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Cure for wobbly table

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Wild Rover
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Cure for wobbly table

Postby Wild Rover » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 1:15 pm

Can't wait to see if this works - and save all that time cramming beer mats under table legs :x

IT IS an irritation matched only by the summer blowfly.

The turkey has been sliced, the bubbly poured and the relatives have taken their seats, ready to tuck into the Christmas feast.

Then, thanks to a wonky floor, the table wobbles, upsetting the wine. Inevitably, someone scrambles for a beer coaster or napkin to stuff under the wayward table leg.

But it is all unnecessary, an international team of mathematicians, including two Australians, has calculated.

To beat the wobbles, just rotate the table. Eventually, you will find a position that keeps the table stable.

"It almost always works," said Burkard Polster, a member of the team and a senior Monash University mathematics lecturer.

Working with a former colleague from Monash, Dr Marty Ross, and mathematicians from Germany and New Zealand, he has just completed a 20-page study of the simple solution.

"We have been fiddling around on this for a better part of a year," said Dr Polster yesterday, describing the maths behind the solution as "very cute".

The researchers didn't discover the magic of rotation: it has been known for several years. But they did break new ground by exploring the technique's limits.

There had always been "a fuzziness about it", Dr Polster said.

To his team's delight, they found that turning a wobbly table worked on even very rough surfaces, including the backyard.

"If you have continuous ground that doesn't rise between any two points by more than 35 degrees, it will always work," he said, although there might be a tilt. "The only requirement is that the legs of your table form a perfect rectangle."

"The principle behind it is called intermediate value theorem," said the mathematician, who caused a stir three years ago when he identified which of the millions of different ways of lacing a shoe were the most effective.

The latest findings are also useful for anyone struggling to replace a light globe, as the technique works just as well for wobbly chairs.

Dr Polster said such research showed maths could solve many ordinary daily problems.

From Sydney Morning Herald
By Richard Macey
December 7, 2005
What's worse, ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care

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seraphim
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Postby seraphim » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 1:46 pm

so you suggested I rotate my 6 ft long wobbly dining table slightly to the left and block off any access to the den door for Christmas dinner?


:lol:
And the sultans - yeah the sultans
they play creole...Creole, baby

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Wild Rover
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Postby Wild Rover » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 1:56 pm

seraphim wrote:so you suggested I rotate my 6 ft long wobbly dining table slightly to the left and block off any access to the den door for Christmas dinner?

:lol:


I didn't suggest anything, just curious to see if it works. You already came up with one good reason why it's not practical. Another could be that in a nice restaurant with all the tables nicely lined up (ok nice restaurants shouldn't have wobbly tables!), you suddenly want to move yours 52.74 degrees to the left which might upset the management's idea of feng shui. Not to mention the hassel maybe of having to relay the place settings for the new orientation.

So there will always be a role for the beer mats & napkins after all I guess !
What's worse, ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care

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Postby seraphim » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 2:01 pm

I was just going to say - old beer coasters are still the best bet!

But I have seen some interesting variations - sugar packets for one! :-|

And I once walked by a table with five crushed out cigarette butts holding it up.... How's that for innovation. :roll:
And the sultans - yeah the sultans

they play creole...Creole, baby

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Postby Baron Greenback » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 3:50 pm

Are scientists running out of things to research? I find it amazing when I read such things, like wobbly tables, or shoe laces, or they have proved that men can read maps better than women. Shouldn't these egg heads be trying to cure cancer or AIDS or let me set an alert on my cable tv without having to press so many buttons? - alert, add, done, back back back sheesh! (sorry last one was a personal gripe)
"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."
Hemingway

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seraphim
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Postby seraphim » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 4:34 pm

Mathematicians, BG, Mathematicians! (good Lord...I've started spelling phonetically! What's next? SMS text code? :roll: )

You KNOW that lot has little to do...... :lol:
Last edited by seraphim on Wed, 07 Dec 2005 9:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
And the sultans - yeah the sultans

they play creole...Creole, baby

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Postby madwolfie » Wed, 07 Dec 2005 5:07 pm

Seraphim, you know... this theory actually works for the tables at Al Majlis :lol: besides using the sugar packs :twisted:

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Postby seraphim » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 1:06 pm

Ah yes! Thats where it happened - Arab Street!

Trust Wolfie to improvise and succeed :D
And the sultans - yeah the sultans

they play creole...Creole, baby

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Postby madwolfie » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 4:43 pm

I'm sorry I had to use the sugar packs. :(

Couldn't wait for the servers to come by... and suddenly thought of the trick to get eggs to "stand" using the salt theory... :oops:


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