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8 comments

Rain Forest: Newsletter Challenge (05/03/05)

Posted May 03, 2005 7:00 AM

The question as it appears in the 05/03 edition of Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

You and your buddies are canoeing in the Rain Forest and looking for a good spot to set up camp. Unfortunately, the canoe capsizes and you lose just about all of your gear. However, you are able to grab one of the backpacks before the current sweeps everything away (including the canoe). Frantically looking through the backpack, you discover there isn't much in there besides a mini-propane tank, some wire, a Swiss army knife and a six-pack of beer (the real important stuff - matches, flares, etc. - is gone). There you all are - stuck in the middle of nowhere, it's muggy and damp, getting late and you need to be rescued. (Obviously there's no cell phone coverage so you can't call for help.) You did notice the occasional plane flying overhead throughout the day so you want to be able to send up some kind of light signal should one approach during the night. What can you do?

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The Engineer
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Good Answers: 129
#1

I'm not sure

05/03/2005 9:10 AM

So far I've figured out I should drink the beer. I really don't know what I should do next.

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Participant

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
#2

stranded

05/03/2005 1:10 PM

Use the wire to string together the beer and place it in the stream to chill. Thank God that your Swiss Army Knife is the CyberTool Lite whichs comes standard with a Magnifying glass. Before the daylight ends gather kindling and start a fire. Enjoy your beer while you wait for darkness and the plane. When you hear the plane toss the propane tank into the fire and run. The resulting explosion and forest fire should send a rescue party.

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Participant

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
#6
In reply to #2

Re:stranded

05/03/2005 2:15 PM

Very Insightful!

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Active Contributor

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11
#3

Rain Forest

05/03/2005 1:37 PM

I would take charge of the situation and start bribing my buddies to do work with the beer as payment for jobs well done. First I would design a fire bow and have a buddy make it using his shoe laces for the bow string and some dry kindling from the bottom of some convienent fallen tree. Once the fire is started he gets a beer, leaving only two for the other guys who are out gathering more dry wood. Upon their return they can have the last two beers. with the empty cans I would cut them open and use the wire to stitch them together into a parabolic curve. once darkness fell i would punch a small hole in the propane tank. aligln it with a hole in the center of my parabolic beer can and light it when a plane has been spoted or heard above. If all goes well they will see the light which could be coded into morse code by using the back pack to block the light. If all goes wrong we could simply hold our thumbs out as we blow past the airplane on our blast trajectory and hope that they see us and stop.

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Active Contributor

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#4

Rain Forest

05/03/2005 1:47 PM

A better one, I would take one can of beer and drink it, I would then put a small hole in the bottom and insert the wire and tie a knot in it to prevent it from coming back out. I would then give the can to one of my buddies and send him for help. I would then proceed to drink the beers and wait for my buddy to stop moving (indicated by the wire not being drawn off of the spool) I would then cut and insert the other end of the wire into an empty beer can, in the same manner as the first. I would pull the wire taunt and talk into the can simply ask for help.

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The Feature Creep

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boston, MA
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#5

One of the keys...

05/03/2005 2:08 PM

I know one of the important things has to be that propane is heaver then air. The only thing that I can think of is to cut the top off the cans (after drinking them of course) and using the wire to "pour" propane into a can.
Or something like that, still working on it.

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Posts: 5
#7

How long is the river?

05/03/2005 5:19 PM

Why don't you consider walking back to the point of origin or continuing to float down the river to your destination? What would you have done differently if you were in a canoe? Alternatively, if you have some wire with a bit more carbon than cold rolled steel, it would make a good spark when struck against the finger nail file on the Swiss Army knife. That could be used to ignite the propane to start a fire. Kick back, relax and have a beer while your buddies gather firewood since you were the only one to think this. They get a beer if one volunteers to walk back and the other one floats down the river. Either way, you get to keep three more of the beers to drink before the sloths attack.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 14
#8

Rain forest newsletter challenge

05/04/2005 6:35 AM

I would finish the beers with my buddies, cut open the cans and wire them together to make a shiny, rectangular plate. Two dead branches would then be fashioned into sticks and one of these would be tied to the metal plate. One of my buddies, not me, would have to climb the tallest tree next daybreak and perch there with the gizmo and reflect the sun's rays in the direction of the search plane, should one arrive. On second thoughts I won't need the second stick. I had it fashioned so that my buddy could beat on the metal plate to draw the pilot's attention. But being city bred, he could possibly do himself harm if he lost balance. I haven't made up my mind about the propane tank yet, but would possibly use it to propel the log boat that I intended to design and build, when we got tired of paddling.

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