Dragging Sheep
October 19, 2007 12:21 PM   Subscribe

An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces [PDF] was mentioned recently on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast.
posted by blue_beetle (21 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a great podcast.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:37 PM on October 19, 2007


This thread is useless without politics and religion.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:39 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine got me into the Skeptic's Guide podcasts. We were going to make a weekend of driving down to the Creation Museum in Kentucky until he got sick.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2007


Need to change tag to IgNobel.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2007


I avoid the need for such tiresome calculations by simply hiring a Ewe-Haul.
posted by Abiezer at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2007 [12 favorites]


Pulled by a Dodge Ram.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:48 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Perfect timing, I had almost run out of podcasts to listen to at work this week! Thanks!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:49 PM on October 19, 2007


I know some people that can tell you the force required to push one through a fence...
posted by tadellin at 12:54 PM on October 19, 2007


That truly made my day. I contend that the humble sheep's most valuable produce isn't wool or mutton, but humour.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 1:22 PM on October 19, 2007


I know some people that can tell you the force required to push one through a fence...

...with your pelvis...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:29 PM on October 19, 2007


Just as long as they don't declaw the sheep. . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:40 PM on October 19, 2007


That's just sheer madness.
posted by rouftop at 1:58 PM on October 19, 2007


Don't think for a minute that all it takes is some bs .pdf to pull the wool over my eyes...
posted by stenseng at 2:09 PM on October 19, 2007


My experience with sheep dragging:

In the coldest winter South Dakota had seen in ten years, my girlfriend and I babysat for a rancher in that state. With wind-chill, the temperature was around 80 below. To go outside we'd put on full body long johns, jeans, a thick flannel shirt, and on top of that, an insulated Carhart body suit, plus a ski mask. I wore two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks, and two hats, one on top of the other. When we went outside, our eyes ached from cold. Our eyelashes froze together.

We were taking care of 80 lambs and 15 or 20 sheep dogs. They all lived outside, even in that weather. There was a cat too, and a donkey named Seefoy. The cat used to sleep on top of the donkey to keep warm.

One morning we came out to feed the sheep and found one trampled to the ground. Like the rest of the herd, she had spent the night huddled in one corner of the pen. Squashed together they kept each other warm. But when this little sheep had laid down to sleep, her short wool froze into the icy ground, so she couldn't move when the herd shifted in the night. The rest of the sheep had trampled her to death.

After we finished staring at the sheep and contemplating the utter sadness of being accidentally trampled by your siblings and cousins, we had to figure out what to do with the corpse. If we left the body near the other sheep, it would attract wolves. But in that weather it was impossible to bury it.

Serena (my girlfriend) was much faster with this kind of thing than me. She saddled up the mule and tied a rope to the saddle horn. We tied the other end of the rope around the frozen wooly corpse, me pulling her stiff body up so Serena could wrap the rope around. When she was secured, Serena and I climbed up on Seefoy's back and started dragging. Even Seefoy had a hard time walking through the enormous snow drifts, but we took the body a mile or so to the edge of the property, covered it with snow, and left it there. We left the rope – neither of us thought it was a good idea to re-use it. Two days later we found a bloody frozen lamb leg in front of our door. The wolves had found it anyway.

When he got home a few weeks later, the rancher told us that the preferred method for handling dead livestock in winter time was to throw the bodies onto the roof. Apparently, wolves aren't great climbers. Fortunately, I've never had to utilize his advice.
posted by serazin at 4:17 PM on October 19, 2007 [18 favorites]


(I guess I changed the donkey to a mule mid-story, but she was actually a mule. I don't know where I got the 'donkey' thing at the beginning.)
posted by serazin at 4:20 PM on October 19, 2007


And with that story, serazin, you have made my MeFri.
posted by humannaire at 5:54 PM on October 19, 2007


Oh sure, yet another sheep-dragging anecdote, like we haven't heard a million of those.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:30 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


But have you heard the drag sheep anecdote?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:42 PM on October 19, 2007


"Honestly officer, I was just dragging that sheep in reverse, I swear!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:43 PM on October 19, 2007


That was funnier in my head, but then, most things are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:45 PM on October 19, 2007


Office, I swear that I am not now, nor have I ever been a sheep dragger.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:10 AM on October 20, 2007


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