When I was a kid, I had grass cutting jobs. So I have a degree of professional insight into ‘lawn technology’. I always mowed a lawn by starting on the perimeter and spiraling in toward the center.
My neighbor mows his lawn on a diagonal!
*thinking: “what a jerk”.*
But then I reconsidered…
You know, maybe he's on to something. Those longer diagonals would mean you make fewer turns. And you would do more straight-line mowing.
It's got to be faster!
So I tried it out in the backyard where it's a little more private. I really like those long diagonal runs. I was sure I was saving tons of time.
After about five cuttings I decided to time myself.
IT TOOK 5 MINUTES LONGER!
What the hell!
Time to debug. Time to find out what's going on.
If you have been studying my elegant diagrams above, you may have already picked up on the ‘turn factor’. Yes, the diagonal method requires fewer turns. But the time that it takes to make a 180° turn is 3 to 4 times the time that it takes to make a 90° turn. It is comparable to making 90° and 180° turns in your car.
Even though the diagonal plan has only 75% of the turns of the spiral method, the 180° turns take as much time as 100 90° turns.
So I was right the first time: he's a jerk.
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