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Good luck with your search for your ring. I'm sure it'll turn up--and, of course, it'll be in the last place you look!

I'm sure you thought of that, but... have you considered checking inside the cat?

Hm. Next ring, try a stone that fluoresces under UV. That'd be easy to find, given a UV source.

Otherwise, I'd suggest putting a bottlecap (or the little plastic ring that's left when you remove the cap from a 2 liter bottle) on the table and, when the cat plays with it, seeing where it ends up. Then look in that place and in similar places in the area.

If you weren't in California, I'd suggest looking under any baseboard heaters.

Re the last comment, most diamonds DO fluoresce.


Oops. Clarification:
Diamonds fluoresce visably under Xray, not UV. However, about a third of them will fluoresce under both.

I suspect that the rest would fluoresce under vacuum UV as well as Xray, but pumping down your home may have a deleterious effect on your cat.

My sweetie and I live with two cats. They're the default explanation whenever something goes missing. (This is also a face-saving measure on the part of the humans involved.) Nonetheless, we were delighted to find further proof of the essential evil of the Cat, in the form of

I found 12 items under my oven's bottom drawer once: pens, lighters, water bottle caps, magnets, plastic ring toys, etc. Some of these items were carried to the fun and slippery kitchen floor from other areas of the apartment. Basically anything that has a crack such as the couch, coffee table, closet doors, is amusing for cats, as you well know. They bat things under them and then enjoy the challenge of trying to get them out. One of my cats dropped toys into the toilet in her youth. Another did swallow something plastic, which I discovered in the litter box. Yuck, but it does happen.

I hope by now you've found it!

One last suggestion: forget the flashlight, run a yardstick beneath your appliances. Sometimes you can't actually see what's under there very well, even with a flashlight (and were you wearing your glasses?), but you can sweep it out. Stuff like this, I've found will obey some perverse statistical rule about rolling as far away from easy reach and behind the legs of the most inconvenient to move and largest object in the vicinity.

Check the cat's water dish and the toilet. That's where I look for (amd always find) whatever Biscuit wants to hide.

This is why cats need nine lives.


1. In HHGG, it was the **finite** improbability generator which was built from a Brambleweeny-57 sub-meson brain connected to the circuits of an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian motion generator (the nice hot cup of tea). The **Infinite** improbability generator was actually the Golden Bail of the Krikkit Gate, blasted into the whirling eddies of the space-time continuum countless epochs ago and reconstituted with the aid of the finite improbability machine. Its means of operation are not specified, although given Arthur Dent's troubles finding tea upon the **Heart of Gold**, one may plausibly conjecture that tea is not involved.

2. In **The Fugitive**, Tommy Lee Jones assumes that Harrison Ford is moving at an average speed of 4 mph (injured person over uneven ground) and has been traveling for ninety minutes, giving a radius of six miles for the search area. This doesn't require the mathematical model of Brownian motion (the 4 mph figure might have been derived that way, but even then the Brownian-motion part is "encapsulated"). It's just a rate-times-time problem.

Yes, there's a reason I have no friends.

(Our cat doesn't steal things. She just finds adult chipmunks outside, thinks they're her babies and tries to adopt them.)

I was a fine arts major in school and was taught the Gestalt Theory. If you look at a picture and you look at each dot in the picture - you see a page of dots - but if you focus on the page as a whole you see a black and white illustration of a Dalmatian under the shade of a tree. This theory can apply to finding a small object on a large surface. Rather than look for the small object - look at the whole surface as a pattern and find the piece that is 'ring-shaped' within that pattern. I know it sounds crazy - but it works!

BTW - heard your podcast on the Baltimore Sun - good stuff!

OK, we're all dying to know. Have you found the ring yet???

Sadly, the ring has not yet emerged... although we found a good number of paper clips and pens tucked away in out-of-the-way spaces. We'll see what we find when the movers drop off my stuff and the major reorganization kicks in.... I'm not giving up yet!

Here is a description of several well-researched methods for searching and finding

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.