Got this from sci.chem. Thought the other science-oriented folks my get
a chuckle out of it.
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From: John Park <email@example.com>
Subject: The Cartoon Laws of Physics (Humor)
Date: 23 Aug 1995 13:44:33 GMT
Thought this would be a worthy contribution to make.
The Cartoon Laws of Physics
Law I: Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware
of its situation.
Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland. He loiters
in midair, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances to look down. At
this point, the familiar principle of 32 feet per second per second takes
Law II: Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid
matter intervenes suddenly.
Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon characters
are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone pole or an
outside boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton
called this sudden termination of motion the stooge's surcease.
Law III: Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation
conforming to its perimeter.
Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the speciality
of victims of directed-pressure explosions and of reckless cowards who
are eager to escape that they exit directly through the wall of a house,
leaving a cookie-cutout-perfect hole. The threat of skunks or matrimony
often catalyzes this reaction.
Law IV: The time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater
than or equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge
to spiral down 20 flights to attempt to capture it unbroken.
Such an object is inevitably priceless, thus the attempt to capture it
will be inevitably unsuccessful.
Law V: All principles of gravity are negated by fear.
Psychic forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel them
directly away from the earth's surface. A spooky noise or an adversary's
signature sound will induce motion upward, usually to the cradle of a
chandelier, a treetop, or the crest of a flagpole. A character's feet
when running or the wheels of a speeding auto need never touch the
ground, especially when in flight.
Law VI: As speed increases, objects can be in several places at once.
This is particularly true of tooth-and-claw fights, in which a
character's head may be glimpsed emerging from the cloud of altercation
at several places simultaneously. This effect is common as well among
bodies that are spinning or being throttled. Only at manic high speeds,
the wacky guy may ricochet off walls to achieve the velocity required.
Law VII: Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted as tunnel
entrances; others cannot.
This trompe l'oeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least it
is known that whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to trick an
opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical space. The
painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to follow into the
painting. This is ultimately a problem of art, not of science.
Corollary: Portable holes work.
Law VIII: Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.
Cartoon cats posses even more deaths than the traditional nine lives
might comfortably afford. They can be decimated, spliced, splayed,
accordion-pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be
destroyed. After a few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate,
elongate, snap back, or solidify.
Corollary: A cat will assume the shape of its container.
Law IX: Everything falls faster than an anvil.
Law X: For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.
This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to the
physical world at large. For that reason, we need the relief of watching
it happen to a duck instead.
Amendments to the Laws
A) A sharp object will always propel a character upward.
When poked (usually in the buttocks) with a sharp object (usually a pin),
a character will defy gravity by shooting straight up, with great velocity
B) The laws of object permanence are nullified for cool characters.
Character who are intended to be "cool" can make previously nonexistent
objects appear from behind their backs at will. For instance, the Road
Runner can materialize signs to express himself without speaking.
C) Explosive weapons cannot cause fatal injuries. They merely turn
character black and smoky.
D) Gravity is transmitted by slow-moving waves of large wavelengths.
Their operation can be witnessed by observing the behavior of a canine
suspended over large vertical drop. Its feet will begin to fall first,
causing its legs to stretch. As the wave reaches its torso, that part
will begin to fall, causing neck to stretch. As the head begins to fall,
tension released and the canine will resume its regular proportions until
such time it strikes the ground.
E) Dynamite is spontaneously generated in "C-spaces" (spaces in which
cartoon laws hold).
The process is analogous to steady-state theories of the universe which
postulated that the tension involved in maintaining a space would cause
the creation of hydrogen from nothing. Dynamite quanta are quite large
(stick sized) and unstable (lit). Such quanta are attracted to physic
forces generated by feeling of distress in "cool" characters (see
Amendment B, which may be a special case of this law) who are able to
used said quanta to their advantage . One may imagine C-spaces where all
matter and energy result from primal masses of dynamite exploding. A big
F) Any bag, sack, purse, etc. possessed by a cool character is a
tesseract ! any number of objects of any size may be placed in it or
removed from it with no change in its outer dimensions.
G) Characters can spin around and change into any set of clothes
appropriate to the situation.
H) Rabbits can dig a burrow from here to there in less than 20 seconds
and emerge spotlessly clean.
I) Movements are accompanied by funny sound effects.
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