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Two More Cats Needed
August 10, 2012 6:03 PM   Subscribe

High Speed Video of Flipping Cats A video in which a man claims watching him attempt to flip a cat (without pissing people off) will make you smarter. Bonus intro video. Gratuitous Father Guido Sarducci
posted by cjorgensen (41 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was prepared to be angry, but I loved this. And I want Gigi to come live with me. I have ample pillows to drop her on.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:13 PM on August 10, 2012


Very cool. I had always assumed it was a combination of tail movement and body twisting. Turns out I was partly right but didn't have the whole picture. Cats are awesome.
posted by Decani at 6:21 PM on August 10, 2012


The art in the intro video is amazing.
posted by maryr at 6:26 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


INSET SPACE CATS
posted by DU at 6:29 PM on August 10, 2012


Great video. This guy is great. I've previously posted his bit about the "chicken-powered steadicam."
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:29 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


With the shots of Gigi lapping water, I thought the science of cat-drinking would come up, but since it didn't: "When the cat’s tongue touches the liquid surface, some of the liquid sticks to it through liquid adhesion, much as water adheres to a human palm when it touches the surface of a pool. But the cat draws its tongue back up so rapidly that for a fraction of a second, inertia — the tendency of the moving liquid to continue following the tongue — overcomes gravity, which is pulling the liquid back down toward the bowl. The cat instinctively knows just when this delicate balance will change, and it closes its mouth in the instant before gravity overtakes inertia."

CATS = SMASH PUNY PHYSICS
posted by nicebookrack at 6:40 PM on August 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


What happens if you tape a slinky to the cat before dropping it?

Also, I've watched The Jerk easily a dozen times, and only now do I realize that the man juggling cats was Steve Martin himself.
posted by Ritchie at 6:45 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay, that video was more amusing (and educational) than I expected. Yay!

As for the bit from The Jerk ... that's not Don Novello (Fr Guido Sarducci), is it?
posted by rmd1023 at 6:50 PM on August 10, 2012


I don't know who is being claimed to being Sarducci, the priest or the juggler, but that's not him.
posted by DU at 6:58 PM on August 10, 2012


My cats, in their younger days, would leap off shelves eight feet in the air and would do no discernible damage to themselves (which is more than I can say for what they did to the stuff on the shelves). They are designed for leaping, falling, and possibly teleporting over short distances, so (and I'm not speaking for all cat lovers here) my only problem with this video is that I now want to watch it until I fully understand it and that is going to take a few watches.

Because I keep getting distracted by how cute Gigi looks drinking water! Look at her iddle tongue!
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:05 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fr. Carlos Las Vegas De Cordova is not amused.
Film goes to eleven.
posted by vozworth at 7:08 PM on August 10, 2012


I don't know who is being claimed to being Sarducci, the priest or the juggler, but that's not him.

I was claiming the priest. But IMDB says he's played by Domingo Ambriz. That's three decades of ignorance destroyed in an hour and 6 minutes! See, this Smarter Every Day shit works!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:09 PM on August 10, 2012


Is there a place where we can find, say, several HOURS worth of NASA's micro-gravity cat experiment footage?
posted by ShutterBun at 7:10 PM on August 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also, I've watched The Jerk easily a dozen times, and only now do I realize that the man juggling cats was Steve Martin himself.

You're going to find a LOT of hidden secrets in Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy movies.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:12 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


In The Jerk remake, they use chik-on-chick fil-a in two cups. Why? The pizza in-a-cup demographic did not test well. And they planning to juggle baby giraffe.
posted by vozworth at 7:15 PM on August 10, 2012


So, I just tried this with my cat, but she's fatter than your average cat, so weighs a lot more. Trying to take this into account I decided to try to give her a bit more height to fall from than in the video. I raised her high. She tried to get away, her upside-down paws clawing at the ceiling, but it was at this point I dropped her and quickly moved to the side.

Being a cat that weighs more than your average cat this means she falls faster than your average cat. There was twisting and turning, but she failed to counteract whatever effect was shown in this video and just plain bounced (she's no that graceful). You would think on the subsequent drop she'd get this shit right, but no. This time she does the front paw twist and the tail things, but whatever she was supposed to do with her hind legs she just plain forgets!

Now she's turning, and trying to run, and going tail over teakettle...pretty much proving this video is all CGI.

My girlfriend has forbidden me to try this experiment with her cat, but I am certain since hers is lighter she won't fall as fast as my fat one. Thank you Smarter Every Day!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:23 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Right as I was clicking the initial link (and before I even realized that the clip from "The Jerk" included), I said to myself "Roll the ugliness.".
posted by stifford at 7:27 PM on August 10, 2012


Being a cat that weighs more than your average cat this means she falls faster than your average cat.

No, it doesn't.
posted by axiom at 7:34 PM on August 10, 2012 [13 favorites]


I thought I was just going to watch a cat video and instead learned about physics. Someone please register CatAcademy and set up a website full of cats helping explain science, thanks.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:46 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


attempt to flip a cat (without pissing people off)

Yeah, dropping the cat didn't piss me off. The way he was holding the cat's legs pissed me off.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:48 PM on August 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


OH NOOOES!
posted by brundlefly at 8:15 PM on August 10, 2012


I had always assumed that extending the legs and arching the back meant that there was more weight on the underside of the cat, so that it would naturally lop over, like a shuttlecock or...something else that is bottom-heavy.

From the video, though, there is clearly a lot of work going on, cat-wise.

I wonder, though: is this unique to cats? What happens with other animals (or even humans) when dropped from equivalent (to their size) heights? Granted, cats are better off in the "shock absorber legs" department, but is righting oneself in mid-fall so exclusive an ability?

High divers can do any number of somersaults and twists before finally deciding how to land, so conservation of momentum isn't really an insurmountable problem.

On the other hand, in an uncontrolled "being dropped back-first" situation, maybe humans are more inclined to overthink things. Cats know they can safely land feet-first in virtually any situation, whereas humans will consider all kinds of other factors. But it seems to me that a lot of "spills" during sporting events and such result in humans landing on their hands and knees, not unlike cats. But since gravity doesn't scale, and the average human has a lot more mass to move compared to the average cat, we don't always have enough time to land the way we want.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:34 PM on August 10, 2012


Where did he get the microgravity cat experiment footage? More to the point, how can I get into microgravity with a bunch of kittens? This feels like a money-making opportunity.
posted by jeather at 8:56 PM on August 10, 2012


If I tried that with my 16-pound furry slug I would promptly lose half my face. And then she would ingest my soul before regurgitating it in a sad hairball-covered puke puddle, leaving me to forever dwell alone in purgatory.

That is one patient, patient cat.
posted by zennish at 9:19 PM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


how can I get into microgravity with a bunch of kittens? This feels like a money-making opportunity.

Unlikely. It's been done before.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:36 PM on August 10, 2012


how can I get into microgravity with a bunch of kittens?

I think you need to get your arse to Mars for that.
posted by Mezentian at 9:39 PM on August 10, 2012


But when will cat science explain how those people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why?
posted by whir at 9:46 PM on August 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


OK, the cat video in microgravity that charlie don't surf linked above clearly has no sound, and yet all I can hear as it plays is the Blue Danube Waltz.
posted by maryr at 11:24 PM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


...and, that's my project for the next hour.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:31 AM on August 11, 2012


And here ya go.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


but I am certain since hers is lighter she won't fall as fast as my fat one.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:23 AM on August 11


Galileo. Leaning tower of Pisa. Where is your basic physics?
posted by Decani at 3:16 AM on August 11, 2012


Hey, you can only expect do much science out of me at a time!

Grabbing my heavy cat, and the small one. Wish me luck! I also have a cat, a kite, and a key. Wait until you see the experiment I have planned for that one!

I'll report back my findings on gravity. Anyone know how high I need to be before dropping the cats?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:30 AM on August 11, 2012


Ideally roughly "as balls," I would imagine
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Unlikely. It's been done before.

I was thinking of selling tickets, not (just) posting videos.
posted by jeather at 6:18 AM on August 11, 2012


I'd like to see the cat guy explain evolution
posted by sneebler at 8:05 AM on August 11, 2012


He'd be evolved from cats, not primates, an obviously higher life form.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:03 AM on August 11, 2012


Being a cat that weighs more than your average cat this means she falls faster than your average cat

Galileo figured no.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:26 AM on August 12, 2012


Consider a spherical cat of uniform density.
posted by flabdablet at 5:58 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is, no kidding, how Gundams work.
posted by cthuljew at 7:48 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure this Galileo guy is right. Science demands repeated results. I need more cats.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:45 AM on August 12, 2012


My point was that he's using science to evangelize, and I'm wondering how much science he's willing to apply to a discussion about evolution. Besides, everyone knows cats are the pinnacle of evolution.
posted by sneebler at 4:54 PM on August 26, 2012


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