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Author Topic: Parlor trick that only women can do
Quttaus
I Saw Three Shipments


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I remember seeing Jack Palance and his sister do this trick on the old Ripley's Believe it or Not! show, back in the early 80's. She could do it, he couldnt.

The way the trick was explained to me, the differences in, um, anatomy are what give women the lower center of gravity. Dont know if thats true though.

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Etienne
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Oceanic Aura:
Am I the only one who expected this thread to involve ping-pong balls?

No, I honnestly expected the OP to start with "So, this one time, in Thailand..."
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Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Artemis:
If you're a woman, you do it successfully, but if you're a man, you can't get up.


Erm... call me naive but isn't the man supposed to be the one who gets it up?

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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medtchva
Deck the Malls


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I've also heard it has to do with the difference in back muscles of men and women.
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snapdragonfly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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If I remember correctly, and woo this was a long time ago, we tried this in my hs biology class.

Pretty much all of the time, girls can do this and guys can't, if you are doing it correctly.

I don't remember why either. I thought it was something to do with the muscles also.

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(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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musicgeek
Deck the Malls


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There was a cottage industry in 19th c. America of women using this anatomical discrepancy to give the illusion of supernatural powers:

The "Georgia Wonder" phenomenon

Some of their tricks work equally well for men, but the female center of gravity gives an advantage in certain situations (like the Archie Bunker chair experiment). This center of gravity effect is, of course, based on a generalization -- body types differ, and there will be exceptions to the rule based on height, weight, musculature, etc.

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[God said] "I'll just sit back in the shade while everyone gets laid; that's what I call intelligent design." - Chris Smither, "Origin of the Species"

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I saw this on TV some years ago, and there they claimed that it was something about hip construction (men usually don't have to squeeze children through their genitals, thank god) and different proportions. In my mind, this translate to different weight distribution, but also a different bending at the hips, which also affects weight distribution in a bent over position.

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/Troberg

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Xia
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I saw this on TV some years ago, and there they claimed that it was something about hip construction (men usually don't have to squeeze children through their genitals, thank god)

YOMANK, Troberg... And also a new brain, if I cannot wash that image out of this one... [Razz]


So, is it a consensus that this is due to center of gravity?

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IZaNaMI
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Oceanic Aura:
[QB] Am I the only one who expected this thread to involve ping-pong balls?


No, you're not the only one ... [Eek!]
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
YOMANK, Troberg... And also a new brain, if I cannot wash that image out of this one...
What image? Something like an empty banana peel?

quote:
So, is it a consensus that this is due to center of gravity?
That and the hip construction. I can imagine a woman sticking her behind out more when she bends over (in fact, I imagine that a lot, most of the time they even do it nude when I imagine it, so I consider myself something of an expert on the subject) due to different hips, which changes both leverage and centre of gravity.

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/Troberg

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Xia:
So, is it a consensus that this is due to center of gravity?

And the fact that men have heavier shoulders, so they have more weight to lift.

But maybe that's the same thing.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
And the fact that men have heavier shoulders, so they have more weight to lift.
Which, in many cases, probably is more than compensated for by women's breasts, even if the different leverage is calculated into it.

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/Troberg

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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As someone who was a male figure skater I can attest to the centre of gravity difference in males.

I was skating throughout my youth and into my teens. My partner was the same age as me and she and I had the same training up until we were about 12. At that age our training differed. Hers became easier because her centre of gravity shifted lower due to her hitting puberty and the redistribution of weight into her hips. My training focused more on keeping my balance, as my centre of gravity went up, commensurate with the increase in proportion to my manly shoulders.

Her skating improved markedly, mine suffered.

Another experiment that you can do that better illustrates this is highlighted at Science East here in New Brunswick.

Put a coin on the floor. Now kneel so that you are bent over the coin with your hands on the coin. Your hands should be directly below your forehead. Remove your hands and place them behind your back. Touch your forehead to the coin. Women can do it, men topple over.

Even women with larger breasts (unless surgically enhanced) have proportionate weight on their hips.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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What about men with a huge beer belly?

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/Troberg

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Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
What about men with a huge beer belly?

Probably not enough stomach muscles to help with the lift.

Though I confess to experimenting with my 6 months pregnant belly, and having no problems whatsoever.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:

Artemis, do you have large feet for your height? I tried it for the first time in (I don't really want to think how many) years and I can still do it easily.

Sorry I forgot to respond to this! No, I don't...I actually have really small feet--I wear a size six shoe. (So small that people tend to comment on how tiny my shoes look, but I digress.) They're pretty proportionate to my height. I'm just barely 5'2, weigh about 100 lbs (just in case any of this is relevant!).

If anyone wants to wager any other guesses as to why I can't do it, feel free. (The more creative the better!)

As for the rest of you, I do feel as though I owe everyone an extremely dirty story or two just for getting your hopes up. Note to self: when come back, bring story involving Swedish meatballs, young Nordic lingerie model, and a coca cola enema.

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"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
-Mustapha Mond, "Brave New World"

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Franny
Jingle Bell Hock


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I am willing to bet this has more to do with the ratio of torso length to leg length than the presence of breasts. That would explain why some men can do it and some women cannot.

I would also hazard a guess that sucess depends on having a shorter torso.

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Put a coin on the floor. Now kneel so that you are bent over the coin with your hands on the coin. Your hands should be directly below your forehead. Remove your hands and place them behind your back. Touch your forehead to the coin. Women can do it, men topple over.
They have something very similar (a button instead of a coin) at the Ontario Science Centre. And interestingly enough I used to be unable to do it before puberty hit me, but even since I've had no trouble with it. So go me. I have to admit that it's fun to have girls drag me to the exhibit, only to be deflated when I can do it.

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ToadMagnet
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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When we did this experiment in a 7th grade science class, those attempting to lift the chair had to do so whilst keeping his/her head against the wall, and then stand up. Each time, the girl was able to lift and stand, the boy struggled manfully and failed miserably. We were told it had to do with a differing center of gravity between males and females, but not why this mattered in the great scheme of things.

And Mike Frantz never again looked quite so good in my eyes. [Razz]

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franjava
Deck the Malls


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I have seen guys who can do it and women who can't, but in general, it's easier for gals. Pretty weird.

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Never eat anything given to you by a toddler.

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applepwnz
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Hmm, my sister and I just tried at and she could do it (she did struggle a bit with it though) and I definetly couldn't
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eif
Jingle Bell Hock


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As pointed out by others, Men are top heavy because of broader shoulders and the rest of the muscles that go into upper body strength. Women usually have wider hips and a bigger butt so more of their weight is lower. A woman's breast may cause her to have more difficulty standing up but overall, a man's ribcage should be bigger than a woman's (including the breast) of the same height. Also the breast being made of fatty tissue, would be less dense than muscle.

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Where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it History.

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KaiTheInvader
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I couldn't do it..... I'm 5'8 1/2" though, so pretty tall for a woman. I dunno about the whole wider hips and bigger butt thing though, b/c I definitely have a big butt and wide hips, and a smaller sized chest.

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Resurrection of mankind to careen in silent pace. Feeling lonely. I am the dream that nobody dreams of, but will you dream of me, and dream of eternal desire? If you dream of me, will you live for me? Will you? Will you?

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rocksong
Deck the Malls


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Does the weight of the chair matter? Even without the chair, I was just about toppling forward (male, 6'3). Also foot size must affect it.
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Saluki Worship
I Saw Three Shipments


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Yeah, exactly how big a chair are we talking?

Well, I'm a 5'7 female, and I can't do it.

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UrbanReindeer
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quote:
I am willing to bet this has more to do with the ratio of torso length to leg length than the presence of breasts. That would explain why some men can do it and some women cannot.
I am a long-torsoed, short-legged woman and I could not do it. In fact, I smacked the chair into the wall and then into my nose. I may have to move this post to "stupid ways you have injured yourself" now.

ETA: I am a 5'4" woman with size 7 feet and no hips or breasts to speak of [lol]

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Orgaz
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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There is something similar that is easier to try. Stand with your back to a wall with your heels touching it then bend over and touch your toes. Women can do it but men will fail. I think it's all in the hips.
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stalker
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5'8 Male. Size 8(UK) feet. Attempt made with a stool because there were no chairs around.
I was able to lift it. But my weight was totally on my toes. I could tell that if I'd been doing it with a chair with the back next to the wall (as Artemis' link stated) the extra weight out there would've made me fail miserably.

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Fetishists Unite! Anti-Fetishists Untie!

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Nicki
Deck the Malls


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I believe it is supposed to be that a mans center of gravity is his shoulders and a womans center of gravity is her hips. So that is why when a man trys to lift it he tips over.

I don't have the info to back it up but I'll try to find it somewhere but that is what I always heard.

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Nicki
Deck the Malls


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I believe it is supposed to be that a mans center of gravity is his shoulders and a womans center of gravity is her hips. So that is why when a man trys to lift it he tips over.

I don't have the info to back it up but I'll try to find it somewhere but that is what I always heard.

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rsamboragal
I Saw Three Shipments


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Okay, I heard a weird version of this that has nothing to do with a chair. I was told that if you take three steps from the wall (heel to toe), turn around so that you're facing the wall and bend at the waist, women's heads will touch the wall but men's won't. They have to lean forward for their head to hit the wall. The theory had something to do with how the pelvis is structured or something. My dad told me this when I was a kid and we actually tried it. Now that I'm an adult, I realize that this was silly. My father was an alcoholic, so that probably explains why he didn't get it right.

RSam"drinking and science don't mix"boragal

**edited upon discovery of a ridiculous spelling error***

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rocksong
Deck the Malls


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Conflicting information on centre of gravity and gender.

This popular science site, like many on the internet, says that men have a higher centre of gravity because we have broader shoulders and less fat on our hips: http://www.abc.net.au/couch/s209907.htm

But this scientific study says that men's centre of gravity is 57.1% of height for men, 56.4% of height for women. http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/102194954.html
i.e. there is a difference but it is very slight: less than 1%, way less than the variation within each gender.

Which makes me think that it's not about weight on the hips or shoulders, but just that men (on average) are taller and have bigger feet.

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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But then why can't I do it if I'm much smaller than the average man (and average woman, for that matter)?

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"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
-Mustapha Mond, "Brave New World"

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stalker
Deck the Malls


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I don't think the verticle position of the centre of gravity is really the issue. It's how much it moves horizontally when you bend over that matters. You can't get back up when your centre of mass has moved over the end of your toes and the wall is the only thing keeping you upright.
If you think of a free standing column with a mallet on the top of it and a pivot point where they meet.
If the mallet's head is resting on the column and you pivot the handle of the mallet out, the centre of mass will not move much.
Whereas, if the mallet's handle is on the column and you pivot the head out, the centre of mass will move more (even if the bottom of the column is made heavier to keep the centre of mass in the middle).

Men have more muscle in their shoulders and legs, so the mass is more at the extremes. Women have more of their mass in their hips so the weight is concentrated in the middle. So, even though the centre of mass isn't that much different, when you bend over, more of the men's mass moves horizontally.

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Fetishists Unite! Anti-Fetishists Untie!

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Alluvian
I Saw Three Shipments


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Heh, finally something I can easily do. This is a snap for me, but it probably has to do with my ankylosing spondylitis. My posture is quite hunched over due to it and it has caused me to develop some insanely strong lower back muscles and calf muscles. I can stand up, lean back forward, stand up, with the chair I could do about 10 reps before my back was too tired.

Male, 6foot unhunched, size 11.5 shoe.

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