Friday, May 22, 2009

My rebuttal to a Craig Lord's article "Why We Know This Is The Age Of Buoyancy " at 'Swim News'

The suit approval letter sent to FINA by Professor Jan-Anders Manson, from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne, Switzerland to FINA was re-posted at

Craig Lord had a different point a view regarding the interpretation of Professor's Mason's phrasing than I did.
"...While these swimsuits comply with the buoyancy value when tested in accordance with the defined procedure, we note that this kind of construction may cause significant air trapping effects when worn by the swimmers."

Prof Manson's letter makes something very clear: a ban on the use of non-permeable, non-textile fabrics of any kind is well overdue. [...]

For those who grasp at the word "may", it is used in this sense: "If you walk in the rain with your hood off, you may get wet hair". No-one is left in any doubt that hair would indeed get wet. ..."
My Rebuttal: The honorable Professor designed a testing protocol with a de facto set of buoyancy standards that were made known to all the suit manufacturers in Dubai last March.

Several suit manufacturers underwent radical redesigns whereas some suit companies simply went with what they had.

Subsequently, those standards were met by all the "rubberized" suit companies and the first sentence makes that clear.

Next, It is my belief that Craig Lord; who I respect as a journalist and who has done some great work for the Times Online, does not define or provide an accurate example or definition of the word: "may."

Definition of the word "may"

may 1 (m)aux.v. Past tense might (mt)

1. To be allowed or permitted to: May I take a swim? Yes, you may.
2. Used to indicate a certain measure of likelihood or possibility: It may rain this afternoon.
3. Used to express a desire or fervent wish: Long may he live!
4. Used to express contingency, purpose, or result in clauses introduced by that or so that: expressing ideas so that the average person may understand.
5. To be obliged; must. Used in statutes, deeds, and other legal documents. See Usage Note at can1.

Finally, Scientists don't parse or measure words. the data is demonstrable or it is not. Professor Mason simply stated a conjecture with his use of the word "may" as noted in the definitions above.

If I am mistaken and this is not the case than it is Professor Mason's responsibility to clarify the letter and produce data that validates that "significant air trapping effects" produced a buoyancy factor that violated the protocol. If that cannot be done, then the suits passed and France, Japan, Italy and the USMS have got it right.

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