Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self-Righting Wastepaper Basket

to keep out those damned cats at night
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Every morning, I wake to see my kitchen wastepaper basket tipped and its contents spilled. I know this was either done by pirates or by my mischevious cats looking for some plastic wrapper that still smells of old shrimp. Or a plastic straw. Or old fruit. Anything really, will give them a motivation to tip over my trash can and make themselves sick by licking the contents.

This problem would be solved (or at least put off, knowing the malicious cunning of the house cat) by attatching a weighted inverted dome on the bottom. The trash can would sway gently when pawed by those ill-intented beasties, but not tip without much provocation, and even so, after the said beasties remove themselves from the trash can, it will right itself once again.

This would also be useful for human clumsiness, as the bin would rock and spin without toppling if accidentally kicked, when you were in fact trying to kick one of your damned cats.

jellydoughnut, Aug 01 2006

Damn cat in trash bin http://images.repla...00147254S0062T2.jpg
this is the kind of malicious schemeing beast that plagues me [jellydoughnut, Aug 01 2006]

Mathematicians construct new self-righting object http://blog.science..._knock_it_down.html
Funny article, even if you don't like math. [jutta, Aug 02 2007]

[link]






       + but it doesn't //keep out those damned cats at night// does it.
skinflaps, Aug 01 2006
  

       I only said it wouldn't because those cats are so clever, they will eventually find a way to do whatever they want. They're like squirrels or magpies that way. What I meant is this would be a great deturent and even after they've figured out that they have to jump into it from above and hold onto it as it sinks (something a cat will not be very likely do to as they flee as soon as they see that they have tipped something over and come back to it later), it might be so difficult that they simply won't bother with it.
jellydoughnut, Aug 01 2006
  

       You've designed something that responds to a swipe by bobbing about randomly... to discourage cats?
wagster, Aug 01 2006
  

       [wagster] has a valid point, my friend. If you put dangling feathers all along the rim to furthur discourage them, that might work.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Aug 01 2006
  

       The cats aren't going to be discouraged from swiping it, but it will be nearly impossible to topple. The cats can bat it about all they want, but it won't tip. The self-righting feature is not implemented to discourage the little bastards but, instead, to inhibit them.
jellydoughnut, Aug 01 2006
  

       What about a Self-righteous Wastepaper Basket...   

       "Excuse me feline, I'm performing a useful service here! And I think a clean floor is more important than your amusement, don't you?"
wagster, Aug 01 2006
  

       what good is this if pirates are responsible? i mean, this happens late at night, and you yourself said it might be pirates instead. so, how to discourage the pirates. hmmm.
tcarson, Aug 01 2006
  

       All you need to do is (somehow) make the basket's center of gravity several feet below floor level.
ed, Aug 01 2006
  

       //All you need to do is (somehow) make the basket's center of gravity several feet below floor level.//   

       Well that is easy. Just drill a hole through the floor, attach a stick to the bottom of the waste bin, then glue a few feathers to the bottom of the stick.
Galbinus_Caeli, Aug 01 2006
  

       I believe that this would also keep out pirates, given that the trash can was black and carried a katana and a throwing star. The wobble would trick the pirates into beleiving the can is a small ninja, and being cowards, they would flee.
jellydoughnut, Aug 02 2006
  

       I have a store of (used) solder. I prefer to collect the waste from the bench, rather than let the lead containing metal be swept away with the waste.   

       It is heavy, being mostly lead. I shall try to attach a hemispherical bottom (plastic?) to my wastepaper basket and weight it down with the store of lead.   

       The centre of gravity does not have to be several feet below the point of support. All that it needs is that the centre of gravity gets raised when the basket is forced away from the vertical. This can be realised by making the centre of gravity lower than the centre of radius of the bottom sphere.
neelandan, Aug 02 2006
  

       This idea definitely needs to mention Weebls somewhere, because Weebls always wobble.....
Sadly this would be no good for my pair of problem (solving) Burmese, they would be likely to draw up schematics for stabilising tripods, and have it assembled in time for my arrival home in the evening, either that or employ ninja pirates to acrobatically extract paper from the bin for their amusement!
You almost got boned for that comment about kicking cats at the end, but then I thought about the other day when I came back to what can only be described as the remains of a frat party from hell with two innocent looking kitties staring up at me, so Ill let you off!
The_Englishman_Abroad, Aug 02 2006
  

       On a more serious note, I actually do have about ten pounds of stones in my kitchen trash can, under the bag, just to keep the cats from knocking it over. Drops the center of gravity and works really well. But my cats are not trying to get into the garbage, just use the can as a launching pad.
Galbinus_Caeli, Aug 02 2006
  
      
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