by Matthew Cobb
This popped into my Tw*tter feed. Not sure of its original provenance, but it works. Or rather, it worked on me.
There’s a long thread on this at museumofhoaxes.com, from 2005. It isn’t a *hoax*, though effects can be variable. It’s been an e-mail, a Facebook page, in some versions it’s ‘from an orthopedic surgeon’ (so it MUST be true of course). There are Youtube videos of people doing it (go look yourself; it isn’t that interesting!), it’s even been picked up by arch-loon David Icke (no I am NOT linking to that lizard). I’m sure many of you have tried this over the years, but I’ve led such a sheltered life I never came across it until today.
Why does it work? According to one 2010 commenter “My God created our bodies and you know our bodies are excellent!!!”, so that’s obviously true. More likely, it proves that we are quadrupeds, and that the movement of our limbs is neurally linked. It seems to me that it’s basically the same effect as one that is well-known by runners: if you want your legs to go faster, pump your arms, although that generally works contra-laterally (ie you pump your left arm, your right arm goes forward). I just tried it with moving my right foot and then doing the gesture with my *left* hand and it didn’t seem to work. (You can tell I have a shedload of marking to do and am engaged in pathetic work avoidance behaviours…).
Those of you who aren’t watching the Superb Owl (I don’t get American ‘football’), chip in below with whether it worked for you, and other examples of weird and wonderful behaviours. Or discuss the flow of this particular ‘meme’ around the internet.