Dec 13, 2007

Survivor: Duct Tape!

I stop by for services most every day at the Universal Church of Cosmic Uncertainty. Michael presides over an eclectic and mostly non-existent group of congregants, most of whom exist in his head. Not to worry, though, he's got plenty of room for more nerds and geeks to join up.

I just had a short email conversation with him about Nerd Herding and Nerd Sniping, which elicited this thought from me about Survivor: Duct Tape!

Set a group of folks anywhere in the world, be it jungle deep or mountain high, or bustling city-- with unlimited quantities of duct tape as their only resource. No food, fire, or fluff. Just duct tape.
It could totally work. Heck, kids make their prom dresses out of the stuff. (which explains the picture you see...) I was thinking you couldn't catch a fish with just duct tape, but you could make a fish net out of the stuff, or attach a sharpened seashell to a stick. Heck, just build an airtight ballast or twenty and float away, or make snow shoes, or build a shelter on the streets of New Delhi and sell duct tape until you have enough money to fly home, or ... and now I've been Nerd-Sniped.

So, what herds your inner nerd? What grabs your inner geek? Currently, this little bit of mental madness has my attention.

Don't click that link if you have a job, or family, or important things to accomplish today.

Update: Hey! It's not like you weren't warned. Don't go whining in my comments if you've ruined your life.

Apple didn't fall far from the tree update: The Newlyweds are here for the weekend. They stayed up late long after the JR and I went to bed. This morning, in the living room--several pages of double-printouts, front-and-back triangles with amazing squiggles and notes from both of them. Still not solved, however.


Mad William Flint said...

Dod Gammit!

You've totally taken me out with that.

I'm at the "Oh wait! This can't be solved that way!" point.

Peggy U said...

I hate you for that geometry problem! It's nearly Christmas and I have too much to do, but I can't put this kind of thing down!!! Gaaaaah!!!! I'll bet you give your friends tavern puzzles for Christmas too!

julie said...

Uh oh, I've just gotten started...
Thanks, Joan :)

Mark said...

"Heck, just build an airtight ballast or twenty and float away,"

Good luck with that. Duct tape ain't water proof.

I used to tear my hair out trying to get people to understand that ion construction whenever they wanted to temporarily water-proof something and invariably bought duct tape. I'd laugh when it would refuse to stick to wet shit and peel off after getting wet.

Some people just don't learn, even by experience.

What was this post about?


That 1 Guy said...

Brain not work. Weekend.

Mizz E said...

Limped into Toluca with a Volvo manifold covered in duck tape. Great temporary fix.

It would have been 2 weeks getting a new one from Sweden, so the mechanics just encased it in fiberglass. Great Mexican fix. Three days later we were on our way to Puebla.

Two years later the fiberglass is where they put it.

Joan of Argghh! said...

You should see what they do with duct tape in Cuba! '57 Chevys are held together with it.

Oswegan said...

That's funny.



Erica said...

I keep thinking about this and coming up empty. My conclusion is that I must not have an Inner Nerd.

Have fun!

julie said...

The maddening thing is, with a protractor you can simply measure the dang angle. I know what the answer is. I still can't figure out how to prove it.


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ah, the joys of duct tape.
This has gotta be the first time I've seen duct tape and nerds in the same post, however.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Mark said...

I know what it is. Can I leave the answer here?

Bou said...

Well, as sick as this is, my Dad and I will be working on this over Christmas. We are both mathematicians and will love this. I just don't have the time now, although I quickly had most of the angles figured out. GRRRR... it is sick when someone thinks, "OH! This will be fun!" ;-)

The hard part will be not using any trig... :(

Mark said...

By the way, to figure it out I applied what I call "bonehead construction site geometry".

It's usually faster and every bit as accurate as my compadres who like to show off the math skills they acquired in six years of college getting a degree in marine biology (or some shit) so they can build houses.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I find that knowing Origami helps, too.


Joan of Argghh! said...

Ben!!!!! You survived the Great Flood of '07!!

So wonderful to see you again!

Mark said...

Joan - I have a post up about this, with a reply I got from Keith. I put the answer in an extended entry with a spoiler alert. I sure don't want to spoil anyone's fun!