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MA0-103 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE mock exam |
Sun, 05 Jun 2022 23:46:00 -0500text/html Why Roger Goodell should answer Pat McAfee’s challenge and appear on his show No result found, try new keyword!McAfee even said as much, while discussing Goodell’s salary during his tease. “$60 [million a year]. That might be one of the questions ... Roger Goodell should answer Pat McAfee’s ... Thu, 07 Dec 2023 09:45:00 -0600 en-us text/html Pat McAfee provided Aaron Rodgers with the perfect, or worst, platform, depending on how you see it

Short of getting a one-on-one interview with the Texas assistant coach’s girlfriend’s pet monkey that turned Twitter upside down for a night, there was probably no bigger interview “get” this week than Aaron Rodgers. As soon as the news started breaking on Wednesday that not only had the Green Bay Packers quarterback tested positive for Covid-19, but he had actually never been vaccinated in the first place despite carefully implying that he had back in August, everyone wanted to be the reporter or outlet that got a statement or reaction from the NFL MVP.

It was ultimately not surprising to find out on Friday that the lucky interviewer would be Pat McAfee. The host of The Pat McAfee Show had a couple of things going for him. First and foremost, the former NFL punter has a standing relationship with Rodgers in which the quarterback stops by every Tuesday to discuss a myriad of topics. Secondarily, while McAfee has a reputation for going big and making waves, he’s also cultivated a very cozy and friendly atmosphere for regular guests like Rodgers, who can presume that they’re not going to get railroaded with tough questions.

That’s how it played out on Friday as McAfee introduced Rodgers and essentially let him go on a 20-minute diatribe to explain why he had decided not to get vaccinated. Our own Andrew Bucholtz has transcribed the entire interview and any necessary factual complimentary information here. Rodgers, who didn’t even get out of his first sentence before using the terms “woke mob” and “cancel culture,” launched into a prepared set of remarks in which he explained that he had done his own research into vaccines, decided to take medical advice from comedian Joe Rogan, compared himself to Martin Luther King, Jr., unironically used the phrase “my body, my choice,” and wondered aloud how people still get Covid-19 after they’ve been vaccinated.

While Rodgers said “I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther,” NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins, who covers vaccine news closely, said afterward that “it would be impossible to draw up a more stereotypical anti-vaxxer argument than the one being outlined by Aaron Rodgers today.”

All of which is to say that if Rodgers were looking for the perfect platform to lay out his case for not getting vaccinated, he found it. McAfee gushed over Rodgers before and during the interview, introducing the Packers quarterback with a round of applause from him and his staff. Rodgers also thanked McAfee and co-host AJ Hawk for personally reaching out as well following the initial news.

McAfee continued to butter up Rodgers, referring to his weekly appearances as “incredible” and noting “the haters out there” who had certain thoughts after finding out. McAfee refers to Rodgers as “incredibly deep” and “incredibly intelligent” before essentially giving Aaron the floor to start his explanation.

Rodgers then delivered his diatribe for almost exactly 20 minutes, uninterrupted, except for a time in which McAfee attempted to ask a question before Rodgers said “let me finish,” and McAfee did. When he finally did chime in, it was less of a probing question and more of an agreement about Rodgers’ thoughts on ivermectin and the potential impact of vaccines on sterility, before essentially saying that Rodgers’ predicament is the quintessential distillment of every pandemic argument we’ve been having for the last two years.

Saying all of this is not meant to demean McAfee, but rather to show how the platform he was providing was, presumably, the ideal scenario to Rodgers. And to be fair to McAfee, while most of his questions were positioned in a way to appease Rodgers, he did attempt to get to the heart of certain issues, such as why Rodgers used the term “immunized” when asked if he was vaccinated and didn’t follow that up by providing more clarity.

Many people also seemed to feel as though McAfee had a visceral reaction when Rodgers brought up that he was taking advice from Joe Rogan, trying his best not to show it.

In many ways, the way that McAfee catered to Rodgers and cleared space for him to speak his mind was exactly what the quarterback was looking for when it came to finding a place to share his rebuttal. As many have pointed out, Rodgers seems to himself as the smartest person in the room at all times, and McAfee is more than happy to stroke that ego in order to make the quarterback comfortable. Had McAfee pushed Rodgers or tried to ask questions early on before Aaron had been asked to work through his many talking points, he might have seen it as a hostile space, or as McAfee overstepping. And, who knows, he might have even ended the interview if he felt as though this was no longer a safe space.

Rodgers doesn’t need McAfee in this situation, McAfee needs Rodgers. And he clearly doesn’t want to lose exclusive access to one of the biggest athletes in U.S. pro sports over a question or two.

So in that way, it’s the perfect platform. And it makes a lot of sense why Rodgers wanted to do it here instead of speaking with, say, one of the beat reporters that cover the Packers, or appearing on The Dan Patrick Show. Those options would invariably include pushback, time limits, and potentially negative reactions.

But in another sense, it might have been the absolute worst platform for Rodgers because he saw it as the perfect platform. Because if Rodgers truly is as tied up in his intelligence and self-stylized image as it seems, he would have been unable to see that a live showcase in which he was allowed to spout his worldviews for 20 minutes could actually be a bad thing.

While Rodgers certainly seems to have known he would receive negative attention for his views from the “woke mob” he referenced, it’s unclear if he truly understood the perception that he left in the wake of this appearance. The impact that this appearance will likely have on his reputation in many circles, some of which Rodgers clearly wants to remain a part of, is fairly large.

For better or worse, Aaron Rodgers showed the world exactly who he is. And that only could have happened on a platform like The Pat McAfee Show under the circumstances he’s created. Had he sat down to be interviewed by a more seasoned journalist or a podcaster with a journalistic background, he undoubtedly would have had to face tougher questions and wouldn’t have been able to talk about certain Topics unchecked. And that probably sounds like a bad thing to him, but perhaps, in some way, that platform undercuts the depths of where Aaron Rodgers went on Friday, saving him from himself.

Time will tell what the full implications of Friday’s interview will be. It’s unlikely that Rodgers will face major pushback from the Packers or the NFL, though the league is refuting his claim that they sent a medical professional to speak with the team or players. Beyond his playing career, however, Rodgers recontextualized his entire career in one day. He probably made some new fans on one side, lost some fans on the other, and is watching his reputation getting laundered through the court of public opinion. He clearly believed that the way he handled the situation was the ideal scenario. Because, it would appear, Aaron Rodgers thinks he knows best and didn’t want anyone to tell him otherwise. He got what he wanted.

Thu, 04 Nov 2021 12:00:00 -0500 Sean Keeley en-US text/html
Questions and answers from the ‘Car Doctor’

Q. I am a pretty serious DIY mechanic who is thinking of moving to auto repair as a full-time job. I have seen you mention Harbor Freight tools in your column. When I am in a shop/dealership I see Snap-On and other big toolboxes and wonder how Harbor Freight hand tools and boxes stack up.

A. Snap-On tools are great, but unfortunately some entry technicians get financially over extended and end up paying $100 a week or more to the tool truck for the rest of their lives. Expensive tools do not make a good technician, and do not buy tools to show off, buy tools to do the job. You can buy different levels of professionals tool boxes, hand tools at Harbor Freight that can supply you years of service. Also look for used tools. On of my co-worker’s dad shut down his shop and was selling his tools, boxes and more. I would have guessed about $10,000 worth of tools. He sold them for $2500. This was a great deal for both the experienced technician and someone getting into the business. There is a YouTuber, the Humble Mechanic and he put out a video about putting together a good starter tool set for $2500. It is worth watching.

Q. I went in for a routine oil and rotation, the mechanic at my dealer suggested a fuel injector cleaning for $200. I own a 2019 Forester with 25,500 miles. He said they normally do it at 40,000 miles but figured I do short drives, might be wise. I typically drive one or two days per week and usually short and quick stops with maybe one long drive per week. Would you say wait? How could one know if this service is truly needed (gas mileage has not changed nor has how the car drives). And would you do it at a dealer or independent shop?

A. Fuel injector cleaning cannot hurt but may not be necessary. Although the dealer may recommend it, I have never seen Subaru corporate recommend it as a preventative measure. You are better off using quality fuel ( and if you are still concerned add a bottle of fuel injector cleaner once or twice per year.

Q. My car handles worse and bounces more after I had installed new struts. What could be wrong?

A. Since it is worse now, I would want to recheck the work, you could have a defective strut. Also, the wheel alignment may not have been corrected after the repair. New struts should have given you a more controlled ride, with less bounce. When performing the repair hopefully the shop checked the top bearing and springs to make sure they were in good shape before installing the new struts. Many shops also use complete strut assemblies that include the springs and bearings which make for a complete repair. If this was the case, it is even possible the struts were not the proper part for your car.

Q. So, if you had a choice would you buy a Honda Civic R, Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf R or Hyundai Elantra N? I am looking for something small, quick, and stylish.

A. I have not driven a Volkswagen product in years, based on past experiences the Golf R was the most mature choice of these cars. The Civic R which I just evaluated, handled great, the engine was fun to run up to the “redline” the brakes were as good as the engine. The Subaru WRX, like the Golf R, has the advantage of all-wheel drive. The Hyundai Elantra N is down on power compared to some of the competitors but still performs quite well. They are all great cars, for me, the Civic R as good as it was geared to a younger driver. I feel I am too old to drive a car with a big spoiler on the rear deck. So, If I had to pick based on cars, I have evaluated the Elantra N would be my choice.

Q. Several weeks ago, my 17-year-old son, using his own money purchased a car for $4500. The car, an Audi A 4 seemed to be a good deal, but he then returned to the same seller, because it had a bad vibration. The second car, this time a BMW, turned out to have a fraudulent title as well as an odometer that had been turned back. We discovered this through a Carfax report. I was informed by both my son and his best friend that they attempted to get even some of their money back and return the car, but the seller refused. Now the seller will not even take his calls. Do you have any suggestions as to how we might proceed to rectify this issue/problem?

A. The first thing that needs to be determined is if the seller was a legitimate car dealer or someone who just buys and sells cars without a license. The seller may be someone who just “jumps” titles selling a car they purchased without re-titling it in their name. Depending on where you live, state agencies rarely get involved in private party sales. If they are a legitimate car dealer you may be able to get some help through a dealer organization or the Attorney General in your state. Odometer and title fraud are subject to both state and federal laws and can carry serious fines. At this point you may need to contact an attorney that specializes in automobile fraud.

Got a car question, email the Car Doctor for a personal reply.

Fri, 01 Dec 2023 14:54:00 -0600 By John Paul Senior Manager Public Affairs And Traffic Safety Aaa Northeast en-US text/html
Sophos CEO Questions Competition, Says Company Changes At Symantec, McAfee, SonicWall Cause 'Confusion'

Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman said he expects the exact disruptions in the security competitive landscape, including major spin-outs and blockbuster acquisitions, to have an overall positive effect on the U.K.-based security vendor.

Specifically, Hagerman took aim at Symantec, which completed its $4.65 billion acquisition of Blue Coat Systems in August. Hagerman said he sees "quite a bit of confusion through the sales ranks" at Symantec, as well as in the partner network. The comments came on the company's earnings call Wednesday covering the first half of 2017.

"We don't know what the future will hold for Symantec, but certainly in the short to medium term, there's a lot of disruption there and confusion about exactly what the company intends to be the best in the world at," Hagerman said. "That, ultimately, is probably good news for Sophos," he said.

[Related: Symantec CEO Takes Aim At Cylance, Other Next-Gen Security Vendors As Blue Coat Integration Gets Under Way]

Hagerman said he sees similar disruption and confusion at companies undergoing spin-out moves from larger vendors, including Intel Security (soon to be McAfee) and SonicWall. Intel Security announced in September that it would spin out from parent company Intel and return to its McAfee namesake. SonicWall announced a similar move from parent company Dell, a spin-out that completed earlier this month.

Hagerman said "it is not entirely clear where McAfee is going from a strategic perspective," particularly around the company's go-to-market through the channel. He said SonicWall has the same "confusion" around its go to market and new leadership.

"This is one of the reasons I emphasize the fact that we feel so strongly about the core strategy we have in place, how unique it is to the market and how we continue to keep drilling away and moving it forward. We think we're getting better and better at it all the time … We keep doubling and tripling down on a game plan that we think is differentiated and really working," Hagerman said.

Hagerman also highlighted strong growth in Sophos' channel partners, with the number of partners growing from 20,000 at the end of fiscal 2016 to 26,000 at the end of the first half of 2017. He said Sophos is also seeing an increase in the number of its blue chip partners, who sell more than five transactions with the company during the period, up from 4,700 to more than 5,400 a year ago.

"On the channel and go-to-market side, our engine continued to roll forward and gain more momentum," Hagerman said.

Sophos reported sales for the first half of the year of $256.9 million, up 9.7 percent year over year. Billings for the first half of the year, which ended Sept. 30, were $279.8 million, up 15.6 percent year over year. The loss for the first half was $24.6 million, compared to a loss of $13.4 million a year ago. Sophos said the larger loss was due to increased spending on R&D.

Hagerman said Sophos saw particular strength in the quarter around new customer billings for its UTM and Sophos Central offerings, subscription billings and a high renewal rate for customers. Hagerman said Sophos Central, which acts as a cloud-based management platform for the company's portfolio.

Sophos Central was a particularly "powerful growth driver" for the company and a "meaningful contributor to business," with 30,000 customers now using the solution. That is significant, he said, because it shows the growing amount of customers looking to sell across the Sophos portfolio.

Sophos now has 8. 4 percent of its customers using both its endpoint and network security solutions, up from 6.4 percent last year. Hagerman said the half was also a "breakout period for product delivery," highlighting in particular strong growth for its new next-generation endpoint security solution Intercept X, which has already added more than 1,000 customers since its September launch.

Going forward, Sophos said it expects mid-teens percentage billings growth and revenue percentage growth in the mid-teens. Sophos' fiscal year ends March 31, 2017.

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 04:23:00 -0600 text/html
David Warner: The good, the bad and the ugly of Australian cricket’s bad boy

David Warner takes to the field on day three of the third Test against Pakistan (Getty Images)

David Warner is cricket’s pantomime villain. England fans love to hate him, and even Australians are not in agreement over what they think of the left-handed opener.

Sport loves a villain. Nick Kyrgios portrays himself as the ‘bad boy’ of tennis while Diego Maradona was embroiled in controversy as much as he stunned the world with his footballing skill. Warner is cricket’s answer, and the sandpaper incident may yet become his legacy in the sport, just as English bowlers Douglas Jardine and Harold Larwood have become synonymous with the infamous “bodyline” series of the 1930s, or Trevor Chappell and his underarm delivery in 1981.

The spectre of ‘Sandpaper-gate’ in March 2018 has followed him ever since that fateful day at Newlands, Cape Town. The television cameras spotted Cameron Bancroft with sandpaper, sparking widespread change, the end of a captaincy and an organisation. Only those in the Cricket Australia dressing room and management staff may know the full events that transpired in that Test match, or if rumours are to be believed, some of those series leading up to it.

David Warner was forced to issue an apology and banned for a year for his role in the ball-tampering scandal (Getty Images)

Warner was blamed as the architect of the ball-tampering plot, and hit with a year-long suspension, but was also banned from holding any leadership position for the rest of his career. It has haunted him ever since, including an ill-fated brief attempt to overturn the ban in 2022, although he eventually withdrew the appeal.

As far as England fans are concerned, Warner was not universally liked even before the incident, which stretches back to his unprovoked attack on Joe Root in a bar following Australia’s loss to England at Edgbaston in 2013, for which he later apologised.

But he has been a mainstay of the Australian top-order across all formats over the last decade. While not necessarily an aesthetically pleasing batter, he has certainly been effective. Warner announced ahead of Australia’s final Test of the current series against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground that he would also not be returning to the ODI fold.

Ahead of the third Test, Warner had amassed 8,695 Test runs at an average of 44.58, although his record in England is far more modest. In overseas Ashes series he did not score a single century, and in 19 Tests averaged only 26.48. In one-day international cricket, he averaged 45.30, having scored 6,932 runs in 161 matches including 22 centuries.

Warner has lifted two ODI World Cup trophies (Getty Images)

Warner is an ideal cricketer for what the game has become. An explosive top-order batter, he has come to life at the same time as the global game and looks set to become a globetrotting T20 specialist for the remainder of his career. He has starred in the lucrative Indian Premier League and become a world-renowned batter across the formats.

There have been questions raised over whether Warner deserves the fated final farewell, such was his role during what was arguably Australia cricket’s darkest hour in the aftermath of the sandpaper scandal. Even Mitchell Johnson, the star of Australia’s 2017-18 Ashes victory, hit out at his former teammate Warner ahead of the series. The fast bowler called for the 37-year-old to be dropped and argued he did not deserve a swan song.

Ahead of the summer’s Ashes, Warner presented himself to the media as a changed person and a family man. He will bow out with an impressive list of cricketing exploits, although the shadow of the ball-tampering scandal may be too difficult to shake when it comes to his lasting legacy.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 20:37:00 -0600 en-CA text/html

MA0-103 mock exam - McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE Updated: 2024

Precisely same MA0-103 dumps questions as in real test, WTF!
Exam Code: MA0-103 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE mock exam January 2024 by team

MA0-103 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE

Exam Title : McAfee Data Loss Prevention Endpoint (DLPe)

Product version(s): 9.3.2

Associated exam : MA0-103

Associated training 4 Days McAfee Data Loss Prevention Endpoint

Number of questions : 60

Exam duration : 140 Minutes

Passing score : 78%

The McAfee Certified Product Specialist certifications are designed for candidates who administer a specific McAfee product or suite of products, and have one to three years of experience with that product or product suite. This certification level allows candidates to demonstrate knowledge in these key product areas:

 Basic architecture

 Installation

 Configuration

 Management

 Troubleshooting

A minimum of one year of experience using the McAfee product. Recommended hands-on experience includes:

 Planning

 Design

 Installation

 Configuration

 Operations and management

Individuals who have passed a McAfee certification exam are granted access to the McAfee

Certification Program Candidate site. On the site, you will find:

 Your official McAfee Certification

Program transcript and access to the transcript sharing tool.

 The ability to download custom certification logos.

 Additional information and offers for McAfee-certified individuals

 Your contact preferences and profile

 News and promotions


 Networking technology theory, principles and practices

 Data networking standards and protocols

 LAN and WAN technologies

 Network administration

 Network and routing protocols

 Baseline conditions

 Perimeter security

 Internal network security

 Basic infrastructure

 Sniffing/network monitoring

 TCP/IP and NAT/PAT Systems

 Client/server technology

 Group policy overview and security templates

 Web permissions and authorization

 Redundancy/fault tolerance/ high availability

 Drive encryption

 System administration

 Virtual environments

 Processors (CPU)

 Baseline conditions

 System access and navigation

 Multi-server environments

 Operating systems


 Databases

 Redundancy

 Web protocols

 Baseline conditions

Policies and Procedures

 Permissions, delegation & auditing

 Policies governing user access

 Role permissions

 Systems testing procedures

 Endpoint protection policies

 Exceptions policies

 Proactive Protection Scan policy

 Antivirus and antispyware protection policies

 Network password procedures

 Company security policies

 Device usage policies

 Change control procedures

 Product specific maintenance procedures

 Incident response procedures

 Role specific escalation procedures

 Corporate security controls

 Corporate security strategy

 Device access control

Best Practices

 Level of security required

 Backup and recovery

 Security monitoring

 Problem isolation tools/practices

 Industry security standards

Security Foundation

 Firewall

 Computer viruses, spyware, and malware

 Network threat prevention technologies

 Spyware protection

 Firewall technologies and intrusion prevention

 Heuristic-based protection

 Authentication

 Vulnerabilities and remediation techniques

 Malware incidents

 Internal threats and attacks

 External threats and attacks

 Security protocols

 Cryptography

 Network security policies

 Network access control

 Common threats and vulnerabilities

Operations and Administration

 Password management

 Network and support management tools and procedures

 Patch management

 Security alerts, front-line analysis and escalation

 Intrusion detection systems

 Monitoring tools

 Problem determination

 Incident and issue categorization

 Basic product functions

 Product policy configuration

 Product report generation

 Version controls

 Detailed product functions

 Protected materials
McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE
McAfee Specialist Questions and Answers

Other McAfee exams

IT0-035 McAfee Certified Intranet Defense Specialist
MA0-103 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE
MA0-100 McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO)
MA0-104 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - Security Information & Event Management / McAfee SIEM
MA0-101 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - ePO Certification

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McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE
Question: 62
An executive sends merger documents to legal counsel. Policy dictates the documents
should be encrypted, but they are being sent in plain text. What is the appropriate action
to configure in such a case using DLPe protection rules?
A. Monitor the activity using a File System Protection Rule, store the evidence and
notify the user.
B. Verify the violation and send an alert to the administrator.
C. An Email Protection Rule should be used to block the email unless the documents
are encrypted.
D. Do nothing.
Answer: C
Question: 63
What rule prevents unauthorized executables and potential malware from running
directly from Removable Storage Devices?
A. Removable Storage Protection Rule
B. Removable Storage File Access Rule
C. Removable Storage Device Rule
D. Removable Storage File Block Rule
Answer: B
Question: 64
How long must the operational events be stored in the ePO database before purging?
A. As defined by the Acceptable Use Policy
B. As defined by the Risk Management Framework
C. As defined by the Auditor
D. As defined by the Data Retention Policy
Answer: D
Question: 65
By default, McAfee DLP will copy evidence to its configured share using which of the
following accounts?
A. ePO Service Account
D. Pre-defined service account
Answer: C
Question: 66
How can remote users who are not connected to the corporate network be protected?
A. Enable online reactions within protection rules
B. Enable location-aware rules for offline users
C. Add local users to user assignment groups
D. Enable offline reactions within protection rules
Answer: D
Question: 67
How can the use of USB drives be identified?
A. Enable plug and play device rule to monitor USB plugs
B. Enable unmanageable device classes to monitor USB plugs
C. Enable fixed hard drive rule to monitor USB plugs
D. Enable removable file storage access to monitor USB plugs
Answer: A
Question: 68
Which of the following organizational structures demonstrates strict compliance to
Segregation of Duties?
A. Separate teams for Administration, Operations, Support, and Incident Management
B. Same team for Administration, Operations, Support, and Incident Management
C. Same team for Administration and Operations. Separate teams for Support, and
Incident Management
D. Separate teams for Administration, and Operations. Same team for Support and
Incident Management
Answer: A
Question: 69
To meet specific requirements for managed systems in four different regions, an
organization has customized several values within DLPE Agent Configuration policies.
The four different Agent Configuration policies have been applied to objects in the ePO
System Tree. Prior to an upgrade the four different Agent Configuration policies can be
backed up through which of the following methods?
A. The DLP Policy, File, Save as feature
B. The DLP Policy, File, Export Policy to HTML feature
C. The DLP Policy, File, Synchronize Templates feature
D. The McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator Policy Catalog feature
Answer: D
Question: 70
To determine baseline conditions for DLP implementation, which of the following
actions can the DLP End point Administrator perform?
A. Configure database statistics
B. Run the Policy Analyzer
C. Configure backward compatibility
D. Perform testing with various groups
Answer: D
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McAfee Specialist mock exam - BingNews Search results McAfee Specialist mock exam - BingNews Wild John McAfee Netflix doc questions whether or not he’s really dead

I’ll say this much about John McAfee, the flamboyant, conspiratorial antivirus software pioneer who was worth more than $100 million at one point during his life — and who once stipulated that I could interview him only if I met him dressed as a woman.

I’m 98% sure that he’s dead. Okay, 99%.

Ridiculous as it might sound to allow for even the smallest margin of error, I nevertheless blame it on my screening of Running with the Devil. Specifically, on the fact that this newly released Netflix documentary from director Charlie Russell, about the bad boy of tech who was found dead in a Spanish jail cell last year, makes two explosive — and I do mean two very explosive — claims about McAfee.

Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee

One is salacious enough to preclude repeating it here, but you’ll know it when you come to it. It’s about three-fourths of the way through the almost two-hour front-row seat to the life of a man that Running with the Devil describes as “James Bond meets Scarface … with a little Indiana Jones.” The allegation concerns an act that McAfee is supposed to have committed against a family member, and it is chilling stuff.

The second allegation? It’s that John is still alive. That one is courtesy of an ex-girlfriend who helped John escape a dragnet in Belize after he’d been suspected of shooting his neighbor in the back of the head.

The founder of the eponymous antivirus software company had decamped in the first place to Belize, a 2-hour flight from Miami, to live the life of a wealthy ex-pat. To enjoy the sun, the sea, and the gorgeous girls in a Central American hideaway that’s home to Mayan temples — and which is also a place where you can dive with whale sharks. Where you’ll find deserted islands with nothing on them but a single tree.

When it all went to hell, the aforementioned girlfriend hooked John up with a well-connected relative. That made his going on the run after the murder investigation comparatively easier, as oxymoronic as that sounds.

“It’s me, John”

Running with the Devil ends with a peaceful shot of waves lapping at a shoreline, and that same former girlfriend telling the camera about a strange phone call. One that came two weeks after McAfee’s body was found in a Barcelona jail in June of 2021.

So, when was the last time you were in touch with John?

She scratches her face, and then looks down.

“Um … I don’t know if I should say. But, two weeks ago, after his death, I got a call from Texas. ‘It’s me, John. I paid off people to pretend that I am dead, but I am not dead.’”

She goes on to recount how John — the live version, the one supposedly hiding out today in Texas — asked her to run away with him.

Go on and laugh. Roll your eyes. But if you know anything at all about him, then you’re probably already aware that, first of all, he’s done this kind of thing before. He faked a heart attack while in custody in Guatemala, for example, to avoid deportation back to Belize. It’s also not clear what the girlfriend gains by making this up.

Sure, it’s a weird possibility to entertain. But when you’re dealing with a loquacious computer nerd who loved money, disguises, guns, and women — and who wouldn’t stop telling anyone who would listen that shadowy people are out to kill him — a faked death actually belongs on the less-weird side of the John McAfee ledger of completely mad exploits.

John McAfee: 1945-2021

And it wasn’t just that bad guys were out to get him. They were out to get you, too.

During one of the last conversations I had with him, McAfee started ranting about the Internet of Things. It’s a sector he described as “a hacker’s wet dream.”

“We’re approaching a situation where we won’t have the resources to stop, prevent, or recover from the potential damage coming down this pike,” John told me. If that’s indeed the case, I asked him, what would it take to make people think twice about filling their homes with smart thermostats, refrigerators, lightbulbs, and the like?

“Basically, a catastrophe,” he warned. “When it was about entering World War II, what did that take? The annihilation of America’s Pacific fleet … We’re lazy. We’re indolent. We just think the best is going to happen — and if the worst happens, someone will take care of me. But they won’t. Not this time.”

John McAfeeImage source: Larry Marano / MEGA

The code that didn’t belong

The year before that, I was working on a profile of John for The Guardian. At one point, I asked him for a photo that could be used with the piece, and John happily, without a shred of irony, sent me the kind of photo that you see on the news after someone has been arrested for a crime. The kind of photo that makes you say to yourself, “Whoever he is, that guy totally did it.”

The grainy image depicted a shirtless John, standing in a dining room. His hand rested on what looked like a sheep, which was perched on a table. And a gun scope, for some reason, had been placed on top of the sheep. Nobody ever accused the man of being normal.

Running with the Devil, at one point, suggests that John’s vocation was so obvious in hindsight, because the man who once stood at the vanguard of antivirus software and computer security was, himself, the virus. That is to say, he was the code that didn’t belong, the software that didn’t fit — always operating according to some mysterious purpose, a tenant of the dark side.

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Mon, 20 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html
7 interview questions every recruiter should ask candidates for a senior role — and the answers they should look for
  • Recruiters hiring for senior-level positions must have keen judgment when interviewing candidates.
  • An effective, streamlined interview process can help save a company time and money.
  • Experts shared seven crucial questions hiring leaders should ask — and their ideal answers.
  • This article is part of "Talent Insider," a series containing expert advice to help business owners tackle a variety of hiring challenges.

For hiring leaders at enterprise companies, asking the right interview questions is essential for successful recruiting.

An article from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania suggests the average hiring process lasts about a month, while for senior-level roles that timeline can extend to several months. Companies hiring top talent have estimated they spend three or four times a candidate's salary during the recruiting process. Having a streamlined process — especially for senior roles — can save companies time and money.

Four human-resources and business leaders shared some important interview questions to ask candidates vying for a senior-level position — and the most telling responses.

Asking the right interview questions is crucial

Candidates interviewing for senior roles may go through several rounds of interviews, which can take weeks or even months. Leigh Anne Wauford, the senior director of talent management at the marketing service PureRed, advised using scenario-based questions and establishing consistent tools for feedback.

"Trying to find efficiencies in the process while simultaneously bringing in the most qualified candidates has proven to be a juggling act," she said. "Some strategies to consider include increasing HR training on how to use more behavioral-based interview questions and implementing an interview guide and an evaluation scorecard."

Effective interview questions can also identify hard and soft skills and determine whether the candidate would add to the company's culture.

"Focusing too much on a checklist of achievements and technical skills rather than evaluating the candidate as a fully formed person is a major — and frequent — error," said Marc Cenedella, the founder of Leet Resumes, a résumé-assistance platform, and Ladders, a recruiting service. "Large businesses need to dig deeper than the résumé to determine specifically how this candidate has helped other organizations in the past and how those results could translate to their own company."

The interview questions should align with the hiring profile, which may need to be tweaked after a role has been vacated.

"The best advice for HR leaders at large companies is to stay completely current on your business strategy to ensure alignment between the strategy and the open roles," said Melanie Steinbach, the chief people officer of MasterClass. "Check in often with hiring managers to make sure that the original job specification is still relevant and make sure you are asking questions that line up with the business strategy."

7 effective interview questions

1. What interests you in the company?

"This is a fundamental question," Steinbach said, "but if a candidate doesn't know anything about the company they're interviewing with, that's a red flag."

Honesty is the best policy. If a candidate admits they don't know much about the company but mentions they've heard others speak highly of it and are eager to learn more, that's "a green flag," Steinbach said.

2. At this stage in your career, what are you looking for in your next opportunity? How does this role and the company culture align with your expectations?

"If they say they expect to be promoted within the next eight to 12 months and you know that your organization doesn't offer career planning or succession planning and that the person in the next-level role isn't planning to go anywhere anytime soon, the candidate's response would indicate that they might not be a good fit for the role," Wauford said.

"Green-flag responses are those that align with your company expectations of the role or what their direct supervisor expects."

3. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a colleague and how you resolved the issue.

"This prompt provides information about the candidate's conflict-resolution skills and their ability to take accountability for any part they may have played in a problem," Cenedella said.

"When a candidate blames other people for conflict or project failures rather than taking accountability for the role they played in the situation, that's a big red flag. It can also be a red flag if they say they've never had any conflict. That either demonstrates dishonesty or passiveness."

4. Describe a specific example of how your work impacted your company's bottom line.

"When a candidate can't articulate the value they would bring to your business specifically, or if they don't understand the basic information about what your business does and who it serves, that's a big red flag," Cenedella said.

"A green flag is when a candidate can provide concrete, numbers-based examples of their prior experience and how they could do something similar at your company," Cenedella added. "Good candidates should understand your company and have a vision about where they would fit into it."

Steinbach also uses this prompt to gauge a candidate's collaborative and problem-solving abilities.

"I look to hear about their past work examples that correlate to the scenario and 'we' versus 'I' statements," Steinbach said. "Anyone who is too 'I' focused seems less open to collaboration, which can be a potential red flag, whereas those using a mix of 'we' and 'I' show they're collaborative and able to take accountability, which can be a potential green flag."

5. What attributes does your ideal manager possess?

"Recruiters should ensure that the candidate's response to this question closely represents the company's culture," said Maurice Wiggins, the head of global diversity, equity, and inclusion at Google. "If the candidate's responses align with current company leadership, companies will likely retain the employee over time based on the culture fit, which is critical to retention and reducing employee turnover."

6. What assistance do you typically receive from others you work alongside? How integral is having support and a shared workload to your success?

"If your organization runs very lean and employees must wear many hats, someone who is used to having multiple players that are responsible for a key part of the workload may not thrive in your company culture," Wauford said.

"What's most important during the hiring process is that there is clear communication about the needs and responsibilities of the role and how that role impacts the productivity of the team."

7. Do you have any questions?

"I also always leave time at the end of an interview for the candidate to ask questions, and I appreciate people who have put in thought and effort and ask questions beyond 'Tell me about your culture' or something else that's a bit generic," Steinbach said.

"A candidate can ask about the culture but do so in a way that shows effort, such as 'I saw on your LinkedIn page that your company did X, tell me more about that,' or something that shows they care about the company."

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 05:43:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Second Interview Questions You Can Expect And How To Answer Them

When you get to a second interview, you’re in a positive position to make an impact and secure the job you want. It’s evidence that you’ve passed the first hurdles for the role and the organization sees potential in you. But while it’s cause for celebration, it’s also cause for continued effort, intention and determination.

It’s a tight job market and there is plenty of competition—so your ability to demonstrate your commitment, current skills and future growth will be essential to setting yourself apart and putting yourself ahead of other candidates for the role.

What A Second Interview (Really) Means

When you get a second interview, it means the company sees something in you that they find interesting and see you as a possible match to the job and their culture. It’s an indicator you’re being seriously considered—so you’ll want to make the most of it.

Depending on the job, the second interview could be the final stage of the process, but you’re wise to keep your expectations realistic since there could also be additional rounds of interviews. For any job, there are significant numbers of applicants, so the interviewing process is designed to obtain increasing amounts of information and be increasingly selective—narrowing toward the most ideal person for the job and the organization.

As the pool of candidates is reduced, the number of people you meet with will typically increase. You’re likely to be interviewed by team members and senior leaders as well as HR and your hiring manager. And second interviews are usually longer. They can range in length from an hour to even a full day—as the company seeks to learn as much as they can about you from multiple perspectives.

In the second interview, you’ll be asked to respond to more specific questions which go deeper, are more specific and which are typically tougher.

The bottom line: You’ll have the opportunity to shine with a variety of interviewers, and the process will increasingly seek to dig into who you are and what you’re able to contribute to the organization. You’ll want to research, prepare and plan for the process in order to demonstrate your best.

This is what you’ll likely be asked—and how to respond.

Your Interest in the Role and the Company

You will certainly be asked more about what interests you about the role and the company. Interviewers may ask you questions like these.

  • What interests you about this role and about this company?
  • Why do you think this role is a good match to your skills?
  • Tell me more about what draws you to this job.

You’ll want to be specific about elements of the job that match your skills as well as aspects of the company that attract you—especially based on what you’ve learned in the process so far. Be sure to balance your enthusiasm for the role and the organization. If you overemphasize the company over the job, the hiring leader may be concerned you just want to get your foot in the door of the organization and lack commitment to the job itself.

You’ll also be wise to demonstrate the research you’ve done on the position and the employer, but balance it with an understanding that you will have more to learn. If you come across as presumptuous in what you know about the job or the company, that can be a turn off.

Your Strengths, Weaknesses and Impacts

You’ll also be asked about yourself—in multiple ways. The interviewers will be seeking to learn about your strengths, weaknesses and the impacts you’ve had. Examples of interview questions include:

  • In which parts of your last job did you excel? Which were challenging for you?
  • What did you enjoy more or less in your last job and why?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed or struggled and how you handled it?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What have you done to impact or Boost your previous job or company?
  • Tell me about an achievement you’re most proud of.

You’ll want to answer these questions with plenty of detail and examples of your impacts, rather than generalities about your skills. This is the time to provide specifics about what you encountered, how you handled things and the outcomes. Interviewers will be looking for details and they’ll be turned off if you are too superficial in your answers.

Your Relationships

Companies are also especially interested in learning about how you interact with others. They may ask questions like the following.

  • What actions have you taken to build and maintain strong relationships with team members and others in your organization?
  • Tell me about a time you had a conflict or difficult situation with a co-worker and how you handled it?
  • Can you provide examples of your communication skills or interpersonal skills?
  • What role do you typically take on a team?

In this case, be sure to talk about how you build and maintain relationships. Employers won’t be looking for perfection in your work relationships or sailing that is always smooth, but they’ll want to hear about how you worked through disagreements constructively or handled differences of opinions for positive project outcomes.

Be sure to share information about how you work on a team, the ways you collaborate successfully and the constructive influence you have on others.

Your Judgement

At this stage, you’ll likely also get questions about your judgement. You may be asked:

  • Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you considered to be wrong or unethical and how you handled it.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make an especially tough decision and how you handled it.

Here, you’ll want to share examples that show your integrity as well as your ability to reflect, consider and take the best action in a situation. You’ll also need to talk about the impact of your actions and choices.

Your Expectations

Another line of questioning in a second interview is typically related to what you want and need from the experience. Interviewers may ask questions like these.

  • What is your preferred salary?
  • In what ways do you work best (alone, with others, etc.)?
  • What is your preferred working model (remote, hybrid, in the office)?
  • What aspects of the organization culture are most important to you?
  • In which kinds of cultures are you most likely to thrive?
  • What do you need from a leader to be successful?

Obviously, you’ll want to tailor your responses to your preferences, but also to what the job offers. If you expect a salary that is much higher than what the job offers or you expect to work remotely from an island paradise when the job is onsite, the employer won’t see a match—so be sure you’re realistic about your expectations and that you balance your desires with the options the job provides.

Also be authentic and clear about what you need from a culture and a leader. When people are happiest in jobs and companies, it’s typically because there is a good match between what’s most important and what the organization offers—so being real about your needs puts you in the best position to land something that will satisfy you.

Your Previous Organization

You may also receive questions which seek your opinions on your last company or job. Be careful in answering these questions, ensuring you’re constructive and diplomatic in your answers. Interviewers will be turned off if you disparage a previous employer or job.

Your Future Potential

Interviewers will also ask you questions to determine how you’ll contribute immediately and to determine your future potential with the organization. They may ask:

  • In what ways would you plan to establish yourself and your credibility during your first 6 months on the job?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in three years?
  • What motivates you?

For these questions, you’ll want to share specific ways you plan to hit the ground running—how you’ll ask questions, seek learning, build relationships and make contributions—based on what you know about the job and the company. And you’ll want to share your interest in contributing to the company over time, demonstrating your enthusiasm for today’s role and your future growth.

Here, you’ll want to balance your answers as well—showing you’re interested in the current role and also that you’ve given thought to your future, your goals and your desire for growth.

Prepare to Succeed

Overall, your preparation for a second interview should be as much or even greater than for your first interview. Research the job and the company, and learn as much as you can about who will be interviewing you.

Be ready with examples, stories, specifics and the themes that you want to emphasize. Consider what the organization wants in a candidate, and prepare your content with that lens in mind—talking about aspects of your experience which is most relevant to this particular role.

And prepare questions as well—since these will send a message about your priorities, interests and commitment.

Be Confident and Authentic

Also be confident as well as authentic. You are more likely to be evaluated more positively when you’re self-assured and demonstrate you’re capable. Candidates who spoke more—and more quickly—and who gestured more and complimented others, were perceived as more confident. As a result they tended to be rated more highly by interviewers, based on research from the University of Nebraska.

At the same time you’re confident, also be yourself. Interviewers will be more likely to evaluate you positively when you’re both honest and authentic. If you’re overly polished, they may perceive you as inauthentic or misrepresenting yourself and rate you more negatively, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Embrace the Future

With the strong job market, your opportunities are both plentiful and positive—so prepare yourself thoroughly and put your best foot forward through your second interview and throughout the selection process.

Tue, 05 Sep 2023 04:00:00 -0500 Tracy Brower, PhD en text/html
Questions & Answers
Secrets of Lost Empires

Questions & Answers

Live Event Q & As | Additional Q & As | List of Questions

Live Event

Question: In the NOVA about Stonehenge, the A-frame you made had the ropes that the volunteers pull higher than the ropes connected to the rock, and in the NOVA about the obelisk, you had the ropes at the same level. Wouldn't it be easier if you had the A-frame like in the NOVA about Stonehenge? ~Justin

Answer: Yes, it would. That's one of the lessons we learned out of both these operations. If the A-frame had been higher, and in fact even if the pullers in the obelisk operation had been higher, we might have gotten more lift out of the pole. As it was in the obelisk operation, the pole wasn't getting much lift at all, it was actually probably pulling the obelisk down into the turning groove.

Question: Will it be possible to hear a discussion of the obelisk containing the code of Hammurabi? Is the obelisk containing the code of Hammurabi still in existence? ~J.T.

Answer: The code of Hammurabi is on a much smaller obelisk. This is not my area of specialty, but it's not what they raised in any quantity. It contains cuneiform text.

Question: Would the Egyptians have used elephant power to raise the obelisk? They were excellent builders and had a great understanding of mechanics. It seems to me that elephants would be cheaper and less troublesome than slaves, as well as pound per pound much more powerful than men. ~Marshall

Answer: No, the evidence is that elephants did not exist in Egypt after the late Dynastic period or into the Dynastic period, say after 2900 B.C. So they were never common, although they may have been brought in by pharaohs like Thomoses III. He also created a zoo in the Karnak temple. Elephants were never common in Egypt like they are in India today, so they were never part of the construction. It is the case that cows were used and we do have evidence of that, but in moving something as big as the obelisk it was most probably people power.

Question: What was the general attitude of the 200 men who were working on site, the common man's attitude to this project, if you will? ~James

Answer: Well, the attitude of the 200 men working on our site was one of great enthusiasm. They were really into this operation. There was a real team spirit. I don't know if you can notice it in the film, but when the obelisk was successfully tipped and then slid down into a turning groove, the men from Luxor, who are mostly around the obelisk itself, began chanting "Luxor, Luxor, Luxor!" And all the men from Aswan, who were mostly the pullers, began chanting "Aswan, Aswan, Aswan!" So there was a real esprit de corps, a real camaraderie among the team. It was almost like a great sports event where they had won a championship.

Question: What was the time period you had to raise the obelisk? ~Grayson

Answer: Well, I think all told, the whole production was about three weeks. So a good week of that was taken up with preparations of various kinds. To raise the obelisk itself, we maybe had two weeks. And so it was a very short time period indeed. That's why we think with more time, we probably would have successfully gotten it up, but unfortunately, modern production schedules don't match ancient pharaohs' schedules.

Question: Why not use a pulley on level ground to gain a mechanical advantage for the pullers? ~Travis

Answer: Well, we often get questions of why we don't use pulleys in pyramid building or obelisk raising, and one very critical piece of information here was given by Roger Hopkins on the production. He said a pulley is only as good as a wheel is as good as its axle. In other words, they didn't have iron or steel at this period, and for a pulley really to work, you need a very strong axle. A pulley is essentially a wheel. For wooden pulleys or various other kinds of pulleys it just didn't work. They probably had something like the pulley as early as the Middle Kingdom, several hundred years before the New Kingdom, but it was not as powerful as it needed to be if they made it out of steel or iron.

Question: Why not anchor the base in the groove stone with a team pulling in the opposite direction to the lift? ~Kevin

Answer: Well, if I understand the question correctly, this is essentially what Martin Isler had envisioned, that you basically bring the obelisk up to the turning groove and you park it in the turning groove, and then you have men pulling it to an upright position after it's been leveled high enough so the pull has some effect. That's one of the two principal ideas for how you raise an obelisk. And there are definite problems with that. It worked for Martin Isler's obelisk, which was two to three tons, but for a 450-ton obelisk, you don't have that much more room to do levering on the point end of the obelisk. And as you saw on the film, we have a great deal of difficulty just getting a 40-ton obelisk levered high enough so that the pull has some effect. It would have been exponentially more problematic for a 450-ton obelisk.

Question: Do you think having more people pulling to try to erect the obelisk would have made a difference? ~Andrea

Answer: Well, I don't think more people pulling would have made a difference, unless we had gotten them to a higher platform, where the pull had more lift, or unless we had used our A-frame on a higher platform so that the ropes would have had more lift. Otherwise, I think what was happening in our situation is that the pullers were simply pulling the obelisk down towards the obelisk rather than getting their lift out of the pull.

Question: Have you considered a rising road bed level on the lever side of the obelisk, also decreasing the height of the A-frame and extending ropes, as the pharaohs had many more than 200 willing participants? ~Pete

Answer: Well, it certainly is true that they had more willing or unwilling participants than 200. They could have had as many participants as they wanted. The thing is, the whole arena of operation is restricted by the space that is there in front of the great temple pylons or gateways, like in front of the Luxor temple. But any number of configurations can be tried, it just has to fit within the space available, and that includes the number of pullers. For example, in the Luxor temple, where Ramses raised two of the biggest obelisks of all times, and only one remains today, it is not that far from the temple to the river. And we know that the men were pulling on the river side because the turning groove is on the land side. So you've got to take all these different factors into consideration, and they set limitations for how many men, the length of the roadway, and therefore, the height of the roadway and so on.

Question: How many finished obelisks are there in existence now? Were they cut from the same type of stone? Is there any indication about who the sculptors were? ~Jeunesse

Answer: Well, I simply don't know off the top of my head what the total number of finished obelisks may be in Egypt today, although that might be known in the book, "Obelisks, the Skyscrapers of Ancient Egypt." I'm sure we could look it up. The obelisks are mostly of red granite. But there are a number of obelisks from other types of stone. There are a few limestone ones, sandstone ones, and some quartzite obelisks. The makers of the obelisks, that is the overseers in charge and the craftsmen, never signed their work, and this was usually the case in ancient Egypt, that the fine craftsmen, whatever the masterpiece may be, including a masterpiece statue of a pharaoh, they never signed their work. It was not so much the creation of any one of a particular artist, it was more of divine object that was created on behalf of this divine king. It is the case that there are only about four or five obelisks still standing in Egypt in their original sites.

Question: You need to raise the obelisk on a ramp to a height where the center of gravity is at its final height, then secure a frame at the center of gravity, which can be used to pivot the obelisk, which is now balanced at its center of gravity to a vertical position. ~Richard

Answer: Well, that's a good suggestion. I think what the questioner is suggesting is that the frame be actually on the obelisk side of the erection pit rather than the A-frame that we put on the pulling side of the erection pit. Now, if you had some kind of a frame or a windblast kind of tying off of the obelisk, like Martin Isler had, then you could just simply pivot it, you know. That could work. I would be interested in the details of how the frame would be composed. Would it be wood? How would the turning be effected? Again, we don't have pulleys, we don't have cogs, we don't have gears. So it's an interesting suggestion, we need more details.

Question: How different was the scale of the pyramid building from the scale of the obelisk quarrying and raising? ~Mark

Answer: The scale of pyramid building is totally different than that of obelisk raising, especially if you're talking about the early period of pyramid building, the first three or four generations. That's when they built the gigantic pyramids. That was a humongous task. It was building a geological structure with human power, you know, something on the scale of a small mountain. The obelisk is more of a single object and a single event. The obelisk is no less daring, because you have this huge piece of stone, a solid piece of stone, and of course, if you've already put the decoration on and in the erection attempt the whole thing breaks, it's a lot of labor wasted. And so it's a very daring kind of operation. Whereas the pyramid of course is many small operations, many blocks over the better part of probably a generation. The obelisk is a single daring feat of engineering.

Question: Don't you think that they would have come up alongside of the river in order to allow the pullers have the room to move it and then do the hole under the stones supporting it by three stones or so? You could then build a boat or many boats under the stone and let it float out into the river and reverse operation into the end. ~Zoe

Answer: Intuitively we all feel that some kind of ballast and boat operation must have been involved in both loading the obelisk and unloading it. That is, where you use water, water seeking its own level. For example, Roger's idea, which didn't get very well illustrated in the film because of his problems with his little model sinking and so on, his idea was if you, for example, had a slipway and you brought the boat loaded with the obelisk into the slipway and the obelisk was loaded on these cross-beams, you could bring the boat in, put ballast on the boat so that you sink the boat down, the cross-beams catch on the edges of the slipway and, therefore, you've off-loaded the boat. You simply pull the boat out from underneath the obelisk. Roger wanted the obelisk to be loaded in a similar operation, but reversed, where you take balance lost off the boat, the boat floats up on the water until it lifts up on the obelisk on his cross-pole. When you actually try these things, there are numerous difficulties, and the boat boondoggle is something we want to re-examine when we go back to try to do an obelisk.

Question: Is there any symbolism involved with the shape of the obelisk? ~Mary

Answer: Well, there is a symbolism involved in the shape of the obelisk. It probably symbolizes the rays or shaft of the sunlight coming down. It's interesting, at the top of the hatchet's obelisk, she shows herself, Themoses III, giving gifts up. There's the inscription that the upper part of her obelisks were gilded with electrum, a combination of silver and gold. So basically, what you had is the top of the obelisk, where she shows herself in the company of the gods, gilded with blazing medal, so it was actually like the sun reflected off this electrum. So the symbolism of course is a shaft of light that reaches up to where any pharaoh is co-mingling with the divine beings. There's probably also... it's a little bit more convoluted and indirect, but there's also more a phallic observation relating to the sun God Othom.

Question: Instead of using pullers to have to work over their heads, why don't you use a technique called a Spanish Windlass? The rope is anchored at some strong fixed object. By then twisting a looped rope, a tremendous pulling force can be applied over the A-frame by a few people. ~Bernard

Answer: Well, Bernard, we did actually use a Spanish Windlass in Martin Isler's technique, not so much to pull the stone horizontally into an upright position, but if you look closely at Martin Isler's position in the film, he had Spanish Windlasses going off to either side of the obelisk, where the rope was twisted after it, was tied around the butt end of the obelisk, where it was parked in the turning groove. Isler used this to control the movement of the obelisk from left to right, that is, so that it would not move to either side as it was being lifted. So that, as it was being lifted, it was held firmly in place right on its pedestal, right with one edge right in the turning groove. To use a Spanish Windlass actually to move the obelisk horizontally or to raise it upright is an interesting suggestion. But it implies a very long, a very long length of rope, a lot of twisting, and some kind of a platform where all this can be carried out.

Question: How did you calculate the number of men needed to man the ropes? ~Grant

Answer: You know, I can't answer that specifically, because basically we left it up to Ali el-Gasab. Others have asked why we didn't use equations—how many men were needed to raise the obelisk and so on? Ali, who is no longer with us in this world because he passed away this last year, but Ali was literate, and he had worked with heavy monuments all his life, at least 40 years. He knew how to figure how many men he needed, and he had a specific way of calculating how many pullers were required and how many were required on the obelisk-side of the erection pit. Just exactly what his calculations were, I can't tell you, but we know that Ali was calculating.

Question: Why were there no women involved? ~Kathy

Answer: Well, actually, there were women involved. Cheryl Haldane, who was in the film, is an archaeologist from Texas A&M, and I'm not sure if the question is aside from Cheryl Haldane, why there were no women involved in our production, or why there were no women involved in ancient Egypt? Those are two different questions of course.

Question: Why not use a variation on hydraulics? If the ropes were fastened down, isn't it possible to wet them, tighten them, let them dry and shorten, place solid rock under the slightly lifted obelisk and repeat? After all, it's the desert. ~John

Answer: Well, you know, tricks like that, wetted ropes, dry ropes and so on, I wouldn't put it past the ancient Egyptians to have used any kind of technique such as John suggests. It was amazing to us to see how Ali el-Gasab's men tried anything and everything to get that obelisk to move, get it to tip and then get it upright. They tried rollers, they greased the rollers. It was very by crook or by hook. As I said earlier, Ali did much calculating, how many men he needed. As you saw in the film, he made a scale model of it, once the operation was under way, they just attacked with a ferocity and with a spirit that really has astounded us all. And anything and everything went at that point. Now, if wetting the ropes, allowing them to dry and wetting them again worked, they would have used it, any trick they could have used to get the job done.

Question: The process so far seems correct, however, I might suggest the use of timber braces anchored to the ground and lift the obelisk from the backside as we do in the "barn raising" method. ~Len

Answer: That's a very interesting suggestion. Not being Ali el-Gasab and not being the engineer on the project, it sounds good to me. I'd like to know more details.

Question: Did you try the counterweight idea that was suggested by the owner of the quarry? ~Jeff

Answer: No, we didn't try the counterweight idea that was suggested by Hamada, the owner of the quarry. It looked good. It looked good in his model. The problem with counterweight methods in obelisk raising or pyramid raising is you have to deal with the weight that's commensurate with the obelisk or with the heavy stone blocks in pyramid building, and it's almost as though you're doubling your operation, because somehow you have to get the counterweight way up there, too, in Hamada's method, in a height in its own sandbox, where then, when you release the sand, the counterweight sinks and you release the obelisk. So in counterweight, the methods for lifting pyramid stones or obelisks, you have to deal with the problems of getting the counterweight itself to a significant height so that it can then sink and raise it to the height that you want, raise and sink the weight that you want to raise. In both pyramid building and obelisks, you're kind of faced with the same problems, raising the original weights itself.

Question: Why didn't workers stand on the levers when they became too high to reach in order to utilize their weight to increase the downward force on the lever? ~Peter

Answer: Peter, that's a very interesting observation, and I've seen men do that. I've seen them climb up on to these heavy levers, stand on them. But we were using levers the size of railroad ties, although maybe twice as long. They were the same thickness as a railroad tie, and it wasn't just the fact that the levers were getting too high for the men to grab hold of, it was also that maybe six inches from their butt end, the levers are snapping like toothpicks. And this is a very sobering observation, because our obelisk is 40 tons. And yet, given the shape of obelisks, a 400-ton obelisk is not going to supply you that much more room to lever, and you're not going to be able to use levers that are that much bigger, because men can't get ahold of them. So if our railroad tie-sized levers are snapping like toothpicks on a 40-ton obelisk on its point end, what's going to happen on a 450-ton obelisk, even if the men were standing on them? Of course it's not—it's kind of a precarious place to stand up on a lever. Even if they were standing on them, levering begins to look a little bit inadequate to the job of the very big obelisks that we know were successfully erected by the ancient Egyptians.

Question: What other obstacles did you and your colleagues face, not including the problems of transporting and testing? ~Aaron

Answer: That's a very good question. The film focuses on transporting and raising, and mostly on raising. One of the big problems we faced, which must have been a problem faced by every ancient overseer, was finding a big enough patch of granite where we could quarry an obelisk, even with modern means, without there being fissures and cracks in it. It was a hard job just to find a big enough patch of uniform granite that we could take out a 40-ton obelisk. Think how much they must have searched and done trial trenches and probes to find a good patch of granite where they could get a 400, 300-ton obelisk. That's just one problem. We spent many, many days, actually weeks, looking through the quarries to find a good patch of granite.

Question: Wouldn't a series of A-frames beginning at the top of the obelisk and being succeeded by a taller A-frame, as the first for the job and so forth, cement the levers that could be filling in the space behind the obelisk with rock and dirt to the point at which the center of gravity is over the base and the obelisk was standing by itself? Would this work? ~Lee

Answer: Well, Lee must be an engineer, because Lee has just anticipated what some of the engineers we've already consulted have suggested for Obelisk II, that with a series of A-frames you're getting a series of poles, almost like when you lever a heavy weight and you get purchase with your lever, you get some rise out of the load, you secure that rise by putting in rocks underneath it, then you get more purchase, more leverage and so on. This has already been suggested, a series of A-frames, and it's one of the things they're going to try in Obelisk II.

Question: Would it be possible to create a supporting cage-like structure at the bottom of the obelisk made from wood? This would have to be strong enough to withstand an impact into the bottom of the pit. Once in, with the extra angle while the men were pulling, it could be set on fire, a wood version of the sand pit. The only problems I see are the speed of the barn and how much heat the obelisk could withstand. Good luck. ~Sarita

Answer: That's an amazingly creative suggestion. I'm not sure what would happen in that case. One thing I would just note is that heat will spoil the surface of granite, and we showed that in the film, where Roger started dressing the surface of granite by creating a fire over it, and you see those big flakes pop off. So that's one thing you might have to worry about. You might have to worry about the heat creating cracks through the granite as well. Cracks are feared by every granite worker. Even our 40-ton obelisk, as we were pulling it out of the quarry, a very hairline crack appeared and every worker noticed it. Quarry owner Hamada went into a panic, and so I don't think he'd want to do anything, including heat, and the differential between heat and cold that would cause the granite to crack.

Question: It might be easier to slide the obelisk down a concrete ramp to the anchor stone rather than drop it, using sand and creating guess work. That way, a short, lightweight wooden test obelisk could be used to work out the proper alignment between the obelisk and anchor stone. It might also be easier to create a raised hill behind the obelisk so that the A-frame would rest above the obelisk. The pullers would be on the down slope of this hill. What do you think? ~Geoff

Answer: Well, the last part of Geoff's suggestion sounds like the kind of thing we were trying in a very cursory way at the end of the project with the A-frame. And it's a good suggestion. I do think that the pullers have to be on a ramp that's high enough and the A-frame has to be high enough that they're getting lift out of the pole, something that we've talked about in other questions.

Question: Could not triangular wedges in alternation—small to large, with the small making room for the large—be used from the rear to lift the obelisk? ~Tim

Answer: This suggestion of Tim's is really a good and very insightful suggestion. When we were doing "This Old Pyramid," we found that wedges were one of the most useful tools of all. We actually recreated ancient Egyptian wedges, where the ancient Egyptians put handles on the wedges. And there's nothing better when you've gotten a little bit of lift out of a three-ton block than sticking a wedge in, and you can stick a wedge in underneath to secure your lift, the lift you've gotten out of it when you have a handle on it. And also, when we were moving the obelisk that weighed 40 tons, the obelisk was so heavy it was literally crushing the rather thin rollers that we were using. One of the ways that the workmen would get some lift out of the obelisk is to get the pressure up off the rollers to pound in wedges with sledgehammers. Wedges are just marvelous little things, and it's a very good suggestion. I think it's something they probably used in an ad hoc way, not to raise the obelisk to its final height or to a height where they could pull it upright, but wedges are very powerful little tools and very handy for a lot of lesser operations.

Question: Weren't slaves used in Egyptian times to move the obelisks? ~Matt

Answer: Well, were slaves used? It is the case there was slavery in ancient Egypt. Mostly slaves were domestic slaves, though, in households. The image we have from biblical stories and so on, of masses of slaves doing great labor projects, is probably not very accurate. Or the image we have, for example, from the film "The Ten Commandments," where the masses of the Hebrew slaves are raising the obelisks and doing other tasks is probably not accurate. There were specialists who were involved in these operations, but it is the case that prisoners of war could be assigned to working the granite in Aswan. And we do know that being sent to the granite was a punishment for various kinds of crimes. When it actually comes to raising the obelisk and pulling it, they probably would not have assigned that operation to slaves. Slaves would more have been involved in the quarries for shaping the granite, that very hard, pounding work. The real raising of the obelisk, when it was successfully quarried, after it had been successfully transported to the religious capital, and after it had been decorated with its hieroglyphs, was certainly not entrusted to people who were enslaved, it was probably entrusted to specialists and workers who had the same kind of spirit that our men showed from Aswan and Luxor.

Question: When are you going back to Egypt to try this again? ~Becky

Answer: Well, the plans now call for us being back in Egypt with another team down in Aswan in February and March for our second attempt of raising the obelisk, using ancient Egyptian tools, techniques and operations.

Question: Were the pyramids built at around the same time as the obelisk?

Answer: No. In fact, the gigantic pyramids that are most popular in most people's imaginations were a good 1,200, 1,300 years before the giant obelisk was raised. That shows you how long Egyptian civilization lasted. The pyramids belonged to the Old Kingdom, and the obelisks belong to the New Kingdom. In between Tutankeman and the pyramid of Kufu is more than 1,200 years.

Question: Did your experience trying to raise the obelisk, but failing, supply you any ideas about how to do it better? ~Karl

Answer: Yes, it gave us many ideas about how to do it better. For one thing, if we had had a higher ramp which is to say a deeper turning pit, we would have gotten more lift from the tipping operation. That is to say that when we brought it over the edge of the ramp and tipped it down into the pit, and then slid it down that one side of the pit down to the turning groove, if our ramp had been higher on that side we would have gotten more lift out of the tipping operation. If the ramp had been higher on the other side, we would have gotten more lift out of the pulling. And if we'd used an A frame and the ramp had been higher on the other side it would have achieved more lift as well.

Question: Have any obelisks ever fallen over? ~Mary

Answer: Of a series of obelisks that once stood in the great Karnak temple, eight or nine must have fallen over or have been removed. Engelbach, the British engineer who wrote the major study of the unfinished obelisk at Aswan chided the ancient Egyptians for not having better foundations underneath the pedestal on which the obelisk sat and he blamed this for some of the obelisks having fallen over. In addition to obelisks of course being forcibly removed, like the one in front of the Luxor temple that was the mate to the one that still exists, a whole number of obelisks must of fallen over (about eight or nine). It's thought that one of the principle reasons they fell was earthquakes and not so much the bad foundations that Engelbach pointed to. We know that there's been at least one earthquake if not more that caused considerable damage in the Karnak temple, not just to the obelisks but to the giant pillars and architrazes.

Question: How was the bottom side of the obelisk (attached to the quarry) freed from the granite? ~Angela

Answer: The first question we know the answer to with a fair degree of probability because we have spines of—if not obelisks—long granite blocks that have been snapped off. The evidence from the quarries is that just as they channeled around the obelisk simply by pounding the granite to create these separation trenches or channels, so also they channeled in underneath. That must have been a really difficult operation. It was difficult enough for workers to sit in the trench pounding all day as narrow as it is (as you saw in the film), but to actually start pounding the face of the granite in underneath the obelisk to free it up must have been really difficult, but that seems to be what they did. When the two sides came close enough so that there's simply a spine of natural rock still attached, then they got great levers and probably levered from one side to snap the obelisk off that spine. The evidence is that there are spines that exist in the quarries where they've snapped off blocks after channeling in and under them from both sides.

Additional Q & As

We regret that Mark Lehner will not be able to respond to any additional questions; he has been called to Egypt to partake in a ceremony celebrating the completion of the conservation of the Great Sphinx on the Giza plateau.

Question: A smaller version of the obelisk had been raised by draining sand from underneath it. If there were stops in the movement of the obelisk, such as poles placed in layers through the sand, wouldn't that solve some of the problems in positioning the obelisk at the right point to meet the turning groove? ~Stacy

Answer: Stacy, you know that might. In all fairness, we didn't do a completely fair test of the sandbox method. The sandbox idea was first suggested by Engelbach, which as you know, weighs about 1168 tons. Engelbach's idea was not that it would be a box, but that it would be more like a funnel. And the bottom of the funnel would be the same size as the base of the obelisk itself so that the obelisk would have nowhere to go but down to that base. It wouldn't be able to get askew and stuck like it did in Roger's sandbox. The sides of the funnel would have been sloping and smooth, and I don't know that you would have needed stops. One of the main problems with Engelbach's sandbox or sand funnel is that the obelisk would get stuck even more than it did in Roger's sandbox. Of course then, you also have the problem, as Hamada pointed out, of men underneath the very heavy obelisk, 450 tons or whatever, taking the sand out. Our sandbox, anyway, in the film, was not a completely true test of what Engelbach was suggesting.

Question: Somebody recently proposed that the ancient Egyptians might have harnessed wind power to raise obelisks, using giant airfoils or kites. What do you think of that notion? ~Rosemary

Answer: I don't think it's very likely that the Egyptians harnessed wind power to raise obelisks. There's no suggestion in the historical or archaeological record that they created such contraptions or that they had the technology that would have been required for aerial lifting devices like that—something powerful enough to raise something as heavy as 300 or 400 tons.

Question: The same small canal that was built to float the stone to the site could be used to fill a large pool that is built higher as the water level rises. Animal skin bladders attached to the obelisk would gently float the stone upright. This method would "baptize" the stone in the holy water of the Nile as well as provide an aqueduct and reservoir for the workers and city. It's just a theory but it seems plausible. ~Dustin

Answer: It was probably beyond the Egyptian's hydraulic technology to have a series of locks that would raise the obelisk on water or just raise the water itself as high as they needed to get it to set it upright. Water lifting was always very limited in ancient Egypt from the known evidence. In the Old Kingdom pyramid age, water lifting was by means of shoulder poles with pots slung over the pole. By the 18th dynasty, by the New Kingdom, that is by the time of obelisks they could lift water with something called a chaduf which is a huge lever with a water receptacle on one end and a counter weight on the other. By that means, they lifted water from canals into fields so that they could be perennially flooded. But a system of locks like those that pass ships through great canals like the Panama canal or through the barrages in Egypt today were probably beyond the means of the ancient Egyptians. The water displacement would also have to be significant to float that obelisk and that's a factor in how they transported it on the boat but to do it with animal hides you'd have to have considerable displacement and it's very unlikely that they had those means so that they did it in that way.

Question: How did 400 tons of granite get on to the sled? ~Adam

Answer: This question reflects one of those operations that we tend to overlook when we launch into programs like building pyramids and raising obelisks, trying to replicate the ancient Egyptians' technology. It is indeed very difficult as we found out in "This Old Pyramid" to load a sled with a block of stone weighing many tons. The first time we tried this we rolled a stone over to the sled and then onto the sled but because it didn't land on the sled on dead center, it actually pushed the sled down into the sand and the sled was sticking up into the air and the stone of course was chewing the wood and splintering it. So how you load something like 400 tons or 456 tons, the weight of the heaviest obelisks that we know (other than the unfinished ones) onto the wooden sled is a very good question and it would be excellent to try to replicate that in our next shot at doing an Egyptian obelisk. One idea is you could tie the sled to one side of the obelisk, so that the obelisk is firmly lashed to the sled and then you could simply turn the whole assembly, sled and obelisk over very carefully and slowly by levering. But it must be a delicate operation to do that with so much weight and not to completely crush and splinter the sled.

Question: I'm just curious why an engineer was not included on the erection team. In 30 minutes I calculated all the forces and geometries necessary to raise the obelisk using sophomore level engineering skills. I estimate that with two wood structures (similar to the one used in the team's last ditch attempt) and a platform capable of supporting 1/4 the obelisks weight the obelisk could be lifted with between 150 and 300 men (assuming each could generate a pull equal to his weight). The Egyptians are famous for their fantastic engineering feats. Isn't it foolish to try to duplicate them without extensive knowledge and understanding of the field? ~Dan

Answer: Our purpose was not to test how we could raise an obelisk, or even how sophomore-level engineering math would help us raise an obelisk, but how the ancient Egyptians might have done it. Now it may be in fact that they had engineering and that because we didn't have engineers on the team we were ignorant of engineering skills and calculations that the ancient Egyptians might have done. In our next attempt we still want to stick to the task - not of completely replicating an ancient Egyptians obelisk project (cause we can't do that without replicating the entirety of Egyptian society) but we'd like to once again try out particular tools, techniques, and operations like loading a sled, like the tipping operation, like raising it up on its pedestal. But we will have, in addition to hands-on know how, an engineer on the project. So we will always be checking that the engineering skills we bring to bear when we're testing a particular tool, technique, or operation are not exceeding the bounds of what was available to the ancient Egyptians.

Question: Are there any ancient records at all, however obscure or fragmentary, on how obelisks were raised? ~Antonio

Answer: We have no manuals for obelisk erection in ancient Egypt. And there are no explicit scenes showing all the workmen that would have been required to raise an obelisk. What we do have are symbolic scenes of the king raising obelisks, because in a sense all these assembled people and all these workers were an expression of the king's personal body and might. So rather than showing all the workers doing it they show the king doing it and then of course it's just a symbolic representation; the king has a rope around the obelisk and he is ritually pulling it up. It looks very easy of course because the king in fact in such scenes is nearly as tall or taller than the obelisk that's shown. We have the Ansatasi Papyrus where one scribe chides another one about his level of skill in figuring out various kinds of operations, one of which is raising a colossal statue of the king (not an obelisk), but it makes some kind of an obscure reference to compartments containing sand which is why those who favor the sandbox method point to this. But aside from that Papyrus and the symbolic representations, what we're left with is the evidence on the ground in the way of the obelisk bases, the turning grooves, the evidence of the unfinished obelisk in the quarry and the evidence of the obelisk that is still standing in Egypt from ancient times.

Question: Is there any danger that when you manage to tip the obelisk into its upright position that it will topple over the other side from its momentum? ~Howard

Answer: Yes. One of the things we did not learn from our experiment is whether, even if we had successfully raised that obelisk, it would have stood. When we quarried the obelisk from the quarry using modern means, it was a bit banana shaped and one of the things that must be required for an obelisk to stand upright successfully with no attachment, simply standing on its own is that it be plum - that is that the vertical axis of the obelisk be straight and that the center of gravity in that direction be fairly centered within the body of the obelisk so that the weight isn't distributed to one side or the other. The other point is that the vertical axis of the obelisk has to be fairly perpendicular (I would imagine) to the base. Now the base of an obelisk is fairly small. If you have bumps and dimples in the base of the obelisk, it's going to make it unsteady. So all those conditions have to be met and the interesting question is, how did the ancient Egyptians quarrying the obelisk by means of channels that they were pounding out and then pounding it under and snapping it off at the spine, during all of that how did they achieve an obelisk that met all of these specifications.

Question: Did all the effort that went into building these massive monuments, like the pyramids and the obelisks, use up so many resources that it was detrimental to society? ~Jack

Answer: No, probably not. Certainly not with obelisks. By the time that obelisks were set up Egyptian society was populous enough and complex enough that raising the obelisk and quarrying it and transporting it and then raising it was really probably drawing on a large number of workers and resources but not so many that it was actually a drain on society. Of course the pyramids are different, especially the gigantic pyramids of the early part of the pyramid age, like the pyramid of Khufu at Giza. It's so huge that it must have drawn on resources nationwide. But an interesting possibility is rather than it draining resources, it actually had a nation-building effect for Egypt because it was a socializing process where people were brought from villages and communities throughout the land to the center where they saw this Cecil B. De Mille epic of hundreds, probably thousands of people working on this common project. And the evidence we have is that most of these laborers were seasonal and they worked for a certain stint, a certain period of time, maybe a month, and then they were spun off and replaced. Certainly there were skilled workers who were there permanently. But to come into such a labor project, to see instead of a few hundred people in your village thousands of people, to be part of a nationwide project, and then to be spun off again and return to your home - it must have been a very powerful socializing experience. And rather than it being detrimental to Egypt as a nation it actually may have helped build Egypt as a nation.

Question: It seems like working on a project like raising the obelisk or building a pyramid would be, while hard, very rewarding. Can you think of any projects today that would generate a similar feeling? ~Mary

Answer: You know, it's hard to think of projects today that would have a similar feeling, because society is totally different today than it was then. One of the most revealing operations in NOVA's ancient technology series, I think, is the Incan bridge-building operation, where the different families go out on the hillside and they pick grass and they weave their grass into segments of twine, and the different families combine their segments or lines of twine into rope, and on the day of building the bridges, the different families combine their rope into big cables that the different villages donate to the bridge, so that the bridge is really an intertwining or an interweaving of all the different families, households, and villages of that particular culture. There's some evidence that in ancient time, monuments were built the same way, and that pyramids in ancient Egypt were built by the turning out of labor from teams from different communities. So when they actually raise something like an obelisk, not only did you have the enthusiasm and the excitement that we had from teams from Luxor and a whole other team from Aswan chanting and celebrating, but you had teams from all over the country.

Question: What is the significance of the writing on the sides of the obelisk? ~Jen

Answer: Well, the writing varies. For the most part, it is the names and titles of the kings who raised the obelisk. Kings have five different names and various titles, and so that's by and large what would decorate the sides of the obelisk, as well as images of these kings giving offerings to the gods. As I said in an earlier question, the obelisk kind of raised the king's image up into the heavens, and being gilded with a combination of gold and silver, called Electrum, and that blazing in the sun, the king's image is literally combined with the images of the gods up there in the sky as well as the King's names, all aglow and glittering in Electrum. Hatshepsut, on her obelisk, added something else. She added the whole story of how she sent a team out to quarry the obelisk, transported, raised it at the temple of Amman; that's in addition to her story about how she went about raising these monuments.

Question: When you go back, how many methods will you try? And will you have the same amount of time and other constraints as you did last time? ~Gene

Answer: Well, we don't know for sure yet. We're still in the process of talking about that. It would be nice to try to do a little thinking so that our attempts to replicate an ancient Egyptian operation are not constrained by a modern film and production budget and time schedule, so that we at least supply ourselves enough time to try one or two or three things as thoroughly as possible. One of the things we'd like to try in the future is not just different ways of raising the obelisk, we'd actually like to try to construct some kind of a boat that would test how they might have transported the obelisk down the river of Aswan.

Question: Did working on this experiment make you feel at all like you were able to get inside the minds of the ancient Egyptians? ~David

Answer: Well, that's a good question. I'm not sure we can get inside the minds of the ancient Egyptians, but let me tell you that whatever the thoughts may be of popularizing ancient technology by trying these replications of tools, techniques and operations, whatever shortcuts we might have to take for a modern, popular film production, nothing beats actually getting your hand on limestone blocks that way, two or three tons in building pyramids. We're actually getting face to face with the granite in raising an obelisk. That's one of the real values of these productions. In the film on obelisks, you saw a bunch of men down in that trench that actually defined and separated the unfinished obelisk. Until you actually get down in that trench with a dolerite pounder that weighs five kilograms, and you just for a few minutes swing it up and down with your arms, you can't appreciate what human labor really went into creating the monuments we see all over Egypt. We didn't get so much in the minds, but we saw the physical bedrock reality that they had to deal with—what motivated them, what gave them their spirit of accomplishment, what gave them the spirit that we saw in the men from Aswan and Luxor who worked for just three weeks on this project.

Question: What do you think accounts for people's fascination for all things Egyptian, especially the pyramids? ~Francesca

Answer: That's one of the most profound and difficult questions that anyone could be asking. I've worked with the monuments of ancient Egypt for 25 years now. I've spent years and years with the pyramids, I've lived in Egypt for 13 years straight before coming back to the United States, and still I don't know the complete answer to that question. There's something about ancient Egypt that has a pull on everyone in the modern world, not just Americans, the Europeans, Japanese, people worldwide. Various answers that I've tried out and worked to some extent, but aren't completely satisfying, include that the Egyptians were terrific designers. Something about the way they depicted the human being, pyramids, the temples, the obelisks, they were just great designers in an architectural sense.

I think also part of the attraction of ancient Egypt is that it's so very old. It's one of the earliest civilizations on our planet. And it's so very big. Everything they did in their monuments is big. The pyramids, the obelisks, the temples, the statues, and they were able to do these very big things because they had easy access to hard and soft stones, limestone, granite, other kinds of stone. And so they could build these colossal monuments in stone that survived the ages. Whereas other civilizations, like the Sumerians, built in mud brick, so we don't see their accomplishments as much.

Even in ancient times when the Greeks and Romans came to Egypt, they were astounded by these skyscrapers. It's as though you walked into Manhattan or something for ancient times. These days, as civilization races towards some kind of a future, we're not sure what, with such dramatic changes over such short periods—automobiles, skyscrapers, computers—I think we're filled with a lot of anxiety as to where we're going. I think when we look back to times over the horizon, when we feel a little bit lost in our own civilization, there's something very appealing about this lost ancient Egyptian civilization. Maybe we're looking for some kind of an answer for what we're going through now. It's hard to know. There's no quick easy answer to that question.

Question: Do you know if there are any obelisks in private collections? ~Jon

Answer: Well, if there are obelisks in private collections, I don't think they're as big as the biggest obelisk that Ramses II made. I don't think there are any obelisks hiding in private collections anywhere. Obelisks started out as very small monuments. Some of the oldest obelisks we know about are about knee-high. They're made out of limestone and they were put in front of the tombs of prominent households in the Old Kingdom, noblemen and so on. There could be small obelisks like that that could be in private collections.

Question: When did the society that was responsible for building the obelisk come to an end and what caused its downfall? ~Maura

Answer: The society that was responsible for building the obelisk was that of ancient Egypt. One easy way to think of this is that ancient Egyptian civilization lasted from 3000 B.C. to 30 B.C. That's about when Cleopatra IV died. However, the heyday of obelisks was in the 18th Dynasty, Egypt's age of greatest empire, and that came to an end about 1000 B.C. So the empire gradually dissolved. Other great powers were on the rise, the Assyrians and later the Persians and of course the Romans, and just exactly why it fell into demise is a complicated question. It's one of the kinds of questions that archaeologists write Ph.D. dissertations about.

Question: Do you think the Egyptians knew that the granite was extremely durable and chose it for that reason or was it just the material they had available to them? ~Marc

Answer: No, Marc, they certainly knew that granite was durable. As a matter of fact, granite probably had a very definite symbolic magical significance for them. Just why the different kinds of hard stone and soft stone that they built in were chosen for various monuments we aren't sure. There's enough to suggest, though, that there were magical reasons that we're missing, that granite had a definite magical purpose, as did alabaster, limestone, and the black granite and other hard stones like dolorite. So there was probably a symbolic reason for the stone that was chosen.

Question: Why was the obelisk seated into the turning groove at a 32-degree slope? Was it because the breaking system was not adequate? Solve this problem so that you can begin the raising from a 45-degree or greater start point. Now, how about some camels, oxen, horses, or elephants for some real power? Good Luck, and Aloha from Maui!!! ~Gregory

Answer: Yeah, OK, you�re right. We should have had the obelisk at more than 32 degrees. Next time we hope to have it more like 45 or even steeper. And we recognize that that's one of the problems. We'll try to correct it next time. Camels and elephants are out, because the ancient Egyptians didn't have camels and elephants. But they did have oxen, although probably in a delicate operation like moving the obelisk they would have not have entrusted it to oxen, they would have used manpower.

Question: It seems to me if you can not pull the thing up why do you not just push it up? I would tend to think that if you applied force to the other side of the obelisk it could possibly go up easier than if you pulled on it from the side you are. By the way I loved the sand trap ideas. ~Craig

Answer: I'm not sure what Craig means by pushing it up. It depends on how the obelisk comes in on the other side, the opposite side from the pullers. If it comes in lying down or nearly lying down like Martin Eisler had it, then you can't push it. It's a question of lifting. And even if it comes in at a 32-degree slope or so, the way we did the big obelisk in the film, it's still a question of lifting, not pushing. And the lifting, of course, has to be done with levers. So I'm not quite sure what Craig means by pushing.

Question: The ancient Egyptians were the most prolific stone movers in history. Is there any written history on how they may have moved massive stones over large distances? I remember seeing a show on TV where the stones were set in place by dragging them over a hole filled with sand, the sand was then removed through an access tunnel, and the stone was slowly set in place. The effort required (by any method) to move the Stonehenge stones over a 20-mile distance would have negated any method of raising them that would have been considered a gamble. Although your system worked, I believe the stones were set into place with some type of dampening agent to ensure that the stones were not damaged. What do you think? ~Lowell

Answer: Is there any written history on how they may have moved massive stones over long distances? The only depiction we have of moving a very massive weight any distance is from the Middle Kingdom, the 12th Dynasty: a tomb of a man named Jahuti Hotep. And there is a scene in his tomb, or there was a scene, it's very badly damaged now, of, I believe it's 172 men pulling a very heavy, large, colossal statue. The statue is estimated to have weighed 54 tons. So you have long lines of men going off in different ropes. That's the only scene depiction we have. We have text mentioning people who went to quarries to get stones for pyramids, stones for obelisks, stones for monuments, and in a number of cases we have specifications of the boats that were built. I think there's a man named Aneni who went to fetch an obelisk for Thutmoses I, and he records, I believe, the construction of a barge to transport it, that's about 3/4 the length and width, that is the width is about 3/4 the length. And so we have inscriptions like that, but nothing real detailed.

Question: What is the estimated time (months, years) that it took the ancient Egyptians to erect an obelisk (e.g., the largest one), from the first chip in the quarry to the final touches of the upright piece? ~Jon

Answer: Hatsupsut records that it took her seven months to build her obelisk in Karnak. I believe that would be the pair of which one is still standing. And if I recall correctly that is the total time she says it took to quarry, remove, transport and raise the obelisk, seven months.

Question: Rather than using a ramp composed of two straight sections, why not use a parabolic curve in the second part of the ramp? The parabolic part might help move the obelisk around since the contact surface is reduced (though you'd need a much stronger sled) and as the drop rate could be controlled, it gives a better chance for the obelisk not to break upon landing on the base. Furthermore, that might help position the obelisk closer to vertical—then it would be easier to pull to its completely vertical position. What do you think? ~Steven

Answer: A parabolic curve, indeed, would reduce the amount of contact between the obelisk and the ramp down to the pedestal. But it probably would have been a bit difficult to construct that parabolic curve out of mud brick, for example, or stone rubble, or mud brick compartments filled with stone rubble and debris, or filled with sand. And it's unlikely that they would have built in stone simply to create a parabolic curve, since most of the materials they used for secondary constructions, like ramps and embankments and so on, were mud brick and debris.

Question: How did the Egyptians make the giant mounts of dirt? ~John

Answer: Well, they probably transported most of the material simply with men carrying baskets, the way workers carry dirt on excavations today. It may seem astounding that they could have carried enough debris, sand or dirt, for making these huge embankments and ramps and so on. But in fact, that's what they did. And they did it on a regular basis, not only for raising large monuments, but for creating the dikes and canals on which Egypt's irrigation, agriculture depended. So they were very used to moving dirt, which they did for their basic infrastructure all the time.

Question: My husband and I sail a 42-foot sloop. On our mainsail, we have a multiple-block system that allows me (at 130 lbs.) to adjust our mainsail with one hand. The Egyptians were accomplished boaters. Is there any evidence to suggest that the Egyptians may have had similar technology? If so, could you use it with your A-frame structure to lift the obelisk? ~Heather

Answer: I believe it's very true that there should be important clues in their nautical technology. I, myself, am not a boat person. So I'm not totally conversant with a multiple block system, which is what Heather is suggesting. But the A-frame, for example, that's been suggested as a gaining, as allowing the Egyptians to gain a mechanical advantage in lifting the obelisk, the A-frame and the way it operates may have been very similar to the way we see masts operating on early boats, which are very narrow kinds of A-frames, in fact. It's not a single piece. It seems to be two pieces, with cross pieces like a very narrow A-frame. And I think the end plate is a very good one, that the way they raised these heavy masts and other aspects of nautical technology probably holds clues as to how they did heavy weights like obelisks. In our next production, we hope to be having not only an engineer, but also an ancient boat specialist on the scene. Not just to try various ways of transporting the obelisk on a boat, but maybe also to supply us insight into lifting operations, as Heather suggests, on land, for raising these heavy weights.

Question: Weren't a lot of obelisks put up two at a time? If so, then couldn't a lowering platform for one obelisk be used as a raised level workman platform for the second obelisk? Efficient use of mud-brick with no need for A-frames. ~Dennis

Answer: Weren't a lot of obelisks put up two at a time? Well, whatever ramps and embankments they used for raising one obelisk probably were used for two when the obelisks were put up in pairs. And quite often they were. In our operation we had a great pit between two ramp sections. And the pit—of course at the bottom of the pit, you had the base of the obelisk. And the pit was for the tipping and then raising operation. They would have had to move the pit, obviously, or else had two pits, but that was no problem. They could have filled them in. So yes, indeed, they could have built one great ramp embankment system, sloping up from both sides, or to either side of the temple pylon, with this great entrance. And when they wanted to, they probably would have had to have raised the obelisk then in sequence, doing the farthest one first, putting it down into its pit, if that's the method they used. And then there it stood, you see. And then the other one from the direction that the obelisks were being brought in, would have been brought in and set up. Obviously, you couldn't have one obelisk standing and being in the way of the other one. That would imply that if they did use one ramp embankment system, it also suggests something about the order in which the two obelisks were put up.

Question: I have a book called "Babylon Mystery Religion—Ancient and Modern" by Ralph Woodrow that includes a chapter on obelisks. On chapter five, page 34, the obelisk at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican is depicted in an old drawing being raised inside an elaborate giant scaffold-like structure surrounding the obelisk lifting with ropes from the top. I can't tell, but pulleys, which certainly increase the mechanical advantage, may be at the top of the structure. Would this technology have been available to the Ancient Egyptians? ~Chris

Answer: There is some evidence that the Egyptians had a pulley-like device as early as the Middle Kingdom. Whether these pulleys would have been useful in moving heavy weights like obelisks is doubtful, because as Roger Hopkins points out, a pulley is a wheel, and the wheel is only as good as its axle. And until you have iron and steel you just can't get a strong enough axle to have a pulley taking and distributing weight on the scale of 400 and 300 tons, which is what the largest obelisks weigh.

Question: Could the structures shown near the obelisk have been used to erect them? A drum connected to the nearby structure could be used to wind up a rope, thereby lifting the obelisk into position. This would require the technology of turning the drug (or roller) as the method of propulsion (like a come-along) instead of pulling the object with ropes and using the rollers only as a way to reduce friction. Did they have this technology? ~Ed

Answer: While it's been suggested that the structures near the obelisk might have been used to erect them, some people have suggested in fact that the temple pylons, the great front wall of the temple that stood right behind the obelisk, or in front of which the obelisks were raised, that that pylon could have been used as a lifting platform for ropes and men. The problem is that the turning grooves aren't on that side of the pedestals of the obelisks. The turning grooves are usually perpendicular to the front of the temple, so that the obelisks were brought in alongside the temple, front temple wall. It's probable then that none of the giant statues or the front wall of the temple was very useful in raising the obelisk—that temporary banks, embankments and ramps would have been used.

Question: Do you believe the ancient Egyptians saw the obelisks as holy? Also, as I watched your show someone said that the ancient cities were built to last through eternity. What was the logic behind that question? Did the Egyptians actually believe their empire would last forever? ~James

Answer: Well, did the Egyptians believe their empire would last forever? Yes, they did. They expressed that wish again and again. They believed their empire, their temples, the great Karnak temple and these obelisks would stand forever. They had two words for "forever." One was djet, which means permanently forever. And the other is Neheh, which means continuously forever, for all the cycles of time. In other words, forever and ever. Now I mean somebody who might have been a skeptical person in ancient Egypt might have wondered if in fact that was the case. And we do have some skeptical literature from the ancient Egyptians themselves. Once their civilization had lasted from 2,000 years or more, they began looking back and seeing some of the earlier structures that their ancestors had built already in ruins. So they weren't dummies. They could see that things fell apart. It's an interesting question though, because we could ask it about ourselves. Has any of us thought whether the World Trade Towers in New York City are supposed to last forever? What is the planned obsolescence of a skyscraper? What is the planned obsolescence of say, Manhattan or downtown Los Angeles? Do we think these things will last forever?

Question: Make an A-frame, put the crossbar 3/4 of the way down. Then attach ropes to the obelisk (at the top) and to the A frame (at the top). Now attach more ropes to the crossbar, have your volunteer crew pull these. This will increase your leverage and multiply your pulling power 3 times. This should be more than enough to right the obelisk. (name withheld by request)

Answer: Well, we certainly believe that there are many more possibilities with either one or multiple A-frames, and that we can in fact, increase our leverage and gain a greater mechanical advantage. And that's one of the things that we're going to be trying when we go back to continue to try to raise the obelisk.

Question: Could the wooden support that the obelisk rests on, as it is dragged to its resting point, have wheels at its base (somewhat like a dolly), so when it is in the tilting slot or groove, it would be easier to put upright (like our arm and elbow), then when it's in position, burn the support dolly at the same time making settling adjustments. (name withheld by request)

Answer: Well, here we have a suggestion about wheels again, that maybe it could have been on some kind of platform and then it was wheeled into place. Once again we come back to the notion, as we were talking about with pulleys. A pulley is a wheel, and it's like all wheels, the wheel is only as good as its axle. And in order to carry really heavy loads, wheel systems like great semi-trucks and so on, have very powerful axles, to say nothing of their engines, and so on. But the axles and the frame of a flatbed truck, a mach truck or a semi with very heavy weight—they're very powerful. Of course it's made out of hard iron and steel. Without iron and steel it's hard, I believe, to make a wheel system that will carry a heavy load. That's not to say the Egyptians didn't have the wheel. They certainly did. It's just that it was not adaptable to carrying very heavy loads, because they did not have that, they were not that fluent in the use of iron, and certainly they did not have steel. Iron really comes in in a big way about the 26th Dynasty. That's the earliest that it's there in a big way. We have examples of iron before that. So iron is not really there, prevalent much before say 525 B.C.

Question: I think if they used a column or wheel of significant weight to roll down a ramp a precise distance and speed with said wheel or column winding up pulling ropes as it travels. I think diameter of wheel plus weight of wheel plus angle of said ramp, plus using A-frame would lift obelisk. ~Marc

Answer: Marc is talking about a wheel again, but I think it's a slightly different suggestion. It's not so much a suggestion of using a wheel with an axle. But another idea is to make heavy stones themselves wheels of sorts by putting wood pieces against the sides of the stone block for example, the wood pieces being rounded so that when you put four of them around four sides of a block, you actually created a wheel out of the block, and then you can roll it along. I mean that's more feasible with stone blocks for pyramids, but probably not feasible at all for a long tapering obelisk. I'm not sure if that's what Marc is suggesting, but it reminds me of that suggestion at any rate.

Question: I would like to throw in my two cents about how to float the obelisk. Did you forget that the Nile is only recently the victim of human flood control? Ancient solution: build a drydock on the flood plain. Tie a barge off atop the drydock. Load the obelisk during the dry season. Wait for the floods—float away. Tie up at a similar facility down river. Wait for waters to recede. Unload the obelisk. Stone/rock piers aside the drydock would help in on/off loading. ~Saxon

Answer: Well, we're back to that suggestion we were suggesting earlier about building a drydock on the flood plain. And I think it's a very good suggestion. And it's something that it would be nice for us to try. In order to try this, since the Nile basin of which I spoke, the flood basin that held the water for six to eight weeks out of every year when the Nile flooded its banks, these basins no longer flood. The dikes and levees of course are no longer in repair because just the high dams, the Egyptian Nile Valley no longer floods. So in order to test this idea, which I think is a good one, we'll have to create our own drydock in our own little basin and somehow try to have it flooded. It could be a whole operation involving pumps and so on. We'll see what we can do when we get back to Aswan.

Question: On the show, the obelisk is left unraised. Was the obelisk ever raised? The show is several years old; have there been any new discoveries that show how the ancients raised a 400-ton obelisk? (name withheld by request)

Answer: Will the obelisk ever be raised? I don't know that there have been any new discoveries about how they raised obelisks. The interesting thing is that most of the theories were already on hand before we did our show. It's very rare, if ever, that people have done the kind of experimental archaeology where you actually go out and pull these heavy weights and raise them and so on. I'd like to emphasize again that in the shows, this whole pyramid and obelisks that we did with the ancient technology series with NOVA we were not doing 100 percent replications of ancient pyramid building or obelisk raising. We were trying specific tools, techniques and operations to gain greater insight and I think we did. I don't think we can actually make much progress on new theories without that kind of experimentation. Nobody has ever tried to raise an ancient Egyptian obelisk using the ancient tools, techniques and operations before. And I know that they haven't done it since, or at least as far as I know no one has. That may be one of the reasons why there have been no new insights in the few years since we did the obelisk film. Our hope is that we'll come up with some new insights and possibly even some new theories when we go back to Aswan and supply it another try.

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