Source: What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games And Pastimes
Category: RAINY-DAY GAMES
There are a number of balancing tricks which are easy and ingenious.
The secret of most such tricks is in keeping the centre of gravity
low, and when this idea is once mastered you can invent tricks to suit
yourself. For instance a tea-cup can be balanced on the point of a
pencil thus: put a cork through the handle of the cup (it should be
just large enough to be pushed in firmly) and stick a fork into it,
with two prongs on each side of the handle, and with the handle under
the bottom of the cup. (Fig. 1.) The centre of gravity is thus made
low, and if you experiment a little and have a little skill, and a
steady hand you can balance the whole on a pencil's point.
Or you can balance a coin edgeway on a needle's point. The needle is
stuck firmly into the cork of a bottle, and the coin is fixed in a
slit cut in a cork, in which two forks are stuck.
The simplest of these tricks is to balance a pencil on the tip of your
finger by sticking two pen-knives in it, one on each side.
A cork with two forks stuck in it can be made to balance almost
anywhere--on the neck of a bottle from which the contents are being
poured for instance.
Amusing toys can be constructed on this principle. Tumbling dolls are
made of light wood or cork, glued to the flat side of a half bullet.
No matter how often they are knocked flat, they rise again at once.
Next: The Dancing Egg