Feeds

IT manager sorts Italian Job cliffhanger

Wins 3 nights in Turin with his 3.2 tons of gold

The next step in data security

A Surrey IT manager has won three nights in Turin for sorting The Italian Job's cliffhanger ending, having successfully forged a cunning, highly practical plan to save the gold.

Michael Caine's Charlie Croker and his gang are left in a bit of a tight spot at the film's finale, as their bus teeters over a ravine and they have have to decide whether to save their own lives or try to retrieve the 3.2 tons of ingots whose weight threatens to take the vehicle over the edge.

The Royal Society of Chemistry last year invited the public to suggest what Croker's famous "great idea" for securing the booty might be, and received over 2,000 entries.

Of the shortlist of five, the honours went to 39-year-old John Godwin of Godalming.

The Telegraph explains that the plan starts with the robbers smashing outwards two large central windows just "air-side" of the bus's pivot. One of the gang can then lean out and smash two smaller windows above the front axles - in this case inwards, to retain their weight on the land-side of the pivot.

This allows someone to be lowered by his feet to let the air out of the front tyres, described by Godwin as "springs" which were exaggerating the bus's rocking motion.

The "key to surviving this predicament", Godwin noted, is to then drain the estimated 36 gallons of fuel left in the tank, which weighs about 300lb (139kg). Godwin went as far as to "track down one of the last existing VAL14s buses to a depot near Cambridge to check his details, confirming that the fuel tank was located towards the overhanging rear".

He suggested Croker "could have emptied the tank by removing an access plank on the bus floor and reaching down to take out the drainage plug". Once this weight had been removed, one of the gang could safely exit the bus to get rocks to further weigh down the front, and the gold would be within reach.

RSC chief exec Dr Richard Pike said: "We are delighted to have found such a deserving winner. Mr Godwin's entry is just the kind of practical thinking Croker would have used - but he ably demonstrates the science behind the idea as well."

The runner-up in the challenge was Aidan Farrell, who suggested setting fire to fuel from the tank to glue the bus to the road. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.