I-Search Term Paper

Topics: Discovery Channel, MythBusters, Kari Byron Pages: 3 (956 words) Published: April 4, 2005
Can One Raise A Sunken Vessel With Ping-Pong Balls?

Being assigned an I-Search paper, I was to acquire a question that was appealing to me, and that I did. It all started after mindless searches via the internet and some procrastination, to which I found myself to be in front of the television. While I knew I should be looking for a suitable question, I still sat there watching on. I happened to be flipping through the channels when a commercial for the Mythbusters brought about the question if one can raise a sunken vessel with ping-pong balls, to which I thought, "Why would anyone want to use ping-pong balls to raise a- hey, that could be my question!" It was so hilariously stupid that it caught my attention, so I used it.

I started my search by contacting my grandfather, John Walker, whom has been a boating enthusiast for his entire life. I asked him if he thought it was possible to raise a boat with ping-pong balls, to which he replied, "Why in the [world] would you want to use ping-pong balls?" He went on to tell me that he had heard a myth saying that a man raised his unfortunate ship using ping-pong balls, made from a factory he worked at. He also told me that to do so, one would have to use a ton of ping-pong balls and that all of the openings would have to be sealed to prevent any balls from escaping. It seemed possible, but I still didn't have a definitive answer to my question, so I kept on.

After my not-so-definitive interview with my grandfather I used msn.com to search the internet for anything related to the question I had chosen. Doing so lead me to a site which told of a Danish engineer, Karl Kroyer, that had tried to patent such and idea but was denied by the German Patent Office because of an American comic strip which described his idea of using ping-pong balls to raise a ship. This really didn't answer my question but it did give an idea to where the myth came from. So I went to aj.com where I found a site for The International...
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