Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cat and the Buttered Toast Paradox

Murphy's law application for antigravitatory cats  
Trudi asks "When buttered toast is dropped it usually lands buttered side down and when a cat falls it usually lands on it's feet. So if you strap a piece of buttered toast to a cat's back what happens when the cat falls off of something?"
Will the cat land on it's feet defeating the buttered toast theory or will the toast land buttered side down defeating the cat landing theory?  

To understand how to analyze this dilemma (paradox), we must first understand what it is that makes cats land on their feet and what makes buttered toast always land toast-side down. 


The “righting reflex” is the cat’s ability to first, know up from down, know up from down, and then the innate nature to rotate in mid air to orient the body so its feet face downward. Animal experts say that this instinct is observable in kittens as young as three to four weeks, and is fully developed by the age of seven weeks. 

Excerpt from Bioastronautics Research

Toast lands butter side down, primarily, because of the average height of breakfast tables is just high enough for toast to flip round just enough to land butter side down when knocked off. This is its primary defense mechanism against human consumption.
What happens is that the instant a strapping device and a cat occupy the same space, the cat disappears.  This can easily be tested, and has repeatedly caused CATASTROPHES!  
The experiment could produce this response: The cat will land on its feet, and immediately roll over on its back. This however, means that the cat's feet were stronger than the toast's buttered side insofar as its attraction to the ground, but once on the ground the buttered toast's attraction overpowered the cat's feet. This would give rise to another question: 
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If Schroedinger's Cat walks into a forest, and no one is around to observe it, is Schroedinger's Cat really in the forest?
Some clever people maintain that the experiment will produce an anti-gravity effect They propose that as the cat falls towards the ground, it will slow down and start to rotate, eventually reaching a steady state of hovering a short distance from the ground while rotating at high speed as both the buttered side of the toast and the cat's feet attempt to land on the ground. this is the very defintion of a Purpetual Motion Machine
I can’t prove this thesis, and I haven’t found a cat willing to be my guinea pig. My cat has been eyeing me suspiciously all day, but is perfectly safe...

10 comments:

GOODSTUFF said...

this is a rebuild, bigger and better

here is a funny comment made by http://www.facebook.com/BertTheMensaChicken

A parachutist will always land first before his parachute does (Hopefully)...therefore, I always assumed the toast thing is because the butter is slightly heavier than toast therefore the buttered side will usually tend to fall first. However, I do not recommend using toast as a substitute for a parachute.... however you could substitute butter for a parachutist.

SO... using that logic... Perhaps if butter was applied directly to the cat's back...the cat would land buttered-side-down - feet up... so upon landing... the cat would become toast (so to speak).

(Actually I'm sure the cat weighs more than butter..so it would make no difference to the cat).

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DaveH said...

You can't omit this video -- commercial for a Brazilian energy drink: Flying Horse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejBGY4GxJXw