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Usenet Newsgroups : rec.puzzles Hall of Fame


The rec.puzzles Hall of Fame is a compilation of over 500 of the most popular puzzles that have been posted and discussed in the rec.puzzles newsgroup. In most cases a detailed solution has been provided.

Many of these puzzles also appear in Braingle's own collection.

   
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Categories : pickover : pickover.13.p

Title: Cliff Puzzle 13: Ladders to Heaven
From: cliff@watson.ibm.com

If you respond to this puzzle, if possible please send me your name,
address, affiliation, e-mail address, so I can properly credit you if
you provide unique information.  PLEASE ALSO directly mail me a copy of
your response in addition to any responding you do in the newsgroup.  I
will assume it is OK to describe your answer in any article or
publication I may write in the future, with attribution to you, unless
you state otherwise.  Thanks, Cliff Pickover

      * * *

Consider the following scenario.  A standard ladder stretches from each
country on the earth upward a distance equal to the distance from the
earth to the moon.

Assume:
1. the ladder is made out of a strong metal such as
titanium, which will not break.
2. the ladder is inclined at a very steep angle, 70 degrees, for
each country.
3. there is a breathable atmosphere.
4. the people (or teams of people) are allowed to use standard
mountain climbing and camping gear, e.g. ropes, backpacks, etc. but not
sophisticated electrical mechanisms, engines, etc.
5. a reward is given to whomever reaches the top of the ladder
first: 1 million dollars to that person.  In addition the country's
national debt is wiped out.

Questions:
1.  Approximate how long it would take a person (or team of people) to
reach the top of the ladder.  Days?  Weeks?  Years?

2. Which country would be the first?

3. Is there any novel method you would suggest to achieve this goal?

4. Is this task impossible to carry out.


Solution


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