Monday, November 30, 2009
Sock it to me!
You may be wondering where I've been because I haven't posted any fresh material for a while...or you may be asking, "Who is this guy and why does he think we care about the drivel he puts out in cyberspace?" I have an answer for you: you're obviously still reading, so, small as it may be, this means something to you. Take that.
I've been involved in a very important project - scientific research. No, I was not abducted by extraterrestrials, nor was I selected for top secret government work at a remote Nevada airbase. Rather, I designed, conducted and analyzed this research myself. In my bedroom. With no government grants, either.
You're probably dying of curiosity right now, just itching to know what could be so important that it would consume a portion of my precious time and attention, and now a portion of yours. I'll tell you: socks. Yes, those socks - the very same as the kind you (hopefully) put on your feet.
Haven't you ever wondered why some of your socks come out of the wash inside out, or even balled up? I have. A lot. I've decided to get some definitive answers to this perplexing modern conundrum, so I did what any reasonable person does: I googled "inside-out socks" and hoped for an informative Wikipedia site. Unfortunately, apparently none exist. This is obviously new scientific territory.
With this in mind, I set out to get to the bottom of the sock mystery, even if it meant doing actual work. "Fascinating" does not even begin to describe the results of my exhaustive research efforts; no, there are many other words that more accurately describe my findings, words which we shall not mention in this post.
To begin, I had to design the experiment. I used a highly specialized process and employed techniques you probably wouldn't understand even if I explained them twice and used small words. That won't stop me from trying to relay to you my method, so I will explain it thusly: I sorted my laundry - and what a painstaking process it was. Not only did I have to divide my laundry according to color (in our modern day and age, how can one feel right about segregation in any form?!), but I had to make sure all my socks were right-side-out (so if any switched to inside-out I would know. I didn't want mixed inside-out and right-side-out because then there would be no way of controlling for potential switching - this is a scientific study, after all) and counted before they went into the machine.
I've never had to do this before (count socks, I mean; I sort my laundry - I'm no Neanderthal) and it was an enlightening experience. I learned from the outset that the reason that sometimes I have an odd number of socks coming out of the laundry is because sometimes I have an odd number going in. I have effectively, and unintentionally, debunked the myth of the dryer-sock-eating-monster. It was encouraging to me to see such progress at the very onset of my study.
I had 17 ankle socks and two calf-length socks go into the wash. That's 19 total socks, in case you needed help with the math. I ensured that all socks were right-side-out before going in the wash. After the wash cycle, I discovered that the washer sometimes eats socks as well. I had 17 ankle socks going in, but unfortunately we lost one in the mix somewhere; only 16 made it to the dryer. A moment of silence, please.
Turns out that the sock that went MIA after the wash cycle was never recovered. S/he joined the rest of the socks in sock purgatory where they await something, I'm just not sure what.
I recovered a total of 18 socks - both calf-length socks and the remainder were of the ankle variety. All 18 socks were right-side-out, leading me to believe that one of two things happened: either socks don't go inside-out on their own, or I have intelligent socks. I'm leaning towards the latter.
While this study is far from comprehensive, I believe it lays the foundation of important work and future study.
Where's my Nobel Prize?