Sunday, May 13, 2012

We Should Be Grateful

That there are scholar scientists working diligently to find solutions to problems that vex our society and economy to the very core.
It's all in the walk: Scientists explore the physics behind NOT spilling coffee 
Researchers are a step closer to understanding the science behind one of life’s common pitfalls - spilling coffee.
Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, decided to investigate the physics behind the best way of carrying coffee without causing spillages.
‘In our busy lives, almost all of us have to walk with a cup of coffee. While often we spill the drink, this familiar phenomenon has never been explored systematically,’ the abstract of the paper entitled ‘Walking with coffee: Why does it spill?’ states.
‘Here we report on the results of an experimental study of the conditions under which coffee spills for various walking speeds and initial liquid levels in the cup.’

Rouslan Krechetnikov, a mechanical engineer at the university, and his graduate student, Hans Mayer, explored the phenomenon by conducting a series of experiments.
They monitored a person walking at different speeds along a straight path while holding a full mug of coffee and either focusing on the mug, or looking straight ahead.

A camera recorded the volunteer’s motion, while a tiny sensor on the mug recorded the instant of spillage, according to ScienceNOW.
The research, published in the journal Physical Review E, found that in average sized mugs the coffee’s natural frequency was the same as a person’s gait, which caused the liquid to oscillate.
The spillages were most likely between a coffee carrier’s seventh and tenth step, according to Live Science.
Following their discovery, the mechanical engineers had some advice for coffee drinkers. They said leaving a large gap between the coffee and the top of the drinking vessel, and walking slower, prevents spillages.
They added that watching the mug, rather than the floor, while carrying it proved to be a more effective coffee-holding method.
Well, allrighty then. Don't fill the cup completely full, walk slower, and watch the cup to prevent spillage*. Who'd a thunk it? Pure genius. As Letterman is fond of saying:
“There is no off position on the genius switch.”
Didja see just which state this amazing and valuable research took place? That would be the levelheaded locus of taxes and spending - California. They're only 16 billion in the hole, and bankruptcy is just around the corner - unless Governor Moonbeam pulls a rabbit outta his hat.

Yannow, it's just a few hundred grand here and there - that's not gonna add up or anything, 'specially when it's not your money. I mean, y'all don't have to get serious about a budget, now do ya?

H/T Dave Barry

*Of course, if one is using a styrofoam cup, one could always use a plastic lid. There. I just just saved a hundred grand or so. I expect a check in the mail tout suite.


Cathy Monroe said...

Over 50 years ago on my first job back when secretaries got the coffee, we were told that if we didn't look at the cup, the coffee wouldn't spill. They were right and that knowledge didn't cost anything.

lisa said...

Sound advice, Cathy, and the same goes for most of anything else, like walking, riding horse ect.

lotta joy said...

Well howdy. There's only one cure for stupidity: more studies!!

Will there be future tests regarding "don't run with scissors" and its effects on eyeballs?

creakypavillion said...

About a plastic cup lid and your expected fee...where were you in 2005?!

Jeffro said...

Oh, now that's funny!