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Q&A: 'Cow tipping' is an urban legend

'Cow tipping' is an urban legend

In a story on the front page of the Times on March 18 there was a reference to "cow tipping." What is that?

Legend has it that a single person can sneak up and push over (or tip over) a cow because cows sleep while standing up, have a high center of gravity and weak legs.

There are no shortage of stories and references in movies and computer games referring to "cow tipping." It's often put in the context of rural kids, perhaps emboldened by their favorite beverages, making mischief.

But it would seem this is just another urban legend. Cows don't usually sleep standing up, their knees do not lock and a university study showed it's physically impossible for a single person to tip over a cow. That study, by the University of British Columbia, calculated that it would take at least two people to tip over a cow that did not react when pushed, and four people or more if the cow did react to steady its footing.

If you're interested in how the math works, take a look.

'5th Grader' out for recess

What has happened to Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Fox has benched it while it tries out other shows. Although there's no official word, it might return this summer.

Basketball at the White House

Is there a basketball court at the White House?

There is a very small, single-basket outdoor court at the White House that has been used occasionally by presidents and others over the years.

President Barack Obama, who played basketball for a state championship team in high school, said in an interview with comedian Jimmy Kimmel that he might just replace the White House's indoor bowling alley with a basketball court. The NBA has reportedly offered to help install a court.

So far, there has been no construction started.

The origins of CPR

When was CPR invented? Was anyone credited with bringing CPR to life?

Modern cardiopulmonary resuscitation was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Drs. James Elam and Peter Safar began research in 1956 on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

In early 1960, Drs. William Kouwenhoven, Guy Knickerbocker and James Jude discovered the benefit of chest compression to achieve a small amount of artificial circulation.

Later in 1960, mouth-to-mouth and chest compression were combined to form CPR similar to the way it is practiced today. Safar is credited with putting the steps together and winning worldwide acceptance of CPR. Recent research finds the ideal rhythm for CPR closely mirrors the beats in the Bee Gees song Stayin' Alive.

Q&A: 'Cow tipping' is an urban legend 04/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 6:07pm]
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