Description: OMNI's Scientific Explanations Contest
These are responses to a contest 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.
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 worlds great literary works in Braille.
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 out.
Communist China is technologically underdeveloped
because they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use
acronyms to communicate ideas at a faster rate.
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.
Birds take off at sunrise. On the opposite side of the
world, they are landing at sunset. This causes the earth to
spin on its axis.
The reason hot-rod owners raise the backs of their cars is
that it's easier to go faster when you're always going
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