Wednesday 9 July 2003

A Brief History of Lapdancing

Non-scientists may have been surprised to hear that Stephen Hawking spent five hours last weekend watching strippers in Stringfellows.

The Big Bang happened, as far as we can be sure, in 1995, when Britain's first lapdancing club, For Your Eyes Only, opened in a warehouse in North London.

For many scientists, it was the first time they had been so close to a naked woman standing on a table. Or, indeed, any naked woman.

But it was the culmination of thousands of years of diligent research, dating back to the dawn of scientific study.

Ever since the earliest days of learning, when Pythagoras drew curves in the sand, scholars have not shrunk from asking the big question: "How can we meet naked girls?"

The first recorded experiment with a scientist and nudity involved Archimedes running naked through the streets of Syracuse, Italy, shouting "Eureka!" It was not judged a success but it established early on that it would be best if scientists kept their clothes on.

More than a 1,000 years passed before Galileo invented the telescope in the hope of peering into a nearby convent.

And it was several hundred years more before Sir Isaac Newton formalised the study of naked ladies in his seminal publication, Principia Table Dancia.

Its most important conclusion states that if women take their clothes off, men will pay money to watch.

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