insulator to signal loss.

Because the earth is a natural ground (actually THE natural ground) its proximity to wires actually exacerbates signal loss quite a bit so that underground utilities are only practical on short runs.

In many densely populated places like New Orleans of New York you will find underground utilities, but you will also find huge ventilation grates in the streets to vent the substations. The actual main runs of the wires are from those with the general areas being served with trunk service from larger elevated lines somewhere.

It's not a matter of doing something on the cheap because it's quick and easy, it's a matter or one technology not being practical in one situation where in another place the opposing technology is he most ideal..

(oh yeah one foreigner thing that's funny...foreigners being the mindset that because somethings done a certain way 'back home' that that's the best way to do it!) couldn't help myself lol
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Old 02-07-2009, 22:39   #17
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Drew,

it would go off topic to go into that... but wait, this is the off topic forum, isn't it? ;-)

I think you should have a closer look at European power distribution; it's proven to work quite well. We also have cities where the rich live with large houses and building lots; we even have medieval castles etc. Instead of air insulation with bare wires hanging in the air, modern materials are used instead. Also, while air is a good insulator, that property is sharply reduced when rain, mist, snow, ice or fallen trees come into the picture.

Further, losses are minimized by using a higher voltage; most devices use 230 or 240V instead of 110-120. Houses receive 3-phase 380V power.

Another big difference is that the power consumption per capita is much less than in the US. Think of 40% less. Less power transfer means less power loss.

Having spend time in both countries I can tell that outages in Holland are a fraction of the US figure. I do agree it costs much more though.

Other differences: all facilities are distributed underground: telephone, cable-TV, propane (almost every house gets propane in Holland), water, power, hot water for heating (in cities, waste heat from industry) and more and more fiber optics.

We also have: special bicycle lanes everywhere, diesel and propane (LPG) at virtually every gas station, de-clawing cats is considered cruel, dikes that work, real Dutch apple pie, real real-mayonnaise, hormone free meat, dogs that don't wear clothes, even more strict and stupid rules on anti-fouling (like no copper, wall paint works better), same lame politicians, same low IQ police officers, more seconds tv in between the commercials, FM radios with 0.05 MHz steps instead of 0.2 MHz, more cow and pig **** that anyone can imagine (we export it), warehouses full of real butter that we practically give away for free while it's expensive to buy in the shops, salvation army that sell the clothes they collect to farmers who use it for land filling and buy Rols Royces from the profits, no car industry, 2nd highest tax pressure in the world (only topped by Sweden I think), political assesinations, military in Afganistan, a Queen, a buffer zone with France and so on.

The biggest difference however is that Holland is full. Too much people. The only place you can't see a building around you is in the toilet with the light off ;-)

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 02-07-2009, 23:40   #18
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1) In Jersey (and at least parts of the UK) if a car flashes it's lights at you it means "'I've seen you and it's ok to cross the road - by foot or by car - and I will slow down and could even stop if needed". In Thailand if a vehicle does the same it means "I am coming through. as fast as I can. Stopping?? Hahaha! Buddha is me mate". A couple of spots in Bangkok where it is fun to watch the Tourists learn this
you don't have to go as far as thailand for the 'i'm coming through" light flashing trick, they do that in france also.

another "good" thing the french do is to flash their lights when travelling in the opposite direction as you to warn of police speed checks- the motoring poulation keeping themselves under control i suppose
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Old 02-07-2009, 23:42   #19
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Not knowing the difference between a Donkey and a Crapaud...
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Old 03-07-2009, 00:29   #20
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Actually, flashing lights in Germany means "get out of my way" and if the cops see you do it you can get a ticket and a couple of points off your license.

Outside of the UK you have Fries (French or "Freedom") that should be warm and chips which are cold. In the UK the chips are what others know of as fries and if you want an accompaniement to your lager at the pub you'll have to ask for crisps.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:40   #21
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Here in OZ, flashing headlights warns of the Cops ahead or a warning of danger.
However if you are caught by the police, they will fine you & you will lose demerit points.

Cheers
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:46   #22
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:52   #23
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In Egypt at night in taxis they drive with the headlights off! The fear they will run the battery down. They only turn them on when they see something in the road!!!!!!


Scary!
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:25   #24
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In greece they unhook their seatbelts as soon as the speed drops below 30 Mph...
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:08   #25
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In Egypt at night in taxis they drive with the headlights off!...
In Japan they turn off the headlights and leave just the running lights on when stopped at traffic lights. This is supposed to make it easier on the eyes for drivers of cars passing and historically was because of weak batteries that would run down when idling. Drivers often forget to turn on their lights when starting, so the common signal is to turn off your lights momentarily (they are so polite in Japan, in Germany you'd blast 'em with 8,000,000 lumens from high-beams & foglights )
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:16   #26
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Just saw a news article about a foreign animal. Apparently in Aussie they found a pile of Crop Circles are were trying to figure out how they got there. After some investigation they found that the Kangaroos were eating too many poppy flowers, getting stoned and then in a dazed state, bouncing around the place leaving the circles. Now they are calling the Roos, Tippy Skippies


The one thing I don't understand about all this foreign stuff even after all my travelling is why with all the countries, lands, races and so on on this planet of ours, why is it NZ is the only country where everyone doesn't have an accent. I suppose we must be just lucky
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:45   #27
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Just saw a news article about a foreign animal. Apparently in Aussie they found a pile of Crop Circles are were trying to figure out how they got there. After some investigation they found that the Kangaroos were eating too many poppy flowers, getting stoned and then in a dazed state, bouncing around the place leaving the circles. Now they are calling the Roos, Tippy Skippies


The one thing I don't understand about all this foreign stuff even after all my travelling is why with all the countries, lands, races and so on on this planet of ours, why is it NZ is the only country where everyone doesn't have an accent. I suppose we must be just lucky
Fushnchups?
Swung bowling?
Hula Hups?
Nope, there's no accent there.

Cheers
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:48   #28
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Just saw a news article about a foreign animal. Apparently in Aussie they found a pile of Crop Circles are were trying to figure out how they got there. After some investigation they found that the Kangaroos were eating too many poppy flowers, getting stoned and then in a dazed state, bouncing around the place leaving the circles. Now they are calling the Roos, Tippy Skippies
And just "who" was eating the poppy flowers


And do I get my final gold star with this post?
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:49   #29
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:32   #30
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Not knowing the difference between a Donkey and a Crapaud...
If you kiss a Crapaud* they turn into a Jersey Prince If you kiss a Donkey you have just kissed a Guernsey Ass


* Norman French (the Jersey patois) for Toad
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