Re: the new scoring approach being discussed:
Thanks Bob and Jeff for the good insights on the thinking behind it.
I'm sure lots of folk have opinions on how the rules could/should work. But, for S.O. to work, somebody has to come up a workable set of rules for a lot of different.....made-up events.
In anything competitive, the rules are the rules. The name of the game is to figure out how to win within the rules. That takes understanding of the rules, and the variables in your control - how they do and don't fit within the rules, and the effect of changing them on how you score.
Re: the winning B-Div bridge
Its actually a very good example of what I'm talking about in terms of figuring out how to win within a set of rules.
My hat's off to whoever set off on the path to that design. I suspect a coach (which is fine; that's part of good coaching). If a student did, my hat's really off to them.
Whoever did, they did something really right; backing off, letting go of pre-conceived notions of "how its done"/"how it has been done", looking with fresh eyes at what needed to be done, and educated eyes at what has been done structurally, in bridges and anything else. The broader your knowledge, the more you have to draw from. Applying old ideas/knowledge new ways to new situations-that's exactly where most scientific and engineering breakthroughs come from.
I kick myself for not having done that better myself. There is an interesting analogy from racing. Up until the early 1960s, chassis frames were built using steel tubing. To get good suspension control, the frame needed to be stiff- not bending under cornering/braking/accelerating loads. In a race car, you want it as light as possible. In 1962, Colin Chapman (who founded Lotus) came out with a revolutionary design in the Lotus 25 (a Formula One car). He used aluminum sheet, riveted into .....boxes- the strength of the sheet(in 2 dimensions), and the strength of the shape, in the 3rd dimension, formed a structure much lighter and much stronger than the old tube frame - a "monocoque chassis." Stressed skin and monocoque construction existed in aircraft design going back into the 1930s. It rapidly became 'the way to do it." When carbon fiber came along, it replaced aluminum.
So, well done. Time to think outside the box about towers- what's going on structurally in a top-loaded structure with a defined height, and base. Hmmmm....
Fort Collins, CO