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Tyzack

How tall is the White Tower?

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In terms of stories/meters/feet/etc...is it's height known?

 

Also, the "topless towers of cairhien" are these topless b/c they are unfinished, or are they semi-sky-scrappers?

 

That is all.

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uhm the topless towers are named that becasue their reconstruction isnt finished since the Aiel burned them

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Think I remember reading it is 100 spans in height...

That wouldn't be very impressive since a span is only 8 inches. The White Tower would be only 75 feet tall. Maybe 1000 spans?

 

Nope, went and looked it up on the wiki. In the WoT universe, 10 inches is 1 foot. 3 feet is one pace and two paces is one span. So one span is 60 inches, 100 spans would be 6000 inches, or 500 feet in real-world feet. If it had 12 foot stories, it could only have 41, which I think makes it likely that it averaged 10 foot stories. To put that in some perspective, the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet, including the base, the UN Headquarters building in New York is 505 feet, the Saint Louis Arch is 630 feet, the Seattle Space Needle is 605 feet, and the Eiffel Tower is 1,056 feet if you count the TV tower on the top, 984 feet if you don't. So the White Tower is about half as tall as the Eiffel Tower, slightly shorter than the Arch or the Space Needle, and about the same size as the UN Headquarter's building. Whatever else you may find similar between the White Tower and the UN, I never expected their buildings to be the same size.

Edited by Thrasymachus

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i'd imagine it would be a bit hard to make a building 1000+ feet in randland, without vehicles that can reach up like they do in the real world. That said, The topless towers aren't called the topless towers because they are not finished, it is because they are "semi-sky-scrappers." I have two references: "The Topless Towers of Cairhien," Loial murmured sadly. "Well, they were tall enough to warrant the name, once. When the Aiel took Cairhien, about the time you were born, the towers burned, and cracked, and fell." The Great Hunt, Cairhien, and http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/Topless_Towers

Edited by Arkane101

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Considering the tallest masonry structure in the world today is only about 550 feet tall (the Philadelphia City Hall), it seems unlikely the Topless Towers are actually taller than the White Tower. Unless they're sneaking some steel and concrete into the construction. They may have been designed to be, but not by much, and they are unfinished, after all. It's probably more likely the Topless Towers are between 300 and 450 feet tall.

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i'd imagine it would be a bit hard to make a building 1000+ feet in randland,

 

Not when you're using the One Power.

 

Also, from the Guinness World Records:

 

"The tallest building is the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) which measures 828 m (2,716 ft 6 in) tall... officially opened in Dubai, UAE, on 4 January 2010."

 

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/tallest-building/

Edited by FarShainMael

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i'd imagine it would be a bit hard to make a building 1000+ feet in randland,

 

Not when you're using the One Power.

 

Also, from the Guinness World Records:

 

"The tallest building is the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) which measures 828 m (2,716 ft 6 in) tall... officially opened in Dubai, UAE, on 4 January 2010."

 

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1/tallest-building/

he was talking about a pure masonry structure, sans steel reinforcement. and even 500 feet for a building as the white tower is described would be amazing to behold. but with the one power put into it, 500 seems a little small.

 

 

EDIT: didn't edit my input, just added to it, not sure why i said someone was talking about a pure masonry structure, i got that from reading comments to this point and missed who was being replied to at this point. if there is one thing i know how to do, it is how to make a mess.

Edited by Testy al'Carr

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Whatever else you may find similar between the White Tower and the UN, I never expected their buildings to be the same size.

 

Hahahahahhaa....

 

And, as a side note, for anyone who hasn't seen the Burj, it is almost unbelievably tall. It dominates (almost doubles) a sky line of 90+ story buildings, and is quiet majestic when seen from around the base.

 

Ex:

post-20934-0-51201300-1322659323_thumb.jpg

post-20934-0-19824100-1322659348_thumb.jpg

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Well, see, that's the thing. I don't think there's any evidence to suppose that any part of the Topless Towers were constructed by the Power, and whatever construction technology survived the Breaking appears to be at roughly early Renaissance levels during Rand's time, so no steel beam and concrete reinforcing. Even with the White Tower, it appears that they used the Power in constructing it less to over-top some maximum practical height in a stone tower and more so they could use less materials in reaching that height. The walls of the Philadelphia City Hall, for example, already mentioned as the world's tallest purely masonry structure, are 22 feet thick at their base in order to support that height. I imagine using the Power allowed them to use walls at the base that were much less thick, not to mention hardening the surface to protect against erosion. A 3000 year old tower made of natural stone would look more like a pile of rocks after all that weathering than a man-made structure. They may have been able to build the White Tower higher, but at 500 feet, they're already nearly at the maximum of any normal stone tower anyway, pretty much ensuring that nobody could build a taller one, so no real sense in or need to build it any taller than that.

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We keep bringing up the topless towers as if that's the next tallest. But didn't Noal say (somewhere in KoD) that the 7 towers of Malkier were taller than the topless towers (which, btw, sounds like an establishment that could be found in Vegas)? Mat thinks Noal tends to exaggerate, but that's probably just because he's seen so many strange things.

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We keep bringing up the topless towers as if that's the next tallest. But didn't Noal say (somewhere in KoD) that the 7 towers of Malkier were taller than the topless towers (which, btw, sounds like an establishment that could be found in Vegas)? Mat thinks Noal tends to exaggerate, but that's probably just because he's seen so many strange things.

 

I brought up the "topless towers" because in FoH when (i forget whose PoV it is) is describing them as "impossibly tall"

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We keep bringing up the topless towers as if that's the next tallest. But didn't Noal say (somewhere in KoD) that the 7 towers of Malkier were taller than the topless towers (which, btw, sounds like an establishment that could be found in Vegas)? Mat thinks Noal tends to exaggerate, but that's probably just because he's seen so many strange things.

 

I brought up the "topless towers" because in FoH when (i forget whose PoV it is) is describing them as "impossibly tall"

 

You have to keep the setting (time period and technology) in mind when you read those descriptions, though.

 

Also, in the 10 inches per foot, three feet per pace, two paces per span thing, what is the unit that matches up to our modern units of the same name? This topic used the inch, but for some reason I'm thinking it's the foot. Mat's described as being two inches under six feet, or maybe it was Perrin as being two inches over. If the inch was the common standard, then Mat would be four feet and ten inches tall in the real world, and Perrin would be five feet and two inches tall. That would mean that me, as short as I am (5'5" or 65 inches) would be three inches taller than Perrin and the same height as Rand. I don't think so.

 

That just doesn't seem right to me.

 

So, treating the foot as the common standard between our two measuring systems, the White Tower would be about six hundred feet tall.

 

Also, a lot of credit is being given to the use of the One Power in the construction, but we're leaving out Ogier masonry, which likely surpasses real world masonry skills.

Edited by Agitel

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We keep bringing up the topless towers as if that's the next tallest. But didn't Noal say (somewhere in KoD) that the 7 towers of Malkier were taller than the topless towers (which, btw, sounds like an establishment that could be found in Vegas)? Mat thinks Noal tends to exaggerate, but that's probably just because he's seen so many strange things.

 

I brought up the "topless towers" because in FoH when (i forget whose PoV it is) is describing them as "impossibly tall"

 

You have to keep the setting (time period and technology) in mind when you read those descriptions, though.

 

Also, in the 10 inches per foot, three feet per pace, two paces per span thing, what is the unit that matches up to our modern units of the same name? This topic used the inch, but for some reason I'm thinking it's the foot. Mat's described as being two inches under six feet, or maybe it was Perrin as being two inches over. If the inch was the common standard, then Mat would be four feet and ten inches tall in the real world, and Perrin would be five feet and two inches tall. That would mean that me, as short as I am (5'5" or 65 inches) would be three inches taller than Perrin and the same height as Rand. I don't think so.

 

That just doesn't seem right to me.

 

So, treating the foot as the common standard between our two measuring systems, the White Tower would be about six hundred feet tall.

 

Also, a lot of credit is being given to the use of the One Power in the construction, but we're leaving out Ogier masonry, which likely surpasses real world masonry skills.

 

That's a pretty good argument that it's the foot measurement and not the inch that's the closest between our world and Randland. I'd be willing to buy that the White Tower is about 50 feet taller than the tallest purely masonry load-bearing structure in the real world, and is able to attain that height in an era of low technology primarily through use of the Power, and ogier stonemasonry, of course, but I doubt even ogier craftsmanship can overcome the inherent compression strength of stone, brick, mortar and wood.

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With carbon nanotubes, 10,000 feet structures are not far off.

 

It is impressive that these primitives are able to create a structure 500 feet.

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According to WoT measurements I've found online, 1 span=6 feet, 10"=1foot. So the WT would be about 500 feet tall in our world as stated above.

Edited by Suttree

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According to WoT measurements I've found online, 1 span=6 feet, 10"=1foot. So the WT would be about 500 feet tall in our world as stated above.

 

This depends on whether their feet are the same length as our feet, or their inches are the same length as our inches. If our feet are the same, then their inches are bigger than ours, and if our inches are the same, then their feet are smaller than ours. If their feet are smaller than ours, then either RJ wasn't consistently applying his made-up measurement system to people's heights when he describes characters, or people are much shorter in Randland, a whole foot shorter on average. For example, a 7 foot tall Aiel using Randland measures and assuming their inch equals our inch would really only be a slightly above-average 5 feet 10 inches in the real world (70 inches). Someone who was really 7 feet tall would be reported as a shocking 8 and a half feet (nearly), which heights are usually reserved for Ogiers and Trollocs. But if either of these possibilities are the case, the the White Tower is only 500 feet tall.

 

On the other hand, if their feet are the same as our feet, then the description of character heights is pretty much in line with what we expect from real humans, Their inch would only be one-fifth bigger than ours. So we have the advantage that we don't have to imagine RJ as being inconsistent in his application of his in-universe system of measurement, and we don't have to think that everybody was weirdly short. Our feet, and thus our paces and spans, are the same by definition and provided we agree to RJ's definitions of those terms respectively. Since a span is equal to 6 feet, then a building 100 spans tall, as the White Tower is canonically described as being, would be 600 feet.

 

will someone please answer this question.

its starting to bug me now.damn.

 

You have two options as an answer. If you believe either that RJ was a sloppy writer or everybody in Randland was weirdly short, then the Tower is 500 feet tall. If you don't want to believe RJ was a sloppy writer, or that everybody in Randland was weirdly short, then the Tower is 600 feet tall. Choose wisely.

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According to WoT measurements I've found online, 1 span=6 feet, 10"=1foot. So the WT would be about 500 feet tall in our world as stated above.

 

This depends on whether their feet are the same length as our feet, or their inches are the same length as our inches. If our feet are the same, then their inches are bigger than ours, and if our inches are the same, then their feet are smaller than ours. If their feet are smaller than ours, then either RJ wasn't consistently applying his made-up measurement system to people's heights when he describes characters, or people are much shorter in Randland, a whole foot shorter on average. For example, a 7 foot tall Aiel using Randland measures and assuming their inch equals our inch would really only be a slightly above-average 5 feet 10 inches in the real world (70 inches). Someone who was really 7 feet tall would be reported as a shocking 8 and a half feet (nearly), which heights are usually reserved for Ogiers and Trollocs. But if either of these possibilities are the case, the the White Tower is only 500 feet tall.

 

On the other hand, if their feet are the same as our feet, then the description of character heights is pretty much in line with what we expect from real humans, Their inch would only be one-fifth bigger than ours. So we have the advantage that we don't have to imagine RJ as being inconsistent in his application of his in-universe system of measurement, and we don't have to think that everybody was weirdly short. Our feet, and thus our paces and spans, are the same by definition and provided we agree to RJ's definitions of those terms respectively. Since a span is equal to 6 feet, then a building 100 spans tall, as the White Tower is canonically described as being, would be 600 feet.

 

will someone please answer this question.

its starting to bug me now.damn.

 

You have two options as an answer. If you believe either that RJ was a sloppy writer or everybody in Randland was weirdly short, then the Tower is 500 feet tall. If you don't want to believe RJ was a sloppy writer, or that everybody in Randland was weirdly short, then the Tower is 600 feet tall. Choose wisely.

People used to be shorter on average than they are today. Is your "weirdly short" by today's standards, or averaged over the whole of human history? Hell, it can even vary significantly worldwide. Which "real humans" are you referring to?

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Europeans used to average shorter median heights, and there are a lot of possible explanations for why, but their maximum heights have always been pretty constant. Same thing with other primitive peoples who, for whatever reason, evolved to be very tall compared to the rest of humanity. While most people averaged around 5'5", you'd still see a 6' man fairly regularly, and in tribes like the Masi or the Osage Indians, 6' was pretty close to the average height for males. In Randland, a 6' man would be described as almost 7 and a half feet tall. A 5' tall individual, a height that has almost always been below average for nearly any population of humans since at least the past 10,000 years, would be described as 6'. And since we're talking about a system of measurement here, that weird shortness would apply to nearly everything taller than about 5 feet tall, including horses and buildings. Is Loial described as being 10 feet tall? Well, then he's really only 8'4", which would make Rand only 5'7" since Loial is described as being half again as tall as Rand. That's not short, but it's not the sort of domineering tallness that would make people gape and take note, as Rand, having an Aielman's height, is described as being around wetlanders. And the taller something is, the bigger the discrepancy would be between how we would describe it in the real world versus how a Randlander would describe it. It just makes more sense to assume that our feet are the same but our inches are different. Then the only discrepancy would be in our measurements of things in inches, but it wouldn't be much of a discrepancy, only a difference of a bit less than a quarter of an inch per inch. Suttree's latest link also looks like a pretty good source. It basically makes the case that the Randland foot is pretty close to ours, maybe shorter by an inch, but that Jordan chose to make his feet pretty much equivalent to ours just so he didn't have to be so careful in reporting heights and lengths. So if the Randland foot is shorter than ours by an inch (a proposition that has less support than the notion that it is the same as ours), then the White Tower can't be less than 550 feet tall.

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