Sand Timer Task

Sand Timer Task

Postby Jim_R on Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:22 pm

Discussion for the Sand Timer task.
-The path of the Administrator is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

-Nothing\'s gonna get deleted. We\'re gonna be like three little Fonzies here. And what\'s Fonzie like? Come on, what\'s Fonzie like?
-Cool?
-Correctamundo. And that\'s what we\'re gonna be. We\'re gonna be cool. Now, I\'m gonna count to three, and when I count three, you let go of your mouse, and back away from the keyboard. But when you do it, you do it cool. Ready? One... two... three.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Flavorflav on Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:02 pm

Clarifications aren't open yet, so for the heck of it I'll ask my question here. Under 3.m, it says "electricity must not be used for further actions after the sand timer has started." Do you suppose they mean after it has started and before it has completed, or from that point on? i.e., if the sand timer is your second task, are you forbidden electricity for the rest of the run, or simply until it initiates the next action? The way it is worded suggests the former, but I suspect the intent was the latter.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Dark Sabre on Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:03 pm

I would assume that "after the sand timer has started" refers to any time after the first grain of sand falls.

I'm fairly sure that they intend for you to not use electricity at any point after the start of the sand timer. Time and clarifications will tell, but that's what I think they mean for you to do.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby maggymay on Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Flavorflav wrote:Clarifications aren't open yet, so for the heck of it I'll ask my question here. Under 3.m, it says "electricity must not be used for further actions after the sand timer has started." Do you suppose they mean after it has started and before it has completed, or from that point on? i.e., if the sand timer is your second task, are you forbidden electricity for the rest of the run, or simply until it initiates the next action? The way it is worded suggests the former, but I suspect the intent was the latter.


Wait...how do you guys already have your manuals/event lists? We ordered ours August 31st and they're not *here* yet...(grump).

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Flavorflav on Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:04 pm

Dark Sabre wrote:I would assume that "after the sand timer has started" refers to any time after the first grain of sand falls.

I'm fairly sure that they intend for you to not use electricity at any point after the start of the sand timer. Time and clarifications will tell, but that's what I think they mean for you to do.

Hmm. That seems a strange thing to do. The final task is easy enough to begin without electricity, so all that the rule really accomplishes is to make everybody do the timer last. I wonder what the rationale is.

ETA: maggymay, I ordered mine August 31, too, and they arrived today.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby fleet130 on Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:27 pm

maggymay wrote:Wait...how do you guys already have your manuals/event lists? We ordered ours August 31st and they're not *here* yet

I ordered them on the 8th of Aug from the Science Olympiad Web Store & got them a few days ago. Historically, orders are processed in the order received. Don't know how many orders they can process in a day.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Flavorflav on Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:37 pm

This question is not actually about the sand timer task, but I don't see another place to put it. For the starting task, it says "the quarter must physically touch and snap the mousetrap." Would you interpret that as suggesting that the quarter must touch the original mousetrap trigger, or do you think you could extend or replace the trigger with some kind of quarter-catcher? I honestly don't read it that way myself, but it would be much easier to drop the quarter into a cup on top of the trigger.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Dark Sabre on Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:15 pm

I think that the quarter itself has to directly touch the mousetrap. You could modify the mousetrap extensively, in my opinion, but the quarter had better touch some original component with nothing between the two.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby penclspinner on Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:25 pm

Flavorflav wrote:This question is not actually about the sand timer task, but I don't see another place to put it. For the starting task, it says "the quarter must physically touch and snap the mousetrap." Would you interpret that as suggesting that the quarter must touch the original mousetrap trigger, or do you think you could extend or replace the trigger with some kind of quarter-catcher? I honestly don't read it that way myself, but it would be much easier to drop the quarter into a cup on top of the trigger.


Well in my interpretation of the rules it does not say "unmodified" mousetrap like they used in Mousetrap Vehicle C 2010 rules so I guess you might be able to argue that because it does not contain that word that you could modify the mousetrap. I would be careful about modifying the mousetrap too far, in your situation I would want to be able to prove that the mousetrap could still operate as intended ie still kill a mouse even with the modifications.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby bearasauras on Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:59 pm

You can always put a funnel over the mousetrap so that the quarter will land on the trigger
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Flavorflav on Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:01 am

bearasauras wrote:You can always put a funnel over the mousetrap so that the quarter will land on the trigger

DoH! Thanks, bearasaurus, that solves the problem nicely. Now why didn't I think of that?
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby bearasauras on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:15 pm

bearasaurUs? ಠ_ಠ bearasaurAs

but you're welcome :P
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby old on Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:15 pm

Well it's pretty clear that this year the rules makers didn't want a repeat of a bunch of Mission Possible devices separated by tenths of points in score. By putting in a mechanical (sand) timer they have made it much less likely that many teams will finish very close in score. Of course the balloon task is also going to throw in a large amount of random chance into the event. I thought that Balloon Race was eliminated because so many teams complained about how uncontrolled the outcome was (due to a host of uncontrolled variables). That event could have been called "Vegas Gas Bag Race" where the teams get to bet on the outcome. It would have taught us all a lot about the impossibility of gaming a random outcome. I know I am somewhat overstating the case, teams did have to measure the buoyancy and cut out a piece of paper to counter it, but in the end the uncontrolled variables overwhelmed the controlled one. And come to think of it the balloon race event had the balloon in an enclosed box in an attempt to minimize environmental factors, while with the balloon task there will be no way to eliminate those factors since the balloon must rise outside of the Mission Possible device. With the balloon task we will almost certainly eliminate the potential for a bunch of teams scoring withing a few tenths of points, but at the expense of a properly designed experiment with repeatable outcomes.
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Lieficheep on Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:59 pm

old wrote:Well it's pretty clear that this year the rules makers didn't want a repeat of a bunch of Mission Possible devices separated by tenths of points in score. By putting in a mechanical (sand) timer they have made it much less likely that many teams will finish very close in score. Of course the balloon task is also going to throw in a large amount of random chance into the event. I thought that Balloon Race was eliminated because so many teams complained about how uncontrolled the outcome was (due to a host of uncontrolled variables). That event could have been called "Vegas Gas Bag Race" where the teams get to bet on the outcome. It would have taught us all a lot about the impossibility of gaming a random outcome. I know I am somewhat overstating the case, teams did have to measure the buoyancy and cut out a piece of paper to counter it, but in the end the uncontrolled variables overwhelmed the controlled one. And come to think of it the balloon race event had the balloon in an enclosed box in an attempt to minimize environmental factors, while with the balloon task there will be no way to eliminate those factors since the balloon must rise outside of the Mission Possible device. With the balloon task we will almost certainly eliminate the potential for a bunch of teams scoring withing a few tenths of points, but at the expense of a properly designed experiment with repeatable outcomes.

This year's gonna be fun :twisted:
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Re: Sand Timer Task

Postby Flavorflav on Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:04 am

A couple of mildly surprising clarifications about this task have just come through, which I thought I would relay here because they are not posted (yet, at least). Apparently, you still get the points for the sand timer task if you have electrical devices still running, and you can even use the sand timer to turn them off without penalty. I was assuming that you would have to activate the timer mechanically so as not to be in violation of the no electricity rule, but apparently this is not the case.
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