Friday, October 12, 2007


Here is the HOP proposal. For added challenge, I not only wrote it up as a grant proposal, I also avoided all use of conventional terms for short,or height, etc. This was because I was annoyed at all the politically correct speech in that proposal I just finished.

Hopping Over People (HOP)
Grant Proposal


This proposal describes a novel technique designed to improve human traffic flow in crowded urban settings. Presently, many persons are unable to effectively utilize sidewalks for travel because they are not wide enough. This impedes effective traffic flow, which in turn leads to lost revenue, frustration, anger, and reduced enjoyment of leisure time. In addition, when urban traffic flow is impeded by persons whose toes appear larger to them than most peoples’ own toes, these persons have missed a valuable opportunity to instead interact with normal persons, thus encouraging their inclusion into society. This HOP proposal will create a new mechanism for facilitating urban traffic flow and incorporating these special persons through a simple new concept called the Urban Hop. The Urban Hop is an innovate approach that provides a completely novel means of facilitating flow by replacing the mainstream unidimensional concept of passing – which relies on the overtaxed width dimension of sidewalks – with the multidimensional mobile jump over persons whose unique overall proximity to the ground makes this feasible. While the principal focus will be on human traffic, the ancillary benefit in reducing overall congestion will impact all facets of urban travel. HOP also includes funds to properly promote and disseminate the Urban Hop maneuver to ensure its rapid integration into society.


The problem of inefficient urban travel plagues far larger target populations than any problem addressed by any other proposal. The US, EU, India, and China each have hundreds of millions of persons who participate in urban travel each day (United Nations General Assembly report 2007-7673). Studies suggest that urban populations will continue to grow, while infrastructural mechanisms to reduce congestion – such as improved roadways, subways, buses, and other mass transit efforts – will not develop at an adequately commensurate rate. Hence, urban congestion is likely to increase through both the short and long term future, further increasing the demand for the Urban Hop.
HOP will strongly impact persons whose noses, when standing, are below the average standing persons’ noses. Advanced statistical modelling has shown that approximately 50% of the population exhibits this characteristic. More details studies have suggested that deviance from this figure is directly proportional to the sample site. That is, while small and freakish groups such as big and tall models, stilt salesmen, Wizard of Oz extras, children, or the Chinese may have populations whose nose altitude differs markedly from the mean, larger and more eclectic populations tend more strongly toward the average. This shocking find has in fact been reported quite a while ago (Galton, 1886).
Vertically challenged persons are already excluded from a wide range of activites, including most track and field events, basketball, heavyweight boxing, amusement park rides, shelves, big-boy bicycles and cars, and yo-yoing. HOP will empower these persons while simultaneously integrating them into a smoother, easier urban traffic infrastructure.

Work plan

HOP consists of four work packages, which are overviewed below.

Work package 1: Initial Urban Hop Development. WP1 will develop the Urban Hop maneuver. This maneuver may occur when two persons are walking toward each other on the sidewalk. One of these persons must be of average or greater pupiltoe distance, while the other person must not. In such a situation, it is currently necessary for one of these persons to step aside, or otherwise be inconvenienced by the other’s desired passage.
HOP creates a new possibility for such situations: the Urban Hop. This proceeds as follows. First, the person who might be capable of an apple picking career should give the hand signal to the person more inclined toward circusry. The right hand is held out, flat, with the palm up and fingers together. The left index finger shall be extended, and the other left fingers balled into a fist, as if in a pointing motion. However, tip of the left finger shall not point to the other Urban Hop member. Instead, it will be placed horizontally in direct contact with the right palm. Next, the initiator shall move his left finger to make an upside down ‘U’ that begins and terminates on the right palm. This motion is meant to convey the concept of jumping over a person. Once this signal is given, the person less concerned with turnstiles may respond with either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down signal.
The proposed hoppee may give the thumbs-down maneuver to decline participation. This may occur for various reasons, including illness, concern for a hat, fear of being accidentally kicked, or pride. If the thumbs-up is given, the two persons shall proceed toward each other at a standard walking pace. Approximately 10 meters before they meet, the hopper will accelerate as deemed necessary to best complete the maneuver. The hopper shall then jump over the hoppee. The hoppee shall duck to create an even smaller vertical profile and thereby facilitate this maneuver. Both persons may then continue walking as before without the need to step aside or suffer other inconvenience.
Work package 1 will further develop and test this maneuver with target subjects in field settings. Appropriate persons will be recruited through emails and flyers. To maximize accessibility to target persons, flyers will be placed only 1 meter above the ground. HOP will use a completely novel approach to subject compensation that will reduce costs significantly. Subjects will be told that they will be mailed a check to provide compensation. However, they will instead receive an envelope containing no money but instead a formal letter informing that their contribution to science has helped society. This letter will recommend that subjects take great pride in their work, and should consider patting themselves on the back if possible and/or buying themselves a small beer or half-shot to celebrate. To further this effort, all subjects will be given inaccurate contact details for experimenters. Subjects will, however, be given correct contact information for local Ethics Boards and the European Commission. If any funds are made available to pay subjects, these funds will be used exclusively to pay the Project Manager, who has extensive experience as an experimental subject and can devise important studies that require his participation.

Work Package 2: Revision

Based on initial testing and feedback, the Urban Hop maneuver may be further revised. For example, particularly hip individuals may choose to instead move their left finger only in the pattern of an upside – down ‘J.’ This signal still conveys the necessary information, but may appear more fashionable as the unnecessary downward portion of the left finger movement is excised. To avoid problems caused by the unique subject protocol used in HOP, all subjects in WP2 will be recruited from a different city, and the experimenter shall use a pseudonym and wear a false beard.

Work Package 3: Dissemination

Once the Urban Hop has been developed, it will be disseminated through numerous mechanisms. A website will be created with detailed instructional videos, downloadable software support tools, and testimonials. To facilitate widespread adoption, all disseminables will be fabricated as needed to convey the impression that the Urban Hop is extremely popular. Results will be disseminated at academic conferences and workshops, and will be published in top journals. Patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property efforts will be aggressively pursued to give the impression that the Urban Hop has commercial potential, thus encouraging the Chinese to steal and publicize the idea.
Substantial funds are also allocated for media efforts to present the Urban Hop as a practical mainstream procedure. Media reports will state that the Urban Hop is extremely popular in another continent. These reports will be adapted geographically as needed. For example, publicity efforts in Europe will state that everyone in America is doing the Urban Hop, and vice versa. This approach has already proven extremely effective in related domains such as late night telemarketing.

Project and Risk Management

HOP shall be administered by a Project Manager. In typical grant proposals, the Project Manager is overseen by a Project Committee consisting of representatives from all partners, as well an Ethics Manager and auditing entities from the European Commission. These mechanisms, which are designed to ensure efficient management and avoid maleficent spending, also require extensive time, expense, and inconvenience. HOP avoids these problems by empowering the Project Manager to make all necessary decisions regarding funding, personnel, project goals, procedures, and deliverables.
This also serves as a highly flexible risk management system. The topheavy management infrastructure of most projects impedes effective and rapid risk management. HOP allows the Project Manager to reassess risks, contingency plans, and goals as needed and take measures he deems appropriate. This reconsideration may be made without regard to prior research, stated project aims, any statement ever made, objections from ethics boards, complaints from any entities, nor legal action. Thus, HOP may be very quickly adapted according to project progress, new external developments, or inspired whims.

(This table did not reprint well. Will fix later.)

Table 1 presents specific risks, likelihood, impact, and contingency plan(s).

Risk Likelihood Impact Contingency

Subjects cannot be recruited
HOP cannot be evaluated properly
Offer subjects more money

Accidental injury through kicking (aka an insufficient hop)
Hoppees are not known for melee combat skill
Hoppees are also easy to outrun

Urban Hop is only very rarely possible.
HOP will have very small effects on traffic and society
Misrepresent data, and/or redirect funds

Hoppees may be insulted by HOP
Hoppees will decline the Urban Hop whenever it is proposed
Increased publicity to vilify hop decliners

Project Management failure
Goals are not met
Project Manager redefines goals

HOP target hoppees are miscontrued
Mistaken impression is created that the typical hoppee is anything but a child
Create videos of kids laughing as people hop over them

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