Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Tackety Toes VS Olive Oil

Sometimes my brain offers me some very odd solutions to problems. I was considering Nep's Girl's earache problem when it whispered to me "You could always put Bonjela in your ear." Thankfully the rest of me is smart enough to see why this is a bad idea - but it's a great mental image! Also - disconcertingly tempting, just to see what it was like. Would you feel it?

But sometimes it comes up with some great puzzles to ponder. If you remember, I asked a few weeks back: "What, in your opinon, would happen if you put olive oil on the feet of a gecko?" It was a thought I was mulling over due to it's contradictory nature (as they use a lot of different tactics; static, suction AND velcro styles to hang onto things) and potential comedy value. I did discover it really gives an insight to the person you ask though:

His Lordship: I don't know - their feet work funny, so I honestly don't know as they rely on a pull rather than a suction... (logical and honest)

Erkan: Mmmh... I guess it would soften their feet. (Nice lateral thinking there)

Hannymal: I think he would try to lick it off? He might find it tasty - probably tastes like leaves. (sensory with a practical side)

Engineer Rob: Not a lot. I'd guess perhaps a better seal to the surface due to the surface tension. Concrete would be a problem though as the hairs on the feet for anchoring would be hampered. Textiles would fail and leave oily marks. The gecko would, within the correct habitat, probably find something porous/absorbent i.e. fine sand to get the worst of it off. Dry soil would have the same effect, topsoil rather than low-basin/compost as it's drier. (Rob specialises in variables and outcomes as he has Irlen Syndrome)

Ross: Hmmm, he'd slide around and stuff, 'cause he's used to having grippy stuff rather than oil in contact with the floor / wall? Are you planning on dipping a Geeko in olive oil? If I had one and it occurred to me - I would. Hey! If you dipped it in batter first, you'd have a nice lunch! (Greedy and funny!)

Denzil: Probably not much because, if my knowledge is correct and I'm not saying it is, they have suction thingies on their feet and the oil should just replace the seal around the suction thingies, but i'm not guaranteeing any of this. I was being cautious in case you attempted to do it to your gecko, I know what you're like! (Wary - specialises in psychology)

Craig: Wut? Uh, I guess it may slip all over the place. what do you think then? (Noncommital, needs justification of self?)

Bogle: Slippy slidey. I don't think the static would be of much use with the oil, as the little hairs go all greasey. I think maybe he could stick a little but not very well - it would be a bit icky! (My younger sister. Nuff said.)

SnaketongueJ: Might sting a bit for them... Oh wait, did you just ask me what would happen if you put olive oil on a geckos feet? Ahhh. I got confused then. (You tell me.)

Nige - It wouldn't be able to climb on smooth surfaces any more, though you might get the same entertainment value of a dog walking on ice. (Straightforward.)

Another odd thought prompted me to ask His Lordship to imagine what it would be like if someone put strawberries down his underpants. The reaction I got was so convincing I was actually concerned that someone HAD put squishy strawberries in his underpants - complete with shaking imaginary fruit out of the bottom of his trouser legs and grossed out expressions... Bravo Jigs, bravo! A job well done indeed! (Img: A perfect tie in of my two topics from Worth1000!)

Interesting Related Fact of the Day AND the solution: "Oil will disrupt the van der Waals force that allows a gecko to climb by seta, the tiny hairs that have spatula shaped tips. Water increases this power and oil will stop it! Plastics, derived from oils, are also hard work for geckos to stick to - they can't hang on to Teflon either." Thanks to Metin Sitti and his experiments into Artificial Gecko Sticking.

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