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Surprising tutorial behavior when using model->SetLinearVel. Also, where can I learn more?

I've got questions about behavior seen in the model-plugin tutorial:

http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=plugins_model&cat=write_plugin

When I compile and run it the box slides along the ground for a bit then starts to turn over. Why does this happen? Is the ground bumpy or something? It appears smooth.

The behavior is also surprising because the plugin uses SetLinearVel() so I thought that would constrain the linear velocity of the box's center of mass but when it starts to flip over the z-component of velocity must be non-zero. Any comments about this discrepancy?

Finally, can you tell me where I can learn about what functions are available for links and models so that I can learn to write plugins controlling multi-link bodies?