Monday, February 27, 2006

Mathematical Dog

Dogs can do Calculus:

When Elvis and Pennings go to the beach, they always play fetch. Standing at the water's edge, Pennings throws a tennis ball out into the waves, and Elvis eagerly retrieves it. When Pennings throws the ball at an angle to the shoreline, Elvis has several options. He can run along the beach until he is directly opposite the ball, then swim out to get it. Or he can plunge into the water right away and swim all the way to the ball. What happens most the time, however, is that Elvis runs part of the way along the beach, then swims out to the ball.
Depending on the dog's running and swimming speeds, the strategy that Elvis follows appears to minimize the time that it takes to get to the ball. Indeed, Pennings found by experiment that Elvis performs in a way that closely matches a calculus-based mathematical model of the situation.

Take that ya stupid cat-lovers. Not only are dogs way cooler, but they can do freakin' CALCULUS. Brilliance.

Hat Tip: Corner, and check this post out, too.

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