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Homework Help: Poetic Physics

  1. May 17, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Every morning at seven o' clock
    There's twenty terriers drilling on the rock.
    The boss comes around and he says, "Keep still
    And bear down heavy on the cast-iron drill

    And drill, ye terriers, drill." And drill, ye terriers, drill.
    It's work all day for sugar in your tea
    Down beyond the railway. And drill, ye terriers, drill.

    The foreman's name was John McAnn.
    By God, he was a blamed mean man.
    One day a premature blast went off
    And a mile in the air when big Jim Goff. And drill...

    Then when next payday came around
    Jim Goff a dollar short was found.
    When he asked what for, came this reply:
    "You were docked for the time you were up in the sky." And drill...

    What was Goff's hourly wage? State the assumptions you make in computing it.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Ok first I converted that mile he went up to meters. So I got 1609 meters. Ok so I solved for vi by vf^2=vi^2+2ax. vi^2=19.6(1609)

    After I got that solved for the time he was up in the air. I got y=177.58T-4.9T^2 and then I set y=0. Solving for T I get T=36.24 seconds. I need to make 36.24 seconds a fraction of an hour so I get 36.24/3600=.0100666

    To find his hourly rate I use my beastly math skills and letting x=total r=rate and t=time
    x=rt x-1=r(t-.0100666) solving for r I get r=99.34. That's 99.34 dollars an hour!! This looks like an old poem so how could this guy be making 99.34 dollars an hour when people today are making like 25 dollars an hour with a respectable job!! Where did I go wrong or am I thinking too hard? Thanks for the help!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Looks OK.
  4. May 18, 2009 #3
    Oh so diggers made about a 100 dollars back in the day.
  5. May 18, 2009 #4


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    Homework Helper

    Not likely. But according to the physics of the poem ... perhaps a little poetic license was involved?
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