What are the rules for each challenge?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Scrapheap : One Thread

I love the show. My favorite activity is "second-guessing" the contestants' designs. The problem is that I don't really know the rules of each competition. This really cramps the most educational aspect of the show; having seen how the 2 teams solved the problem, could you do any better? Rather than the "human-driven" ram in "Demolition", I would have tried a "truck-driven" ram. (look at how big a piece of wall the "Muncher" took out on it's first stab at the third wall, which was driven by the vehicle, not the hydraulics). Also, in the "Bomber" challenge, I would have tried a glider, launched from a ground-based rubber band. But I also would entertain a giant land-based "slingshot", which just threw the bomb at the target. Not knowing what the real rules were, it's really impossible to know whether these were legitimate design choices, or were outlawed by some rule in the contest. Is there any way to find the rules for a contest (after it has aired, of course)? Sincerely, Mark Phillips

-- Mark Phillips (msss@ne.mediaone.net), December 07, 2000


The truck-driven ram would probably have been allowable--I thought of the same thing--although it wouldn't be very maneuverable for those trickier bricks; and if you made it articulate, then all the force would be borne by that joint. Now that I think about it, didn't the expert actually suggest a ram? But the team wanted a swinging ball, so they compromised on a swinging ram.

OTOH, I bet the slingshot glider would not have fit the challenge, never mind the slingshot alone. It's my understanding that the experts must submit their designs for approval ahead of time (allowing the producers to salt the scrapheap with Mylar, for example), so anything that subverts the spirit of the challenge would be rejected.

Still, I think both teams could have executed their assaults better with the solutions they chose. Both relied on being able to out-maneuver the wind, which turned out to be ridiculous. They should have just pointed them at the target and adjusted for the wind.

-- Derek Jensen (djensen@kconline.com), December 11, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ