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Trailer Riddle

03/30/2007 5:29 AM

Consider the following situation:

A trailer (1000KG) with 2 crates each 1000 kg was standing in the wrong place in the offloading area. The person in charge gathered all the hands he could get to push the trailer about 3 metres on a flat smooth surface. One (short) person could not find a suitable spot too push and jumped onto the trailer and viscously pressed against the back crate. He really tried his best and was exhausted at the end.

1 What was his contribution in the physical movement?

2 How could he contribute substantially without leaving the trailer?

Clues regarding shorty will be given later.

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#1

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/30/2007 11:59 AM

Ok, a wild A-- Guess here. I'd say the little guy changed the center of gravity and thereby reduced the weight on the front weel, much like a hand cart does when you pull it back and add the weight to only one axle. Thereby making it easier for the others to push.

and for #2... I think he could stop wiggling around so much...

I don't know, I'm just having fun...

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#22
In reply to #1

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/02/2007 3:56 AM

He could get out of everybody's way and go and make a pot of tea for when they've finished.

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#2

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 12:39 AM

I would say that:

1) He made a negative contribution because he increased the weight of the load somewhat without adding any 'thrust'.

2) If he had a suitable pole, he could push on the ground, but I guess that is outside of the specified question.

Would it help if he gets on top of the crates and slowly accelerate himself forward, stopping abruptly near the front?

Jorrie

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#3

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 2:45 AM

You don't specify that the crates are on the trailer...If in fact there is a man on the trailer pushing against a crate, then his contribution would be limited to his height with arms extended....To contribute to the effort without leaving the trailer, he could start running the opposite direction of intended travel, starting at the leading edge traveling to the trailing edge under constant acceleration....but I'm just guessing

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#4

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 2:47 AM

"..viscously pressed.." ? Can you confirm/clarify that wording Hendrick.

Kris

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#5

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 6:49 AM

Shorty was running around trying to find some place to push from, so no one else was pushing. When Shorty finally got on the trailer, he was out of everyone's way, and they could finally start pushing the damn thing!!!

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#6

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 7:18 AM

While waiting for you to tease us more Hendrick , I have further thoughts ;

The ratio of weights must mean something ,

Is Shorty between crates ,

Heavy Machinery would be about 1000Kg/m3, Block height =1m so what angle is Shorty pushing at (how short is he),

Is Shorty wide (OK fat) to compensate for height,

Your tab reveals hydraulic related postings + the word viscous = a slippery answer,

I should have watched the film (Get Shorty),

The increasingly mad guessing may persist without the awaited 'hint'

Kris.

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#7

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 7:23 AM

I would say his contribution was comic relief. In a serious world we often forget the role of the "court jester" . They help by relieving tention and a good laugh is worth a million bucks sometimes. So, with everybody laughting for his action and effort (contributing the fact that he is a short guy) the job of pushing 3 tonnes became mentally easier and more enjoyable. So his contribution was about 50% I would say.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 7:53 AM

That's a brilliant point . A workplace takes on a life of it's own , pay rate often has no motivation beyond a point . Some places I've seen , the rot sets in and people loose the work ethic/enjoyment .Then you've got a really hard task to get things working well . Pride in what your doing , satisfaction etc. An individual feeling they are valued. Take an interest in the other persons position , discuss it honestly with them and you move toward mutual respect - the job gets done and all are happy.

Some of the most productive (yet lowest paid) places Ive been are where people enjoy the 'craich' (serious hard work + serious hard fun).

Hail Shorty ! He saved the day - initiative /application

Kris

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#9

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 8:06 AM

Wiait a minute... I know! The "person in charge" is the Ring master of a Circus, The trailer has two crates with animals (could be a Lion or big apes) And our shorty is a clown... He was just doing his job... Making everybody laugh. Especially when the Lion almost got a piece of him.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 8:35 AM

That's only transferring the mass. Does it matter ?

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 8:57 AM

I know, but it is more precise... Although I actually still prefer the first more "open" scenario
There is another possibility. Because shorty could not find a place meant that there was a lot of guys pushing. This caused the trailer to accelerate too quickly and shorty saw that the back crate wanted to slide off the trailer! That was why he had to push viciously

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#11

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 8:47 AM

Was Shorty the boss that organized the pushing of the trailer in the first place???

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 9:09 AM

yeah , I'm waiting on Hendrick too . I was wandering about a typo - 'vacuously'. Only kidding Hendrick . When your ready - we submit ! Come on , the American audience have had a chance to wake by now . I've got to go soon ! Have pity.

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#14

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 9:40 AM

Let us consider Why 1000Kg is important why 3 lots of 1000Kg? Is this a blind ally?

Have we an illusion, smoke and mirrors? Do the weights have any meaning at all?

Two crates does this matter? You bracket the word short as if it has a special meaning why?

You did not spell check your work. (see me after school) (too)! spot too push.

offloading? viscously?

Shorty made no physical contribution if the crate was on top of the trailer and static if he just simply pushed at it.

How could he contribute without leaving the trailer grab hold of some thing like a rope and pull so as to use the crate to anchor his weight and use the rope tied off to another big immobile object to transfer force to the trailer. His being short would help because if he were tall it would act as a fulcrum and reduce his pulling power.

Some where near to the answer?

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#15

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 10:06 AM

A more serious look at the riddle brought me to the following conclusion. The off-loading area (a narrow alley) was obstructed by the trailer and two crates. At least one of the crates was on the ground and the trailer was backed up right against it. The other crate (possibly on top of the trailer ) left a gap just enough for a short person to push the trailer away from the crate on the ground. Truth is no one could find a suitable spot to push. Shorty made it possible for the rest to get in behind the trailer to push it 3metres out of the alley. Apparently the person in charge told them to push it out of the way, so no one thought of pulling it... Shorty saved the day. No one else could have fitted in that space, pushing the trailer with his legs lying on his back.

1- His contribution was to put the trailer in motion and to make a gap big enough for the others to be able to push.
2 He can contribute substantially by using his legs against the wall on one of the sides in the alley.

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#16

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 2:36 PM

Shorty unpacked the crate which contained a jet engine, attached it to the surface of the trailer and was able to move the trailer unassisted....However, being unable to stop the trailer in time, unfortunately, was last seen streaking off into the sunset at about mach I....

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 9:30 PM

That is a really good answer!!! I can vote for that scenario!

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/01/2007 4:21 PM

No when shorty started up the engine he got sucked into it and spat out at very high speed the reaction made it all shoot forward. Shorty gave his life because he cared so much.

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/01/2007 11:23 PM

Too much!

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#17

Re: Trailer Riddle

03/31/2007 5:28 PM

If 'shorty` jumped onto the trailer, he contributed the momentum of his jump.

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#20

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/01/2007 5:46 PM

I think Hendrik is shorty and he's not coming back to help us out...

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#23

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/02/2007 4:24 AM

I cannot answer 1 precisely but as for 2
If the back of the trailer is too near the wall, Shorty jumps up or clambers up onto the trailer, puts his back against the back crate and feet against the wall and pushes. He will actually contribute more to shifting the trailer this way than if he stood on the ground and pushed with his arms. If the crate is initially less than two feet from the wall, he starts off by pushing with his arms and then sitting down and using his legs. He will be exhausted because he is using the maximum power in his legs whereas the others will be using normal or a bit more.

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#24

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/02/2007 6:26 AM

When I was at School , the teacher suggested we measure leg power in fairly stupid way . One student sits on the floor, and the others hold a set of ordinary scales against his feet as he pushes. I notice the fixed teachers bench was just the right distance from the wall . By placing myself and scales between the two , I could press the scales beyond there limit without difficulty. Shorty could get the trailer moving a lot more effectively than his mates by levering his legs efficiently. They should lie down foot to shoulder so the gallant vertically challenged one uses them as a horizontal push ladder.

It is probably irrelevant if my punctuation is bad.

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#25

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/02/2007 10:53 AM

Dissapointed when I got to the bottom of the post. I thought it was a trick question with one of those photos that gets put up by HR in the lunch room with some line about saftey. Figgured I'd see the photo with one guy and one crate on a trailer and a few guys under a crate on the ground.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 1:18 AM

Yes, but what's happened to Hendrik? That's becoming the bigger question... And what of Hendrick?

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#27

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 2:00 AM

I had a hectic weekend and could not read the posts. My wife broke her leg (without pushing the trailer) and a new grandchild was born.

Sorry I neglected some detail

- The crates were tied down to the trailer.

- The number and weight of the containers could be different. I only remember the picture of the man pressing against the crate. (it was before the era of containers)

- For Q2 – no external force or equipment were used.

- If the available pushers pushed for any length of time the trailer would not move.

I did not read the posts yet but the answer to 1 can only be that attempting to move the crate on the trailer could have produced no useful work. His efficiency would therefore be (useful work done / effort x 100 ) = 0%

Shorty is a Venda from South Africa, He was about twice as strong as anybody else. .

He was a born leader. He never went to school but knew a lot about everything.

He was employed as the crane / hoist operator. He decided not to use the crane to pull the trailer.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 4:22 AM

I had a hectic weekend and could not read the posts. My wife broke her leg (without pushing the trailer) and a new grandchild was born..

Sorry to hear about your wife , but congrats on the newborn . You still posted back here so soon ! That is what I call a trooper.

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 5:16 AM

He decided not to use the crane to pull the trailer.... but to stay on top of the trailer, tie the hoist's hook to one of the crates with a winch/block and tackle, get some weight suspended and ordered every one to push... There . Now what is the real answer?

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 8:35 AM

If shorty is able to run and impact the crates his momentum force would still be transferred to the trailer/crate combination.

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#31
In reply to #27

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 11:16 AM

I.too, am sorry about your wife.

The additional data invalidates my first suggestion.
When I was young a teenage boy could push a car weighing half-a-ton on a flat surface, so a gang of men could push a 3-ton trailer. So the trailer is stuck or has the brake on, and using the crane is impracticable.

How many wheels does the trailer have? If only two it could be stuck on a low roof or under and underhang and need one end pushing down to free it; the crate could be pressing on the brake and Shorty's effort reduced pressure on the brake and allowed the wheels to turn slowly; or it's jammed against a wall and needs to move at right angles to the direction of the wheels.

Did Shorty jump up or down onto the trailer?
One unlikely answer is that you are in a cold storage warehouse and Shorty is using pressure to melt the ice that is holding the crate and the trailer to which it is tied.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 11:55 AM

When I was young a teenage boy could push a car weighing half-a-ton

Your car must have been a very small one. Was it a Mini Cooper

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 12:12 PM

Not my car - my father's: I only polished it.
Standard 10 - the Mini hadn't been invented (or, at least, was not yet on sale)

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#34

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/03/2007 12:28 PM

Ok. Here is my last answer. Shorty asked us all to join him on top of the trailer and suddenly the trailer is moving.... Hendrik is taking us all for a ride!!! But who cares, at least the trailer got out of the way.

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#35

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 2:14 AM

Shorty (his real name is David) started singing.

The pushers joined him in song. On specific notes they all pushed. The first two pushes did not achieved any movement but by the third push their pushes became co-ordinated and the achieved a slight movement. From then on the pushes were even stronger and the trailer moved on. At some stage later Shorty changed the tempo or words and the trailer maintained momentum for a while, Then Shorty change tempo again and the trailer eventually came to a halt exactly on the right spot.

The motto of this true story : Energy can be transferred by sound. (It seemed like that)

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 2:56 AM

Groan ...

Was this inspired by your new Grandchilds arrival Hendrick ? Puuuush.....

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 2:57 AM

Whoa!!! I don't even want to be around when the rest of the geeks get your answer... I'm outta here!!!

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#38
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 3:58 AM

Sound can definitely transfer energy...Jos 6:20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.
And also, why does the Karate guys shout WHILE they break bricks with their hands?

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 6:04 AM

Because they know in advance that it's really going to hurt!

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 8:26 AM

"Jos 6:20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city."

I think you will find that most archeologist now agree that the walls of Jericho came tumbling down due to a earthquake. Earthquakes are common in the region and it was more than likely just a coincidence that the earthquake coincided with the trumpeting and shouting.

You can cause damage with resonance but the resonant frequency of things like walls and buildings is at infrasound frequencies that are way below our hearing. Another thing to keep in mind it that the energy that causes the damage must come from the source of the sound. The trick with resonance is that you can get the energy that is being exerted over a period of time to build up and be released suddenly.

The energy however has to come from somewhere and in this case that means the trumpeters. The question then becomes how many and how long must the trumpeters play in order to expend the sort of energy that is released in an earthquake. I havn't done the calculation but at a quick guess I'd say that in order to expend the amount of energy required they would still be blowing their trumpets today.

Sorry folks, blowing you trumpet is just not going to do it.

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#41
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 11:23 AM

"Coincidence: When God performs a miracle anonymously."

The narrative does not say that the trumpets caused the walls to fall, just that the trumpets sounded and the walls fell. The implication is that God caused the walls to fall. Using an earthquake to do the job would work just fine.

Similarly, the ball that falls in Times Square does not cause the new year to begin!

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#42
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/04/2007 6:40 PM

You've missed the point... Shorty's singing (sound) directed (focused) the power in the right direction. As far as Jericho is concerned it was about the people being obedient to the Word of God. God promised them that he will give them victory if they did what he told them: Walk around the city six times in six days and on the seventh day seven times and on the seventh time they must make a noise and then the " coincidental earthquake " happened. By the way the archaeologists found that the walls actually crumbled down into the ground. Funny earthquake to make the ground swallow only the walls... So in my opinion their sound " directed " the earthquake. But lets not forget the moral of the trailer story, that good leadership with sound in good rhythm can move the unmovable.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/05/2007 6:22 AM

Serendipity strikes again.

A couple of nights ago there was a program on exactly this subject and the photographs of the region today show toppled walls and structures. From what I saw there is no sign of things being swallowed by the earth.

You need to keep in mind that this area is very earthquake prone. You may not be able to say exactly when an earthquake is going to take place but there is a good chance that you can say there will be an earthquake within a certain time frame.

Something else that need to be treated with caution is the interpretation of numerical values. Back then very few people could count past ten and even fewer were capable of performing even the simplest of arithmetic calculations. As a result you must be careful not to over rely on numerical values. The number forty terns up frequently and more than likely refers to any number over ten rather than we specific value of four time ten.

It all boils down to you needing to be careful when analyzing reports from this period.

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#46
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/05/2007 10:27 AM

You may not be able to tell when an earthquake will take place but God can. Maybe HE decided that, having created the laws of physics, it would be cheating to break them, so HE tells Joshua to carry out the ceremonial marching round and, just when the earth tremor (I think, rather than earthquake) is scheduled to be shaking the walls, to give a great blast on the trumpets on the resonance frequecy of the shaking walls. If all the people were giving a great shout they might not notice the noise of the earth tremor - not a full-blooded earthquake or they would have been knocked over and so would the houses.
I don't quite agree with Hendrik that the Jews were always in the right place at the right time - it was only when they were obeying orders.

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#47
In reply to #43

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/05/2007 3:54 PM

Ok given. But I also saw a program where they were talking about the walls crumbling and caving in rather than toppling over and falling to a side. I suppose no one really knows what happened there, all speculation and we see programs on TV contradicting each other's findings. So... what ever. I believe that it was God's power and you believe it was force of nature and coincidence. Wonderful isn't it, that we can differ in our opinions and just talk about it!
On the same subject. SOUND. I think we underestimate the power of sound. There is no limit to volume and I saw a documentary once where scientists experimented with certain sound frequencies that produced some form of light. They were talking about at this discovery about this strange link between sound and light. It made me wonder about what the Bible says when God created he spoke "let there be light" His voice's SOUND made LIGHT... (that is what I believe anyway) Talk to me!

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#48
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/06/2007 12:02 AM

Uhhh, not wanting to bother you guys, but it's somewhat a speculation whether the whole Exodus thing ever really happened in the first place. It may be as much a parable as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. For one thing, after all the stuff they've found out about the Egyptians (They have their own branch of science), no one has ever found a record of the Exodus experience occurring in Egypt. Also, they've never been able to find a Pharaoh to link it with.

Can you tell I'm whispering?

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/06/2007 2:20 AM

Uhhh, not wanting to bother you guys...

Only if all vermin was as considerate as you!

Well... Like I said that is what I believe and not "that is how it is.." You see, it is very simple for me to believe all the stories in the Bible. They are mostly very plausible an you can learn a lot by applying the morals of the stories. Surely some things are not literally meant. I am not a scientist neither an archaeologist but I did see a program on TV about the 10 plagues and there was evidence in the Egyptian records of those events. It doesn't mean that because of that everything is proven, but to say they've NEVER been able to find a Pharaoh to link is also not entirely true then. All I know is that every body has their opinion and it is a good thing to be challenged by other opinions. So, I respect your point of view, but it will take much more to make me give up my beliefs. Children believe everything until someone comes and spoil them with other lies and they get hurt and then they stop to believe and are then cynical about everything when they grow up.That is why it becomes more difficult to believe things without evidence. It is called faith. Problem for me is that I am a all or nothing type of guy. We can go on and on but I am starting to realise that this is not the right forum to go much further with this, just struggling to land this thing..


Back to the Trailer Riddle. Thanks you all and especially Hendrik who started this. Hendrik, can you help us with a final statement? (oom Sarel)

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#51
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/06/2007 2:43 AM

I concur.

Whether you take it literally or not, "there's no point in throwing the baby out with the bath water."

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#52
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/06/2007 2:58 AM

...or throwing shorty out with the trailer into the water....

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#49
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/06/2007 1:48 AM

Not sure if this helps , but my School Physics teacher used to say that atoms etc acted and appeared the way they did because God made it so . I see no conflict in Science or religion with the teachers statement. Particle physics doesn't deny (anybodies ) god a creative role.

For what it's Worth , I vaguely recall a book by Lyell Watson called Supernature - the exact info may be wrong - detailing odd phenomena . Personally I placed it alongside aliens building pyramids , but others may like it . One of the chapters was about scientists killing themselves with a sonic experiment ! He may have even referenced Jericho , but I no longer have the book .

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#44

Re: Trailer Riddle

04/05/2007 9:13 AM

This entry was inspired by the comments made on the post "sound to be used as an energy source"

About Jericho - most probably an earthy quake.

But the "Jews" always seem to be in the right spot at the right time.

The writer deserves an Oscar.

on an individual level.

Imagine what each of the circling lot felt when the walls collapsed while screaming.

or the persons on thew inside after watching the lot circling the town for 7 days

About the counting ability

How did they determine that there were 600000 men (i cannot remember exactly) when leaving Egypt if they were unable to count more than 40.

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#45
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Re: Trailer Riddle

04/05/2007 10:23 AM

My point exactly!

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