Monday, May 12, 2008

Spin Cycle

I think I mentioned a while back that I was going to take up another thesis project, so that my main one became a source of procrastination, thereby getting more time spent on it. I have a progress review tomorrow and I'm all excited to go in there and announce my new project. I have decided to switch my thesis topic to write about laundry. I want to examine why it is that CC needs to do six loads of washing every fortnight, while I only do about two and a half in the same time frame. At this early stage in the project, my preliminary research suggests it has to do with the surface area of our respective clothes. A further possible contributing factor to this phenomenon is that I may in fact put a larger volume of fabric in each machine, but this theory is as yet entirely untested and purely conjecture. At this stage, the plans are in the air somewhat, but I am quite sure I will include a chapter on handwashing. Background research into why women's clothing often requires handwashing while men's clothing seldom (if never) does will be a foundation of this proposed chapter.

11 comments:

Rosie said...

please include the Swede in your studies. i think he washes each item of clothing individually.

Felix for Zosia said...

Do you think he would agree to be interviewed? I'll organise the ethics clearance and post some forms for him to sign.

Rosie said...

probably. he's the biddable sort.

Cléa said...

Brilliant subject. Make sure you measure the volume of washing powder and note any fabric softener usage. And handwashing by males? Unheard of!

Jo said...

I sort of want to mention the possibility of meticulous separation of whites/colours, delicates/er... robusts and the like, but I'm worried that if I invest myself in this whole dialogue, it will become a conversational vortex from which I'm unable to escape.

Plus, I have to have a cuppa.

Felix for Zosia said...

Oh wow - so many ideas.

Thanks Rosie. This could get huge - not only gender issues but cultural differences as well.

Cléa - Very good point. Perhaps I'd better look at brand differences too.

Jo - "meticulous separation of whites/colours"... I think there is a chapter in there I'd like to call "Apartheid".

John said...

Hm. Once I wrote a study on the 'Ideal Horse' necessary for the rigorous definition of 'horsepower'.

"The ideal horse is an approximation to the average horse for use in measures of power, and refers to a perfectly spherical horse of mass 400 kg, density 1.167kg/L, and of uniform composition. The ideal horse will be approximated to consist entirely of water. The power of the ideal horse is referred to as the power of the 1919 standard with the compensations for the ideal state given by the ideal horse equation."

Felix for Zosia said...

"Hm" indeed John. I'm thinking a similar equation that we might call "washerpower" will need to be calculated. Not, I hasten to point out, that I want you to think I am a perfectly spherical woman who weighs 400kg...

davey said...

Other than being hilarious, could you guys explain to me why they have to be spherical? I wouldn't think a round horse much good for anything; generating power and washing my long johns included.

Felix for Zosia said...

Well Davey, I have absolutely no idea so hopefully Dr John can enlighten us both. I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere about "Long John Silver" but I can't bothered figuring it out. DIY folks.

John said...

To make the maths easier :P