Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A little bit country, a little bit geek: Trebuchet!

A few weeks back, we had a little social gathering at my uncle's farm. My cousin, an engineer by trade -- a geek by nature, decided to create a life-size trebuchet!

For those uninitiated in all things geek and Medieval, a trebuchet is a simple machine that works by using the energy of a raised counterweight to throw a projectile. The machine is powered by gravity, but the counterweight must first be "cocked" into position.  My cousin's trebuchet counterweight weighed 1000 pounds. The force of the counterweight falling rotates the throwing arm, as well as the sling attached to the end of the throwing arm (which acts as a secondary fulcrum -- AKA more speed!).  So, it turns out a counterweight of 1000 pounds can launch a 10 pound projectile... um... pretty far!

Did that make sense to all you non-geeks?  No?  Ok... just watch the video. 

Here's a few more pictures of the "Gathering of the trebuchet."  All credit goes to my cousin, George, and his family.  But -- clearly -- geek runs in my family!

"Cocking" the trebuchet.  The Gator pulled the weight using the pulley system.

My daughter and my cousin's girls enjoy riding the Gator, too.

Ready for launch!  Watermelons away!

We also decided to see if dragons really fly...

Well, we did get the dragon to fly, but he lost his head in the process.

Dragon guts everywhere!

A Medieval warrior's prize:  A dragon head.

My daughter gets to pull the trigger!

What's that? A flying violin? Why yes it is.

First a violin, then a bass case.  We have a few musicians in the family who were venting their musical ire.
I brought a few things to fling.  They were all small, so we put them together -- buckshot style.  In the fray was a bunch of fruits and vegetables... and Hannah Montana (my daughter never played with that doll!).  BTW -- Hannah survived her flight, and my cousin's daughter claimed her. 
 This post is for the Summer Blog Challenge.  The prompt was, "July 4--To celebrate Independence Day, you are "free" to post whatever you want."


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