“Abdominal hairs serve as a conveyor belt for transporting fibers upward from underwear and depositing them in the umbilicus.” – Karl Kruszelnicki, Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney.
Dr. Kruszelnicki won a 2002 Ig Nobel Prize for his work in elucidating the mechanics and mysteries of navel contents. He pointed out at the Ig Nobel acceptance ceremony, where his prize was presented by three real Nobel Prize winners, that he could never have met such great minds as these had he not gone where few have gone before.
I stopped wearing underwear my freshman year in college. One day it occurred to me that it really served no purpose other than custom and enriching Jockey. I haven’t noticed any difference in my life in the ensuing years, other than the absence of wedgies. On reflecting on the findings of Dr. Kruszelnicki, however, I realize that I recall having a much more lint-laden bellybutton in the years W.U. (with underwear) than those since.
What is it with Australians and the navel, anyway? Peter Goldsworthy, considered by some Australia’s present-day Voltaire, fixated on his to the point that he entitled a recent collection of his essays “Navel Gazing: Essays, Half-Truths, and Mystery Flights.”