Sunday, April 13, 2003

Conventional Wisdom Fails Again... I dimly recall learning to tie my shoe as a child. For the longest time it seemed to me that the second loop appeared magically from out of the ether, and it was quite some time before I mastered the techinique. I had to settle for making two loops and crossing them. This difficulty with shoe-tying was matched many years later by my even greater frustration over learning how to tie a necktie...

Well, guess what? Turns out the conventional methods of shoe-tying are hardly the most efficient. An Australian mathematician has proven that more efficient methods exist, though they seem rather more complicated than the conventional way. Discover magazine has a short description of this work here. Follow the link and proceed to the R&D section.


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