Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Long skinny toast

Butter side up
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The reason toast always lands butter side down is because of it's moment of inertia and the height of your counter. We can consider counter height to be fixed, as changing it dramatically will not be comfortable. Therefore, we should change the moment of inertia of the toast. Bread should come in long skinny loaves with long skinny slices. Rotating about the long axis, a well designed slice will make a complete rotation before landing. Rotating about the short axis, it will make less than a quarter rotation. Both cases leave you with the butter side up.

Of course, this leaves less uncrusted bread area and the need for redesigned toasters, but safety usually comes at a cost.

Worldgineer, Feb 04 2005

Inward shrinking shirts Oddly enough, inspired here. [Worldgineer, Feb 04 2005]

Drawing? Are you serious? http://www.tildas.c...choc%20biscotti.jpg
Let's use our imagination instead. It'll look like this, only with a rectangular profile. And a bit thinner. [Worldgineer, Feb 04 2005, last modified Feb 05 2005]

Mass Moment of Inertia http://www.efunda.c...me=RectangularBlock
Using this and bread density you can determine the appropriate shape. [Worldgineer, Feb 05 2005]

Baragami http://members.aol....ewtrah/baragami.htm
"DEDICATED TO THE ANCIENT WELSH DECORATIVE ART OF BARAGAMI" [prufrax, Feb 05 2005]

[link]






       Would this really work? Does it do this because of something else? Or is it just like shirt shrinkage, it always shrinks shorter? (Or in this case, lands butter side down?)   

       :)   

       Though it seems like you're talking french bread.   

       Drawing, please.
DesertFox, Feb 04 2005
  

       Well, that's what I was thinking. I've seen rectangular bread like that, so it sadly is baked, no pun intended.
DesertFox, Feb 04 2005
  

       Has your bread been designed to fall correctly? Or is it possible it was too skinny, resulting in more than one rotation, or too fat, resulting in less than one?   

       Mine would be designed to be Butter Safe™, and would be marketed as such.
Worldgineer, Feb 04 2005
  

       "Butter Safe than Sorry"
sophocles, Feb 05 2005
  

       Great work, [soph]. I want you on my marketing team.
Worldgineer, Feb 05 2005
  

       Would it not be simpler to engineer a profiled butter-knife so that it imprints the image of a cat's back into the butter as it is spread?
Basepair, Feb 05 2005
  

       We would then have to embark on a campaign to re-shape the public's expectation of what a piece of toast should look like. Given the masses of humanity involved in toasting rituals, this could be very costly.   

       This money should be spent on an entirely different project. I would advocate modifying the starch and fiber format of the crust zone of the toastable medium to function as a folded parachute.   

       A fiber-based velocity-sensitive trigger mechanism could jettison the chute in the event of a toastfall. The toast could be gently landed on a butter-free side.
normzone, Feb 05 2005
  

       I say develop a toast-buttering station that butters the bottom of the toast.
tiromancer, Feb 05 2005
  

       This doesn't explain why when I drop toast on the table or even the countertop--greatly varied heights--it yet falls butter side down.   

       Also, this idea assumes that the rotational energy given the toast at launch is unvarying and I think that that is a way naive assumption.
bristolz, Feb 05 2005
  

       Hmmmm, you've got a point there. We might have to market bread in different toaster-type rating classes. Not to mention periodic toaster calibration.
normzone, Feb 05 2005
  

       Long skinny toast plates would need to be devised to counter crumbs. Great for fondue parties and animals with long skinny faces.
benfrost, Feb 05 2005
  

       ...so horses, aardvaark, armadillos and anteaters have got it licked! (The Toast, that is)
gnomethang, Feb 05 2005
  

       Changing the shape of bread would also necessitate the invention of a whole new range of baragami designs...
prufrax, Feb 05 2005
  

       Counter height may be fixed in each house, but it will vary from home to home. Consequently, bread should be produced in a range of sizes, each optimised to give a different moment of inertia.
david_scothern, Feb 05 2005
  

       Could one not make butter frothed with hydrogen or helium, thereby shifting the centre of mass towards the non- buttered side? Hydrogen would be embarrassing for smokers, I guess (crunch-puff-whoooomf). Helium would be a hit with the kids (post-toast mickey-mouse voice). The frothing might also make the butter easier to spread, thereby reducing the spreading-forces required and perhaps reducing the likelihood of inadvertent toast accidents.
Basepair, Feb 05 2005
  

       ...OR...and I think I'm onto something here......just make the bread bigger. I mean like 8' x 4'. A family-sized slice would be very unlikely to acquire enough spin to flip before hitting the floor. Good for toaster manufacturers also.
Basepair, Feb 05 2005
  

       Does a dropped whole pizza fall topping side down?
bristolz, Feb 05 2005
  

       Toast should be dispensed on a continuous conveyor belt with a rectangular holder above it for gravity fed pound blocks of butter. It would be pancake mix made to look like toast but it would not fall onto the floor.
mensmaximus, Feb 05 2005
  

       Heh. Toast batter. I wonder how close to a toasted bread quality one could come.
bristolz, Feb 05 2005
  

       on the pizza question [bris], only if there is white carpet.   

       same principle applies to chocolate cake.
dentworth, Feb 05 2005
  

       //Does a dropped whole pizza fall topping side down? bristolz, Feb 05 2005 //
Deep pan or Crispy Crust? - it's important!
gnomethang, Feb 05 2005
  

       //this idea assumes that the rotational energy given the toast at launch is unvarying// I thought someone might pick up on that. Yes, there's a thousand ways to drop a slice of toast. The bread size should be optimized based on the forces involved in a gentle knock off a counter.   

       I recall a children's science show (Mr. Wizard?) that perfomed a similar experiment. They showed that it always landed butter side down when gently knocked off a counter, then continued up a ladder trying different heights before it would flip all the way over. It surprised them how high you'd have to be for a full flip - which can be explained by the acceleration of gravity.   

       //Does a dropped whole pizza fall topping side down?// This is an experiment I am unwilling to perform.
Worldgineer, Feb 05 2005
  

       I tried it with a frozen pizza in the wrapper. If you give it a good shove, it hardly has a chance to rotate at all. However, I'd guess most pizzas slide slowly off the counter, or are flipped off. In both cases the pizza consistently landed topping-down.   

       A cooked pizza would be lighter, but probably not enough to change the results. In my expereience, delivery pizza will always dump the cheese/toppings before heading for the floor, and the bread lands folded.
tiromancer, Feb 06 2005
  

       Snakes are unlike cats in that they never land on their feet.
Worldgineer, Feb 07 2005
  

       //We're gonna need cats that are 6 feet long and an inch wide.//   

       "Here's one we prepared earlier..."
Detly, Feb 07 2005
  
      
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