November 21, 2007

The Power of Yahoo! Answers

logo of yahoo answersI sometimes visit this site to refresh myself, to free myself from the humdrums of everyday life. I ask questions, participate in answering questions to my ability and simply take pleasure in participating in the social portal. Its really amazing how apparently tough questions roll themselves into mellifluous answers at websites like this. Here I site one such example.

A few months back I asked one question in the forum. The answer to this question is not yet known. But I posed the riddle to get the feel of collective intelligence. You may have noticed that trees grow upright: in a fashion that if you extended the tree trunk further down, it would go through the center of the earth. The trees seemed to be extensions of the earth's radii, put in other words. May be the trees had a gravity sensing mechanism. May be the trees could calculate the amount of torque acting upon it (should it tilt) and took corrective measures on the error related feedback.

The answers came thick and fast. One said that not all trees were upright and cited the example of palm trees. Another guy said that trees being dependent on photosynthesis had no better option than standing upright. But I liked what Hans said most. He compared the trees with inverted pendulum. As the pendulum is most stable when it's bob is vertical, so was a tree which resembled a pendulum upside down.

So next time you are stuck on something, give Yahoo! Answers or WikiAnswers a try.
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