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Lunch Break: Impress Your Sweetie Edition

This is a sort of touching thought:

Thom had an idea for a date. He wanted to rent a cherry picker, drive it to her door, and pick her up in it.


Then, he’d drive to the beach, and get there at just the right time to watch the sun set.


Once the sun had set, he’d activate the cherry picker, they’d be lifted up above the beach …


… and they’d watch the sun set again.

Randall Munroe looks into the math of this and thinks it might work out. He suggests starting the cherrypicker in a deep hole, however, so your eyes begin at sea level.

(Art credit: XKCD.)

By Ezra Klein  |  June 5, 2009; 12:31 PM ET
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It doesn't matter where you start. That only affects what time you see the first sunset. The only thing that matters for seeing two is the displacement between the two positions.

Posted by: evenadog | June 5, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Although I never had the pleasure myself, I've been told by someone who flew on it many times that, if you took the Concorde at certain times of year on the evening flight from London to New York, You could see the sun set twice - once before you boarded the flight, and the second time when the plane reached cruising altitude.

Posted by: Bloix | June 5, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I figure you'd need a cherry picker to go up at least 1200 feet if you want to get from sun just below the horizon to sun just touching the horizon from above.

If you just want to get a glint of sun back and see it disappear again, the crucial factor is speed, and I figure your cherry-picker would need to rise at a 10 foot-per-second clip or so to keep up with the sinking sun, at mid latitudes.

Posted by: J_Whick | June 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

this cherrypicker cartoon reminds me of a funny story!
many years ago, at a little synagogue that used to be nearby, the rabbi got a cherrypicker to lift him and the mayor up, to light what appeared to be, an extremely unstable. makeshift menorah, for their chanukah celebration, on quite a windy day.
it didnt seem that anyone knew exactly how to work the cherrypicker, which didnt seem to be in the best condition....and the mayor had a lighting device, which it wasnt clear that he was comfortable using on the highly unstable menorah.
up they went...the rabbi laughing and singing...
however, the look on the mayor's face.........was ....priceless!
i believe he was greatly fearing for his life, and hoping that the festival of lights would not turn into a mighty conflagration amidst the dancing and singing choir of children immediately below.
it was a tense moment, but, miracle of miracles, everything worked out okay!
i wonder if the mayor had second thoughts about running for re-election that day!

Posted by: jkaren | June 5, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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