Saturday, October 9, 2010


I'd like to thank my reader Salma for submitting this fascinating research that affects all of us. Namely, scientific data on the physics of cow-tipping.

The study suggests that cow-tipping is very difficult, if not physically impossible, for the majority of attempts.

I now feel vindicated, as I personally researched this subject in one occasion in the late 80's (Grumpy, I., et al. "Why the hell is it still standing?", Journal of Inebriated Nights Spent at a Camp in the Middle of Fucking Nowhere, 1988), with similar results.

Boffins debunk cow-tipping myth

Not possible, even when drunk

By Lester Haines
9th November 2005

Two scientists at the University of British Columbia have rather disagreeably debunked the myth that you can - when suitably refreshed after a night on the sauce - stagger into a field and tip over a sleeping cow.

According to the Times, Margo Lillie, a doctor of zoology, and her student Tracy Boechler did a few calculations pertaining to bovine bothering and concluded that it would in fact take five sozzled pranksters to tip a cow.

More specifically, "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," according to Boechler.

To read the complete article, click here.


KateA said...

Plus, sleeping cows don't really sleep *that* soundly. They wake up and chase you. Dairy cows are less dangerous, but sometimes their fight and flight responses get dulled when asleep.

OMDG said...

We call Miss Boo "Moo" from time to time. (Apropos of nothing really....)

Li'l Azathoth said...

Great. There go my Saturday night plans. Maybe I'll watch that "The Nanny" marathon on cable after all.

The Mother said...

I didn't even know cow-tipping was a sport until I read that.

Mrs A said...

Really Grumpie, only on one occasion? Sounds like a load of bull to me!

Texas Pharmacy Chica said...

Anyone read "Paris, Texas"????

Mallory said...

Really, how plausible is it that 5 drunk people will be able to muster sufficient coordination to locate a cow, in the dark, without waking it up, and all push in the same direction?

My extensive experience of drunk med students leads me to believe that they would stagger around giggling and shouting 'Hush!' at each other, wake all the cows, possibly by slipping in cowpats and landing on one of them. Wake the farmer, wake the farmer's dog, and wake the neighbours, all while thinking they're being quiet. Run away giggling drunkenly and try to hide in a ditch, then in the car (which they locked with the headlights on) then realise that the carkeys had been lost somewhere in the grass/cowpats/ditch. They would make unconvincing drunken explanations to the farmer, neighbours, dog and/or police, and eventually drunk dial everyone in all of their mobilephone address-books to try and arrange a lift back to the bar.

Bill said...

To The Mother:

Cow tipping is second in popularity only to dwarf bowling. :)

Anonymous said...

You just have to find a cow standing sideways on a hill, no imagination... sheesh.

WV: inecess

Anonymous said...

Cows do not sleep while standing... they sleep only while lying down.

Anonymous said...

Has nobody watched the rodeo event of Bulldogging, also known as Steer Wrestling?

So, how much more difficult could Cow Tipping be?

See this Yahoo Answers question:;_ylt=AoXFuwTcS3coLiebOaoXKX7ty6IX;_ylv=3qid=20100904215245AAnjDKQ&show=7#profile-info-btDPwoFzaa

WV: consizes = the sizes of prisoners?

Anonymous said...

To response above,
bulldogging does not use full size cows, they use calves.

And I remember coming across an internet site devoted to statics (the physics of objects in equilibrium or stationary) and they had discussed this exact topic. except they went on to say that three football linemen could probably pull it off as well.

Anonymous said...

"except they went on to say that three football linemen could probably pull it off as well."

Pull what off?

Anonymous said...

mallory- yes. i too have experience with cow tipping. daytime. and i know that the cows can move fast enough through the muck that i can barely get to touch them before i hear the sound of the farmer's diesel tractor starting up. no tip, but never caught.

Anonymous said...

What about sheep? Goats?
What if you used a specially-designed cow-tipping robot?

Anonymous said...

What about Mongolian yaks?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yaks are pretty damn big. I don't even want to try.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can confirm that tipping cows is actually pretty hard. My first attempt went badly until someone told me that it actually takes a group. Some time later I was in a group that did go cow tipping. You can tip cows but it takes a few people. I grew up in The South, and in a pretty rural part, too. (imagine a slow drawl when reading this)

As for med students, I can also confirm that drunk med students are more or less uniformly useless and annoying.

Anonymous said...

and sober med students???

Anonymous said...

Actually altho I am a small woman I can flip a yearling Holstein bull. Really! I have witnesses! I learnt the trick from my hubby who can flip a full size Holstein cow. It's a trick of leaning over its neck from the left side, grab the right horn in the left hand and get the right hand under the muzzle, then pull the nose up and push the poll down, flipping the bull towards you. Don't let it land on you, and sit on its head as soon as you get it down. If you fail, pick another bull for your second attempt because they get wise really fast and learn to resist you.
Don't know if it would work on yaks, Dr. Grumpy, but you could try with one of the yaks in your herd?

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