Time Yourself Washing Your Hands

October 2, 2007

My nephew sings happy birthday while washing his hands, a trick his mother taught him to keep him focused for at least ten seconds while cleaning up. Measuring elapsed seconds is one of the simplest techniques of self-regulation, but not so simple that an inventor named Charles T. Collopy didn’t try to patent a device for a soap dispenser that counted off the time while you scrubbed. The compliant U.S. Patent office complied, issuing the patent in 2004.

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