Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Theory Gone Awry

Every so often, my mind clicks into a different mode. It follows an aha-moment and I spend the free time of the next few days researching it. Sometimes it works and I've got a new course of action or way of thinking or more research to do. This time it didn't. My latest theory fizzled. But that doesn't mean we can't all learn from it.

I have a degree in chemistry which is relevant to the current discussion only because it shows a bit how I think: linearly. And I'm not afraid to fail in an experiment. Which this was.

Listening to a report on the nightly news about the President's family, I had my aha-moment. There are two daughters in the White House now. There were two before them. Then one before that. The elder Bush's children were all grown, as were the Reagan's, but the Carter's had a daughter. Nixon, two. Was there a link between being President and having daughters?


I printed out a list of Presidents and started a hunt for gender of children. Wikipedia makes it so easy. Under the political career highlights in the side bar, is the family info. It didn't take long and I had my answer.

No link. In fact, there are more sons. Some presidents had no biological children listed: Washington, Monroe, Jackson, WH Harrison, Cleveland, Harding. Others made up the difference: Tyler with 15 comes to mind or Hayes with 8.

But it was an interesting way to spend an hour and now you don't have to.

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