Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Notes from the Mad Science Lab: Gravity Belt

Three weeks ago, I completed an anti-gravity belt.

Now, mind you, this was mainly an exercise in design as far as I was concerned. Professor Oddity's work on anti-gravitons was well-documented by the Mad Science Consortium. The man kept copious notes, and the Consortium employed a number of researchers to collect them after his house hit that 747. So this was hardly testing any ground-breaking theories, or even exploring any particularly new avenues of technological achievement.

That said, I was rather proud of the prototype. It's one thing to establish anti-gravity generators in something the size of a house; doing the same thing in something as small and as flexible as a belt required a rather more... elegant... design. Also, unlike Professor Oddity's design, the anti-gravity generators in the belt did more than provide localized lift: they used a Tesla Field to apply the effect throughout the area of an object, and a set of sensors to determine how much power should be applied.

The result was a belt that, when wrapped around an object of the proper composition, would effectively negate the effects of the Earth's gravity on that object. An astronaut could practice zero-gravity movement in the comfort of his or her own living room; accident victims could be lifted and moved almost effortlessly; construction workers would no longer need to fear falling... Even better, I equipped the belt with a power sensor; if the supply began to get low, it would gradually lower the total anti-gravitons produced, and so deliver the wearer gently to the ground.

It worked beautifully, right up until the past weekend... when my son decided that the cat would like to fly.

I first learned of this when he burst into the living room, screaming that Fluffy was gone. Apparently he had wrapped the belt gently around the cat, fastened it in place, carried the cat lovingly into the back yard, and thrown the poor beast like a football. I imagine he expected Fluffy to soar into the sky, and then gradually arc back down to the Earth. Instead, well... the cat continued going up, yowling all the way. The belt, you see, was calibrated for objects of roughly adult human mass and weight. I doubt it could scale down far enough to neutralize the mere weight of a cat, and even if it somehow managed, well, the boy had thrown the cat upwards. Even if the belt was neutralizing the cat's weight, and not providing additional lift, Fluffy wasn't coming back down until the batteries ran out.

At that level of output, that could easily be half an hour, or more. Without knowing the angle of the throw, there was no way to estimate how high the beast might reach.

Fortunately, I have robotic drones that I keep ready for such occasions. Once I understood the problem, I dispatched them immediately. Given the amount of area they had to cover, and the difficulty involved in picking out one lone feline at any sort of range, we were lucky that they found him at all. We were even luckier that they were able to retrieve him before he got high enough to freeze, suffocate, or both.

All's well that ends well, I suppose. Still, Fluffy didn't wait around to hear my son's tearful apology; and, in fact, I don't believe he's come out from under the couch for the last three days. My son is heartbroken, but that's to be expected. I can only hope that he's learned something from this: one should always check the calibration before applying anti-gravity fields to the family pets.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!