First, I have to say that it isn’t my goal to win an Ig Nobel Prize. I heard someone say “the grass is always greener on the other side” yesterday, and that is what lead to this blog entry. The expression refers to how other people’s lives and possessions appear to be better than one’s own.

But, what about actual grass? Consider a lawn that has a patch of imperfect or missing grass. (See the drawing below.) If you look at it from an angle almost straight above it (view B in the drawing), you see most of the patch. But, if you look at it from a very low angle (view A in the drawing), then the patch is harder to see. It may even disappear.

So, if you and your neighbour each have one bad patch of grass, you will be able to see your own much clearer than your neighbour’s. And, your neighbour will see her own bad patch of grass as being worse than yours. In other words, the grass is always greener on the other side!

A diagram showin how grass quality depends on viewing angle