PP = A x ? x Cd
we can now all go out and scientifically select the ideal twig to ensure we will emerge victorious when indulging in the classic English game of poohsticks.
When Winnie the Pooh dropped that first pine cone over the side of a bridge he set in motion a passion for the pastime that has only increased as the years have gone by. You don’t have to be a Bear of Very Little Brain to enjoy dropping your twig into a gently flowing stream and then rushing over to the other side of the bridge to see if it will emerge before those of your competitors. Bears of Great Brain like to play regularly, not to mention those humans who share a home with them.
The formula has been devised by Dr Rhys Morgan of the Royal Academy of Engineering and we can only rejoice that our great minds recognise the national importance of breakthrough research in vital areas such as this.
Dr Morgan has ascertained that the main variables are cross-sectional area, density/buoyancy and drag coefficient. Thus, the formula for the Perfect Poohstick (PP) states that you need a twig which has a good cross-sectional area, that is, length multiplied by width (A), because the water will have more to push on. (Much to Pooh’s relief this means that tubby is good.) It should be of as dense a wood as you can find (?) so that it will sink a bit and not be influenced by the wind. And, finally, it needs to be rough, because that will create more drag (Cd). Bark is good as well.
Equipped with this knowledge how is it possible that each and every one of us will not in future emerge triumphant from round after round of our favourite pastime? Except, of course, as those Bears of Great Brain with whom I share my home point out, by the time I have applied the formula and found the ideal twig they will have finished not only the game but also the picnic that inevitably accompanies it and be ready to pack up and go home.