Saturday, June 12, 2010

Floating Giraffes

Can giraffes float?

This (and the related "can giraffes swim?") is the question--"one of the biggest scientific questions ever faced by the scientific community"--that scientist Darren Naish discusses in his post on "Testing the flotation dynamics and swimming abilities of giraffes by way of computational analysis".

Skipping to the end, Naish and his collaborator Don Henderson conclude the animals would float at an awkward angle that "looks downright uncomfortable", and therefore "that giraffes can swim, but not at all well."

Naish also goes on a brief rant about how "it isn't widely realised how much work scientists do FOR FREE and FOR FUN, IN THEIR SPARE TIME. "

The whole article is a delightful look at investigating questions that may or may not "have any implications whatsoever for anything".
It goes straight in my Humanity Is Not All Bad (H.I.N.A.B.) file.

I appreciate such cheering up because yesterday I had a wisdom tooth pulled.
Yesterday I was fine, fine, oh so fine, floating like a thing that is designed to float, because I was popping Vicodin.
I love those narcotics.
But today I've scaled back to ibuprofen and am no longer feeling quite so very fine, but rather more like a floating giraffe, I imagine.


ArtSparker said...

It will feel so good when it stops.

The Crow said...

Bless your heart, I hope you feel very much better very much soon!

Margaret said...

I know the floating looks awkward, but I wonder if it feels awkward to the giraffe, or if it feels natural.

Having a tooth pulled can't feel natural; hope you feel better sooner than later.

you were so wise.

Lill said...

Most people do that as teens! Wisdom teeth out, that is. You kept that one a very long time.

I like the HINAB file. Easy to find stuff to put into the "Everybody is sinister except me and the people I like and who like me" file.

Hope you feel better soon -- keep those ice packs coming for the swelling.

Fresca said...

Thanks, all--feeling much better now, 48 hours later.

LILL: I include me and mine in the "sinister" file too. Why should I/we be excluded? Case in point: We use oil. So we are implicated in the BP spill.

MARGARET: The thing is, nobody ever sees giraffes swimming (or floating), so people have assumed that they can't swim.
These scientists say it is physically possible, at least, but maybe they avoid it because it's so cumbersome.

Anonymous said...

You are right, but I tend to love My family and friends unconditionally, even their less-than-desirable traits. It is easier to see the splinter in the eye of others than the beam in one's own. (Or some Biblical something like that.)

Hope you're feeling better!

femminismo said...

Yes, we all hope you are feeling much, much better. I have never had wisdom teeth pulled (knock, knock) but don't feel much smarter for that. I do need a filling on Thursday, however. Forty-five minutes of dread and a whirring drill and then maybe a few more carefree dental years (knock, knock, again).

bink said...

Oddly, the floating giraffe reminds me of Joop swimming. Something he doesn't really like to do.. perhaps because his long snout is the puppy equivalent of a long neck?

And speaking of Joop you should blog about about the plight of lack of pumpkin in the stores right now. Rainbow has a sign that says no pumpkin until September! What is a pumpkin eating dog to do?

Clowncar said...

The scientists actually used the phrase "downright uncomfortable"?

Also, have they ever seen a giraffe do this?

Sorry about your tooth. I try to schedule all my dental appt. at 2:30. Get it? Tooth hurty? Hah!

Fresca said...

BINK: INteresting about Joop---the scientists said that giraffes have heavy heads, which are harder to hold up above water (especially at an awkward angle).
Maybe your long-jawed, fox-biting dog does too!

That's weird about pumpkin--never seemed like a commodity one would run short of.
Sign of the end days?

CLOWN: This scientist's blog post was a re-cap of his scientific paper, so I don't know if he said "downright uncomfortable" in his published paper but he did in the blog.
He's British, so he may have...

I was unclear in my post: no one has come forward who has ever seen a giraffe swim---the consensus is that the "can't" swim.
But these scientists proved that-- in theory at least-- they could... technically speaking.

2:30. Groan. You will make a great dad.

Lill said...

I hope your "tooth hurty" is better. They tend to heal pretty quickly, so I hope that tendency is true here.

I posted a couple of late comments on the June 9 blog and Red Wall Afternoon. Just wanted to be sure you didn't miss them.

Hasta luego!

Fresca said...

LILL: Thanks. I had a set back but am hopefully on the way to full dental health now.

All comments get sent to my e-mail so I never miss any. I appreciate yours: thanks!