Re: HUMOUR: challenge

From: Andrew Clough (
Date: Sat Feb 02 2002 - 00:02:41 MST

At 02:56 PM 2/1/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>Scerir wrote:
>>Imagine to be on a perfectly flat, perfectly frictionless surface,
>>such as ice, or oil covered marble. You want to get away, but
>>nobody is around. So the question is: How can you move away
>>on perfect ice, i.e. on a perfectly frictionless surface?
>Hmm...I'm surprised no one said: take off a large article of clothing
>(such as a jacket, shirt etc.), place it on the surface, walk on it for a
>step or two, pick it back up and do it again until you are free. (Of
>course, no one knows if there *is* an end to the frictionless
>may just be an exercise in futility...)

I can see two ways. If the surface isn't really perfectly frictionless,
like the ice or oil you mentioned, you just shift your weight back and
forth, quickly in one direction, but in the other so slowly that you don't
overcome the minute amount of static friction that exists for every real
situation. If you're unlucky enough to be on a purely imaginary, perfectly
frictionless surface you have to try a different approach. The best I can
think of is to breath in in one direction and breath out in another. Air
resistance will keep your velocity down, but as long as you keep the
breathing up you'll move.

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