Thursday, May 12, 2005

Buttered Cat Principle, Part II

Upon further research into the Buttered Cat Principle, I found the following rebuttals to the original theory.


When a cat is dropped, it ALWAYS lands on its feet; and when toast is dropped, it ALWAYS lands with the buttered side facing down. Therefore, I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat. When dropped, the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground, probably into eternity. A "buttered-cat array" could replace pneumatic tires on cars and trucks, and "giant buttered-cat arrays" could easily allow a high-speed monorail linking New York with Chicago.


Allow a humble engineer to comment. In the described mode, the buttered cat array will drop like a stone and go splat. The toast is on the cat's back, so its feet are free. Presumably, the toast is butter side up. Dropped from any height, the cat's feet OR the buttered toast both are attracted to the ground, and there is nothing to stop the descent to splat-dom. It is the cat's BACK, and the UNBUTTERED side of the toast that repels the ground. For the "buttered cat array" to work, the cat must have four pieces of toast attached to its paws, with each paw firmly planted on the butter side. THIS array will then "hover, spinning inches above the ground" as the toast tries to flip over to the buttered side and the cat tries to spin so it's back is upright. -- Stan P

"Would you believe that I actually tried that buttered-cat thing, it didn't work and my cat scratched the shit out of me...?" -- Kain O

I am sorry to have to spoil your grand hopes of the perpetual motion machine but: The proposed revision to the buttered cat array will simply not work. In order to have the assembly work properly, the center of gyration would have to coincide with the plane through which the junction of toast and paws pass. The current proposed configuration has two masses joined together, which are of extremely unsimilar masses. The resultant center of gravity would be; depending upon the breed of cat; approximately 1/4" above the belly of the cat. The forces acting against the approaching ground, working through the junction of sole and butter, causing the assembly to rotate around the off-centered point of gyration; resulting in the cataclysmic disassociation of all parts in common. Not to mention the loss of life and limb of any laboratory worker foolhardy enough to try and get one piece of buttered bread onto a cat let alone attempt this feat four times. (Everybody knows that the cats' disposition in indirectly proportional to the fifth power of the cats discomfort.) -- Jeff B

The other thing to keep in mind is that you'd have to be careful where the cat is the northern hemisphere, the spinning cat would, of course, spin in a counterclockwise direction, ala hurricanes and toilet bowls. South of the equator, the reverse would be true. A regulatory commission would have to be established to prevent mean spirited people from dropping buttered cats ON the equator, which would cause them to spin both ways at once, either turning them inside out or making them politicians. The truly perverse would tie the cat's feet together, apply the buttered toast, and then watch with glee, as the reverse g-force applied to such a concentrated area would shoot the cat up into the sky like some furry rocket. You have to be careful with these things. -- Rev. Glenn F."


No comments: