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Group Theory in the Bedroom (americanscientist.org)
65 points by prtk on Aug 26, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

Previous submission of the canonical URL, with on-topic discussion:


Begs the question of how best to do the numbering. The sequence yaw, roll, yaw, roll will give a full rotation without requiring that the mattress ever be flipped length-wise (pitch). But this isn't a golden rule because you have to remember the last operation. Hence, you can start with any orientation, label the upper right corner 0, yaw, label it 1, roll label it 2, yaw label it 3, roll done. Now all you have to do is remember to flip the mattress. :)

Oh, and the rule is, if the next number is on the same side, yaw (duh), if it isn't, roll.

The closest to a golden rule (besides random flipping) is given early in the article and is a two-step rule:

Linda Cobb, The Queen of Clean®, recommends flipping on a seasonal schedule - side-to-side in spring and fall, and end-over-end in summer and winter.

In other words, when you flip the mattress over, alternate between flipping from the side, and flipping from the foot. This will take you through the cycle of four configurations.

Always a fun read :)

>The absence of a golden rule for mattress flipping is a disappointment, but it does not portend the demise of Western Civilization. We can adapt; we can learn to live with it.

More and more mattresses these days are side-sensitive; you can't flip it over.

This reduces the number of possibilities to 2. Not very interesting, group theory-wise.

Perpetuates the myth that mattresses carry the statement "Do not remove this label." , when in fact they carry a statement more like "Not to be removed except by consumer." Free yourselves; discard your labels.

I remember reading a similar thing in a Barnes and Noble. Oh, bookstores...it was a fun read.

Was not the guide to symmetric and asymmetric positions that I expected. Would not read again.

maybe I will just buy a new matress this weekend :)

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