Giant Buttered Cat Array
Results of a contest for "theories"
sponsored by Omni magazine.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
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.
I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover,
spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed
monorail could easily link New York with Chicago. [see below for further
info on buttered cats - Ed.]
#1 If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite
number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an
infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the
world's great literary works in Braille.
#2 Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the
pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums
unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it
#3 Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because
they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate
ideas at a faster rate.
#4 The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation.
Just as a figure skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought
in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to
spin dangerously fast.
The quantity of consonants in the English language is
constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian
"pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to
"warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."
The Buttered Cat Principle - Examined
in more depth
The Facts... 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 it's feet.
The Problem Stated... 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 it's feet? Or will the butter
splat on the ground?
The Answer... 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 ticked off aliens crash on top of them.
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