They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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Oh Look, Children! It Says It's Educational!

One of my Physics students came by the other day and told me that he'd found a website called Kitten Cannon. We'd just been studying ballistics and Kitten Cannon is pretty much a cute/vulgar little webgame about exactly as you might imagine it to be from the title.

At the time my student was impressed that it seemed to him that knowing the optimum launch angle for ballistic travel was 45.0 degrees proved helpful in getting high scores. Today I was reading 2004 Clarion instructor Jeff Ford's blog 14theditch and he had an entry which gave the link to Kitten Cannon.

Probably Gonna Need A Faster Machine To Truly Appreciate This

I was running it on a relatively slow 200MHz Windows 98SE machine, so it didn't run very fast, but I figured out the basics pretty quick. And the author, sick bastard though he might be (grin), seems to have figured out some of the ballistic equations as well as elasticity and rebound -- the crudely drawn kitten figure slowly spins through the air and bounces off the ground. Unless it impacts with clumps of metal spikes, kitten eating Venus flytraps, trampolines, aerial bombs or TNT ammo dumps. These latter boost the hapless feline into new rounds of ballistic arcs and bounces.

I ran the simulation three times. The last time I thought I'd gotten pretty much all of it, pressing the space bar/firing key when the moving charge gauge was just about maxed out, and of course at 45.0 degrees. So I was pleased with a two-ammo dump aided effort of 452 feet. Then I read the comments on Jeff's blog and found that with considerable effort, one could get shots of over a thousand feet.

I Don't Play Video Games For A Reason

Amusing to do it once -- or at least one session and three shots -- but I don't feel any particular need to spend hours, on either a fast or slow machine, working on "improving" my score.

Improving isn't exactly the operational concept here. (double-barreled-grin)

Dr. Phil
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