Keep Your Earphones From Tangling in your pocket.


Wine corkNo matter how carefully you store a pair of earphones into your pocket, they emerge crazy tangled. Why does this happen? Is there anyway to avoid the tangling?

Some scientist at UC San Diego unraveled the mystery of headphones tangling in a study titled “Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String” which won them an Ignobel Prize in 2008.

The researchers put in a box strings of different length and rotated it. Then they opened the box to see if knots had formed.

After over 3,000 trials, they identified a number of factors that lead to entanglement, the length of the cord being the first. A string shorter than 46 cm never tangled, but as the string gets longer, the probability of getting knots increases sharply. This is why a 3 meter long Christmas tree lights can melt your soul. So using earphones with shorter wire lengths might help, but obviously, that would be funny.

They also found that each time a new type of knot was formed. So it’s not very probable that you would come across the same type of knot twice in your earphones.

Also, cords made up of flexible materials are more due to entanglement because of the lack of friction control. Keeping this in mind Apple has patented a method to keep iPod earphones from tangling by stiffening the wires so they can’t curl in on themselves so easily.

If you rather keep your old earphones instead buying an Apple pair you can make yours thicker using the technique from the grade-school days of knotting up friendship bracelets. The particular knot seen in the picture is known as the Chinese Staircase.

Although this are not your only options. Physicist Robert Matthews from Aston University in Birmingham says that clipping the two earphones together, then attaching them to the end near the audio jack, will solve the problem – and he’s got the research to prove it. To test his theory, he persuaded kids in eight schools to keep clipped and unclipped earphones in boxes and report the results. Some 12,000 trials later, he found that looping reduced the risk of knots.


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get them untangled


The “Paper Effect”. Note Something Down, put it in your pocket, And You’re More Likely To Forget It.


Some scientist in Canada challenged a group of undergraduates to play the card game “Pairs“. In case you’re unfamiliar with the game, the idea is to memorize the locations of pairs of cards arranged in a grid. After the study time, all the cards are placed face down. Each turn, the player flips over one card and must then recall the location of its duplicate partner.

Here’s the study’s first twist: half the students were given the chance to make notes on paper about the locations and identities of the picture cards. The others had to rely on their biological memories. Here’s the second twist. After the study period, to their surprise, the note-taking students had their notes taken away. Both groups were then tested on the locations and identities of the different cards. The group which took notes performed much worse when it came to remembering the locations of the cards.

So we are more likely to forget the things that we write down. We pay less attention and we don’t make the effort to create a memory we can recall.

This is evolved to what is know as the “Google Effect“. According to the first study about this effect people are less likely to remember certain details they believe will be accessible online.

The study included experiments conducted with students at Columbia and Harvard. The subjects had to type into a computer the details of answers to questions handed out to them. When some answers were typed in, one third of the times the computer said “Your entry has been saved.”, one third of the times it said “Your entry has been saved on the folder facts, data, info, names, items, or points.” and one third it said “Your entry has been erased.” The participants were led to believe that they could make use of the saved information in a test trial. The result showed they remembered more from the latter category than the two others.

The subjects had an easier time remembering the folder names than the statements, so we’re not thoughtless, empty-headed people who don’t have memories anymore. But we are becoming particularly adept at remembering where to find things.

Do you have a Credit Card That Won’t Swipe in your pocket?


If you still have a swipe credit card instead a chip and pin one you should know that the band of a credit card is like a cassette tape. And after hundreds of repeat performances, a credit card slowly wears down.

The reason: Both the tape and the magnetic stripe on the card are made up of millions of iron-oxide particles that convey information by generating electrical pulses in the reader.

With the use, these particles get scrubbed, creating background noise. Luckily, this noise has very low magnetism, and it can be softened by increasing the space between the magnetic stripe and the head that reads it. So if your credit card just stops working, simply cover the stripe with Scotch tape or put it into a plastic bag and continue shopping!


 Posted by Shedka


 Listen to the whole show here:     Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5

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