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Salt Lake City, UT
426 Posts

Profile of MisterE21
Wow...I would never have imagined I would create a subject titled "similar to boiling a frog..." Oh well!

An uncle of mine posed a question some 35 - 40 years ago that has been posed to me, somewhat rhetorically, a few times since my birth. I'm wondering if anyone on this board has the requisite knowledge to ANSWER this question?

Let's say you live on a farm which also contains a herd of cows. At some point, a calf is born. If you were to pick up that calf, every single day, would it ever get to a point that you could not lift it? Or, because the weight gain is so gradual, would you gradually develop the necessary muscles to keep lifting it?

The answer seems to me that, yes, a point would be reached where lifting was no longer possible...but the theory also seems somewhat sound to me due to the gradually increasing weight...

Your EFFECT is only as good as its AFFECT.
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Inner circle
1552 Posts

Profile of Chrystal
Hi Mr. Ed,

I loved this post! Makes you think regarding that question. While my theory isn't based on scientific fact (and I haven't searched regarding how fast a calf grows in one year) It would seem to me that in even a weeks time they may gain so much weight that even lifting it every day may make it impossible to do by the weeks end?

How much can a human lift? Is it double their body weight? Triple? I'm sure there is a point where the strain on the body would not allow it to be lifted any longer. I'm thinking of Olympic weight lifters -surely they practise everyday and yet reach a point as do the majority of those in the same field and come within close range of what the maximum is. The rare one that is able to lift a bit more is usually the Gold Medal Winner.

My old dog was unable to go down stairs the last 6 months of her life but could walk around and climb up them with no problem. As a result I carried her down several times a day. While she didn't quite weigh as much as I did, it was over half my body weight and I didn't feel that uncomfortable carrying her down a flight of stairs.(I only weigh just over 100 pounds) Then again, perhaps I didn't notice the strain as I loved my dog or it could be I have good arm muscles from all the years of carrying around my heavy metal performing suitcase.

There are stories out there of people due to adrenaline rushes being able to lift cars off loved ones. So, perhaps if there was a reason to lift a what if it fell on your mom! Then I can see it being done. :O)
Motivation could be a great thing!
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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
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Profile of daffydoug
I feel that the growth in weight of the calf/cow would be too rapid, and would exceed your ability to grow muscle, which is much slower, and requires extensive resistance on a regular planned basis. (Read any good body building magazine, to see what I am saying)

The cow would quickly ovwertake you and crush you.

Excellent question, though. I have herard it before.

Now, could God make a weight so large that he would never be able to lift it? (Heard that one before?) It is an example of a conundrum.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Chris Berry
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831 Posts

Profile of Chris Berry
Without getting into a big religious debate (or any for that matter because of Café rules).

Could God make a weight, or rock so large He couldn't lift it?

No actually (boy here comes the flames from all members!) It is not in His character to do that. It is sort of like asking "Can God tell a lie?" No God cannot lie. It is not in His character to do something of that sort.


Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27151 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Non linear relationships have small regions which are approximately linear.

Okay? all the coins I've dropped here
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Profile of El_Lamo
I know 4H students who have done this experiment.
(Lifting calves, not having God make rocks.)
It does work for a while.

When you first lift the calf, it is not at the maximum weight that you can lift. It is lighter, though awkward and you are not yet comfortable hoisting the calf. A calf at birth can weigh between 65 and 100 lbs. Some breeds are even heavier.

For the first while few days, you are getting comfortable lifting as the calf begins to grow. You are beginning to face muscle resistance.

The average daily weight gain is a factor that farmers study. Calves from birth, usually gain at least a pound each day on average. Some gain over 3 pounds.

So, for the purpose of this piece, if you atarted with a 75 pound calf and lifted every day and the calf gained 1.5 lbs on average each day. The calf would gain approximately 10 lbs each week.

MisterE21's question was if you were to pick up that calf, every single day, would it ever get to a point that you could not lift it? The answer is yes, you would get to the point where you could not lift it.
Though, you would be stronger and healthier during the process.

Cheers - El Lamo

P.S. The following article gives some information about the origins of the calf lifting idea.
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
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Bucks County, PA
790 Posts

Profile of blindbo
A watched frog never boils and unless the cow dies at under 470lbs, not even Hossein Rezazadeh could lift it.
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