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Studies in Shadow...from the team at Archimedes Presse
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Sunday, September 15, 2013



It seems obvious that most people have an unconscious realization that something odd happens at the heart of a functioning washing machine. A realization which most are too diffident to discuss with others.

How many people have bitten their tongue rather than given vent to their feelings when an article of clothing has emerged so tangled and unrecognisable that it is beyond wearability?

Well, these changes are the result of messing with the basic stuff of the universe, the causality which underpins our very existence. I have invested considerable time (and space)in understanding the nature of the phenomena.


At the heart of the washing machine is a drum, sometimes carefully non-cylindrical, sometimes merely studded with three or four ribs protruding into the interior. These departures from symmetry or smoothness not only stir up the washing load but interact with, at least, the three familiar dimensions of space and one of time.

This results in garments being turned – partially or fully – inside out: knickers with the label firmly attached to the outside, shirts with one or both arms inside out – even with a breast pocket inside out and everything else apparently normal.

The reason behind this is that the three dimensions of observable space become muddled, width may become height, length become width, and so on. Rather less common is the incident of a fourth spatial dimension being involved – where half a pair of socks will disappear completely and turn up in some other washing machine entirely. Finally is the equally confusing occurrence when a lone sock or any other small garment disappears only to reappear in a later wash – and usually right side out.

Large washing machines – like those in launderettes – are less prone to the problems of the smaller domestic varieties. Their larger drum size is not able to disturb the spacial dimensions to the same extent but, when there are such occasions, the results can be very much more serious and widespread. A street full of shops suddenly collapsing, a carefully constructed pile of boxes suddenly falling apart, even individuals vanishing and coming to in a totally unknown location or never being found again; this last phenomenon is more likely to happen to elderly males using laundry facilities after work or late in the evening.



Now that we have seen how common these phenomena are, it is possible to follow-up on slightly more complicated possibilities.

It becomes obvious with a little thought that the entanglement of the contents of a washing machine is almost universal. Indeed, the odd garment which emerges right side outside and in a more less recognisable shape is not an article which has escaped entanglement, it is an article which has undergone entanglement twice, four or any even number of times. A garment with, say one leg inside out and the other right side out, is a garment which has experienced partial entanglement. There may also be occasions when the lone sock has been moved to a future or past machine cycle and returned along the same time-like curve.



I have derived equations to describe the dimensional interactions involved but they are currently the subject of patent applications and so cannot be divulged here, even if there were the space (and time) to do so.

I am willing to accept invitations to speak on the subject in return for only slightly exorbitant fees. Please write to the Institute for Research into Temporary Space-Time like Curves at Droppeny Marsh, UK.

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