Monday Trivia, No. 142 [Anne wins!]

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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43 Responses

  1. Anne says:

    Something to do with ski lifts???Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Anne says:

      I’m thinking dams of some sort.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        specifically, I’m thinking hydroelectric dams that generate direct current.

        (but that’s just a guess)Report

      • Caleb in reply to Kolohe says:

        The distinct lack of China or Brazil at the top three list put me off that notion.Report

      • scott the mediocre in reply to Kolohe says:

        @Kolohe nested comment re DC hydroelectricity

        Why then would Bulgaria be ranked so high?

        Seems like the “functioning exemplars” is an important clue, suggesting that other US states contain non-functioning (perhaps incomplete or decommissioned) exemplars.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kolohe says:

        Yeah, I’m with Caleb, dams don’t make sense because China’s not on there (unless, as Kolohe speculates, it is a specific type of dam).

        Per Anne’s guess, and because all areas are fairly mountainous, I’ve checked for things like cable cars, funiculars, and aerial gondolas (Burt’s use of the word “functioning” makes me think it’s mechanical in some way; though it could also be an active geographical feature like volcanoes, geysers, etc.)

        Given Burt’s recent focus on CA rail, I’ve also looked into things like monorails and suspended railways.

        No luck on any of those so far, unless I am missing something.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        “Why then would Bulgaria be ranked so high?”

        because they would be using old fashioned commie-era stuff. Ditto Iran. It doesn’t really explain Switzerland though. (unless it’s because their stuff is so well made, it lasts forever).

        Caleb has a good point, China’s absence is telling. And after wikiing, hydro isn’t a big thing in Bulgaria so something about skiing may be better. (I meant to include in my first comment ‘i like that guess, Anne’)Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Kolohe says:

        @kolohe The PRC has two of these. Taiwan has one.

        There’s a free Monday hint for you all. I’m loving the guesses so far.Report

      • Mark Thompson in reply to Kolohe says:

        I’m loving the guesses so far

        This is Burt-speak for “you guys are all way, way off.”Report

  2. Pinky says:

    If it were Austria instead of Switzerland, I’d guess it was illegitimate Schwarzenegger kids.Report

  3. scott the mediocre says:

    Pelton turbine based hydroelectricity?Report

  4. Mike Schilling says:

    Some obsolescent sort of bridge?Report

  5. Christopher Carr says:

    quadruple continental divides?Report

    • Chasm in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I though so too, but I don’t think there are twelve in Switzerland. I also ran through glacier lakes, linear accelerators, uranium enrichment facilities and ground based observatories, but none fit.

      So…. I’m going with “Religions or sects founded after 1800?”

      No? How about “Narrow Gage Railroads?”Report

  6. Chasm says:

    @glyph re: Rails… I also looked into funicular, cog and cable mountain railways, and though Italy and Switzerland are tops in both these (and close, but not exactly what Mr Likko states), there are “examples” of these in Michigan, and Pennsylvania… so I’m not feeling it.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Chasm says:

      Rail (or highway) tunnels above a certain elevation, or over a certain length, or combination of the two? Or tunnels that connect two separate major drainage areas? California could manage that with tunnels in the Sierras connecting the Pacific drainage on one end and one of Nevada’s closed endorheic drainages. Or built before a certain date (California’s Summit and Spring Garden tunnels, Colorado’s Moffat tunnel) and still in use? Or abandoned rail tunnels matched with some of the above, although that stretches the meaning of “functioning”.Report

  7. Burt Likko says:

    Tuesday hint: I don’t think you need one. Just about all of you are on the right…TRACK.Report

  8. Rod says:

    Narrow-gage railways?Report

  9. Passenger rail stations above, say, 8000 feet?Report

  10. Mo says:

    Operational timber trestle bridgesReport

  11. Chris says:

    Gondolas? Wait, it looks like someone’s already asked that. Umm… Grade 6 highways? Or at least grade 6 roads?Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Chris says:

      What’s a grade 6 road?Report

      • Chris in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Grade = gradient. So 6=6%. I imagine there are some roads much steeper than that anywhere there are hills and mountains, but I believe the steepest interstate highway in the U.S. is either 6 or 7 (I know I-24, not too far from where you used to live, is 6% out near Chattanooga, and it’s one of the steepest interstate highways in the U.S.).Report

      • Chris in reply to Burt Likko says:

        (This CAPTCHA nonsense is annoying.)

        I’d add that I have a pretty pronounced fear of heights, and driving on I-24 to get to Atlanta (and on to Macon) from Franklin, TN is an absolutely terrifying experience, especially going down. If you see a car going 45 in the left lane of I-24 on the westbound side (heading west, the right hand lane is basically on the edge of the mountain), heading down from Monteagle, it might be me.Report

      • Rod in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I-70 between Aspen and Denver has an eight mile hill at 7%. I think there’s a couple 7% hills on I-5, too.

        Steepest I’ve ever seen was an 11% on a two-lane in PA and another in WV.Report

      • Chris in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Rod, the moment I see those ramps for trucks whose breaks have given out, I start to get a little nervous.Report

      • Near where I live there’s a city street dividing two subdivisions that has a 14% grade for a stretch. I always try to take visiting flatlanders along that route at some point, approaching from the back side so they don’t know it’s coming. Never fails to get a gasp out of them as we pop over the top of the hill and start down :^)Report

  12. Rod says:

    Steam engines?Report

  13. Anne says:

    Railroads with a loop (where track goes around and crosses over itself)Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Anne says:

      Yay! Anne puts all the clues together — how does a railroad handle a steep mountain grade? I’m running out the door to court and will update the header later today — for now, good job!

      The judges would also have accepted a rail “spiral.”

      Post inspired by my recent day trip to Tehachapi.Report

    • Anne in reply to Anne says:

      functioning loops not abandoned, Georgetown in CO Hiawasee in Tenn, Tehatchapi and another I can’t think of in CAReport

      • Chris in reply to Anne says:

        When I was young and my fear of heights was less paralyzing, I used to walk along the Hiwasee (it’s pronounced “Hiawasee,” but there’s no ‘a’ before the ‘w’) railroad around the river (where we went tubing). A couple times I even jumped into the river from the bridge. I could not do that now.Report

  14. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Congrats to Anne. I wish I’d thought of it.

    But I must protest–there is a railroad spiral in Banff National Park (Alberta), that I believe is still in use. Here’s a pic.

    Nevertheless, a very cool topic for a the Monday Trivia.Report