Lorenz Borsche: Eskimo-riddle

Eskimo riddle

sorry to interrupt you, but I have a problem.

My wife, our son and I live in this iglu right at the north pole. Last summer my brother came to visit us (he's living in LA now). He gave us this wonderful belt drive turntable. He said, he'd remembered there'd been no CDs at our iglu, when he left. Thus, the turntable. He is right `bout the CDs. Unfortunately no vinyls either :-(. We use it anyway. After I got rid of that useless stick in the center, we put our stew pot on it when eating. So everone can turn freely to go for the best pieces :-).

Last sunday I made a funny discovery. Sundays we have fish roast on a spit: you take the spit, put it through one handle of the pot, then through the fish, then through the other handle. With a little oil at the bottom of the pot lit up, we smoke fry the fish. Well, when my wife had put the pot on the turntable, I twisted the spit between my fingers seeing if the fish was well done everywhere. The fish kept on spinning while we sang our sunday songs. It still rotated when we stopped singing (my clever son says, this is because of the fish oil everywhere, which gets superfluid because its so d... cold up here).

The singing lasts half an hour, that I know. Well, what to say: The fish was pointing at me, when we started, but now it was pointing directly at my wife! First question (easy): which side of me my wife was sitting?

Now my son said: ``Pop, thats wonderful.'' I said: ``What?'' He said: ``That'll make energy for us!'' I replied: ``That stinking ole fish?'' My wife started crying, because I wouldn't like her cooking no more, so boy, the heat was on.

Well, my son said, not the fish, but the earth rotating under my feat, as the fish, while spinning, would keep it's position relative to the center of the universe. I showed him where the center of his universe was, yep, opposite his cheeky mouth!

After all tears had been dried, he said: ``But Pop, put that plug from the turntable at your tongue, and yes, there was that fine buzz any well charged battery would give you. My clever son said, it's the earth making the turntable turn round and the pot with the fish will stand still against the universe, and so the turntable would drive the motor via the belt, and thus create electricity. Do you teach this at school today?

So I went and bought a lightbulb for a bicycle and since then, we have light in the iglu, day and night (and nights are long in winter).

Actually I have noticed though, that the pot doesn't turn as fast, when the light is on. This sunday it would point between me and my wife, when the singing was over.

My son said, when he is older, he'd like to go to Berkeley, and there he could learn how to calculate all this, so we would know, how fast the fish is spinning, how heavy it has to be and how much the pot is slowed down by the electricity taken off. Well he says, it's actually accelerating, and the earth is slowed down a tiny wee bit, but I think he's mad, and I won't finance the trip down south. What you learn down there you can see at my brothers: a turntable as a present! Why didn't he bring a fridge, we sure could use that, when it's really getting cold outside :-).


Maybe you can help me keeping my son here, when answering his questions (if you can't what's the use to send him to your universities anyway.. :-)?

a) Granted the fish and the turning disc can rotate frictionless and the generator has no loss in efficiency, how fast would the fish have to spin at a certain design (diameter, length, weight) thus to make the system `create' 1 Watt?

b) Will the pot seemingly `slow down' (i.e. accelerate up to earth rotation)?

c) If so, where's the maximum energy output (boundaries should be: no slow: zero, full stop (i.e. earth speed): zero)?

d) If every person on earth would use up 1 kW constantly and all would be `created' by `rotating fish', how many years would go by, until the 29th of February becomes a regular day each year?



BTW: Physicist proved it to me, that the setup cannot work: the moment you stop a gyro from precessing, they say, it'll have no resistance against bending no more. That's what they say...