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A study in movement

Oliver Fortune discovers an interest in science

Despite having declared my brain a Commonwealth Games-free zone earlier this summer, yesterday – for want of anything more constructive to do – I switched to BBC1 and watched both the men’s and women’s triathlon events whilst simultaneously doing other things, e.g. flicking through the newspapers.

In my capacity as a roving reporter for National Rust, and indeed amateur scientific research student, as it happens I surprised myself by taking greater interest in the women’s event, which was staged first, beginning shortly after 11.00am.

The catalyst was the inclusion in the BBC’s coverage of its latest toy, a camera or cameras capable of recording and then playing back super-slow-motion high definition moving pictures of stunning quality. Shortly after the female competitors made the final transition, from bike-riding to running, the television director began dropping occasional super slo-mo video clips into the coverage.

The BBC commentators took no particular notice of these and simply carried on describing the race as it unfolded and individual competitors either faded or made their moves to strike for home and the medals.

Meanwhile, those watching at home (like me) did spot something out of the ordinary and worth remarking upon. In the cause of science advancement, I found myself unconsciously making a decision to undertake a specific new study of a phenomenon that I had never come across before in what is probably fifty-five years’ worth of looking at women.

The high-definition slo-mo coverage demonstrated conclusively that when a woman runs – and this applies whatever the bust-size of the lady concerned – her breasts perform in an unexpected manner.

triathlonI first noticed this as the leading group of five runners – two English, one Australian, one Kiwi and one from Northern Ireland – pushed on to extend their lead over the rest of the pack.

Every slow-motion sequence showed the same thing.

As a running female takes each stride, one might have expected the relevant breast to exhibit a bounce, timed to match the stride, or perhaps follow milliseconds later.

I certainly did.

But no. I was fascinated to notice than in fact each stride prompted a multiple movement in the breast. As each stride was taken, the breast bounced up and down twice, or possibly even twice-and-a-half. I found this observed fact bordering upon the incredible and decided to concentrate and watch for further instances of slo-mo work in order to check and re-check my initial research finding.

Dear reader, you may not be surprised to learn that my eyes had not deceived me. The running section of the women’s triathlon lasted about 30 minutes and, during this period,  I was able to confirm my original observation to a degree that meets the exacting requirements of scientific academia.

I shall be submitting my 38-page report to The Lancet this afternoon, once I have proof-read it again and had four copies made at my local KallKwik shop.

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About Oliver Fortune

A doctor formerly specialising in sexual health, Oliver has written widely on matters relating to sex, relationships and counselling. He is divorced and has one daughter. He is a keen skier and mountain biker. More Posts