Winning entries from a recent contest for new scientific theories sponsored by Omni Magazine:

4th Runner Up

The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as figure skaters rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.

3rd Runner Up

Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no alphabet. The lack of an alphabet means the Chinese cannot use acronyms; thus, they cannot communicate their ideas at a faster rate.

2nd Runner Up

The Why Yawning Is Contagious Theory: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it all out.

1st Runner Up

If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.

Honorable Mention

The quantity of consonants in the English language is absolutely constant. If consonants are omitted in one geographic area, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian pahks his cah, the lost "r's" migrate southwest, causing a Texan to warsh his car and invest in erl wells.

The Grand Prize Winner

When a cat is dropped, it ALWAYS lands on its feet; and when toast is dropped, it ALWAYS lands with the buttered side down. Therefore, I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat. When dropped, the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground, probably into eternity. A buttered-cat array could replace pneumatic tires on cars and trucks, and giant buttered-cat arrays could easily allow a high-speed monorail to link between New York with Chicago.