I think I'm missing something with torques. I seem to have gotten myself confused.
I have a box that's centered at ( 0 , 0 , 0 ) with length ( $x$ dimension ) = 1 , width ( $y$ dimension ) = 0.25, and height ( $z$ dimension ) = 0.5. The edges are parallel to the axes. The $x$ axis is left(-) and right(+), the $y$ axis is up(+) and down(-), and the $z$ axis is into(+) and out of(-) the page.
A force [ 0 , 50 , 0 ] is applied at the point ( 0 , 0 , -0.25 ). To find the torque, we would apply
$\tau = r \times F$
and so $r$ is [ 0 , 0 , -0.25 ] and $F$ is [ 0 , 50 , 0 ]. And the crossproduct is [ 12.5 , 0 , 0 ], so the torque is in the $x$ direction and the box should rotate clockwise?
If I were holding that box in my hand, then ( 0 , 0 , -0.25 ) would be on the side facing me. If I were capable of applying an upward force at ( 0 , 0 , -0.25 ), wouldn't the box start spinning away ( into the page ) from me - and not spin clockwise?
Thanks for taking the time to read. I would really appreciate any help with this.