Horse Duck Gladiators!

All credit to @nemomen. We were discussing questions we give at job interviews, and this one came up. And I think it’s hilarious. I now realize it’s old, but I think it is still worth discussing.

Let’s say you were unarmed in a large circular arena with a flat sandy floor (with sand at a depth of four feet), no weapons or debris in the arena, with an evil overlord who asks you the question “You must duel to the death with either one hundred duck sized horses, or one horse sized duck,” which do you choose?

Pick one, and explain why.


I’ll go first. Since horses are animals that tend to run in packs, the moment you get a few good king fu kicks in the entire pack should be weary. And as I mentioned in Questions, you now have potential debris to use as either weapons or defense. So I’d fight the hundred duck sized horses.

A horse sized duck would be a monster. The plumage would deflect or cushion even the most savage moves, and one nip from the beak would take you head off. I don’t think any human could survive an encounter with a horse sized duck, along with emu, ostrich, and moa. You would have to have tools.


I’ll take on the horse-sized duck. I’m big enough and strong enough that I can probably take him down, and what a meal that would make! And if I lose people can laugh at me until the end of time.


I’d expect if you can get behind an emu, ostrich or moa without it knowing you’re there, you could get a good shot at it’s neck. But if they know you’re there, you don’t have a chance. Those talon kicks are deadly. They’ll tear your guts out with just one good kick.

If a duck were scaled up to horse-size, I wouldn’t worry about it’s beak at all. I’d worry about getting hit with its wings. I’ve been wing-beaten by a goose. It’s not fun. Left a bruise on my leg. Surprisingly powerful for something that has extreme osteoporosis.

A hundred duck sized horses would just be too cute to fight though.


So you are positing you can run up behind an ostrich, jump on its back, and grab its throat?

There is only one reaction gif for that.


Okay, two gifs


Not saying jump on it’s back. I’m saying, sneak up behind and karatechop its neck. Or run in from the side. It’d never work, but it’d be better than trying to assault it from the front, where it’s powerful kicking is generally pointed.

Humans aren’t evolved to fight bare-handed anyway. We evolved a gigantic mutant pulsating brain and long arms that are really good at turning sticks and rocks into deadly leveraging tools and accurate high-speed projectiles.


There’s no question from a strategic point of view. A horse-sized duck would be a monster. That’s basically what Gastornis was, a giant prehistoric fowl, and most paleontologists seemed pretty confident it could take on lots of miniature horses (although now they argue that it didn’t).

But consider, in fighting a hundred duck-sized horses, you become the monster. Sure, you’ll live, but will you be able to live with yourself? After straight out murdering dozens upon dozens of adorable miniature ponies?


Friendship is messy and bloody and ewww.


I like your style!

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Just for reference:

They’re called “Terror Birds” for a goddamn reason.


Also known as damn dinosaurs!


Allosaurus minus the teeth.


[quote=“japhroaig, post:1, topic:73316”]
We were discussing questions we give at job interviews

Let’s say you were unarmed in a large circular arena…[/quote][/quote]


Horse Duck Gladiators!

I’d take the hundred horses, and bargain to trade 99 of them for a battery and a staple. Surely I could put them together somehow to make something that could be my pass out of there. That’s the correct answer, isn’t it?


I pull that one at the end for entertainment once we’ve yammered about Linux and Java and C and threading and had the candidate design some SQL table schemas and do various joins and things with them. It’s usually a relief for them. I try to keep pressure down by having the DB relating monkeys, ninjas, and robots, though you never can tell if that will confuse or entertain.

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Horse sized Frogman or frog sized horse?

Edit: the full bit…


I’d so fucking fail. Except for the schema design, and I’d explain how you allz are doing it wrong.

Algorithms? For loops.
Good oop design? For loops.
Functional design? For loo—oh shit, you have to use recursive patterns that don’t carry state!? WTF is this shit!? LISP!! GET OFF OF MY LAWN!!


Just spin off a bunch of threads running for loops - bam, fast and simple. The for loop design pattern is the one universal design pattern to rule them all. Lisp? Point at something and say something funny and hope they forget the question.