Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Duck Throwing???

Some of you may have noticed, if you've known me for a couple years, that whenever I go to a park and there are ducks, I take pictures of them. I don't particularly like ducks, but they're there and they usually sit still long enough to take pictures of them. Ducks aren't like other birds who fly away as soon as you're within 15 feet, they'll stick around for a bit to see if you have anything to feed them. I might have already put up pictures of ducks in my previous albums, I don't remember for sure. If I did, someone probably wondered why I put up a picture of a duck instead of another picture of a castle. I don't really know why.

But my point is, that I come across ducks in everyday life fairly often. Usually when I go someplace with water. (Duh.) And when I do see these ducks, if I have a camera on me, I take a picture of them. So I probably have a fairly extensive collection of duck pictures. No reason really, I just do. I don't usually think about ducks other than when I see them or when I am looking at pictures I have taken of ducks.

For some reason however, last night I had a dream. In this dream, there were ducks. There were also other things, like boats and buildings and a lake and people and rain. Ok, so it's a normal dream, I'm on a lake in a boat when it's raining. There are ducks. Why are there ducks? Because it's a lake. Lakes have ducks.

Except, it was more of a canal, and I was actually walking in the water which was only waist-chest deep. It varied. It was also raining, and me and whoever I was with were trying to get to a building with a patio with people on it to get out of the rain. Suddenly, a couple ducks float by. Not swim, just float. They don't really care where they're going. So whoever I'm with (I really don't remember who it was/was supposed to be) picks one up. The duck doesn't care that it's being held by some person, it's happy as a duck can be. The guy hefts it a bit, and then THROWS IT LIKE A FOOTBALL. And the duck doesn't try to get out of the spin by opening it's wings and flying away, it just spirals through the air like a football. Then it hits the side of a boat, bounces off, and swims away, no harm done. Whoever I'm with then picks up the other duck, and proceeds to throw it too. Again, just like a football. This one lands by the building we're trying to get to, and some people look up wondering why a duck flew through the air without flying.

It's at this point that I wake up, and immediately start wondering if a duck really would fly like a football if you threw it. I mean, ducks are probably fairly aerodynamic if their feet are tucked up. That just leaves the problem of their head, but I guess if it was sleeping and had it tucked back under its wing it might work. Jake says that if this ever happened to a duck that it'd just stick its wings out and fly away.

So, my question to all of you is:
Would ducks spiral like a football if you threw one?
(This is assuming you know how to throw a football to get it to spiral correctly. I can't. Half the time it goes end over end. Yes, pathetic, I know.)
((Also, football==American football, not soccer))

Leave your opinion in the comments, best answer gets a postcard.
And if anyone can provide me with mathematical calculations showing what would happen, you get a postcard and something else. Not sure what that something is.
Make me a computer simulation of a duck being thrown, you get all of the above and I'll make you cookies.

EDIT: Wanted to throw in a disclaimer--- No ducks were harmed in the making of my dream (that I know of), and I do not condone harming animals. Please don't go out and actually try this.
Also, if you never looked at my blog before, read the rest of it too! It has pictures and stories of far away lands.


aleeza said...

First of all, I love you.

Ok, now to start working on this.

Anonymous said...

It would just fly away.

- Lambert

Katherine said...

HA. First of all, I want whatever drugs you're taking that make you have such awesome dreams.

Secondly, my very limited knowledge of physics and aerodynamics says YES, of course they would!

This sad lack of physics ability also prevents me from drawing diagrams and making formulas.

Last of all, I haven't had a CS class (I'm signed up for Advanced Powerpoint!) so there won't be any nifty simulations :(

Someone said...

Solution: Open up the football. Shove the duck in. Re-seal the football, pump if necessary. Throw football. Football will spiral, therefore the duck inside is spiraling, therefore throwing a duck can indeed cause it to spiral like a football.

Anonymous said...

In reality, I think a combination of wind resistance due to feathers/heaviness of a duck would make a duck a less than ideal throwing object. I think a duck would probably throw more like a basketball, or maybe a rock. We should ask Mythbusters.

I think the more important question is, ff a person weighs the same as a duck, can you throw them like a witch? ( Alternatively, how is the trajectory of a laden duck different from a unladen one?)

Lyn said...

This comment is to Becky and Andy. You really need to get this girl some help!

Mallory Ringham said...

Well, from my experience of ducks, when one pulls its feet up and tucks it's head under a wing, it's not exactly football shaped- reason being, the head only goes under one wing, and the other wing still lays nice and flat, so now you have a lopsided duck-football. And a lopsided football doesn't spin very well. So I would say no.

And short of drugging a duck, I doubt you could convince one to tuck itself in, and you'd end up with nasty beak marks all over your hands and arms.
...I don't know what you would drug a duck with...

Anonymous said...

...if you went to the store and got a duck with no feet and no head, it might be frozen, and you might be able to throw it like a football....

And Lyn, we've tried helping her.....

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