“Publish or Perish”


I have loved delving into research about a myriad of mind/body issues. It fascinates me on how much wisdom is contained in our biology. To imagine that each cell in the body is like the pilot of a plane knowing instinctively how to navigate through good and bad developments is fascinating. However, over the last several years a lot of research has been done for research sake. The academic metaphor, “Publish or Perish” has driven some researchers to spend time and money on subject matter that I feel is often mundane and foolish.

Take the example of a major institution of learning that spent millions of dollars on how long it took for men to use the rest room vs. women. Did anyone really gain anything from that other than verifying what most women already know. My friends and I have complained often about the fact the women’s rest rooms should be have more toilets. It’s a big duh! Why didn’t these folks just interview some women walking around a mall? Then they could save the money for something that was more relevant, like cancer.

How about the one where they shock some mice and leave others alone when they’re trying to eat based on trying to figure out how to stop people from overeating. Really! I would be as thin as a rail if the refrigerator did that every time I opened it. But I would eventually find a way around it.. I would just hose down the refrigerator until the sparks diminished and then go in for the kill, preferably salami.

Now the reason I started all this rant. This morning I was reading USA Today weekend edition, and lo and behold on page one was an article called “ Not Fit to be tied: Study unravels mystery of weak knots.  Scientific evidence is now clear : We tie our shoelaces wrong.” It seems that America has an epidemic of untied shoes that can be blamed in part on faulty shoe-tying techniques. This is according to “rigorous” experiments in a newly published study. The question I beg to ask is how do they get this information. Did they have rabid squirrels attacking people’s shoes? Did they make people walk on a bed of nails? No, it’s the foot’s repeated impact against the swinging leg that causes the lace’s free ends to whip around and gradually slide out of the knot. Whew! Now my life can go on.

I don’t remember any body in my family or my friends walking around constantly trying to tie their shoelaces because the knots slipped. Maybe their legs didn’t swing. Dangling laces have also become very cool for whatever reason with young people. I’m sure they’re also a big hit with orthopedic surgeons. But here’s my prescription for shoelace slippage, free no charge, no research. How about double knotting?

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