Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dog Orrery

Inspired by [xenzag]'s Calder Dog Walker
  (+9, -5)
(+9, -5)
  [vote for,

First, construct a very large orrery, say, 30-50 yards in diameter. In place of the planets & moons, put dog harnesses, and in the harnesses put ... class? Yes? That's right, dogs. Jupiter will be a St. Bernard, Iapetus a chiuaua, and so on.

You now have two options:

1) Spend years painstakingly training an assortment of dogs to walk round their appointed orbits at exactly the right speed. After many failures, finally succeed in making a 90 second video. Upload to YouTube. Bask in your 15 minutes of fame.

2) Collect an assortment of appropriately sized dogs whose only other qualification is that they're good natured. Provide minimal training. Fasten into harnesses, then dip the entire contraption into a pond or swimming pool, and let the dogs paddle 'round in circles.

mouseposture, Feb 13 2010

Orrery http://www.youtube....watch?v=xToOPSPm7xA
[mouseposture, Feb 13 2010]

Nine crystal yo-yos http://books.google...=onepage&q=&f=false
[mouseposture, Feb 13 2010]

Teaching ravens to fly underwater http://www.epicure....n.co.uk/ravens.html
[mouseposture, Feb 13 2010]

Egorrery egorrery
Another splendid orrery idea. [wagster, Feb 14 2010]

Elsa http://www.warman.d...k/anna/att_int.html
[xenzag, Feb 16 2010]

The Cat/human interface http://www.youtube....watch?v=w0ffwDYo00Q
VERY funny and very true [xenzag, Feb 16 2010]


       The right kind of neurological deficit would get them to walk in circles, but the problem would be getting them to move in ellipses instead. It seems the scale would be logarithmic. What base were you thinking of using?
nineteenthly, Feb 13 2010

       [-] insufficient cruelty to cats.
8th of 7, Feb 13 2010

       [ninteenthly]//What base were you thinking of using?// Mahogony, with a nice brass plaque. (Orrerys move in circles, not elipses. They're models of Ptolomeic or Copernican astronomy. Hence the Ciardi link.)
mouseposture, Feb 13 2010

       I can think of no reason why this could possibly not fail to work. If you build it, I will come. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 13 2010

       Touche, [mouseposture]! In that case, what about epicycles? Should the whole thing be like one of those fairground teacup rides?
nineteenthly, Feb 13 2010

       epicycle = dog with choc drop stuck on tip of tail.   

       (Bun available - awaiting "pointless cruelty to cats" element of idea)
8th of 7, Feb 13 2010

       "insufficient cruelty to cats."
Stack 'em in a pile and set 'em on fire - instant sun.
phoenix, Feb 13 2010

       [8th of 7] All right, I'm willing to prostitute my genius for a croissant. How about a feline Halley's comet?: suspend a cat, in a flying harness, from a long, long cord, and let it swing, pendulum-wise, in an eccentric ellipse, inches above the slavering jaws of the dogs.   

       On second thought, no, I can't do it. This was supposed to be a light-hearted idea. The above shall not be canon.
mouseposture, Feb 13 2010

       I like the cat idea, but you should leave the canon in.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 13 2010

       [21Q], That link has made my day. Did the concept for this carrier originate from the HB? I couldn't find it on [8th]'s profile ...
MikeD, Feb 14 2010

       [8th of 7]//houses heated and lit by huge windmills with cats nailed to the tips of the blades rubbing on glass rods//I am just not in your league when it comes to ailurophobia.
mouseposture, Feb 14 2010

       We can do it for you wholesale ...   

       Besides, it's not actually ailurophobia as such, which is defined as "a persistent, irrational fear of cats".   

       We do not fear cats. We hate cats, which is something quite different, and entirely rational, cats being the filthy verminous amoral hyperallergenic panhandlers that they are.   

       We loath and detest cats, but have no fear of them; how else can we approach close enough to convert them for the extra two points ?
8th of 7, Feb 14 2010

       It seems to have been a successful evolutionary strategy for cats to hook onto human affection for them, but their relationship is closer to parasitism than dogs'. Nevertheless i prefer cats to dogs because i can anthropomorphise their behaviour as more self-respectful.
nineteenthly, Feb 14 2010

       The cat was venerated in ancient Egypt, and those who mistreated any cat, was rightfully executed. If I caught anyone abusing a cat, I would burst both their kneecaps with a lump hammer, and plant a virulent strain of fast growing weed in the gory mess that remained. This is a traditional form of punishment where I come from.
xenzag, Feb 14 2010

       If I caught anyone abusing my cat, there probably wouldn't be a lot left of them by the time I reached them.
wagster, Feb 14 2010

       If you can't hurt cats what then do you feed your dogs?
rcarty, Feb 14 2010

       //If you can't hurt cats what then do you feed your dogs?// Burglars.
mouseposture, Feb 14 2010

       Braised venison, smoked salmon, roast duck and pate de foie gras.   

       How they do suffer ...   

       // their relationship is closer to parasitism than dogs //   

       True ... closer to parasitism than many life forms, including tapeworms, faecal coliforms, and malaria.
8th of 7, Feb 14 2010

       It's as unfair to mistreat a cat as it is a dog, or any other mammal, because whatever we may project onto them, they're just our own interpretations of behaviour which is instinctive to them. They don't have the freedom to behave otherwise most of the time. There may be a few exceptions, but in general the common response to such an animal behaving in a manner which we find dangerous is simply to kill it, not to cause it long-term suffering.   

       But how far can you take this? I can see it applying to mammals fairly uncontroversially, but what about guinea worms?
nineteenthly, Feb 14 2010

       // It's as unfair to mistreat a cat as it is a dog, or any other mammal //   

       Dogs are loyal, noble and intelligent, and far nicer than most humans. Cats can (and do) bugger off if they want to (and so they should).   

       // i prefer cats to dogs //   

       Your name's going in the Big Book then, chummy...   

       // This is a traditional form of punishment where I come from //   

       Tell us more. We know so little about East Anglia ...   

       // an animal behaving in a manner which we find dangerous is simply to kill it, not to cause it long-term suffering //   

       But what about politicians ? Yes, they are poikilothermic, and have a secondary brain near the base of their spine (if any), but that's certainly no reason to withold excessive pointlessly cruel and gratuitously unnecessary pain and violence.   

       // But how far can you take this? //   

       Well, it depends on how long you can keep them alive.   

       // guinea worms? //   

       They're just doing what they need to do to live. It's an ecological niche. They don't do it deliberately, or claim expenses on a second home they've already paid for, or get the voters to pay for carpet cleaning and duck houses....
8th of 7, Feb 14 2010

       //carpet cleaning and duck houses//   

       Carpet cleaning AND duck houses??? Arrrgh! Damn and blast!!! I thought it was carpet cleaning IN duck houses. Bugger - clearly I owe Jeremy an apology.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 14 2010

       There is a problem with this, in that it cannot represent out- of-plane orbits, such as that of Pluto.   

       Therefore, perhaps a fish-based orrery would be more better.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 14 2010

       Yes, but how do I get harnesses on the little buggers?
mouseposture, Feb 15 2010

       Here Comet.
Here boy!

       Mickey Mouse's pet dog is named Pluto.
rcarty, Feb 15 2010

       Cats are superior beings, something of which they are well aware.   

       Cat fur can smell of vanilla, whereas dog hair will smell of whatever festering object on which it has recently rolled around ie cow shit, dead carcass etc (cat smell personally verified, dog smell I leave to owners to confirm)
xenzag, Feb 15 2010

       [MB], if the dogs were trained to pilot little subs, they could maybe float around in different planes. I don't think Pluto is the main problem with this idea because the orbits aren't even elliptical, so i would say that what's being emulated here predates Kepler and even the discovery of Uranus, let alone Pluto.   

       Politicians? Well, i think the expenses claims rather fall into insignificance compared to all the other stuff they do. It's not that they're OK, just that they're pretty unimportant compared to the rest of what goes on.
nineteenthly, Feb 15 2010

       Yes, it's interesting that buying unnecessary duck-ponds seems to have attracted the same level of outrage as starting unnecessary wars.
wagster, Feb 15 2010

       The cat v. dog debate is silly. It's baseless in that people desire different qualities in a companion, and this will ultimately be the final measure.   

       However, there is one undeniable truth that all cat lovers neglect to consider: Cats are only viable companions when they are small in size. That's why all domesticated cats are small, very few can even be considered medium sized.   

       While some dogs can be dangerous if their size is large this is largely correlated to poor ownership. The only thing keeping the calculating cat from killing is its small size.
rcarty, Feb 16 2010

       //Mickey Mouse's pet dog is named Pluto// I thought that was *Goofy's* dog.
mouseposture, Feb 16 2010

       Goofy was a dog.
rcarty, Feb 16 2010

       //The only thing keeping the calculating cat from killing is its small size.// Only partly true.... check out "Born Free" Even after being released back into the bush, Elsa would periodically return to the camp of Joy and George Adamson, and behave exactly like a large domestic cat.   

       You can read the description of this amazing animal sneaking into naturalist David Attenborough's tent and sleeping on top of him - a great story by a great man. (see link)
xenzag, Feb 16 2010

       [rcarty]//Goofy was a dog.// So he was. They were both dogs (but you're right, Pluto was Mickey's pet, not Goofy's. I should have done more research).
mouseposture, Feb 16 2010

       Pluto should've had a dog too.   

       I'm pretty sure cats do more damage to the local ecosystem than dogs, because dogs are more social. Therefore, they hang out with their owners, who tend to restrain their behaviour. By contrast, cats are out unsupervised and so able to devastate the local wildlife. This could presumably be solved by having indoor cats or taking them for walks.   

       Dogs evolved with us, i think (i.e. my personal opinion, not necessarily well-founded). Cats merely take advantage of our presence, and are more commensal than symbiotic, which is what dogs are.   

       Cats are less potentially harmful to most people, but more people are allergic to cats, even fatally so.   

       I prefer cats.
nineteenthly, Feb 16 2010

       Yeah but what is a cat though?
rcarty, Feb 16 2010

       Fissipedal obligate carnivores with horny lingual papillae and whiskers, which physiologically exhibit the Flehmen response.
nineteenthly, Feb 16 2010

       If you had two of these, but one was more like an orrery than the other, would it be orreryer? Would the better one be more orreryy?
bungston, Feb 16 2010

       [bungston] Yes, and if the dogs walk round a full cycle so the orrery returns to it's starting configuration, that's an orerryyear. Happens fairly rarely.
mouseposture, Feb 16 2010

       Should i shut up about my bloody evening classes, [Ian]?   

       Cats sort of evolved with us too, in a way. I imagine our debris attracting rodents, which in turn attracted cats, particularly after the event of agriculture, but i think they've not changed as much or had much influence on us genetically.
nineteenthly, Feb 17 2010

       Why dogs? Surely an Ottery Orrery would have been more logical.
hippo, Feb 17 2010

       Sorry, but really it should be a Sean Conerry orrery, located on a lorry, parked in a quarry.
zen_tom, Feb 17 2010

       Perhaps famous astronomers should be given an honorary (sp: corrected, thank you hippo) orrery?
DrBob, Feb 17 2010

       If this took off, you could stage a performance by singers and musicians of a dramatic work set to classical music about it.
hippo, Feb 17 2010

       [hippo] I saw what you did there.   

       There have been so many orrery-related ideas posted, lately, that [jutta] may have to declare an orerry moratorium.
mouseposture, Feb 18 2010

       What, an ottery orrery oratorio moratorium? That would make us all very sorrery.
jurist, Feb 18 2010

       // [jutta] may have to declare an orerry moratorium. //   

       Either that or a new categorrery.
nineteenthly, Feb 18 2010

       Cat Ego Orrery - a spinning series of concentric ellipses powered entirely by the unfiltered (but taxonomically organised) desires of a sample of felines.
zen_tom, Feb 18 2010

       [bungston], you'll have to decide what qualities make something an orrery. Then, 'orreriness' may manifest in the expression of these qualities. What makes a chair different from a door? What makes them different from an orrery? This is a rather peculiar playpen for dogs for people who don't understand outer space.
daseva, Feb 18 2010

       The thing is, i'm often sitting here with FB on one tab and the HB on another, switching between them. If a lot of people are doing that, we could end up treating this place as if it's a social networking site. Then again, it could introduce HB-style memes to Facebook, which i think is a good thing.
nineteenthly, Feb 18 2010

       [+] Because [mouseposture].   

       (...and "pointless cruelty to cats"...)
Grogster, Dec 15 2016


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