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Because cats always land on their feet and toast always lands buttered side down, you can construct a perpetual motion machine by simply strapping a slice of buttered toast to a cat's back. When the cat is dropped it will remain suspended and revolve indefinitely due to the opposing forces. :)

(Stolen from a lady at Staffordshire University in the UK.)

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:) It's too bad that my cats won't let any kind of "accessory" touch their bodies otherwise I could verify this!

I did recently view a short online documentary about cats and their magical ability. Some very funny slow-motion footage illustrated that cats are actually able to form their bodies into parachutes. Don't tell them this, however, because it would be just one more reason for cats to get even more big-headed!

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Because cats always land on their feet and toast always lands buttered side down, you can construct a perpetual motion machine by simply strapping a slice of buttered toast to a cat's back. When the cat is dropped it will remain suspended and revolve indefinitely due to the opposing forces.  :D

(Stolen from a lady at Staffordshire University in the UK.)

Stephen, thanks for the laugh! :lol:

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My cat is so old he has gotten to the age that when he falls he DOESNT land on his feet...poor poor cat.

:lol: It's too bad that my cats won't let any kind of "accessory" touch their bodies otherwise I could verify this!

I did recently view a short online documentary about cats and their magical ability. Some very funny slow-motion footage illustrated that cats are actually able to form their bodies into parachutes. Don't tell them this, however, because it would be just one more reason for cats to get even more big-headed!

Are you saying cats are egoist?

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:lol: It's too bad that my cats won't let any kind of "accessory" touch their bodies otherwise I could verify this!

I did recently view a short online documentary about cats and their magical ability. Some very funny slow-motion footage illustrated that cats are actually able to form their bodies into parachutes. Don't tell them this, however, because it would be just one more reason for cats to get even more big-headed!

That "form their bodies" represents a really remarkable phenomenon. Falling cats, along with divers doing multiple twists, and astronauts and satellites in space, to name a few, can, in the absence of angular momentum and with nothing to push against, perform a net rotation by going through a sequence of self-deformations in space. Think about it; they start and end with the same shape, and without any external forces or torques they can reorient through a sequence of bodily deformations.

Frank Wilczek, who finally got his Nobel Prize this year for his work on the theory of the strong interaction, wrote a marvelous paper on these deformable bodies some fifteen years ago (Gauge kinematics of deformable bodies, A. Shapere and F. Wilczek, American Journal of Physics, V. 57, No. 6, pp. 514-518, June 1989). Gauge theory is unique to modern times in physics, and its principles weave their way through all the different disciplines in physics. In this paper Wilczek showed how the motion of deformable bodies leads, in a natural and easily visualizable way, to the much more abstract and geometric world of gauge potentials in configuaration space.

Yet another example in physics of how the world, and our knowledge of it, is so thoroughly integrated.

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Stephen, thanks for the laugh! :lol:

You're welcome. (But the real person to thank is Catherine, of Staffordshire University in the UK. I stole her joke.)

I do not usually inject humor into the science forum, but things have gotten so silly in a few other threads, that it put me in the mood.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The case of buttered toast represents only one instance of a WIDER generalization, which I once saw quoted in a science supply catalog.

The broader law is: "An object WILL fall so as to do the most damage."

The catalog did refer to this, however, as "The Buttered Side Down Law." :D

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This isn't the first time perpetual motion and comedy have been successfully added. :)

In an episode of The Simpsons the teachers at the children's school go on strike, leaving the Simpon's kids with nothing to do.

Lisa, the 2nd grade genius, having little to do and freaking out from not being in school starts making up her own assignments and projects and working on them obsessively.

There's this scene where Homer and Marge (his wife) are discussing how they're concerned with the negative effect the lack of school is having on their children. Homer pulls out this hand sized machine with gears and levers that are accelerating and states in a concerned voice:

"Look at this prepetual motion machine that Lisa built. It just keeps getting faster and faster..."

Then he shouts in a scolding manner:

" Lisa! [Lisa enters] In this house we obey the law of thermodynamics! [in increasing volume]"

I thought that one was hilarious - both the fact that Homer references the law of thermodynamics, and the fact that he's scolding Lisa for her machine.

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"Look at this prepetual motion machine that Lisa built. It just keeps getting faster and faster..."

Then he shouts in a scolding manner:

" Lisa! [Lisa enters] In this house we obey the law of thermodynamics! [in increasing volume]"

That's really cute.

I do not watch The Simpsons myself but over the years I have seen other very clever and/or humorous quotes that have emanated from that show.

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In an episode of The Simpsons ...

As I mentioned in a previous post I do not watch The Simpsons, but for you and other fans of the show I just noticed something that might be of interest. A favorite TV show of mine is Inside the Actors Studio on the Bravo channel. The host, James Lipton, has some really great in-depth interviews with actors, directors, and others associated with the movies and entertainment. This evening, at 8pm, in honor of the 300th episode of The Simpsons, Lipton interviews members of that show. You can see a description for this episode here.

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  • 5 months later...
Because cats always land on their feet and toast always lands buttered side down, you can construct a perpetual motion machine by simply strapping a slice of buttered toast to a cat's back. When the cat is dropped it will remain suspended and revolve indefinitely due to the opposing forces.  :(

(Stolen from a lady at Staffordshire University in the UK.)

That is a really cute joke. It was nice of you to not take complete credit too.

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