[SL4] Off Topic: Amusing Theory

From: Dale Johnstone (dalejohnstone@email.com)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 17:13:14 MDT

Here's an amusing story a friend of mine passed on to me. I thought
it worth sharing even though it is off topic:
An American magazine held a competition, inviting its readers to
submit new scientific theories on ANY subject.
Below is the winner:
Subject: Perpetual Motion
"When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is
dropped, it always lands buttered side down.

Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered
side up, and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will
cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground. If enough toast-
laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed
monorail system."

........but this idea got this reply from one of the readers....


I've been thinking about this cat/toast business for a while.

In the buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land
buttered side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works
equally well with Jacob's crackers.

So to save money I think you just miss out the toast - and butter the

Also, should there be an imbalance between the effects of cat and
butter, there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for
Consider that the probability of carpet impact is determined by the
following simple formula:

P = S * t(t)/tc

where P is the probability of carpet impact, and S is the "stain"
value of the toast-covering substance - an indicator of the
effectiveness of the topping in permanently staining the carpet.

Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, has a very high S value, while the
S value of water is zero.

tc and t(t) indicate the tone of the carpet and topping respectively -
the value of P being strongly related to the relationship between the
colour of the carpet and topping, as even chicken tikka masala won't
cause a permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.

So it is clear that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if
you use chicken tikka masala and a white carpet - in fact this
combination gives a P value of one, which is the same as the
probability of a cat landing on its feet. Therefore a cat with
chicken tikka masala plastered on its back will be certain to hover
in mid air.

Contrastingly, therecould be problems with buttered toast as the
toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash
resulting in nauseating images of members of the royal family
visiting accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it
wouldn't have happened if their party was in power as there would
have been more investment in cat-toast glue research.

Therefore it is in the interests not only of public safety but also
public sanity if the buttered toast on cats idea is scrapped, to be
replaced by a monorail powered by cats smeared with chicken tikka
masala floating above a rail made from white wool shag pile carpet.

Dale Johnstone.
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