Once More, with Pictures

"Very well, please try to understand this, then: there's a cat, a box, and a machine that can release poisonous gas. The machine --"

"Wait, what kind of sick bastard --"

"Shut up and let me finish, Rutherford. The machine is keyed to activate if it detects radiation of the kind given off when an atom decays. There is exactly one atom in the machine's detection chamber and it has a one-half chance of going every hour. Here's a picture:

"Physicists have long said that a particle like that atom is neither decayed not undecayed after an hour - until observed. But if the cat's life is dependent upon the atom's decay, then that cat is neither alive nor dead. Is that sufficiently clear?"