Neck and neck

Neck and neck

In advanced neckwear news, a mathematician in Stockholm has led a small team on a 5-year mission to explore strange new neckwear, to seek out new knots and new windings, to boldly tie a tie where no one has ever tied a tie before.

Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson and his stalwart band of Swedish tie fighters recently discovered the 177,147th different way to tie a necktie: around the neck of an albino dog (pictured above).

This is 177,062 more ways than were found to be of any use to tie-wearing Cambridge mathematicians Yong Mao and Thomas Fisk in 1999. Mao and Fisk arrived at 85 possible ways before shifting the focus of their research to the more lucrative field of studying the effects of neckwear on goat-arousal.

Why the discrepancy? Two factors were paramount: the waning influence of the Windsor Guild of Tie-tying Purists, and fashion trends in the albino dog community. Take, for example, a conventional standard: dogs don’t wear ties. Most dogs still prefer a collar for formal occasions. However, some albino dogs (pictured below) will don a bowtie when time traveling with the boy.


The end result of the research is a richer mathematical language for tie knots, which until this century was stuck at three (necktie, bowtie, ascot).

Commenting on the albino dog necktie, physicist Stephen Hawking told a crowd at the Science Museum in London, “Neckwear would be more interesting if it had not been found.”

Sadly, the albino dog wearing the tie in question, has produced a reality series entitled Shar-pei Dressed Man: Sadly’s 177,147 Ways to Tie A Tie, which will run in 3-6 minute segments on DogTV.  The 59,040-part series debuts in the fall.

Click on Sadly to read the original story. Below, the Cape knot, which the Vejdemo-Johansson model allows for and the Mao/Fink model excludes.


One thought on “Neck and neck

  1. I didn’t realize they were still pressing forward with this experiment. Personally I felt like their best work came in the 98,000-107,695 range. Everything past that has felt a little uninspired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s