This week, I turn my attention on an inventor from my own native land – England. I decided that I had blasted the US patent system enough recently and wanted to point out that there are crazy inventors everywhere. I would pick on other countries as well if their patent systems were a little more open and accessible to prying eyes like mine.
We have an Arthur Paul Pedrick to thank for an invention that could save the world from famine. In GB1047735, published in 1966, he describes an arrangement for conveying unsalted water to a region of the Earth, whereat, due to lack of natural rain fall, it is impossible to grow crops or plants, which may be used to produce food, in abundance, comprising a pipe line from that region to a region at a higher degree of Latitude whereat there is an abundance of unsalted water in the form of deposits of snow or ice, apparatus being provided for forming the ice or snow into compressed hard balls, such balls being fed into the pipeline, preferably at a substantial height above sea level, and thus being made to acquire a velocity through the pipe line under the effect of gravity, or by some other means, such as the creation of a pressure differential across the faces of the balls in the pipeline so that they are accelerated in the manner of a piston, the movement of the balls through the pipe line being maintained, or further accelerated under the effect of the rotation of the Earth about the Polar axis, the balls finally being discharged from the pipe line, at the region where it is desired to grow more crops, being allowed to melt in the sunshine operative at that region, and then the water derived therefrom being distributed by a pumping system over the soil to irrigate it for the purpose of growing the crops desired.
Sounds quite wonderful doesn’t it?
He justifies the need this way: The need for such a concept is given considerable urgency because of the population explosion under the effects of which the World population, assuming that there is no full scale nuclear war in the intervening period, is expected, by 2000 AD to at least double its figure of about 2,500,000,000, in 1950, to 5,000,000,000 but, on some estimates, will reach at least 6,000,000,000, or over, at 2000
(Editors comment: it was a little over 6 Billion.)
It is essential to the health of the human body that it be provided daily with a certain minimum number of calories which may be of the order of 2000, but which varies greatly according to the ambient climate and the work that has to be done by any particular person. Failure to obtain sufficient nourishment according to the minimum calorie level necessary, usually results in some deterioration in health, but the effects of malnutrition are slow, and there are never any reliable statistics as to how many people die premature deaths due to starvation effects, as these effects usually result in the person suffering from some more specific disease or illness, to which the persons death is specifically related.
This patent is 38 pages long and filled with mathematical calculations concluding with the statement that a snow ball would travel through a pipe at 500 miles per hour or more as a result of the combined effect of
a) The effects of the earth’s rotation around the polar axis
b) The effect of gravity in running a snowball down from the Antarctic plateau
c) An additional acceleration due to pressure differential across the ball in this initial run down and
d) An additional acceleration caused by a pneumatic pressure differential that might be sustained while the ball was running “on the level” through the Antarctic Sea.
Needless to say, the pipeline has yet to be built and the world has not yet starved, but many people still say that the next global war could be related to water and not oil.
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– keeping you entertained
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