This might be considered a quite random post, but since I haven't posted in so long no one may notice. Anyway, this is how my mind works.
I was just watching a movie. The way the main character, an assassin, got around a lot of the buildings (including a prison) undetected and outside of the security systems, was in the air ducts. Now, this was a woman, and a rather small one at that; but I have always been amazed at the ability of people in movies to travel through air ducts! One of the longer air ducts scenes in this movie was in a prison! Note- prison designers - DO NOT BUILD AIR DUCTS THAT CONNECT SECURED AND UNSECURED PARTS OF YOUR PRISONS. DO NOT EVEN BUILD AIR DUCTS THAT WILL SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OR DIMENSIONS OF A HUMAN! All of these buildings also had grates that could be opened by hand - even in the prison! The shaft she used to get out of the building had a metal ladder built into it leading to the roof! Good job by the designers.
I would like to be in the planning meeting where the blueprints for the new prison are being approved: "So, anyone have any comments or suggestions?" (from the back) "Uh, do you think the 30" solid metal air ducts running throughout the building, with removable grates in every room and corridor are a problem? Plus, does anyone have any idea how much money we could save if we did not LIGHT the ductwork?"
That is another thing about TV and Movie air ducts - they are always well lit. Why? They are also extremely clean. No dust bunnies there! I also love the fact that every duct has at least one large slow moving fan that has to be gone through by the star to get wherever they are going. The fans are always very ominously backlit with a bright glowing light. The blades are spinning slowly casting shadows from the glow. The movie I just watched had this fan. The heroine had stopped the blades with a short circuit (arranged with a plastic cup, some water, and a spoon - but that is another topic). She was working through the fan as the guard was heading for the circuit breaker to start the fan back up again. We (the audience) was to be in suspense as to whether she would make it before those blades started to spin. Just another note - I have never seen a fan that could not be prevented from starting by a body part. Now, I am not talking about stopping a moving fan, that can hurt. But the way most electric motors function, they have very little torque at startup and the blade can be easily made to stay stationary while one slips through (into another uber clean chamber of ductwork).
I wonder how many poor souls have gone to prison, or tried to work up a plan to break into an office, or similar that have been very disappointed that they could not find human sized, clean, and well-lit ductwork in their building? Maybe they (and I) watch too much TV and too many movies?!