1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    From the it's-all-fun-and-games-until-someone-drowns department...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by JJ_Maxx, Dec 30, 2013.

    Question...

    If I filled an olympic size swimming pool with those multi-colord plastic ball-pit balls, how deep do you think you would have to get under the balls before they began to affect you adversely?

    Would breathing be an issue, seeing all that space between the balls?

    Would the weight of the balls eventually be heavy enough to make it difficult to breathe?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    An Olympic size swimming pool is only 6 feet deep. You could be on the bottom and it shouldn't hurt you. Maybe, just maybe, breathing might become a problem because the lack of fresh oxygen after an extended period of time.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Hm.... Though there is clearly airspace between the balls, it's flow would be uniformly restricted, I would think. I wonder how long before the air in the space around you lacked the oxygen to sustain you for not being able to circulate quickly enough.
     
  4. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Okay, well I was thinking more of a square olympic diving pool, which can run about 15 feet deep.
     
  5. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    What an awesome question!

    I'm not sure that oxygen would be a problem as long as the person had the strength to push his way through the balls and get things circulating. Wikipedia reckons that at least 26% of the space would be air, and I think more oxygen would be able to get down from the surface.

    I don't think the weight would be a problem either, even if you were 15 feet deep in them. They're just too light (100 weigh 2.3 pounds, apparently).

    I think the only problem might be a total inability to get out of the pool! Not sure about that, though.
     
  6. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I wonder if you would sink or just 'float' on the top...
     
  7. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    The Big Bang Theory. That's where I'd seen it.

    Based on the link above, it may be difficult to get out of the pool. I certainly don't think you'd float on the top but you may be able to sort of swim out.

    If I were a billionaire, or even a multi-millionaire, I'd have a definitive answer for you as soon as the pool man came back from his Christmas holiday. Wealth is wasted on the likes of Bill Gates, in my opinion.
     
  8. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Okay, help me out here...

    Let's assume an olympic size diving pool dimensions are

    60 feet long
    75 feet wide
    15 feet deep

    How many balls would it take to fill it and how much would it cost? :) I suck at volume calculations.
     
  9. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    Well, according to my link above, they're 3 inches in diameter, so stacking them one on top of another would take 60*75*15*4*4*4 = 4,320,000 balls.

    But with the most efficient stacking, this would increase by a factor of the square root of two (I can provide proof if you need it) to around 6,110,000. So 5,000,000 balls would be a fair estimate.

    You can work out how much it would cost. I'm not ringing up a supplier and asking if they'd do a discount on five million balls!

    By the way, aren't your length and width estimates a little off?
     
  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    The dimensions I gave are based on sections 5.1-5.3 of the 2005-2009 FINA Rules and Regulation Handbook.

    Read more at: http://diving.isport.com/diving-guides/diving-pool-dimensions

    Wow, five million balls... lemme see if I can find an online price to get an estimate.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Depends on the size of the balls.

    There's a problem, though. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, and air circulation will be impeded by the long, twisty, narrow air channel paths through the balls. In short, CO2 will accumulate, and oxygen will be slow to replace it. Movement would be difficult even before CO2 poisoning and anoxia kills the person, so escaping would be difficult. The effect is that of a high viscosity fluid.

    Not quite as horrible as asphyxiation in a grain silo, because there wouldn't be grain dust settling in the alveoli and expanding due to moisture, but still pretty grim.

    As for the weight of the balls, the mean density is well below that of water, so the pressure due to depth will be proportionally less than in the same depth of water.
     
  12. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    How ironic that JJ is being called homophobic in one thread, and wants to play with 5 million balls in another. I rest my case.
     
  13. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    That doesn't sound pleasant. :(

    Also, five million balls at .05 cents per ball would be roughly $250,000...
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    We really need a physics professor here. We'd need to know what the weight and pressure would be, if you're at the bottom of 15 feet of hollow plastic balls, as well as the oxygen levels. It reminds me of that old question, would you rather be stuck under a ton of iron or a ton of cotton balls? Of course the answer is neither, or it doesn't matter, given that a ton is a ton. Obviously, at some point, there would be a number of balls sufficient to crush a person, disable enough free movement to escape, and provide insufficient air to breathe. Where this level is reached is an interesting question.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The air diffusion calculations would be an extremely difficult problem in fluidics without experimental data. The packing of the balls would be unpredictable, and they would pack tighter over time (like gravel settling after its initial fill into a depression). The mean free path and flux aperture also vary with the packing, and these determine the maximum flow of fresh air through the ball pit.

    As for the viscosity, that would depend on the friction between the balls, which in turn depends on the surface material and finish, and hardness, and surface to surface pressure.

    Even a physics professor would have a tough time with those calculations.
     
  16. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Do spheres filling a space fall into a set pattern?

    I just tried to read this and my brain exploded halfway through...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_packing
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is an ideal packing pattern for spheres, called hexagonal close packing (HCP). This is a pattern seen in certain crystalline lattices. However, in a non-ideal container, or when spheres are not completely uniform and not individually placed, the sphere placement is more random, and less dense. over time, the spheres will settle into local HCP clumps, but these will be randomly oriented also.

    The Wiki article discusses a few simplified packing scenarios, but that is more for organized packing situations like crystalline lattices that are literally deposited sohere-by-sphere.
     
  18. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Specify 'adversely.' Are we talking about throwing in someone with a ball phobia? Are the balls clean, or would they harm an asthmatic person even if s/he never went deeper than a few feet?

    Ball-pits are like dodgeball; cruelty dressed in fun. It's all fun and games until the others gang up on you and start throwing balls at you.

    Also, I've never before participated in a thread where I can use the word 'ball' so abundantly. *crosses it out of my 100 things-to-do-before-you-die list*
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The size of the balls is clearly very important. If they are the size of BBs, suffocation would quickly take place even with a few inches (relative to the nose and mouth) of submersion. If they are the size of beach balls, there would still be significant airflow with a few feet of submersion, so suffocation would take longer.
     
  20. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Am I the only one wondering why he wants to know?

    I'm sorry, I can't help you, I'm no good at maths.

    Reminds me of this terrible Christmas carol (more like a chant) the principal of my school wrote, one of the verses went like this:
    Christmas balls
    Round, delightful, appealing
    Touch the Christmas balls

    For middle schoolers. We still laugh about it to this day.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you folks are really, really weird!

    and clearly have far too much time to waste..........................................................o_O
     
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  22. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    While we're at it, talking about balls and whatnot, in the name of equality, why don't we strat threads such as "Pussy Appreciation Thread," so we could discuss our beloved cats, "There Are Too Many Boobs in My Life," meaning rants about all the stupid people we know, "Master Your Ass," about breaking your donkey, "My Cock Isn't Big Enough," for those making French cuisine and don't have enough bird meat or, perhaps, those who raise poultry and their cocks aren't quite growing at a normal pace, so we could share tips... how about a thread regarding noisy neighbors titled "I Always End Up Banging the Door"?
     
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  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What can I say? I've been interested in fluid dynamics for decades, as well as physical chemistry (diffusion rates of reactants, atmospheric composition gradients). There are aspects of the problem that touch upon these areas of study.

    I first became interested in fluid dynamics when I was flying model rockets in my teens, and began trying to understand the mathematics of drag in conjunction with altitude predictions.

    So it kind of is rocket science for me.
     
  24. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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  25. dawn-mayer
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    dawn-mayer New Member

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    Well, I think that even with enough oxygen to keep breathing, drowning in a pool full of plastic balls would be one bit of a shock, wouldn't it? a normal person would desperate and start breathing loudly, consuming faster oxygen around him. That's what I think, though.
     

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