Re: The bread comes in on little cat feet
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 98 18:21:29 -0800
Subject: Re: The bread comes in on little cat feet
[This is a reference to an Oracle story Fun_People carried in May of 1993.
You can find it by searching for "The bread comes in on little cat feet"
using the search engine at <http://www.langston.com/Fun_People/>,
the Fun_People Archive. -psl]
Forwarded-by: "Lewis C. Schueler, Jr." <email@example.com>
Flaws In the Flying Cat Theory: A Response
A logical analysis of the BFAD (Buttered Feline Antigravity Drive)
propulsion theory clearly demonstrates the impossibility of such a system.
Let us begin with a simple analysis.
Buttered bread must fall butter side down.
A cat always lands on its feet.
While both theorems are indisputable, the oracle offers no proof of the
construct. The oracle implies that anyone who would test this construct
would immediately find the secret of BFAD.
This is clearly nonsense.
Let us assume a normal Einsteinian universe (although a Euclidean universe
would serve our purposes just as well, the Einsteinian is cheaper and drinks
are readily available).
To test BFAD, one must procure:
Butter (margarine, for some reason, will not work)
A strapping device
Let us assume that all of these are readily available. Attach the strapping
device to the cat.
What has happened? We have run up against an a priori universal law. By a
priori, we mean that it takes priority over either the Buttered Bread
Principle or the Law of Feline Landings. What happens is that the instant
a strapping device and a cat occupy the same four dimensional space, the
cat disappears. Now, this can easily be tested, and has been repeatedly.
There are two schools of thought about this phenomenon.
The first holds that a cat and a strapping device are constituted out of
different fundamental building blocks. According to this theory, a cat is
constituted primarily of superquarks, (called meows by current theorists).
These superquarks demonstrate qualities that are both atomic (constituted
as they are of groupings of normal quark particles) and feline (because
these quarks exhibit characteristic of "charmed" or "lucky" particles).
Again, according to this theory, strapping materials are fashioned out of
non-charmed particles. Bringing the two together causes one or the other to
cancel out. One aspect of this theory that has not been sufficiently
explained to date is the fact that it is always the cat, not the strapping
device, that disappears.
The second school of thought, and it is one that appears to be gaining
ground in academic circles today, holds that cats are, in fact,
super-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who exist in our four dimensional
universe only because there is plenty of good food and a lot of creatures
stupid enough to provide the food, along with plenty of attention. Whenever
a strapping device appears, the cat simply opens a door to a different
series of dimensions, and goes on an extended tour.
According to this theory, purring is a cat's way of maintaining a constant
balance cycling across multiple dimensions. This school holds that
antigravity is impossible, but that theoretically, a REALLY good grip on a
cat, while reaching for a strapping device, could result in our ability to
cross dimensions with ease (barring scratches, that is). Pessimists argue
that if there was anything really interesting in those other dimensions,
cats wouldn't spend so much time here, so why ask for a good scratching?
© 1998 Peter Langston