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On the rheology of cats (2014) [pdf] (drgoulu.com)
95 points by rbanffy 52 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments



It seems the article's author won the 2017 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics for 'using fluid dynamics to probe the question "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?"' The prize announcement[0] cites the current article.

Also relevant, down-thread, plink mentions the Bonsai Kitten[1] hoax from nearly 18 years ago now.

[0]https://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2017

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonsai_Kitten


I'm pretty sure Bonsai kitten was a thing long before 2000. I remember seeing it as early as 1996, perhaps even 1995. It may not have had a domain name at that time, but it was certainly doing the rounds in the mid 90's.


Apropos my last comment, it was also around the time of "Fun With Grapes" which originally lived here:

http://www.sci.tamucc.edu/~pmichaud/grape

but now preserved by the author:

http://www.pmichaud.com/grape/

I think this was one of the first things I visited on the web with my Windows 3.1 PC running Trumpet Winsock circa late '94 :)


rheology: The branch of physics that deals with the deformation and flow of matter, especially the non-Newtonian flow of liquids and the plastic flow of solids

Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/rheology


Thanks!


> In the absence of reliable extensional rheology data, we can only point to the fact that when cats are deformed along their principal axis, they tend to relax more easily, suggesting that the extensional time is smaller than the shear time. Transient strain-hardening can nonetheless occur. Second, because, flows of cats are usually free surface flows, the surface tension between the cat and its surrounding medium can be important


Also, in my observations, addition of energy to the extended felis silvestris catus system, such as by rubbing, especially against the natural orientation of the external excessively cleaned heat retention system, one can experience an effect opposite of flash freezing, where the "tolerance" parameter of the feline goes supercritical far faster than the human eye - or hand - can observe. This experiment is eminently repeatable, subject to experimenter's total blood supply, though the aforementioned tolerance factor usually takes some time to reach an otherwise non-objectively measured reset state.


An oft-repeated, and understandable, assumption in such research is that it's a 'tolerance' factor as opposed to some other, less anthropomorphically satisfying, and potentially unpalatable, variable. There is a dearth of research on the motivations behind the feline inclination towards literally biting the hand that feeds.

The violent and aggressive feline reproductive spectacle provides the uncomfortable theory that this 'tolerance' factor may actually be 'arousal'. Pitching this research topic has not yet yielded any funding; or at least any funding that didn't come with conditions with which the researchers felt they could comply.


This certainly fit my modelling and research I've the last few decades.


And surely catnip greatly perturbs cat distribution and thus surface tension.


I had long wondered about the feline anisotropy tensor, this makes it more formal.


Case study support for this hypothesis available here: https://www.reddit.com/r/catsareliquid/


Hah! reminiscent of the defunct bonzai kitten website!




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