Published May 5, 2012
One of our electrical engineers, Louis, and his wife travel to West Virginia to see some abandoned mines. (Do they know a good time, or what?) Midway through the 17th mine, Louis notices that the timbers used to shore up the walls look familiar. In fact, they’re exactly like the ones in the first 16 mines. The guide tells him all the wood is poplar.
“Gee,” said Louis, “I would think they’d use something like oak or ash, which are very strong.”
Why did the miners use poplar?
Any arborists out there? Or botanists? Or even some tree huggers? Post your answers (or guesses) right here. If no one figures it out, we’ll post the answer in the last week of May.
May 31, 2012
We really “stumped” everyone with this one.
When poplar begins to buckle from the weight of the ground above, it cracks with a loud noise, which provides a warning to those below. Many stronger woods don’t do that.