Dear DMC: Thanks to Steve for the news about this year’s Ig Nobel awards. It’s indeed good to know that yawning by tortoises is not contagious. I expect that will put the minds of many people at ease.

When reading the BBC article, what particularly caught my eye was the prize for Literature. The prize went to John Perry, Professor of Philosophy at Stanford, for his Theory of Structured Procrastination.

As I see it, to get things done I need to structure the things properly:

•  things that are important;

•  things that are even more important. 

What came to mind was something Robert Benchley wrote some years back. Sure enough, when I went to Perry’s web page about Structure Procrainaion, at the top of the page was a quote from Benchley: “anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” (From Robert Benchley’s “Chips off the Old Benchley” (1949)).

Here’s John’s website:

Joe Kerr
New York

October 3, 2011