Science has found a way to make the simplest game, invented by the simplest bear, anything but simple.
If you’re old, you might have played Poohsticks. You’ve also no doubt tried to drag your kids away from their electronic playing stations to bore them details of how to find the perfect twig to chuck in the creek and cheer on its progress as you race alongside on the bank.
It’s so awesome, it’s one of the UK National Trust’s “50 Things To Do Before You Are 11 and 3/4”.
The game was invented by Winnie the Pooh, who wasn’t very bright, and was captivated by the journey of a pine cone he dropped off a bridge in the Hundred Acre Wood.
He’d certainly be scratching his head over this formula devised by Dr Rhys Morgan, from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering:
It appears in a new book, “A Poohstickopedia”, written by Mark Evans and illustrated by Mark Burgess, which is a guide to all the rules and tactics that come with floating a couple of sticks down a river.
The book was released in July, but has just been given a timely boost by VisitEngland’s release of the top 12 Poohstick-friendly bridges in the UK.
As you can see, the perfect Poohstick is a combination of cross sectional area, density of the stick and drag coefficient. What that means is basically, the fatter and smoother the stick, the better. Simples.
The rest of the rules, not so much. This, for example, is cheating:
Here’s the full video rundown to get you in the mood for a game, right now:
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