Cow tipping debunked
Ms Boechler, now a trainee forensics analyst for the Royal Canadian Mounted Corps, concluded in her initial report that a cow standing with its legs straight would require five people to exert the required force to bowl it over.
A cow of 1.45 metres in height pushed at an angle of 23.4 degrees relative to the ground would require 2,910 Newtons of force, equivalent to 4.43 people, she wrote.
Dr Lillie, Ms Boechler’s supervisor, revised the calculations so that two people could exert the required amount of force to tip a static cow, but only if it did not react.
“The static physics of the issue say . . . two people might be able to tip a cow,” she said. “But the cow would have to be tipped quickly — the cow’s centre of mass would have to be pushed over its hoof before the cow could react.”
Another problem is that cows, unlike horses, do not sleep on their feet — they doze. Ms Boechler said that cows are easily disturbed. “I have personally heard of people trying but failing because they are either using too few people or being too loud.
“Most of these ‘athletes’ are intoxicated.”
I've not been around cows much--Grandma had them occasionally on the farm, but it was mostly sheep and chickens (and poor, tortured barn cats. Think Elmyra on Tiny Toons, then multiply it by about 10 because I had way too many cousins). Anyway, we now live on a farm and currently have about 15 cows quite literally in our backyard--and yeah, they are *not* heavy sleepers. The second I let my dogs out in the morning, all the cows are running away from the fence, despite the fact that neither my door nor my dogs are very noisy. I guess it's good to know that our bovine friends are (well, mostly) safe from the shenanigans of intoxicated frat boys throughout the country.
(Hat tip to SciAm Observations for the link to the study)