Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Tower of Power

I was on a road trip with a friend when we drove past a very tall radio tower. I told my friend “That thing has to be at least a thousand feet tall!” He looked out the window for a moment, and said “No, it’s actually about 1500 feet.” We stopped at a gas station and asked how tall the tower was, and it was exactly 1500 feet tall! Now that I owe my friend a steak dinner, how could he tell how tall the tower was?

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7 guesses to Tower of Power

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  • Lou

    He already knew or there was a sign that said it was 1500 feet tall.

  • Dude

    No, that’s not it.

    Keep guessing.

  • Lou

    To get signal for a radio tower it has to be at least 1500 feet talk??

  • Dude

    Nope, keep trying.

  • Thumper

    If it was a “Guyed mast” then the spacing between the guys could be counted to give the overall height. Or the requirement to have aviation lighting along the length of the mast at set regular spacing could be used to gauge the height of the mast? That’s one well informed gas station attendant! :-)

  • Dude

    We’re going to give it to you Thumper.

    Radio towers are always painted with alternating red and white stripes. If the tower is over 700 feet tall, every stripe is 100 feet high. My friend just counted the 15 stripes and knew immediately it was 1500 feet tall. This only works if it’s over 700 feet; if it’s under 700 feet, the tower will always have seven stripes. Another fun fact: The top stripe on the tower is always red.

    You are today’s winner.

  • Guess.Sir

    Because his friend looked the tower outside the window, while he didn’t