Thursday, March 16, 2006

How NOT to tie your shoelaces

The great 'fun, fashion & science' shoelace experiment has reached a dramatic early conclusion. Within an hour of tieing my left shoe with an 'Ian Knot', against my right shoe's traditional loop, I was surprised to see Ian's Knot give way on my first serious walk down the stairs.

Regular readers will be relieved to hear that I avoided serious injury. My lawyers will not be.
How to tie your shoelaces

As a father to a young child, I'm constantly worrying about all the things I should be teaching him to equip him for the big, wide world.

I tied his shoes this morning, only for him to have untied them in seconds with the laces still an object of fascination. On the walk into work, my shoelaces came undone once again. Hardly satisfactory.

I've tied my shoes up in exactly the same way for as long as I can remember, with the only change being a double knot if I'm feeling particularly diligent.

With my nautical upbringing I've learnt and forgotten countless knots, so why did it never occur to me to try and tie my shoelaces in a different way? Sometimes it pays to look at things through the eyes of a child.

I was interested therefore to read in a several different posts about Ian's Shoelace Site with the amusing tagline 'Bringing you the fun, fashion & science of shoelaces'. I've experimented with the tricky but recommended Ian Knot and in the interests of 'fun, fashion & science' have tied one lace with that knot and the other with a conventional knot.

I'll let you know which comes undone first. Riveting stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

The internet is wonderful for finding this kind of niche information and a reminder not just to keep learning, but to keep challenging what you have already learnt.

A good lesson for youngster and not so youngster alike.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Travel to Mars

Google Earth has released a Google Mars version of its popular mapping software. Google Mars allows you to explore the planetary surface using NASA imagery, showing elevation, the view your eyes would see and what you wouldn't see without infrared.

It fails however to point out signs of life or even rudimentary accommodation details for the casual planetary explorer, an oversight I hope they will address in version 2.