String theory on a shoestring

Be forewarned: the following information could completely alter the course of your life.  It already has mine.

“Did you know you can always untie a shoelace just by pulling on one end, even if it’s in a double knot?”  

The above query was posed to Michael B. Crawford by his physicist father, as reported in the New York Times Bestseller, Shop Class As Soulcraft.  Since I have habitually double-knotted my shoelaces since the great trip of 1987 (a whole other entry in itself), I set out to prove this assertion in the form of a question to be categorically untrue. 

The next day as I went to put on my walking shoes that I had slipped off still tied the night before, I tugged on one string.  Nothing doing.  Just to be fair and scientific and all, I tugged on the other string and, much to my surprise, it came loose like a woman after a few glasses of wine.  I chuckled with a modicum of chagrin and went about my business.

Now, I’m no quantum physicist (or any sort of physicist for that matter) but it is clear to me now that this one discovery has completely changed the course of my life in a way similar to the butterfly effect which is actually chaos theory–but I digress.  Now that I can untie my double knots by pulling one string, I have shaved a full four seconds (two seconds per shoe) off the time it takes to put on my shoes.  Yes, I timed it. 

Now four seconds doesn’t seem like much, but think about the runners and swimmers who would topple records like toddlers in a moon bounce if they could shave even one second off of his or her time.  Or what a quarterback can do with an extra four seconds before choosing door number three.  Over the course of a year that’s about 1200 seconds (4×300 accounting for the days I don’t wear my kicks and to simplify the math) which is, um, 20 minutes, right?  That’s 3.333333333 hours every decade!  I’ve been given the gift of time!  God bless you Mr. Crawford!  I am four seconds in your debt.

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About Karen Nicholson

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton Writing about these moments of awe has been a driving force of my life for, well, as long as I can remember. Coupled with a devotion to sunrises and sunsets that defies explanation, a combination of the two seemed like the right thing to do. I welcome you to my world. May it be a blessing to yours.
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One Response to String theory on a shoestring

  1. Bob Trost says:

    So,now I’ve got it sorted! I’ve been pulling on the wrong shoelace all these years! I’ll try pulling the other ones and see if the knots in my life come untied! Can’t wait to hear about the 87 trip!

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