Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Defying Gravity

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Eastern Gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis.

Last but not least was a demonstration of the so-called “gravity assist” method. It was obvious that this required the most skill but was not always as effective as the the other methods. In fact I watched three squirrels drop their Black Walnuts. One retrieved its nut only to drop it again while assuming a second gravity assist posture. Considering the outcomes I am not at all sure that gravity assisted these participants at all but there is no denying the artistry involved in the attempt. Please don’t attempt this yourself. Instead I suggest utilizing the standard method. And be sure to use a nutcracker. Bon appetite! (last in a series of three).

Image: Bob Levy, author of Club George. [larger].


  1. #1 PhysioProf
    August 26, 2007

    I have been hit on the head by nuts thrown out of trees by squirrels in Central Park.

  2. #2 CRM-114
    August 26, 2007

    There is a gray squirrel at Jet Propulsion Laboratory that drops pine cones — big ones, unopened and therefore hard and dense — on people’s heads from high trees. I got nailed once, and I’ve learned my lesson — Look Up Above!

  3. #3 Chris
    August 27, 2007


    You completely misconstrued the lesson. Look at your feet. The back of your head is a lot tougher than your face!

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