Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alert: 3 Days Until Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

Time is getting short. There are only three days until the 3rd Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival gets underway at the Boyden Family Farm.

The gates open at 11:00 am for spectators and the first round of competitive hurling begins at 1:00 pm.  The music will start around noon, and there will be a kickoff introduction at 12:45 pm.
There once was a gent named Buford,
Who wanted to hurl some gourds.
He went to the farm,
Took his treb' with one arm,
And he did earn the top reward.
At the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival you will see pumpkins getting smashed, world records being established, and fun being had.

Everyone loves trebuchets, even the hillbillies and rednecks.

Rednecks setting up their trebuchet at Hillbilly Armageddon

National Geographic Channel:
Photo Gallery: Hillbilly Armageddon -- [You have to love their beer keg counter-weight]

National Geographic Channel:
Rocket City Rednecks -- New Series Premiered Wednesday, September 28 at 9P et/pt
We are taking the term ‘redneck’ back! There was a time when it referred to hardworking, self-sufficient farmers whose necks would sunburn while working in the fields. Those farmers had to be smart and had to solve problems with just what they had on hand. That is what a redneck is! Now we are bringing it back in fashion, so that being called ‘redneck’ ain't an insult! It's a compliment. Nothing says you can’t have a Ph.D. and also be a redneck!"
— Travis Taylor
A redneck review by Zap2it:
Big blowups in 'Rocket City' --
They may like a cold one, talk like Larry the Cable Guy and have a lot of buck trophies up on the wall, but the "Rocket City Rednecks" are steely-eyed missile men.

Airing Wednesdays on National Geographic Channel, the series profiles five self-proclaimed "rednecks" who live in the Huntsville, Ala., area, home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center...
Additionally, just in case you did not know it already, the trebuchet is also a beautiful demonstration of mathematics in motion.

The Algorithmic Beauty of the Trebuchet

Trebuchet Mechanics: The trebuchet, a medieval catapult driven by a falling, hinged counterweight, has been simulated to progressively more accurate approximations by successively more realistic physical models. The first of these, a "black box" model in which the mechanism for the transfer of potential energy to the counter-weight to the kinetic energy of the released projectile is left unspecified, led to a definition of a "Range Efficiency," Reff, equal to the measured range of the projectile divided by the range of the black box model, given by twice the ratio of the CW to projectile masses times the distance that the CW falls. This range efficiency can be used to compare actual trebuchets to simulated one's design "back of the envelope" trebuchets, and is useful in understanding the results of more sophisticated simulations....