June 15, 2004

Slippery When Wet

Here at IITK, they put a lot of effort into making sure the campus looks prim. Every day, I see people mopping the walkways, trimming the grass, pruning the hedges, etc. Coming from a place like MIT where there is little greenery at all and aesthetics are a low priority, this is a rather nice change.

However, one of the side effects of all this cleaning is the most advanced piece of technology that I have seen at IITK to date: the frictionless sidewalk. I don't know how they do it, but when it rains and the walk gets wet here, it's nearly impossible to walk on -- you can't help but glide back and forth across it. While I was stumbling along this pedestrian rodeo yesterday, bicycles and mopeds drove by, and I was just waiting for one of them to wipe out right into me.

I haven't tested this yet, but I'm pretty sure that if I got my heading set correctly, stood flatfooted with my feet shoulder width apart on the wet sidewalk, and let out one decently sized fart, I could propel myself all the way from my lab to the visitor's hostel. Guess I'll have to find some beans...

Posted by Michael at June 15, 2004 09:36 PM