Strange egg facts

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This week we bring you a column George Ostrom picked out from 1972 ...

Next to loviní, there isnít anything much better than sincere sympathy. I am unhappy to report that the recent heart rending column about my personal trials and physical suffering has produced very little in the way of deep condolences.

There were a couple of letters saying, ďWe enjoyed your columnÖĒ which I assume means they enjoyed about reading how bravely I faced the ordeal of having the roof of my mouth operated on with a jackhammer.

We got the hospital bill and I suffered a relapse so another doctor is feeding me antibiotics and is standing by for possible emergency transfusions for the day when I get the final bill from the doctor who actually operated.

About a year ago, I read of a professor who decided that in the early days all birds laid their eggs in flight. He then tested the theory by dropping eggs from various heights. Surprisingly, the eggs didnít break and he proved his theory.

Later, I read of some birds in Borneo who made nests with holes in the bottom, yet the species managed to survive, even though their eggs fell to the ground from the high trees. Investigating scientists at first decided that these birds were like many humans, they liked sex but didnít want the responsibilities of parenthood.

Last week I was telling Bob Empie and Al Chandler about these two interesting and related phenomenon and Empie implied I had taken one too many sips of brandy. Thus challenged, I asked the waitress (we were in a nightclub) to bring us a couple of fresh eggs.

Outside, I gave my egg a mighty heave into the air and it splattered in mid air from hitting a power line. Empie laughed at my failure, then threw his egg over the power line and it landed on the ground, intact. We couldnít believe it, so Empie threw it again and it still didnít break.

Back insideÖ Chandler implied we had both had too much brandy, so we took him outside and successfully repeated the experiment. Chandler, being a poor loser, grabbed the egg and threw it at least 25 feet higher than the power line. Again it didnít break.

Back inside, Chandler decided the egg was petrified and hit it on his glass, the egg broke all over and my wife, Iris, took me home. Next day at noon I took two eggs out of the refrig and threw them in the air and they both went end over end and broke on impact, so I tried to remember more about the professorís theory. It had to do with structural shape, temperature, position of falling, position of the yolk, trajectory and equalization of pressure at impact.

Then I set an egg near the heat register and left it there all afternoon. That evening before supper, I threw that egg three times in increasing distances and it didnít break. On the fourth throw, it developed an end over end trajectory and broke on impact.

Iris saw what I was doing and rushed outside. She said several things about what the neighbors would think of a grown man breaking eggs on the lawn, about the high cost of groceries and about not having enough eggs for breakfast tomorrow.

I am now saving for a whole box of eggs of my very own and have decided to sponsor a secret contest to see who can throw eggs the farthest and the highest without breaking them. Persons interested in these exciting proceedings may contact Bob Empie in Kalispell, vice president of SONVET, Society of Non Violent Egg Throwers.

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