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Old 10 August 2009, 06:43 PM
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Reporter The Indian on Top of the World

Comment: Is this story true?

Babu Sassi, a fearless young man from southern India is the cult hero of Dubai's army of construction workers. Known as the "Indian on the top of the world", Babi is the crane operator at the world's tallest building , the 819-meter Burj Dubai. His office, the cramped crane cab perched on top of the Burj, is also his home. Apparently it takes too long to come down to the ground each day to make it worthwhile. When the building is completed, its elevators will be the world's fastest.

Stories about his daily dalliance with death are discussed in revered terms by Dubai 's workers. Some say he has been up there for more than a year, others whisper that he's paid 30,000 dirhams ($8,168) a month compared with the average wage of 800 dirhams a month. All agree he's worth it.

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Old 10 August 2009, 07:23 PM
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Whoa! that tower looks scary!!!

A lot of Indians work in construction in Dubai, although I am not sure of the existence of this one individual. The story certainly seems plausible
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Old 10 August 2009, 07:33 PM
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Slow elevators I've been in for maybe around 20 floors take no more than one minute. How many floors is that building? Let's guess 300. So that's fifteen times as long - around fifteen minutes. Let's be uber-generous and say it takes him an hour to get up and down it.

An hour's travel a day isn't worth it? Really? How many people here on this board travel an hour or more each day to get to work and then an hour back again? Sounds like hyperbole to me, unless the poor guy only has stairs.
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Old 10 August 2009, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Apparently it takes too long to come down to the ground each day to make it worthwhile.
Do all the other workers not bother coming down each day either then, or do they just use the lift?

ETA: It also looks like there are actually two cranes there, how come Babu gets all the credit whilst the other crane operator is ignored?

Last edited by Stoneage Dinosaur; 10 August 2009 at 07:57 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10 August 2009, 07:46 PM
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Fright

Not saying that the story is true, but look at the picture again. The crane in question is attached to the structure a good distance below the cab. This means the operator would need to walk up/down the crane's ladder just to get to an elevator. I wouldn't want to do that on a daily basis if it wasn't necessary.

ETA: Here's an article about what it's like to be a crane operator, and what the conditions are like.

Quote:
The crane cab is a cramped box fitted into the L-shaped angle where the boom connects to the tower. You enter through a trapdoor in the ceiling. There’s a heater to keep the windows from fogging up, but no air conditioning except the open window. Though visual acuity is essential to the operator’s job, the windows do not have wipers. Many of the interior components are made of plastic to protect the operator from electric shock in a lightning strike. There’s a shelf for stowing snacks, magazines, and a pair of binoculars, but no other amenities.
Quote:
"The most common question I’ve gotten since taking this job is ‘where do you go to the bathroom?’ I have a jug. I carry it down and empty it once a week. I’m usually up here all day. I’m 6’4", so this little cab is pretty small. I stretch a lot in here and out [on the catwalk above the cab].

Last edited by Tootsie Plunkette; 10 August 2009 at 07:52 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10 August 2009, 07:47 PM
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http://www.burjdubai.com/

Fascinating & expensive.

Looks like it, according to the Wiki page on it, that it was topped in Jan. 2009 so I doubt any crane operator is living up there now.

As to whether someone previously lived on the top during construction, I can't imagine that. Crane cabs aren't that big & if it took too long for him to come up & down, how could they get anything built? Wouldn't it take too long to raise & lower the building supplies & other workers (as someone else said)?
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Old 12 August 2009, 06:13 AM
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Tootsie's comments seem to cement the "no way" option. While I wouldn't want to be doing that ladder every day either if I didn't have to, when the alternative is living in a place like that? I consider that "having to".
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Old 12 August 2009, 10:38 AM
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How does he eat, bathe, or go to the bathroom? Does he drop a "poop bucket" off once a day? And if so, how does he get a new bucket? What about entertainment? He's been there over a year, I doube he works from the time he wakes up ubtil the time he goes to bed everyday. Cabin fever? He can only read the same book so many times. Does he have a small TV with him? Or does he just sit there staring off into space slowly going mad day after day?
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  #9  
Old 02 September 2009, 07:27 PM
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Comment: "Burj Dubai" @ 2,620 ft / 801m!!! The people working on the upper-most Girders can see the "ROTATION OF EARTH"
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  #10  
Old 02 September 2009, 07:43 PM
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There's no more "working on" this thing, it's done.
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  #11  
Old 02 September 2009, 07:56 PM
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WTH does "see the rotation of the earth" even mean? See a curved horizon? See planets rising? I see the rotation of the earth every day, when Sol travels through the sky. I don't need a tall tower for that.
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  #12  
Old 02 September 2009, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn View Post
... others whisper that he's paid 30,000 dirhams ($8,168) a month compared with the average wage of 800 dirhams a month. All agree he's worth it.
Wouldn't be at all surprised if he wasn't getting paid considerably more than that. High rise crane operators aren't just some Joe they picked up at the local construction union hall. Usually, the operator works for the company that owns the crane.

There aren't very many things that can cause as much trouble on a big construction site like an error from the big crane operator. (S)He can bring the job to a months long halt with a single mistake (and kill many workers in the process). I can only imagine what the completion schedule bonus and/or penalty is for a job that big. Those bonds/bonuses may well run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. The construction company sure as heck isn't going to skimp on what they pay that crane operator.
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  #13  
Old 02 September 2009, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
WTH does "see the rotation of the earth" even mean? See a curved horizon? See planets rising? I see the rotation of the earth every day, when Sol travels through the sky. I don't need a tall tower for that.
Yeah, I'm guessing they meant to say "the curvature of the earth."

--Logoboros
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  #14  
Old 02 September 2009, 09:55 PM
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Okay, here's a physics problem for you:

Because the earth is rotating, we are all moving with it. Things that are higher up (further away from the center of the earth) are moving faster than things closer to the ground (in the same way that a point on the outside edge of a record is moving faster than a point near the center).

So, presumably, if you accelerate directly upwards fast enough, you should be able to feel your lateral acceleration as well. If at the ground you're moving rotationally eastward at 1 units per second, then at altitude you're moving at 1+(some value) ups. As you move upwards, you are also accelerating eastwards.

The question: How fast would your upwards velocity in a tower of this height in order for the change in your lateral velocity to be perceptible by your senses? Is there even enough change in altitude here for the difference to be perceptible? If it couldn't happen in this structure, any educated guesses on how height and how fast (in a straight line) you'd have to go in order to physically sense the change in rotational velocity?

Is there an engineering situation in which it would be advisable to design an angled elevator shaft to compensate for such a change (so that the elevator is also accelerating you slightly westward as you climb)?

--Logoboros
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  #15  
Old 02 September 2009, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logoboros View Post
Okay, here's a physics problem for you:

Because the earth is rotating, we are all moving with it. Things that are higher up (further away from the center of the earth) are moving faster than things closer to the ground (in the same way that a point on the outside edge of a record is moving faster than a point near the center).

So, presumably, if you accelerate directly upwards fast enough, you should be able to feel your lateral acceleration as well. If at the ground you're moving rotationally eastward at 1 units per second, then at altitude you're moving at 1+(some value) ups. As you move upwards, you are also accelerating eastwards.

The question: How fast would your upwards velocity in a tower of this height in order for the change in your lateral velocity to be perceptible by your senses? Is there even enough change in altitude here for the difference to be perceptible? If it couldn't happen in this structure, any educated guesses on how height and how fast (in a straight line) you'd have to go in order to physically sense the change in rotational velocity?

Is there an engineering situation in which it would be advisable to design an angled elevator shaft to compensate for such a change (so that the elevator is also accelerating you slightly westward as you climb)?

--Logoboros
To start, it would depend upon where on the earth you are, as it wouldn't matter how high the tower was if you built it at a pole. But let's go with the best (or worst, depending on your POV) case and say it's on the equator. I'm going to do some rounding here for convenience. The diameter of the Earth is around 8000 miles, giving you a circumference of about 25000 miles. So at the equator the velocity would be around 1000 mph (remember, I'm rounding.) So that tower is just over a half a mile high. Let's double that to make a really awesomely high tower. So the tower would increase the height, and therefore the circumference and the speed, by 1/8000. So you would go from 1000 mph to 1000.125 mph. If you need to accelerate at say 0.1g to actually feel it, you would have to ascend the entire distance in less than 0.006 seconds, which would probably turn you into a goo in the elevator because of that acceleration.
I'd be willing to guess that no survivable vertical acceleration would let you feel a lateral acceleration.
Man I hope I didn't make any errors in that, but even if I did I'd guess that the final statement is correct.
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  #16  
Old 02 September 2009, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
I'd be willing to guess that no survivable vertical acceleration would let you feel a lateral acceleration.
I kind of suspected as much, but I also never cease to be amazed at some of the forces that we don't think about on the human scale that can come into play in massive engineering projects.

--Logoboros
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  #17  
Old 03 September 2009, 02:43 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdav1313 View Post
How does he eat, bathe, or go to the bathroom? Does he drop a "poop bucket" off once a day? And if so, how does he get a new bucket? What about entertainment? He's been there over a year, I doube he works from the time he wakes up ubtil the time he goes to bed everyday. Cabin fever? He can only read the same book so many times. Does he have a small TV with him? Or does he just sit there staring off into space slowly going mad day after day?
My guess is that he sets up camp on one of the upper floors. He never leaves the tower, but he does leave the crane control box. Then it is a short climb every day to work.
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  #18  
Old 03 September 2009, 09:34 AM
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I saw this in person last year. It looks even bigger up close
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  #19  
Old 03 September 2009, 08:57 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
To start, it would depend upon where on the earth you are, as it wouldn't matter how high the tower was if you built it at a pole. But let's go with the best (or worst, depending on your POV) case and say it's on the equator. I'm going to do some rounding here for convenience. The diameter of the Earth is around 8000 miles, giving you a circumference of about 25000 miles. So at the equator the velocity would be around 1000 mph (remember, I'm rounding.) So that tower is just over a half a mile high. Let's double that to make a really awesomely high tower. So the tower would increase the height, and therefore the circumference and the speed, by 1/8000. So you would go from 1000 mph to 1000.125 mph. If you need to accelerate at say 0.1g to actually feel it, you would have to ascend the entire distance in less than 0.006 seconds, which would probably turn you into a goo in the elevator because of that acceleration.
I'd be willing to guess that no survivable vertical acceleration would let you feel a lateral acceleration.
Man I hope I didn't make any errors in that, but even if I did I'd guess that the final statement is correct.
I think you can stop the analysis pretty much at the point where "earth diameter is 8,000 miles, so radius is 4,000 miles. Towers height is 0.5 miles. Since 0.5 is tiny relative to 4,000 miles then you wouldn't be able to tell the difference."

What I find amazing about structures this big is how they can withstand the wind loads. I'll bet that a good stiff gust of wind will make the top of the tower move enough that a person would have no problem feeling it. Lets hope the engineers did their job and took the building resonance characteristics into account. Really dont want a building thousands of feet tall doing a "galloping gertie" thing.

Last edited by jimmy101_again; 03 September 2009 at 08:58 PM. Reason: engrish
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