25 January 2006

Jumping Jeho-mouse!

Not only is the Bush administration at it again, trying to redefine and endangered jumping mouse species as a common jumping mouse so that Western prairie can be developed, but they've even decided to hire the bad scientist whose work originally claimed that it was a non-endangered species. Thankfully new evidence is debunking that before the developers break ground.

However my main question in this all is - how can the mouse "abruptly switch directions in mid-flight"? That's totally against conservation of momentum! To change directions, it'd need a horizontal force, and the only thing it can push against is the air, so that's not all that likely. Divers can tumble in the air, but they can't suddenly "switch directions" entirely.

2 comments:

Allison said...

I'm a little late commenting on this but perhaps what it means is that the mouse has the ability to change the direction it is FACING while in midair - simply a matter of shifting around its centre of mass and using any angular momentum it already has. This is how cats land on their feet when they fall.

zandperl said...

Allison:
You're probably right, but it's poor wording. :-P