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Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
By:Paul Jacobson
Date: 6/14/1998, 3:28 am

> Well since those projects are done, I need help developing a
> cat and buttered toast propulsion system. The idea was first suggested
> on the wavelength listserver.

> Since a cat always lands on its feet and toast always falls butter-side-down,
> you strap the toast to the back of the cat and physics takes over.
> The cat-toast system will hover a few inches off the ground and rotate.
> While the hovering is useful, I would like to harness the rotation
> as a propulsion system.

I have seen the phot of you and your dog in the kayak, so I guess you have already tried the dog-paddle propulsion system. I think you would be better off trying to refine this method.

If you ask me, you are barking up the wrong tree in attempting to get the cat-toast system to work.

The big problem here is properly balancing the toast, butter and cat. You have three variables, and only two basic directions they can go. (Toast down, cat down) Gravity is a force, which means it accelerates things. The brain of the cat moves at a relatively slow velocity, however. Unless you drop it from a great height, the poor cat will not have enough time to compute the solution to the necessary linear equations, and thus not realize the proper rotational angle of momentum to achieve your goal. The downside to this is that if you DO drop the cat from a great enough height it will hit your kayak with enough force to puncture both deck and hull. In that case you will achieve some propulsion, but the direction will be down, not forward.

You might consider a treadmill, or merry-go-round, though. With a merry go round, place the dog in front of the cat. Tie the toast to the dog's tail, and coat it with butter and catnip. The cat will chase the toast, and the dog will chase the cat. As they go around in a circle, the merry-go-round will spin in the opposite direction. This force can be coupled to a standard set of gears and drive a conventional propeller. With a treadmill, tie the cat to the front of the treadmill, and let the dog try to catch it. Both will run. You can get power off of either the front or back rollers of the treadmill by extending the shaft. While this can be coupled to a standard gear or belt drive for a prop, this method also is suitable for use with a side-mounted paddle wheel driven directly off of the revolving axle of a roller. For extended trips it may be best to secure the dog's tail so that the dog can not catch the cat.

For traveling in foggy waters you have several advantages with these systems. The cat has excellent night vision, and its eyes shine brightly, providing visibility. In addition the dog makes an excellent fog horn, particularly if you swap your corgi for one of the loudly-baying hound breeds. If you stick to the corgi, adjust the position of the dog and cat so that the dog can occasionally catch the cat's tail. The sound produced by the cat will be sufficient to let all nearby shipping know of your whereabouts.

> I am having trouble with the toast getting wet and disintegrating.
> When this happens the cat falls and tries to run away, but since this
> is on a kayak there is nowhere to run so they just climb up and sit
> on your head. This is not so bad, but the spinning and rubbing against
> the kayak has usually induced a large static charge. Of course the
> spark tends to make the cat quite pissed when they are climbing on
> to your head. Antibiotics have held off cat-scratch fever for now,
> but if anyone has any suggestions for improving the system, I would
> be most grateful.

For this to work properly you must do two things:

1) Before embarkation, rub your cat briskly against a tree on the shore. This will build up a static charge. Trees that produce lots of sap, like Balsam firs are preferable.

2) Shave your head, apply two coats of epoxy and 3 to 6 coats of UV resistant varnish, sanding lightly between coats with progressively finer sandpaper. When the varnish has hardened, top it with a light coat of wax. The shiny plastic finish will be suitably buffed and polished as the cat spins, producing an even larger static charge. Since the two static charges (the one on your bald head and the other on the tree ), will repel each other, you will have a simple static propulsion system.

If you are still worried about getting scratched by the cat, you might try embedding 1 layer of 6 ounce, or two layers of 4 ounce fiberglass cloth in the epoxy that is on your head. If the cat is an unneutered tom with nails over 3/4 inch long, skip the glass cloth and use three layers of 5 ounce Kevlar instead.

After your trip you should protect the finish on your head by excluding sunlight, and draining the static charge. A cap fashioned from household aluminum foil is both attractive and practical.

Please post photos when you have either of these systems running. Lots of luck. Paul Jacobson

Note: Local ordinances may affect your ability to install any of these systems.

2nd note: The above is meant entirely as satire and it should not be construed as provoking or inciting people to harm animals. No animals were harmed during the production of this.

Messages In This Thread

Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
Karl Coplan -- 6/10/1998, 10:29 am
Re: Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
Rick C. -- 6/11/1998, 8:51 am
Project List
Nick Schade -- 6/10/1998, 8:26 pm
Re: Blasphemy!
Don Beale -- 6/14/1998, 12:07 am
Projects solved. now how about some coffee?
Paul Jacobson -- 6/13/1998, 2:25 am
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
Nick Schade -- 6/13/1998, 9:12 pm
Re: Power for a small boat
Don Beale -- 6/15/1998, 12:53 pm
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 1:10 pm
Re: I've created a monster.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/14/1998, 1:14 pm
Re: Running lights
Don Beale -- 6/15/1998, 12:32 pm
Re: Recessed permanent running lights
Mark Kanzler -- 6/16/1998, 12:48 am
Re: Recessed permanent running lights
Karl Coplan -- 6/15/1998, 1:32 pm
Re: Good Value on A Strobe
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 10:09 am
Re: Flash bulb?
NPenney -- 6/18/1998, 8:09 am
Flash bulb? Try flares
Paul Jacobson -- 6/20/1998, 10:31 pm
Re: Flash bulb? Try flares
NPenney -- 6/22/1998, 6:32 am
Re: Flash bulb? How much power do you want?
Mark Kanzler -- 6/22/1998, 11:33 am
Re: Flash bulb? How much power do you want?
Mike Spence -- 6/22/1998, 1:22 pm
Re: Flash bulb? How much power do you want?
NPenney -- 6/24/1998, 7:52 am
Re: Flash bulb, strobes, wasn't my idea (I think)
Mark Kanzler -- 6/24/1998, 11:12 am
Re: paddle blade lights
NPenney -- 6/24/1998, 11:25 am
Re: paddle blade lights
Mark Kanzler -- 6/25/1998, 12:58 am
Re: paddle blade lights
Rick VanBuren -- 6/24/1998, 6:10 pm
Another way
Wes Boyd -- 6/22/1998, 10:56 pm
Re: Flash bulb ok, flares are only for emergencies.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 1:00 am
Re: Flash bulb ok, flares are only for emergencies.
Paul Jacobson -- 6/21/1998, 2:23 am
Re: Flash bulb ok, flares are only for emergencies.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 10:02 am
Just buy a personal strobe.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/21/1998, 9:56 am
Re: Recessed lights vs. Strobe
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 1:59 pm
Re: Recessed lights vs. Strobe
Karl Coplan -- 6/15/1998, 2:05 pm
Re: Recessed lights vs. Strobe
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 3:44 pm
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
David Dick -- 6/15/1998, 12:50 am
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
Karl Kulp -- 6/14/1998, 2:38 pm
Re: Boxing up kayak w/ refrigerator boxes
Mark Kanzler -- 6/16/1998, 12:44 am
Re: Nick, you're waaaay off topic.
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 12:18 am
Re: Nick, you're waaaay off topic.
Rick C. -- 6/15/1998, 2:20 am
Re: Nick, you're waaaay off topic.
Wes Boyd -- 6/14/1998, 11:07 pm
Re: Projects solved. How about cats and buttered toast
Paul Jacobson -- 6/14/1998, 3:28 am
Better than cold fusion!!
Mike -- 6/13/1998, 10:35 pm
Just cold
Paul Jacobson -- 6/14/1998, 4:02 am
Re: Just cold
Wes Boyd -- 6/14/1998, 11:04 pm
Re: Hot n Cold
Mark Kanzler -- 6/15/1998, 12:29 am
Re: Hot n Cold
Mike Spence -- 6/14/1998, 2:14 pm
Re: Electrical outlets on kayaks
Mark Kanzler -- 6/13/1998, 10:05 am
Re: Project List
Don Beale -- 6/12/1998, 1:00 am
Too late -- competition beat you to it
Karl Coplan -- 6/11/1998, 5:21 pm
Re: How to post a link
Mark Kanzler -- 6/11/1998, 5:36 pm
Re: Distractions & Cross Town Traffic...
Mark Kanzler -- 6/11/1998, 2:17 pm
Re: Random thoughts from a sea-level commute
Mark Kanzler -- 6/10/1998, 6:09 pm