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CARTOON LAWS OF PHYSICS
Cartoon Law I: Any body suspended in space will
remain in space until made aware of it's firstname.lastname@example.org situation.
http://www.generation-1.com/~fm/ Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting
further pastureland. He loiters in midair, soliloquizing flippantly,
until he chances to look down. At this point, the familiar principle of
32 feet per second takes over.
Cartoon Law II: Any body in motion will
tend to remain in motion until solid matter intervenes suddenly. Whether
shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, chartoon characters are so
absolute in ther momentum that only a telephone pole or an outsized
boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton called
this sudden termination of motion the Stooge's surcease.
Cartoon Law III:
Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation conforming
to it's perimeter. Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon
is the specialty of victims of direct-pressure explosions and reckless
cowards who are so eager to escape that they exit directly through the
wall of a house, leaving a cookie-cutout perfect hole. The threat of
skunks or matrimony often catalyzes this reaction. Cartoon Law IV: The
time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater than or
equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge to spiral
down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken. Such an object is
inevitably priceless, the attempt to catch it inevitably unsuccessful.
Cartoon Law V: All principles of gravity are negated by fear. Phychic
forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel them directly
away from the earth's surface. A spooky noise or an adversary's signature
sound will induce motion upward, usually to the cradle of a chandlier, a
treetop, or the crest of a flagpole. The feet of a character who is
running or the wheels of a speeding auto need never touch the ground,
especially when in flight.
Cartoon Law VI: As speed increases, objects
can be in several places at once. This is particularly true of tooth and
claw fights, in which a character's head may be glimpsed emerging from the
cloud of altercation at several places simultaneously. This effect is
common as well among bodies that are spinning or being throttled. A
'wacky' character has the option of self-replication only at manic high
speeds and may ricochet off walls to achieve the velocity required.
Cartoon Law VII: Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to
resemble tunnel entrances, others cannot. This trompe l'oeil
inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least it is known that
whoever paints an entrance on a wall's surface to trick an opponent will
be unable to pursue him into this theoretical space. The painter is
flattened against the wall when he attempts to follow into the painting.
This is ultimately the problem of art, not science.
Cartoon Law VIII: A violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.
Cartoon catspossess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives might
comfortably afford. They can be decimated, spliced, splayed, accordian-pleated,
spindled or disassembled, but they cannot be destroyed. After a few
seconds of blinking self-pity, they reinflate, elongate, snap back, or
solidify. Corollary: A cat will assume the shape of it's container.
Cartoon Law IX: Everything falls faster than an anvil.
Cartoon Law X:
For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance. This is
the one law of animated cartoon motion that applies to the physical world
at large. For that reason, we need the relief of watching it happen to a
Cartoon Law Amendment A: A sharp object will always propel a
character upaward. When poked (usually in the buttocks) with a sharp
object (usually a pin) a character will defy gravity by shooting straight
up, with great velocity.
Cartoon Law Amendment B: The laws of object
permanence are nullified for 'cool' characters. Characters who are
intended to be 'cool' can make previously non-existent objects appear from
behind their backs at will. For instance, the road runner can materialize
signs to express himself without speaking.
Cartoon Law Amendent C:
Gravity is transmitted by slow moving waves of large wavelength. Their
operation can be witnessed by observing the behavior of a canine suspended
over a large vertical drop. It's feet will begin to fall first, causing
it's legs to stretch. As the wave reaches it's torso, that part will
begin to fall, causing the neck to stretch. As the head begins to fall,
tension is released and the canine will resume it's regular proportions
until such a time as it strikes the ground.
Cartoon Law Amendment D:
Explosive weapons cannot cause fatal injuries. They merely turn
characters temporarily black and smoky.
Cartoon Law Amendment E:
Dynamite is spontaneoulsy generated in "C-spaces" (spaces in which cartoon
laws hold). This process is analagous to steady-state theories of the
universe which postulate that the tensions involved in maintaining a space
would cause the creation of hydrogen from nothing. Dynamite quanta are
quite large (stick sized) and unstable (lit). Such quanta are attracted
to psychic forces generated by feelings of distress in cool characters
(see amendment B which may be a special case of this law), who are able to
use said quanta to their advantage. One may imagine C-spaces where all
matter and energy result from primal masses of dynamite exploding. A big
Way back when Captain Cook discovered Australia, some Brit asked a local
aborigine what that strange looking animal was. The aborigine responded,
"Kangaroo", which loosely translated means, "I don't have any idea what
you're talking about."