Ever since Pavlov's dog experiments discovered conditioned reflexes, educationalists and animal trainers have wondered how to speed up learning. Now a ground-breaking experiment is underway to see how quickly something can be unlearnt.
Albert Einstein (no relation) had an Archimedes moment when his kitchen pedal bin broke. 'I didn't run down the road naked,' he admitted, 'but I did think this could make for an intriguing experiment. Now, when I stand on the pedal, nothing happens until I bend and use the handy tab I've taped to the lid. The big question is, how long before I stop standing on that useless pedal, waiting for the lid to lift?'
'My wife is doing the same so another question is which of us will unlearn first. I expect to win, but if she gets there first I'll just say it's because she uses the bin more than I do.'