Thursday, December 1, 2011

Laundry is getting done, but please don't feed the dust bunnies.

With a growing baby in the house I’ve become especially sensitive to the smell of soured milk and so the number of loads of laundry has significantly increased.  Between the clothes changes because of slimy sour smelling baby barf (both mine and Chicken Little’s)  and cloth diapers (which I LOVE and could quite easily expound on my love affair with cloth and share in the process an unsolicited advertisement for the Fuzzi Bunz brand– but I that is not the point of this blog entry... )

It is about Laundry... and the Mystery of the Disappearance of Socks! Especially small infant sized ones – but applies to all socks.   In the early days, the disappearance of articles of clothing could simply be accounted for by saying that the sock was lost in the river.  Unfortunately, such excuses can no longer be used today. 

It's a well known fact that socks disappear in dryers.  Until now there has been no suitable theory to explain the mechanism by which they disappear. Since the mass of the stuff left on the lint screen is not enough to account for the missing sock, one can only conclude that this disappearance is not a simple physical phenomenon.  It was once  proposed that a sock would be completely annihilated on collision with an antisock, i.e. a corresponding sock composed of antimatter. However, how the antisock actually got there could not be explained, and furthermore the energy released, according to Einstein's mass-energy equivalence relation, would destroy not only the dryer, but also everything else within a 10 Km radius.

So I have now concluded that  it has something to do with the speed at which the socks move and centripetal motion created within the washing process wherein the socks are directed orthogonal to the velocity of the spin cycle, toward the instantaneous center of curvature of the dryer drum... resulting in the abrupt disappearance of socks into another dimension.

There remains one last question of why other things such as pants and shirts don't also disappear. In fact, they do, but less often because their greater size and mass make them less likely to do so.  Also, it is much easier to notice that a sock has disappeared, since socks come in pairs.

And that my friends is my latest theorem on the disappearance of socks.  As well as representing the types of things I think about at four in the morning while changing diapers. 

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.  ~Rudyard Kipling

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