Sand Timer Task

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by Flavorflav » September 13th, 2010, 6:01 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

Post by bearasauras » September 13th, 2010, 10:15 am

bearasaurUs? ಠ_ಠ bearasaurAs

but you're welcome :P

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by old » September 13th, 2010, 12:15 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

Post by Lieficheep » September 19th, 2010, 5:59 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

Post by Flavorflav » October 7th, 2010, 6:04 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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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by paronomasia » December 2nd, 2010, 9:46 pm

If the sand timer triggers the next task before it is done, will it be penalized as a parallel?
Flavorflav wrote:
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.
Haha, the rationale is to make our lives miserable :lol: ... This is such a delicate task to pull off that I don't know if I would put it next to last. That's a ton of points you're losing if the timer fails.

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by penclspinner » December 3rd, 2010, 7:32 am

paronomasia wrote:If the sand timer triggers the next task before it is done, will it be penalized as a parallel?
No, the timing for the sand bonus will end once the task immediately following the sand bonus begins. In other words you will not be penalized for a parallel task, you will only get bonus points up until the next task triggers.
paronomasia wrote: Haha, the rationale is to make our lives miserable :lol: ... This is such a delicate task to pull off that I don't know if I would put it next to last. That's a ton of points you're losing if the timer fails.
The sand bonus is not actually that difficult, I mean it's been a part of Mission Possible B for the past few years and if middle schoolers can successfully pull it off (to a high degree of precision) there is no excuse for high schoolers not to.

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by zcshiner » December 3rd, 2010, 5:55 pm

So I have been reading rule M carefully, and I guess it is save to say that "electricity must not be used for further actions after the sand timer has started" could be interpreted as "electricity must not be used for further tasks after the sand timer has started"

Am I correct in my thinking on this?

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by ichaelm » December 3rd, 2010, 7:00 pm

zcshiner wrote:So I have been reading rule M carefully, and I guess it is save to say that "electricity must not be used for further actions after the sand timer has started" could be interpreted as "electricity must not be used for further tasks after the sand timer has started"

Am I correct in my thinking on this?
I'm pretty sure they meant actions. As in, you cannot use electricity to do anything after the sand timer has started. That's my interpretation.

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Re: Sand Timer Task

Post by lonestar » December 3rd, 2010, 8:17 pm

Further tasks, further actions, that's pretty much the same thing? Just don't use electricity for anything in the chain of events following the sand timer. But I guess "actions" also includes nonofficial/nonscoring actions. So basically, after sand timer, no new electric things, period.

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