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Opening Arguments

They've gone to sock heaven

A mystery that has befuddled us all is finally explained -- Why do socks always get lost in the laundry?

You have many socks, and if you see one of them and don't immediately find its partner, you say, "Oh! A sock has been lost!" You remember that a sock is missing, but you do not exactly recall its type or color.

Later on, you see the matching sock, but you don't remember that it forms a pair with the first sock, and you say to yourself (again): "Another sock is missing. Where is its partner? I can't believe so many socks go missing."

So we often count as lost each sock in a pair—even though neither is really lost. At the end of the day, the mystery is not due to the suspension of the law of physics but to the much larger puzzle of how our memory works (or doesn't work).

Nope, ain't buyin' it. Until I'm proven wrong, I will continue to believe there is a black hole for socks somewhere deep in the washer or dryer, a fifth dimension of footwear as it were. Next we should take up the mystery of coat hangers, which are like cops: always hanging around when you need them, never to be found when you do.

Posted in: All about me, Science