On Tying Shoe Laces and Keeping Things Simple
I have tied my own shoe laces for most of my life, repeating the task in the identical manner at least once a day. Is this an indication of simple proficiency, or am I in a rut?
A little research into the subject of shoe laces took me to Ian’s Shoe Lace site where there are instructions to no less than eighteen different ways to tie shoe laces. Others, with apparently more spare time than Ian, have delved even deeper into the mystique of shoe laces.
In 2002, Bukard Polster, a Professor of Mathematics at Australia’s Monash University, published the Shoelace Book. He claims that there are 43,200 ways to lace a shoe with 12 eyelets. In reviewing his work the Australian Mathematical Society said, “The analyses are elegant, simple, and should be accessible to a reader with a basic understanding of calculus”. I found no mention of the digital dexterity required. However, I can now attribute my absolute disregard for high school calculus for the reason that I reached mid-life with only one simple — yet effective — way to tie my shoes.Take one end of the lace in each hand. Wrap the end in the left hand over end in the right hand. Pull each end in opposite directions. With your right thumb and index finger make a loop in the end pointing to the right. Wrap the end pointing to the left around this loop and gently pull the lace through the hole beneath the first loop. You are creating a second loop. Gently pull the two loops in opposite directions tightening the knot.
In life, keeping things simple and elegant is best.