Getting There First

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(Tork, caveman engineer, the first engineer in history, make that pre-history, returns for this week on engineeringdaze.com, however, due to Tork’s lack of understanding of time, his escapades are spread over two weeks .)

Tork, caveman engineer, was like other cavemen. He wanted to be the first to the inlet of water in the morning. No one went out before it was light, all leaving their cave at sunrise. This often created a traffic jam of sorts on the paths the cavemen had worn down in the jungle.

Tork realized that different paths took different amounts of time when different numbers of cavemen were on the paths. He calculated, with a few experiments, how to best navigate the paths to get to the water pool first. He could not run the fastest, but he understood traffic, and peak traffic volumes and alternate routes. He would have really benefited from sensors, traffic algorithms, and a telecommunications network, but Tork was just pleased to get to the water before Zonk relieved himself upstream. Next on Tork’s agenda was building a good wastewater treatment facility, or at least educating the Zonk’s of the world about proper “dewatering” procedures.

Move Rock

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(Tork, caveman engineer, the first engineer in history, make that pre-history, returns for this week on engineeringdaze.com, however, due to Tork’s lack of understanding of time, his escapades are spread over two weeks .)

Cavemen knew that to move a rock one could place a stick under the rock and a small rock under the stick somewhere and hang on the end of the stick. They knew the basic idea of a fulcrum. But for cavemen, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Tork, caveman engineer, decided to help his clan out by running some calculations. That way they did not waste time trying to move a rock they couldn’t with the caveman-power they had, nor would they waste caveman-hours by getting a lot of cavemen together to move a rock that did not need the number of cavemen they collected to move the rock. Being an engineer, Tork loved efficiency.

Tork figured out the relationship with the length of the fulcrum, where the smaller rock was to be placed and the ratio of the weight of the rock to the weight needed on the other end. His calculations and “engineering” tables could be found on the wall of his cave.

The sad thing was that no one knew how much they weighed and Tork used his body’s weight as a standard and the variance was too great. So, when Tork calculated that they needed 6 cavemen to move a rock of a particular size, and they moved it with only 5 as they tried it while waiting for the 6th caveman to show up, then the cavemen society, fickle as they were, shunned Tork and his crazy ideas. What really got to Tork is that he realized his mistake and was never able to convince the other cavemen to retry his algorithm. Zonk and Klorn were heavyweights in the caveman community, so they not only messed up the experience, but also made sure that Tork’s crazy ideas about tables on walls (whatever that meant) would not be accepted by others. This alienated Tork to some extent, but, he was an engineer, so he got that. But seeing the inefficiency of his cavemen clan as they wasted valuable time moving rocks is what really frustrated him. Maybe, just maybe, one day, engineers will be accepted members of society. Or, at least, their ideas would be.

10

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Tork, caveman engineer, the first engineer in history, make that pre-history, returns for this week on engineeringdaze.com.

 

Tork noticed that when measuring things like the volume of water in the lake, or the distance to the cute cavewoman’s cave, cave people used small numbers first, then when they need to go to a bigger measurement, they used a larger unit, but it was always a strange one. They multiplied the smaller measurement by 8. Why? Because the biggest caveman who always told all the other cavemen what to do had 8 fingers, not ten like Tork had, and most all other cavemen had.

For centuries, people blindly used this painfully difficult system of measurement based on the number 8, while the system Tork developed, based on the number 10, what became known as the Metork system, eventually lost favor with those in control who thought it might be too difficult to change systems.

Oh, how things could have been different.

Tork – Return of Caveman Engineer

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Tork, caveman engineer, the first engineer in history, make that pre-history, returns for this week on engineeringdaze.com.

Tork noticed that he could run fast. Not as fast the non-engineer cavemen, but that is a different story. He also noticed that he could run much faster than a snake, but much slower than saber-toothed tiger.

Tork got to figuring, trying make sense of the world, as any engineer would do. Tork thought, “Hmg, no legs go slow, two legs go fast, four legs go faster.”

Tork even created a table, a spreadsheet of sorts, which he posted (scrawled) on his cave wall. While making it difficult to impress cavewomen with his interior decorating skills, Tork nevertheless tried to figure out this relationship between number of legs and speed.

Then one day, Tork saw a centipede. It didn’t fit into his algorithm well – actually not at all. Tork crushed it with a rock.

In the end, Tork abandoned his attempt at this heavily biological endeavor, leaving it to the caveman a few caves down who wanted to be a caveman doctor. Tork went back to his work of providing clean water for caves, finding great uses for that new invention, the wheel, and understanding the benefits of treating waste properly – or at least locating a waste site properly.