Fun_People Archive
21 May
The bread comes in on little cat feet

Date: Fri, 21 May 93 14:18:50 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: The bread comes in on little cat feet

[If only Dr. Science had material like this... -psl]

 From: <>
 From theresem Fri May 21 10:00:22 1993
 From: Mark Dodge  <>
<forwards suspended>

This question was posed to the Usenet Oracle:

 If you drop a buttered piece of bread, it will fall on the
 floor butter-side down.  If a cat is dropped from a window
 or other high and towering place, it will land on its feet.

 But what if you attach a buttered piece of bread, butter-side
 up to a cat's back and toss them both out the window?
 Will the cat land on its feet?  Or will the butter splat on
 the ground?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

 Even if you are too lazy to do the experiment yourself you should be
 able to deduce the obvious result.  The laws of butterology demand
 that the butter must hit the ground, and the equally strict laws of
 feline aerodynamics demand that the cat can not smash its furry back.
 If the combined construct were to land, nature would have no way to
 resolve this paradox.  Therefore it simply does not fall.

 That's right you clever mortal (well, as clever as a mortal can get),
 you have discovered the secret of antigravity!  A buttered cat will,
 when released, quickly move to a height where the forces of
 cat-twisting and butter repulsion are in equilibrium.  This equilibrium
 point can be modified by scraping off some of the butter, providing
 lift, or removing some of the cat's limbs, allowing descent.

 Most of the civilized species of the Universe already use this
 principle to drive their ships while within a planetary system.  The
 loud humming heard by most sighters of UFOs is, in fact, the purring of
 several hundred tabbies.

 The one obvious danger is, of course, if the cats manage to eat the
 bread off their backs they will instantly plummet.  Of course the cats
 will land on their feet, but this usually doesn't do them much good,
 since right after they make their graceful landing several tons of
 red-hot starship and pissed off aliens crash on top of them.

[=] © 1993 Peter Langston []