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Breakfast Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
Sod's Law: a rocket scientist writes...
carpentry tools
victims of Sod's law are most likely to own a tool kit
If you're middle-aged and live in the West Midlands, you will probably know this already.

Seven out of ten of us believe firmly in Sod's Law: the principle that if anything can possibly go wrong, then it will.
Prof Heinz Wolff
Prof Wolff came in to the studio with his own piece of experimental toast

Researchers have discovered that those most likely to be affected by Science's most useful law are aged between 45 and 54 years old, live near Birmingham - and own a toolkit.

But does Sod's Law really exist? Breakfast sought the services of a rocket scientist to find out.

Sod's law usually comes into operation when you're in a hurry or stressed out, explained Heinz Wolff, who's the head of the European Space Administration and a professor at Brunel University.

"When you try extrea hard, you do something which stresses the mechanism," he said.

"Some people have more empatny with machines. They treat them more kindly and so the machines don't go wrong so much."


Judging by your e-mails, many of you feel you don't need a rocket scientist to tell you that Sod's Law exists.

You've come up with all sorts of theories - and ways to harness the natural powers of the family cat to ensure that the toast doesn't land butter side down.

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Professor Heinz Wolff
on what makes Sod's Law work
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