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This is a question Failed Projects

You start off with the best of intentions, but through raging incompetence, ineptitude or the plain fact that you're working in IT, things go terribly wrong and there's hell to pay. Tell us about the epic failures that have brought big ideas to their knees. Or just blame someone else.

(, Thu 3 Dec 2009, 14:19)
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My good intentions
Almost always end up in pieces. You see, like Bloody Stupid Johnson of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, my creations very rarely simply fail. The almost invariably work, but have some fatal flaw. A selection of them is below:

The big hovercraft: This was actually a collaberation between my dad and I. We ended up with an enormous circle of wood and a woefully underpowered air compressor. I know what we did wrong though, and I've got mental plans for one that will actually work.

The small hovercraft: Made a noise like the saturn 5 taking off, but did work. As long as you didn't put it on water. If you did it would cover everything in a 10m radius in water. Everything.

Trebuchet: Built to about waist high out of bits of wood from the garage. It actually worked amazingly well, throwing pebbles over fifty metres. I decided to up the power by increasing the counterweight, but failed to realize that changing the acceleration of the stone would change the release point too. The stone fired straight up and nearly took my head off on the descent. I altered the sling length to account for that. In the wrong direction. On the second test it fired backwards and hit me in the bollocks.

Water balloon catapult #1: Built it from elastic rope and old seed trays. Pulled it back. Water balloon fell out and soaked my shoes.

Water balloon catapult #2: Built from the remains of the trebuchet mentioned above, but with elastic rope as the driving force instead of counterweights. Pulled it back. It broke.

Water balloon catapult #3: Fixed broken parts and added strengthening. Pulled it back. Let go. Throwing arm came up, hit stopper bar and smashed through the stopper bar, causing the entire assemblage to explode. Seriously, bits of stuff pinwheeing all over the garden. The water balloon covered about three metres. It didn't even break. Gave up after this.

Stilts: I already had one pair, but I wanted some slightly longer ones. Bought the wood, made the foot platforms etc. All was well. Strapped on the stilts. The bent, so I quickly took six inches off the height. They still bent. Another six inches off. This continued until they stopped bending. About a foot off the ground. It was only then that I thought to check the thickness of the wood... Turns out I'd asked for inch thick and got 3/4 inch. Not good.

The raft: Bolted together. It leaked constantly and rolled alarmingly. Used so much expanding foam to fix these problems that it was more foam than anything else.

The kitesurfing board: Took ages to make. It turns out that I bevelled the edges wrongly. It's next to useless.

The snowboard: I call it that, but it was a plank with the bindings from a mountainboard. Epic fail.

I might add more later if I can be bothered.
(, Sat 5 Dec 2009, 19:27, 2 replies)
yay for trebuchets!
and yay for the johnson reference, too!
(, Sat 5 Dec 2009, 21:31, closed)
You are indeed a genius sir..
A failing one at that, but still, it's the ideas that count!!

You're just like my grandfather (god rest his crazy old soul) - the fact that you kept trying is brilliant. You've just reminded me of some of his past works, so I'm gonna add a few of them on here.

Keep trying, and whatever you do, keep failing - it's much more fun, and it makes for better reading!

(, Sun 6 Dec 2009, 11:25, closed)

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