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Insectology 101 (Shannon Miller)

(Original by my brother, and submitted with his permission.)

My sister was given the following as a QBASIC programming homework

  A bug is crawling from one end of a rubberband to the other.  Initially,
  the rubberband is 10 inches long, and the bug crawls 1 inch per minute.
  At the end of the first minute, the rubberband stretches to 20 inches.
  During the stretching, the bug holds on tightly and is carried along by
  the stretching.  The bug's position after the stretch may be calculated
  by the equation "PositionAfter = PositionBefore * (Length + 10) / (Length)"
  The bug keeps crawling at the same rate, and at the end of each
  subsequent minute, the rubberband is stretched an additional 10 inches.
  Write a program to determine how long it takes the bug to reach the end
  of the rubberband.

To which my brother Kelly replied:

  Most rubber bands produced after 1992 are manufactured with a
  petroleum based alloy combined with a synthetic polymer binding
  agent.  The change was made after extensive research revealed
  that the expansion rate decreased dramatically after a certain
  threshold and resulted in numerous premature breakdowns of the
  surface fibers.  These fibers were subsequently realigned to
  account for the discrepancies in the elasticity/firmness curves
  which were previously thought to increase steadily at the same
  levels.  Since the molecules are much more stable in this newer
  configuration, the forward tensile strength of the rubber band is
  now much more dynamic, and consequently proportional to the sideways
  torque generated by the particle alignment.  The end result is
  that after 80 percent of the maximum extension is reached, the
  rubber band will snap back and knock the bug silly.


  Professor Ludwig von Kellichovski

  P.S.  A more realistic, and perhaps practical solution to the
  problem is given in the following formula:

  ----  =  SQUISH  (end of problem)

  This formula was proven scientifically with a size 13 shoe in a
  carefully controlled research environment.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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