Man vs. Machine: Surviving Compaction In A Garbage Truck

In a classic story of man versus machine that took place right in my own home town, a homeless man in Ann Arbor, Michigan survived compaction in a garbage truck. Miraculously, the man escaped without serious injury.

Apparently, he had fallen asleep in a small Dumpster container behind the Red Hawk Bar and Grill on State Street. The container was picked up high above the truck, and the contents - including the homeless man - were dumped inside. When asked how the man survived, firefighter Scott Robertson, who helped rescue the man, stated:

"I don't know. Just being in the dumpster and being dumped would have been a heck of a ride, let alone being compacted.

Bryan Weinert, director of the city's Solid Waste Management department, said that the compaction process involves a large dull steel blade that pushes the waste against the wall of the truck to maximize space. He said that how tightly the material is compacted depends on how hard the driver pushes the compacting button and the amount and type of trash in the truck. Weinert said that a person could be protected by trash that is hard to compact.

Science fiction fans of course recall that this is exactly what helped Luke, Leia, Chewbacca and Han survive being compacted in the detention-level garbage mashers until C3PO and R2 could shut them down in the original Star Wars.


(Luke and Leia in the Death Star garbage masher)

Science fiction has many stories of man versus machine; not all of them turn out in favor of man. For movies, try Tron, Lawnmower Man, Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Books like Against Infinity, Neuromancer also qualify.

Enter your favorites in the comment section below.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/18/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.

Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.