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De Selby's Domino Theory Apparatus

the feather that topples a 40 ton container
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Written in continuing honour of De Selby, (of Flann O'Brien's Third Policeman fame.)

A cigarette paper will balance on one edge if placed in nearly perfect conditions. Even the wind from a feather would knock it over.

The positioning of the paper needs to be absolutely immaculate, to prevent it from falling forward and toppling the banknote similarly placed beside it.

If this note falls, it will in turn knock down the postcard, and then the piece of plywood beside that.

Each of the objects assembled is marginally bigger and heavier than the one preceding it in the line, but is capable of being de-stabilised by the one before, due to its added momentum acquired in the act of falling over.

At the end of the line of gradually increasing objects is a shipping container, placed on one of its ends like a single domino.

In this way the wind from a single feather will, by a process of sequentiality, knock over a 40 ton container.

xenzag, Jan 23 2007

Honest! It wasn't my fault, guv! http://www.containe...s/italflorida01.JPG
Look, I've told you time and time again: No, and I mean NO breathing on this job. Got it? [Ling, Jan 24 2007, last modified Aug 10 2010]

guinness ad http://www.creative...ve-guinness-ad-ever
[senatorjam, Aug 09 2010]

[link]






       Ideally the chain of events would start with a single vagrant photon, in the infrared range.
bungston, Jan 23 2007
  

       Photons have zero mass, so they wouldn't transfer any momentum, but I thought of extending the idea in the direction of a single Higgs Boson. Those boson are heavy, but it would be too hard to control then, as they are far too unruly.
xenzag, Jan 23 2007
  

       Xenzag, You are right that photons have no mass, but they do have momentum, and can transfer it (although miniscule amounts per collision.)
molecat, Jan 24 2007
  

       Unruly Bosuns?   

       Arrr! Make 'em topple the plank!
m_Al_com, Jan 24 2007
  

       "Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes and man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."   

       DE SELBY
wagster, Jan 24 2007
  

       Yes, the domino scene. But variations are welcome.
django, Jan 24 2007
  

       Haven't seen Robots - but will watch out for it now.
xenzag, Jan 24 2007
  

       Would it be that in somesuch part of the process of tumbling, one of the earthwards travelling items or objects might or might not be a bicycle, velocipede or penny-farthing? By dad! That would be a thing!
wagster, Jan 26 2007
  

       I think there is also a car commercial along this line
senatorjam, Aug 09 2010
  

       //Even the wind from a feather would knock it over// - actually, used properly, feathers are capable of generating a surprising amount of wind. Some theories suggest that a number of feathers, if waved about in a coordinated way, would generate sufficient 'wind' to allow a small animal to achieve powered flight for a period.
hippo, Aug 09 2010
  

       I think you'll find that my idea preceded that Guinnness advert by several months.... the advert, made by Nicolai Fuglsig, came out in Nov 07 in fact. Of course the thought process belongs to the great De Selby, in who's dept I will always remain. (He's stopped accepting payment)
xenzag, Aug 09 2010
  
      
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