Monthly Archives: May 2015

Six-man pile driver

This has been going around for a while, but I think it’s a clever use of combined manpower. The video was apparently shot in Pakistan, though some commenters suggest the workers may be Thai – I don’t recognize the script on the header. Here’s a comment that was forwarded to me with the video link:

Now, let’s analyze the Engineering here:

6 men x 180 lbs = 1080 lbs static force. Jumping up and down will create a 3 times dynamic effect = 3240 lbs/jump = 1.6 ton thumps if the pile is tapered to 2 in x 2 in, cross section at the tip = 4 sq. in. So, dynamic pressure/thump at pile tip = 3240/4 = 800 psi.

“Add a man” feature will increase to 950 psi, so buy the option!

Increase the chant and dynamic force goes up to 5 times to bring max. pressure / thump to 1600 psi for a 7 man team.

Quite good, and will penetrate hard clay and sandy soil (but not hard or rocky ground!) Pretty ingenious.

Oh, the foreman is the guy on the tambourine.

This reminds me of the “gandy dancers” of American railroads, who, in the days before track-straightening machines, used songs or chants to coordinate the mens’ efforts:


The art of bad photography: Miroslav Tichý

I stumbled upon this photo recently and was surprised to learn that what this man is holding is actually a working camera, and quite a cleverly made one at that. The photographer is Miroslav Tichý (1926-2011) of the Czech Republic, a blend of creepy old man and visionary artist. His specialty was taking surreptitious photos of young women with homemade cameras that he fashioned out of odds and ends, with a pulley system using thread spools to advance the film. Continue reading