Episode 8: Animal Stacking
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Author:  Lewis Powell [ March 20th, 2013 04:05:19 am ]
Post subject:  Episode 8: Animal Stacking

Assume you are going to make a tower by stacking animals on top of each other.

All the animals have to be of the same species. They cannot be human.

The animals must be alive. They can be drugged.

You can only have one animal at each level of the tower.

You cannot use anything other than the animals to keep the tower together. (For instance you cannot glue the animals together or nail them together.)

You have a six month time limit to acquire the animals and build the tower.

You get two points for every animal in the tower. You get one point for every meter tall the tower is.

Assume you want to get as many points as possible.

Discuss what would be the best choice of animal.

Link: http://requestcomics.com/podcast/episode8.mp3

Author:  Unwinder [ March 20th, 2013 04:28:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Episode 8: Animal Stacking

I don't know if I'm going to beat sponges, but my plan is to stack coiled snakes.

I'm not sure what kind of snake. I'm going to experiment, I suppose.

Or maybe I'll go with whatever kind of snake is easiest to acquire in large volumes.

Author:  vewatkin [ March 20th, 2013 12:20:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Episode 8: Animal Stacking

Something to consider is how long sponges can remain alive when removed from the water. I don't think there is any sponge that can survive indefinitely above water, and my thirty seconds of research suggests that momentary exposure to air is sufficient to kill most sponges.

Now, you only need them to survive long enough to complete the stack, though, so they may still be viable.

Something to consider is whether using long, limp animals would still be considered stacking. For instance, if you had a large carton of drugged centipedes, you could drape them over each other and build yourself a nice stack, but they would only be one-atop-the-others in the middle; on the lower layers at least, the centipedes' bodies would hang down to the ground. Does that mean it is not a stack? In conventional terms, I think you would refer to such a pile of centipedes as a stack of centipedes, but I could imagine an argument to the contrary.

(A second objection may be that the down-hanging bits of the stacked centipedes that touch the ground serve as an additional means of stabilizing the stack, and one of the rules is that nothing but the animals can be employed to stabilize the stack. However, I dismiss this, because the ground is implicitly an acceptable agent for stabilizing the stack. If it weren't, the very fact that the stack is resting on the ground would violate the rules.)

Various flat insects would make a good stacking material, but I don't know easily they can be non-lethally sedated. (The same problem exists for centipedes.) If you could drug them reliably yet keep them living, imagine how high you could stack butterflies! You could do so almost indefinitely by alternating up-facing and down-facing butterflies, and placing their bodies essentially side-by-side. (Thus wouldn't violate the one-animal-per-layer rule, since each butterfly would still be above the previous layer; there will inevitably be some overlap between layers.) But this is all dependent on them surviving the drugging, and I don't know how plausible that is. Even a drugging were fatal, though, you might have enough time before the butterflies died to construct a large enough stack to maximize points.

This disturbing website suggests that refrigerating a butterflying can safely sedate it: http://lepidopterran.blogspot.com/2011/ ... -wing.html

Author:  chenjesu [ March 27th, 2013 02:34:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Episode 8: Animal Stacking

I feel like bugs would be better for stacking because they have an exoskeleton.

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