Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 25 May 2020

Hooptedoodle #367 - Variants on Social Distancing

Photo by Reuters
 I saw this on the BBC website - distancing system laid out at a college in Brussels. There's a lot of useful creativity being applied to some big social problems at present. What worries me is that this particular arrangement, if it follows my house rules for the WSS, requires everyone to face a vertex, and, though it will allow anyone entering a new hex to turn up to 60deg either way without penalty, any larger turn or any stationary turn needs an extra move.

That could be complicated for the students. We'll suspend judgement on this one, for the moment. Might be better if everyone just had their own tape-measure. Old School - yes, that would be more convenient all round, I can see that.

***** Late Edit *****

I found an ancient photo from the 1955 sci-fi movie, Quatermass II, of the scene in which some picnickers are taken away when they have accidentally got too close to the mysterious factory. I'm quite pleased to have found it, just for nostalgia - there is some very loose mention of this episode in the Comments below...

Are you the bloke who asked about the possibility of an amnesty...?

***** Late Edit 2 *****

I knew you would want to see it. If you haven't seen it before, here's Peter Gabriel let loose in his giant plastic ball - this was live, in Milan, during his 2003 tour. I agree - I wasn't sure whether it was me that was insane or him...

Whatever, I wouldn't mind a shot in one of these.


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28 comments:

  1. I like that Tony...
    But I do notice that most of them are incapable of standing on the spot... kids today ūüôĄ

    All the best. Aly

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    1. There are a lot of snags for this system - I'm really worried about it. For example, how does anyone enter or leave the grid, without encroaching on someone else's space? Tricky - if you wished to take the place of the girl in the pink jacket (or whatever - pink thing), or even go to speak to her, everyone would have to shunt around in unison, unless there were always vacant hexes between the occupied ones. Nah - this is dumb. How does anyone in the middle leave? They have to wait, or get everyone else to leave at the same time. At least with the linear queue in Tesco's car park you can give up and go home, or even push in if you spot a gap. This hex grid scores points for elegance, but would be best for enforcing social distancing between statues. I fear this is not a winner.

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  2. Send in the 15th Chasseurs if anyone gets too close!

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    1. They would be in their element - the Killers of Wagon Trains.

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  3. Roundshot bounce sticks?

    I had the idea of hats with measuring sticks pointing out in all directions, but I was struggling to think of a light enough material. Then I saw a beer garden in Germany had come up with ‘swimming noodle’ hats. Damn those cunning devils.

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    1. That would be good. I once saw a Peter Gabriel concert where he spent some time walking around inside a big clear plastic ball - now you're talking - if everyone was supplied with one of these we'd be OK (though there might be some other problems). I don't believe it could never be organised - no-one would be prepared to pay for this - unless one of Trump's pals could make them for a fancy price, of course. Wearing installed measuring devices is an intriguing idea. Very big hats? I must check out the swimming noodles.

      I've gone off the OS tape measures now as well - how could you measure the distance without getting too close?

      This is tricky. That Dominic chap could think of something, I'm sure - what's he doing at the moment?

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    2. Just a minute - I've looked at these swimming-noodle hats - the café *issues* them to customers - how do they disinfect them? How would you feel sitting a safe 2m from the neighbouring punters, wearing a hat that had been worn by an earlier customer (is it still warm...?)...

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    3. Prof De Vries has correctly pointed out that the big clear plastic balls would be a problem on staircases - especially if everyone had them, so I've scrapped that idea on safety grounds. On the other hand - I saw a photo of some Lemming attempting to fall off a cliff in England yesterday - perhaps there would be a big demand?

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  4. This is a good one. I have seen examples in manufacturing where everyone is wearing a smartwatch. When another gets within six feet a warning sounds. It might be fun if this warning was in the voice of the Robot from the 1960s series "Lost in Space." "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!"

    Taking up your example of facing, I wonder if flanks and rear areas will need to be defined along with a number of rules? Will Zones of Control need to be introduced too? Perhaps one can pass through another's "flank" without stopping put entering someone's frontal ZOC forces one to stop before moving on. I can envision civilization grinding to a halt. Well, I guess we already have...

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    1. I'd be happier if the smartwatch warning wasn't accompanied by the address of the nearest Mexican restaurant. ZOCs, interpenetration (so to speak) - these are all pretty serious issues for this system. The BBC article had some pretty wacky alternate systems - square grids were quite common. The most promising grids, I thought, were the ones which had spaced walkways in between, but then you need some kind of grid system in the walkways too. This really is very complicated. By the way, I notice that a lot of folk are celebrating Memorial Day in California by packing the beaches. I hope that works out OK - I really do.

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    2. Yes, social distancing only works until there is a MAJOR holiday weekend over here. Beaches in California and Florida look quite busy. With 36+ million unemployed (with time on their hands) and The Government handing out money to most (well, not me...), what does one expect? PARTY!!!

      Waiting to see if we experience an uptick in COVID cases.

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    3. Same thing happened in England yesterday, apparently - the beaches were open but the public toilets were not (discuss). Fingers crossed that we all don't learn a hard lesson.

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  5. I think Hoop skirts 4 feet in diameter would do the trick...

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    1. Excellent - at last a workable proposal.

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  6. LOL - I missed your post and put up my own version.

    Yours is funnier :(

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  7. Gonsalvo has solved it.... A 6' diameter plastic hoop suspended from the shoulders by braces..... I'm going on Dragons Den with this.

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    1. Brilliant, and, of course, when you don't need to distance you can just put it in your pocket. Really good.

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  8. Sorry, a bit late to the party, but I nipped to our local Spar small supermarket this morning. They had a useful grid system to ensure social distancing, with a handy 'escape lane' on the run in to the checkout in case you forgot something and had to go round again. Presumably you do not pass Go and do not collect £200?

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    1. That's pretty good - someone's thought about that. Early queue-fests at our local Tesco were arranged so that no-one could visit the post-box or the ATM or the used-battery-bin without disrupting the queue. I think it's better now.

      Can people just park anywhere, or do they allocate spaces sequentially? If everyone has to go round the shop at the same speed that would work OK, except that disabled people and parents with small children would have to arrive in the right order to use the official parking spaces. There's a whole new science up for grabs here - a Ph.D beckons.

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    2. Dunno, perhaps the rules just need a bit of a tweak. Roll a six to overtake the shopper in front and access to the ATM reliant on drawing a Chance card? Needs a bit of thought.

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    3. Yes - I think we're getting somewhere now. For a while I had this idea that, to keep the number of separate lines to a minimum, people could only access the ATM if they also needed to post a letter and dump some dead batteries. That wouldn't have worked. My logic was that no-one would want to do all three, but of course, someone could pretend they wanted to dump batteries, and that would screw it up. You see, people will play the system. Whatever measures you try to put in place, people will try to find a way round it - interestingly, they will still try to do this even if it makes them worse off. As long as everybody's worse off - that's what we like.

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  9. That's the way - the whole point of having a system is that we have to find a way to circumvent it. (Latest Government advice, I understand.)

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    1. By some terrible miscalculation I was standing near a radio this afternoon when the Govt minister was giving us our daily bulletin. Someone asked him, now that it looks as though Cummings will get off with flouting the guidelines, would the Govt do the decent thing and cancel all fines and birchings which have been issued to others who decided unilaterally that they had a Really Good Excuse, but lacked the essential connections? Mr Hancock said he can understand why this question was asked, it was an excellent question, and if they could have the asker's contact details they would reply to him personally. Two thoughts:

      (1) If they did set up some kind of amnesty, what is the chance of every knobhead in the country deciding he can do whatever he wants from this point on?

      (2) The questioner had better not let them have his details - I have this vision of the scene from the classic Quatermass II, where the little family car is towed away from the seaside by a military truck.

      Dominic's press session in the Rose Garden (with the same journalists he had been snarling at the day before) was a thing of wonder. I now love him and I can see that he loves me. Hallelujah.

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    2. Well, 1) seems they already have, and 2) Terrible - I thought that too. Hancock: "Can I have your name and address? (Aside) Have you got that, Sergeant?"

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    3. I found a photo from Quatermass II - I think it's from the Hammer movie rather than the BBC TV series, but it'll do - I'll put it in a late edit, just for nostalgia.

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    4. Brilliant! I wonder which toy shop they got the helmet and tommy gun from?

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    5. Hey - I found the original BBC series from 1955 on Youtube! The sound keeps dropping out, the acting is mostly dreadful, the effects are just crap, but it's magic anyway...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8iQ8YGN-Gw

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