Taiwan teacher chastised by students for dropping his cat upside down in class

A teacher in Taiwan, Mr. Lee Feng, faced significant online backlash after a video surfaced showing him dropping his pet cat in a classroom to demonstrate the physics principle of conservation of angular momentum. The incident, which was intended to show how cats naturally reorient themselves when falling from a height, resulted in public outrage and criticism of Mr. Lee’s teaching methods.

“It is fine to do this with a cat but we cannot do it with a dog,”

Mr Lee told his students in the video.

The cat let out a hiss as it hit the ground. Does this indicate that the cat did not have sufficient time to self-right using the feline’s self-righting mechanism before the cat hit the ground?

Cat employed the self-righting reflex to land on their feet
Cat employed the self-righting reflex to land on their feet. Note: I decided that the picture of Mr Lee dropping his cat from the upside-down position might upset some advertisers so have changed it from the one above.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Mr. Lee subsequently apologized for his actions, acknowledging that he had not fully considered the physical and mental stress the demonstration could cause the cat. He also recognized the negative impact his actions could have on students and society. Following the incident, Mr. Lee took his cat to a veterinarian, who confirmed the cat was in good health. To further address the situation, Mr. Lee donated NT$50,000 to the Taiwan Homeless Animal Rescue Association.

The Taipei City Animal Protection Office investigated the matter, as Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act prohibits the harassment, abuse, or harm of animals. The act stipulates that individuals found guilty of causing harm to animals may face imprisonment and fines.

This event has sparked discussions about appropriate teaching methods and the ethical treatment of animals in educational settings. Mr. Lee urged the public and students not to imitate his actions and to take good care of animals.

“Shouldn’t being a teacher teach children to love and respect life? This was such a bad demonstration,” a user commented. There was a backlash and remorse from Mr Lee.

RELATED: Cat falls 18 stories, 180 feet, from tower block and no broken bones

What is the physics principle of “conservation of angular momentum”?

For the few who are interested (! 😒) the principle of conservation of angular momentum states that if no external torque acts on a system, the total angular momentum of the system remains constant. This is mathematically expressed as:

Mathematical equation for the principle of conservation of angular momentum
Mathematical equation for the principle of conservation of angular momentum

If the rate of change is zero, it means that the angular momentum is conserved. In a practical sense, this means that in the absence of external forces, the rotation of a system will not change.

A common example is an ice skater spinning: when they pull their arms in, they spin faster because their moment of inertia decreases, but their angular momentum remains the same, hence increasing their angular velocity.

RELATED: Cat Falling

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