Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘science

Report: You Should Put Out More

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DataScottsdale, AZ, May 13 – A study of the sensibilities of a male acquaintance appears to support the contention that you should be putting out more.

Data collected from 100% of your significant other over a three-month span point to a number of levels on which your relationship and overall quality of life would be enhanced if you were to take the relatively simple step of tending toward less chastity, the report claims. If true, the report has the potential to enrich an ongoing romantic relationship.

The researcher who led the study hopes the findings will have an immediate positive impact, but that depends entirely, he said, on your taking the matter to heart and acting accordingly. “The research speaks for itself, obviously, and the world would be a better place if in general people used their heads a little more often than their hearts – in this case, not the heart specifically, but whichever set of glands are responsible for raising inhibitions,” he explained. “At this point I encourage whoever reads the report to take it seriously, because following its sober conclusions can really bring benefits.”

While the report indicates an increase in positivity to be experienced if you put out more, a relative paucity of data limits the granularity the report can offer. The study’s original goal also included establishing a direct mathematical correlation between specific levels or frequencies of putting out and corresponding increases in satisfaction, closeness, and general well-being. However, the researcher, lamented, there simply have not been enough data points to put together a coherent picture of that statistical relationship.

“Beyond the important benefits that the study cites, for everyone involved, more putting out would also prove helpful in strictly scientific terms,” said the researcher. “In the interest of furthering human knowledge, if for no other reason, I urge the subjects of this study to cooperate in the creation, tracking, and documentation – preferably by high-quality video – of further material for a follow-up to this important research.”

Written by Thag

May 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Study: Too Late To Make Resolutions For 2015

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resolutionsBethesda, MD, January 5 – Scientists at the nation’s leading institute for chronological studies have concluded that as of today, there is no point in resolving to make a positive lifestyle or behavioral change to mark the new year.

Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed data from each year over the last 50, and determined that the temporal deadline for making a New Year’s resolution never occurs later than the fourth of January. Any resolution voiced or otherwise accepted after that date sill simply not take force, and the would-be resolver will have no choice but to wait until the following January 1 to make a valid commitment.

The study carries important implications for commitment studies, especially as they affect diets and relationships, says researcher Indyan Giver. “For many people, the onset of January activates their resolutions, but that only works when a person has a resolution lined up that can kick in the moment midnight arrives to usher in the new year,” she said. “But the calendar has some flexibility, meaning that as many as three more days can pass before it’s simply too late to make a resolution, and that person will remain unable to make any lasting positive changes for nearly 365 more days.”

To some, notes Giver, missing that tiny window of opportunity is a blessing in disguise. “Our study also found that up to 75% of Americans are physiologically incapable of sustaining a resolution beyond the third week of January, and 95% beyond the first week of February,” explained. “So this study is good news for most people, who shouldn’t bother anyway.”

The consequences of missing the resolution deadline generally involve becoming stuck in a rut of weight gain, bad habits, dysfunctional relationships, and undesirable work situations, with no hope of personal, professional, or any other sort of positive transformation. Which is just a well, says Giver.

“Imagine the deteriorating self-esteem that would result from all these losers being forced to confront their own inability to stick to anything positive,” she said. “The realization can be crushing, and send a person into an even more acute downward spiral of binging, guilt, inadequacy, shame, and a bevy of other unpleasant emotions. This way, they’re better off, knowing that it makes no difference most of the time anyway.”

Written by Thag

January 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Study: Twitter ‘Favorites’ Slightly Less Useful Than Bowl Of Warm Urine

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All it's missing is a label with a cool font.

New York, July 27 – An interdisciplinary team of pathologists and market researchers have determined that in terms of overall benefit to mankind, a bowl full of warm urine possesses greater utility than people clicking the “Favorite” toggle on a Twitter post, the journal Science reported this week.

Scientists looked at the potential positive impact of “Favoriting” a tweet and compared it with that of a receptacle containing secretions from the human urinary bladder. They found that while a Favorite can potentially – but not necessarily – induce feelings of positive achievement in the person or persons who posted the tweet, a bowl of urine starts out even warmer, and also has disinfectant properties.

Twitter allows users to indicate they approve of a tweet in three ways: Favoriting, replying with an actual response, and retweeting. The latter two methods generally result in the user’s followers seeing the original tweet, and thus afford it additional exposure beyond the roster of those who follow merely the original tweeter.

Favoriting, on the other hand, is directly and immediately visible only to the user and the original poster. Technically, a list of the tweets a user has Favorited is visible to others who view that user’s profile, but such an action remains rare. In contrast, a bowl of warm urine can be used to help water certain kinds of plants, or to keep away certain kinds of animals.

Twitter offers an alternative purpose for Favorites, a use that involves marking a tweet for later review or exploration, but such use also remains vanishingly rare, and is not congruent with the term “Favorite” itself. Urine, on the other hand, can also serve as a critical diagnostic medium for such important physiological indicators as diabetes, kidney stones, drug addiction, and hydration levels. It also usually serves as the preliminary vehicle for detecting pregnancy.

Written by Thag

July 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Satan Denies Possessing Gays

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HellHell, April 24 – The Prince of Darkness has weighed in on the raucous debate surrounding homosexuality in American society, flatly ruling out any direct influence on people’s sexual orientation.

“The factors that determine whether a given individual will be attracted to men, women, or neither, is not in the Satanic domain,” he said in an address to reporters. “I do, however, take glee in observing the discomfort and discomfiture of right-wing windbags reacting to people’s gayness, and I do all I can to magnify that.”

The exact extent of the belief that homosexuality is either a “lifestyle choice” or the result of such demonic possession is unknown, but the view that it is genetically determined, while accepted in the scientific community, has yet to gain significant traction among demographics that put more stock in what their preachers say than what the left-leaning media say. The same demographic group, however, comprises a large number of people also wedded to belief in an active Satanic presence in the world, and his announcement will have an as-yet-unclear effect on those segments of the population.

“The Satan-belief folks are often the same ones who deny empirical evidence in favor of a stubbornly literal reading of Scripture,” says social scientist Rick Santorum. “There’s no telling whether the trend will continues with this bit of evidence – it could be that, much like the geological and paleontological evidence, they will dismiss it. Or they might take such a direct communication from Satan himself at face value. My money, however, is on a schism between both factions, which is, after all, the American political and religious way.”

Satan declined to elaborate on any actual subjects of demonic possession, preferring to leave that as a source of tension and confusion. But he did allow that certain populations were predisposed to such manipulation, especially those in pursuit of power.

Written by Thag

April 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Scientists Discover Non-Scowling, Non-Yelling Parent At Walmart

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WalmartMahwah, New Jersey, March 27 – Researchers studying the population of one of the largest retail chains in the US were shocked today to discover the occurrence of a parent shopping there who was not interacting negatively with the children in tow.

Observing the customers at the Walmart here for a doctoral thesis, sociologists Mor Bidley-O’Beese and Trey Lertrache spotted a man in his thirties escorted by three children under the age of ten, each of whom seemed to be content. At first assuming that the lack of fighting, throwing, vandalism, running around/away, and whining was attributable to the children being medicated, the researchers soon realized, to their puzzlement, that in fact the group was inherently polite and well-behaved. Such a family grouping has not been previously documented at Walmart.

“The initial observation of the subject in question naturally led us to the conclusion that some pharmacological component was necessary to explain the behavior of the children,” said Lertrache. “We had no precedent for a non-dysfunctional dynamic in this environment.” It was only after they witnessed the non-ironic use of such terms as “please,” “may we?” and “here, you can use mine” that Lertrache and Bidley-O’Beese began to realize the anomaly they had encountered.

“We had been unaware that such a creature existed in this habitat,” said Bidley-O’beese. “No previous studies have found an intra-Walmart parent-child framework that was not riddled with passive or outright aggression; raised voices; snappy retorts; sarcastic remarks; verbal abuse; or borderline physical abuse.”

A further anomaly occurred when the family in question intentionally spent time in the dental and personal hygiene aisle. “In our experience, that’s generally a pass-through-it-to-get-to-the-snacks kind of aisle,” noted branch manager Iona Methlab. “It doesn’t get much in the way of people heading there to get an item on their shopping list.” She said others have stopped in that aisle before, especially seniors looking for denture cleaning materials, but certainly no families had headed there initially.

At press time, the family was waiting at the checkout line without berating the cashier and the people ahead of them not to take all day.

Written by Thag

March 27, 2014 at 8:34 am

Study Links Enunciation Of “T” In “Often” With Low Intelligence

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stupidityCambridge, MA, March 14 – Neurologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have discovered a correlation between improper pronunciation of the word “often” and poor performance on cognitive tests.

According to the study, people who pronounce the silent t in “often” are more likely to show significant deficiencies in problem-solving, comprehension, and basic common sense. They are twice as likely never to have mastered such skills as touch-typing, tying one’s shoes, and harboring a distaste for hip-hop “music,” and three times as likely to put just plain wrong toppings on pizza, such as anchovies, pineapple, corn, and tuna – even simultaneously.

Pronunciation of the t, which is manifestly wrong, according to anyone who knows anything, follows the example of the word soften. “Do people use fabric sof-tener when they do laundry?” asked the study’s lead author, Dr. Yogi Berra of MIT. “Apparently, the unintelligent hear other unintelligent people mangling the word and it sounds higher-class, so they adopt it, as well. It’s basically a plague of stupidity.”

The study found a similar correlation among people whose locutions include “between you and I,” “at the and of the day,” “last but not least,” “blogosphere,” “Web 2.0,” “peace process,” and “in the future/in the past,” the last two of which Dr. Berra calls an indictment of English-speaking civilization as a whole.

Dr. Berra is developing diagnostic tools to predict, at an early age, which children are likely to develop into mentally deficient adults who pronounce the says of the week as if they are missing the penultimate letter.

Written by Thag

March 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Researchers Unearth Ancient Use Of ‘Science!’ Without Exclamation Mark

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overreactingOxford, March 4 – Linguists at Oxford University have announced the discovery of an earlier form of the word “Science!” indicating that it did not always have an exclamation mark at the end.

Researchers examining manuscripts from ancient sources in the years Before Chat (BC) found multiple occurrences of the word without the terminal punctuation, indicating that it may have been pronounced with considerably less zeal than is standard today. Older dictionaries had always contained an entry without the exclamation mark, but sources with the term in actual use in its sparer form were not known. The discovery indicates that the pursuit of science! may have been a more sober undertaking in times of yore.

“We’re excited to be able to provide another piece of the linguistic puzzle, because science!” said lead researcher Brittany Hashtag. “It was mostly thanks to the hard work of those who compiled and collated the archival material with the help of technology. Science!” she added.

A similar study late last year revealed that originally, it was considered standard in online communication to end a sentence without appending “LOL” or an emoticon, a discovery that provoked a chorus of “OMG” from the academic community, which praised the researchers for its innovative use of science!

“Recent developments in linguists have me going, like, WTF?” says cultural anthropologist V@ne$$a $chultz. “The language and philology worlds are totes ROTFL over them. I’m glad these things are happening now, when I can observe them, because #YOLO, you know?”

At press time, researchers agreed the findings were amazeballs.

Written by Thag

March 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Global Warming Linked To Hot Local Singles In Your Area

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Friends castCambridge, MA, March 3 – Climatologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have published findings that point to a previously unknown source for the rise in the global temperature: the hot local singles in your area.

The researchers found a striking correlation between the localized instances of higher atmospheric temperatures and the number of positively caliente available romantic partners within an hour’s drive of your home. Scientists found that these hot local singles clustered around certain cities, as indicated by the frequency of offers to introduce you to them via your home computer or mobile device.

The number of delicious, sultry, and delectable members of the appropriate sex just waiting for you to contact them was overlaid with a satellite map of temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere over the last year. The climatologists were surprised to find an almost 100% correlation, a fact that has important implications for efforts to combat climate change.

“We either must reduce the hotness of the local singles, or reduce their concentration,” said the study’s lead author, Jay Dait. “In some localities this might not be such an apparent problem, as those places either have few singles, or at least only a few hot ones. But elsewhere, this could prove a major new front – and a formidable challenge – in formulating climate policy.” He mentioned Brazil and Argentina and major sources of hot singles, with Russia also an important contributor.

If confirmed, the study calls for vast shifts in the entities responsible for implementing change. Whereas until now global warming had been attributed to the industrial activities of developed areas such as Europe, the United States, and China, the new data sees a more evenly distributed, though still unequal, burden, as hot Asian women constitute a tremendous source of the warming, and, as internet ads demonstrate, are available in large numbers everywhere.

Written by Thag

March 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Report: Better You Not Know

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imagesWashington, DC, January 30 – A review of available data has concluded that under the circumstances, it would be better that you not ask.

Scientists analyzing the information for the Department of the Interior surveyed the results of the inquiry and determined that don’t even go there. They further stated that continued pursuit of the inquiries would result in an undesirable state of Too Much Information. The researchers would have published their results in a scientific journal, but it’s none of your goddamn business, come to think of it.

The team of researchers came to the clear conclusion based on a thorough second look at the data, which all pointed to the fact that they could tell you, but then they would have to kill you. In fact, they insisted, the most convincing interpretation of the data is, well, frankly, they would rather not talk about it.

“It’s basically unequivocal, and I’m not entirely certain how we missed it in earlier studies,” said lead author Sy Lentz. “I could say more, but, well, I think everyone’s better off if I don’t.” He added that he’d already said too much, and that he was sorry he even mentioned it.

Other experts confirmed the analysis. “Really, discretion is the better part of valor here,” said Ignatz Izbliss, who was not involved in the study, and is grateful for that fact. “Please, change the subject.”

The study strengthens the sense derived from previous research that, no, we can’t tell you, because you can’t then un-know it. Those studies, in turn, grew out of data pointing to the notion that let’s pretend you didn’t ask that.

Written by Thag

January 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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Study: Your Farts Smell Better Than Everyone Else’s

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pull my fingerCambridge, MA, January 28 – Biochemists at Harvard Medical School have confirmed that unlike the intestinal gases of others, your flatulence carries neutral, even positive, associations, as opposed to connotations of decay, nausea, and disgust.

A team of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows tested the emissions, sampling the various mixtures of gases that followed the digestion of sausages, pizza, burritos, peanut butter cups, falafel, ice cream, cholent, and chili. Your emissions were compared with those of everyone else’s, with specific testing of odor, potency, and associations that resulted from the inhalation of the flatulence.

The researchers discovered that invariably, your emissions were less offensive to the olfactory sensibilities and created exclusively positive, often humorous, associations, while those of other people’s intestinal gases produced feelings of repulsiveness, and created associations of death, shame, and existential fear. The scientists will publish their research in the upcoming issue of the journal Beef.

The results confirm what you have known all along, according to Cutter Limburger, a Columbia University gastroenterology professor who was not involved in the research. While the scent of your farts represents, “a celebration of life, exuberance, and lighthearted humor,” those of others call to mind, “the very brimstone pits of Hell.”

“It’s quite remarkable how clear the results are, really,” said Limburger. “Smell that. You see what I mean?”

Flatulence occurs primarily when certain carbohydrates are present in food, carbohydrates that the human digestive system does not produce enzymes to break down. Instead, bacteria feed on those compounds, and one of the byproducts of that bacterial digestion is the gasses that compose a fart.

Each human has a unique mix of bacteria in his intestines, giving rise to different fart compositions. The study demonstrates that your particular blend of bacteria produces the most pleasant aroma, while even a slight adjustment to the balance of microorganisms in the digestive tract produces a mixture of gases that transforms exuberant, youthful humor into the dark, abusive scoffing that arises when one’s existential security is threatened. As everyone else’s farts only serve as a reminder of humanity’s inescapable animal nature and eventual demise and decomposition, it is only natural that their smell would produce such shame.

Written by Thag

January 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

In Science, Math, US Students Now Rank Behind Mold, Cabbage

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Washington, January 22 – Data from standardized tests shows a new low in the academic achievements Among American high school students, placing their computational and analytical abilities just below those of the fungi and plant kingdoms.

As students from East Asia and the Scandinavian countries continue to excel, US students now rank 23,900,345,988,022nd, representing a severe drop since last year’s position as last among the world’s 208 countries with independent educational systems. Just ahead of the United States last year was South Sudan, a brand-new, war-torn African country, and Somalia, which the United Nations deemed a Failed State just a few years ago.

US leadership in education began to drop off in the decades following the Second World War, and has never really recovered. A stable period during the 1970’s saw the students maintain a position in top 20, but subsequent decay of the culture and educational system rendered any improvement impossible.

“We have to see this as a wake-up call,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “I really have no idea where we went wrong,” he added, noting that he was unsure whether that lack of knowledge was a cause or a symptom of the troubling results.

hag

Not Irma Strumpf. Probably.

“The easiest thing to do is blame the children themselves,” said noted educator Irma Strumpf, 102, who teaches Biology at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County in Uniondale, New York. “And that’s probably what we’ll do.” She said the fault certainly could not lie with the teachers, who know how to focus on priorities such as belittling students who fail to complete assignments, and unfavorably comparing younger siblings to older ones.

The rankings contain some anomalies that make them even more puzzling to researchers and educators. While US teenagers show little or no aptitude for basic arithmetic or the scientific method, they demonstrate keen abilities in remembering and processing the details of plentiful celebrity gossip, skills that could easily be adapted for use in academics. And with their proficiency in deciphering text messages with myriad non-standard linguistic expressions, educators expected the students to handle non-numeric mathematical symbols easily, which of course has not happened.

Written by Thag

January 22, 2014 at 8:55 am

Study: Holy Cow, You’re An Idiot

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StupidLos Angeles, January 20 – A new study by leading researchers in the field has concluded that my goodness, are you an idiot.

The study, which examined data from the last seven years, looked at the number of times you have made the manifestly wrong decision despite having all the pertinent information readily available. By comparison with a control group, the scientists were able to determine that you apparently fell out of the Stupid tree and hit your head multiple times on the way down.

“The data real do not bear out any other conclusion,” said Yuri Nalisses, who authored the study with seven of his colleagues at the University of California at Los Angeles. He said the team was surprised not so much by the extent of your stupidity as by its persistence.

“We have here someone who couldn’t reason their way out of a paper bag,” he emphasized with a shake of the head. “And yet somehow the government deems this person capable not only of voting, but of reproducing, serving on a jury, and holding public office. It’s mind-boggling” just how moronic you are, he said.

The team will publish the full study in next month’s issue of the journal Intelligence, a publication far beyond your capacity to find edifying, which is a word you have never understood, and never will.

An earlier study in 2009 found that while you were not the sharpest card in the deck, you could still manage to maintain a line of reasonably aware conversation, and possessed a passable level of self-awareness. That came on the heels of 2005 research that yielded a more ambiguous outcome: it indicated that you had no capacity whatsoever to discuss important political or societal issues, but could hold vast amounts of data regarding various baseball players of the mid-late 1980’s, which, let’s face it, only an idiot would do.

The earlier study called out for more analysis, as the apparent mastery of the significance of statistics and the ability to compute a batting average could serve a person well in other areas of life, but, inexplicably, you never applied those skills in any other context. Thus the 2009 study was born, but it continued to raise more questions that it answered. You clearly had the ability to remember names and faces, and even cultivate certain relationships, but your grasp of long-term consequences had yet to be demonstrated, pointing the way toward deeming you an imbecile.

The most recent study, says Nalisses, assessed far more data than the other two combined, leaving no doubt that you are among the dimmest bulbs ever to darken a room. This does not mean, he cautions, that you are fated to live a life of misery, as intelligence often has little bearing on one’s quality of life, or success as it is classically measured.

The researchers suggested pursuing a career in either politics or art criticism, fields in which intelligence is more often a handicap than an advantage.

Written by Thag

January 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm

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Report: Dude Looks Like A Lady

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220px-DudelookslikealadyLos Angeles (AP) – A survey of the available data on the appearance of a male in the vicinity shows that he resembles a female, area observers have reported.

Researchers Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Desmond Child conducted a series of observations to catalog the clothing, hair style, facial features, jewelry, footwear, gait, and mannerisms of a New York man, and published their findings in the journal Permanent Vacation. The article, titled “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” describes the data that led the team of researchers to their conclusion.

Among the observations that brought Tyler, Perry, and Child to their conclusion were the carefully styled long hair and the facial cosmetics applied in a manner consistent with common female practice, as well as more obvious clues such as the wearing of garments typically worn by women and not men, such as a gown. The team included a list of the factors, and logged the events during the study that indicated an emerging picture of femininity despite the manifest anatomical indicators of masculine phenotype.

The site of that served as the arena for the observations was a business establishment reputed as a frequent location for the appearance of males resembling females. The team relied on informal reports from local residents and business proprietors as to the recommended candidate observation sites, and found in their research that the recommendations were corroborated by the ease with which they identified a dude who looked like a lady.

“The solidity of the evidence in this case is impressive,” says Euphegenia Doubtfire, a San Francisco expert on cross-dressing who was not involved in the study. “Based on the description of the area and the observed individual’s features as described in the article, it is clear that the researchers did a commendable job in identifying the actual, as opposed to assumed, sex of that individual.

Not everyone agrees with the premises of the observation, though few actually challenge the conclusions. Researcher Nikki Sixx, who was not  involved in the research but was apprised of its progress, disputes the accuracy of the circumstances surrounding the observation, and his claims, if true, would cast doubt on the reliability of the data set.

For example, according to Sixx, the observed individual was not, as Tyler describes him, a “drag queen,” but one of Sixx’s associates, Vince Neil. According to Neil himself, who claims to have been involved in the preliminary stage of the research, the impetus for the study was actually a member of the wait staff at a bar. Neither Sixx nor Neil, however, dispute the conclusion that the observed dude indeed looks like a lady.

Written by Thag

January 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Tragedy Strikes As Gaza Strip Fails To Sink Into Mediterranean

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open sewer

This flow of water is an open sewer in the Gaza Strip and not, unfortunately, evidence that the miserable territory is finally, mercifully, being drowned.

Gaza City, Gaza Strip (AP) – The Gaza Strip was not struck by a massive earthquake that separated it from the rest of the Eurasian-African land mass and submerged it in the sea last night, a development that continues to send waves of horror and revulsion across the world.

A high-magnitude seismic event struck nowhere near the eastern Mediterranean Basin yesterday, resulting in not a single square centimeter of the coastal territory becoming forever lost. As a consequence, the area continues to suffer from appalling mismanagement, incitement to violence, soaring unemployment, inadequate sewage, and increased radicalization.

Scientists at the Tectonic-Oceanic Observation Bureau At Dahran (TOOBAD) in Saudi Arabia noticed at about 7 PM local time on Saturday that the Gaza Strip was being subjected to no significant seismic activity or disturbances in ocean wave movements, meaning that the semi-isolated area would persist as a hotbed of misery, frustration, militarism, and cynical moves by the political leadership to leverage residents’ suffering for diplomatic or rhetorical gain in the conflict with Israel. The sudden dislodging of the Gaza Strip from neighboring Israel and the Sinai Peninsula would have put an end to the territory’s struggles to maintain some semblance of an economy and will to live in increasingly depressing circumstances, but no such positive development occurred.

“It’s been an absolute disaster,” said TOOBAD seismologist Oh Aiwish. “The cumulative horror of this non-earthquake is going to haunt the entire Middle East for decades to come, and it will have profound impact on world events for at least the next hundred years.” For every second since yesterday that the Gaza Strip was not hit by a tsunami or massive tremor, said Aiwish, there was a corresponding buildup of tension and malice in its population that only laid the groundwork for a future eruption of unrest.

Israeli seismologists had also been monitoring the region, which has a number of fault lines, and they, too, discovered that Gaza had yet to be severed from the rest of Eurasia and removed from the stage of history. Gal Lee, a researcher with the Seismic-Tectonic University Program for Investigating Developments (STUPID), a semi-governmental body composed of academics, reported the horror on his colleagues’ faces as they discovered the misery continuing to unfold in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of not being hit with an unprecedented display of tectonic wrath.

“It’s hard to look at, and we sometimes have to go somewhere else for a few minutes and cry,” he confided. “But we have a job to do, even if that means being forced to look at things that no feeling human would ever want to see.”

Written by Thag

January 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Study Confirms You’re Wasting Time Right Now

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December 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

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Study: Apparently, Cookie Dough Can Be Baked Before Eating

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NantucketCambridge, MA (AP) – Food scientists at Harvard University shocked the culinary world this week when they released research results suggesting that cookie dough could be eaten even after baking it. They said, however, that this should is no way be construed as a recommended method of preparation.

A team of physicists and chemists subjected tablespoonfuls of cookie dough to temperatures of 375° F (190°C) for up to 15 minutes at a time and reported on the outcome. The scientists discovered that although the baking time altered the consistency, shape, and color of the dough, it remained edible, even tasty. The team intends to continue extensively researching this phenomenon, and scientists at many other institutions have expressed their own intention to attempt to replicate the research as soon and as frequently as possible.

Dr. Nestle Toll-House of Harvard and his fellow researchers used a standard formula to prepare cookie dough, a popular snack food, dessert item, or main course, depending on one’s mood. They combined butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, salt, baking soda, flour, and chocolate chips in a specialized piece of laboratory equipment. Whereas at this point traditional procedure would call the dish complete, Dr. Toll-House’s team had decided to perform a “baking” procedure, which until now has been used on cookie dough only in certain obscure circles.

They obtained flat sheets of aluminum and evenly spaced lumps of the dough several inches apart, and placed the sheets in a preheated oven. After several minutes the lumps of dough could be seen to melt somewhat, and after about 10, their final shapes had stabilized. According to the report, when the sheets were removed from the oven, the cookie dough lumps were crisp, with slight browning, and the chocolate chips were soft enough to leave streaks on the lips, cheeks, and chin.

The study’s publication prompted a harsh response from proponents of traditional methods. “It’s a shame Harvard wasted precious ingredients and power just to destroy perfectly good cookie dough,” said Piya Mess, Professor of Gynecology at Yale. Dr. Theo Bromine of Texas A & M concurred: “…Why…why would you do that?”

Others, however, have not been as swift in their judgment. “We have seen the study and do not question its scientific integrity. We do, however, reserve judgment on the conclusions until we have tasted, er, seen enough cumulative evidence from similar studies that support them,” read a statement from the Food Science Institute of America, based in Atlanta.

“This method represents a potential radical shift in kitchen behavior,” noted Dr. Ginger Snaap of Johns Hopkins University, a chemist who was not involved in the study. “Currently there are few practical applications for this theoretical knowledge, since cookie dough has a half-life of six seconds, meaning it disappears completely within a few minutes in the presence of humans. But this study means that a cook who wishes to prepare a tremendous quantity, perhaps in anticipation of close friends stopping by later, might be able to ‘bake’ lumps of the dough to make it easier to store.” She cautioned that the quantity that would need to be prepared to ensure its survival would far surpass the capacity of most domestic kitchens.

Dr. Toll-House has ambitions to explore what happens when the baked cookie dough is given a chance to cool to room temperature before it is eaten, but acknowledges that such data would be merely theoretical.

Written by Thag

December 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Ornithologists: Doves Don’t Cry; Prince An Idiot

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When Doves CryLos Angeles (AP) – Scientists who study avian physiology and behavior have criticized Prince’s 1984 single When Doves Cry, accusing the singer/songwriter of sowing ignorance – or, more likely, betraying it.

Noting that pigeons do not even have tear ducts, ornithologist Dror Adler of the University of California at Los Angeles and several other UCLA researchers castigated Prince, whose number-one single, the lead track from the album Purple Rain, for spreading inaccurate information about birds in general and doves in particular. “Even if doves could cry, which any fool knows they can’t, they certainly wouldn’t sound like the garbage-pail-worthy lyrics Prince seems to think they would express,” wrote Adler in an article for the journal Ornithology Today. Nor would it resemble the instrumental portions of the song, which Adler likened to the results of a Read the rest of this entry »

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December 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

France: Arafat Not Poisoned, Franco Still Dead, Earth Still Orbits Sun

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225px-ArafatEconomicForumParis, France (Reuters) – A government-commissioned analysis of the late Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat’s remains has concluded that he did not die of poisoning, as some Palestinians had charged, but by natural causes. Arafat died in 2004 and no autopsy was conducted at the time. The report also noted that Francisco Franco, who took power in Spain in the 1930’s and held office for four decades, is still deceased, and that the Earth continues to make its way around the sun each year.

A resurgence of the poisoning allegations led to Arafat’s exhumation and testing of his remains and personal effects. A Swiss team found evidence consistent with poisoning by polonium-210, a radioactive substance, while a Russian report, soon retracted, found no such evidence. Arafat died in a French military hospital after suffering bouts of intestinal distress. Franco has not come back to life in the meantime, and, perhaps more surprisingly, the sun continues to function as the star around which the Earth moves. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

December 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Scientists Still Unable To Explain Popularity Of Non-Chocolate Donuts

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jelly donutsCambridge, MA (AP) – Researchers at Harvard University have announced that despite a ten-year study involving physicists, chemists, biologists, and philosophers, they remain mystified by the phenomenon of non-chocolate donuts that people like.

The study examined sales patterns, manufacturing processes, anatomy, neurology, psychology, marketing, culinary history, genetics, molecular chemistry, and numerous aspects of the non-chocolate donut phenomenon and found themselves thwarted by the same enigma that stumped scientists nearly two decades earlier. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Scientists To McCartney: Lonely People Come From New York

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Eleanor RigbyLiverpool, United Kingdom (AP) – After nearly fifty years of research, scientists have finally been able to supply a satisfactory answer to a query first posed in a 1966 paper by noted social researcher Sir Paul McCartney regarding the origins of people with few or no intimate relationships. They point to New York, where millions of people live and work, and work very hard to avoid making eye contact.

The original paper, Eleanor Rigby: Lonely People in Aeolian and Dorian Modes, looked at the lives of two Lancashire residents who had no apparent friends or nearby relatives, one of whom died during the period of observation. The authors – McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Pete Shotton – took pains to set the particulars of the subjects’ lives against the meta-questions affecting socially limited individuals, repeatedly returning to the question of where such individuals originate.  Read the rest of this entry »

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November 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Scientists: San Francisco Earthquake-Prone Because City Built On Rock & Roll

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We Built This CitySan Francisco (AP) – Seismologists have concluded that the origin of San Francisco’s relatively high incidence of earthquakes and tremors results from the city’s foundation’s composition of rock and roll.

For decades, scientists have attributed the unstable ground of the San Francisco Bay area, along with much of western California, to its location along the fault line where two tectonic plates meet and move against each other. As a result of the constant shifting, the theory went, the tremendous pressure would be released when one or more portions of the area gave way, resulting in sometimes severe earthquakes. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Experts To Confirm Internet Addiction Exists As Soon As They Check FB Again

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internet addictionCharlotte, North Carolina (AP) – Mental health professionals studying the pathology and incidence of internet addiction are set to announce that it is a bona fide psychiatric phenomenon, right after they go onto Facebook and Twitter again just to check a couple of things.

In a landmark study involving more than 2,000 social media users, researchers were unable to meet their data collection objectives because they were too busy using the very platforms they were commissioned to study, all while denying they were in any way dependent on their obvious attachment to them. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Parent Scientists Isolate Ideal Bedtime

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Either a health risk or a manifest demonstration of  life lived correctly.

Either a health risk or a manifest demonstration of life lived correctly.

Cambridge, MA (AP) – Physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have announced the results of a multi-year effort to define the ideal hour at which children should be put to bed, including confirmation of a long-held assumption that a “golden window” exists during which children who cooperate with parental bedtime directives will enjoy happier, healthier lives.

A team consisting of thirty-five researchers across the country who are also parents of young children examined data regarding a cohort of 70 youths from the ages of six months to eleven years. They found that the best time for children to be tucked into bed was in the range of 6:45 pm and 7:30 pm, and even earlier if Mom or Dad had something special planned just for the two of them. The researchers published their findings in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

According to the article, the benefits of adhering to this bedtime scheme include, but are not limited to: more frequent and more plentiful desserts; fewer occasions for parent-administered discipline; an easier time getting ready for school in the morning; more generous allowance; and a significantly decreased likelihood of getting grounded.

“This study essentially corroborates everything we’ve been saying for a long time,” said Dr. I. Sedso, a Columbia University professor of physics and father of three who was not involved in the research. “Our experience,” she said, referring to the informal studies undertaken by colleagues with small children at home, “bears out that the household functions at peak efficiency when children have dinner at about 5:15, have a bath or shower, change into pajamas, brush teeth, and are ready for maybe a bedtime story and to be tucked in by 7 pm, 7:15 if a lice-combing is necessary,” she said in a telephone interview.

The study is the most recent in a series of MIT efforts to define and quantify various aspects of the parent-child dynamic. A report released in February noted the character-building benefits of taking out the garbage even when one has already removed one’s shoes, and the myriad positive effects on one’s long-term satisfaction inherent in keeping that racket down.

The research is not without its detractors. “We believe studies of this nature are a priori biased,” claims Houston-area ten-year-old Greg Niedermeyer. “They fail to account for the negative social impact that adhering to, for example, an early bedtime, exerts on the life of a typical schoolchild.” Niedermeyer also criticized an earlier study that found only positive outcomes for children who finished their vegetables, noting that only losers ate Brussels sprouts or beets in any form.

Niedermeyer pointed to a conflicting set of studies conducted over the last year by children at various elementary schools in Texas, Vermont, Indiana, and Florida, which found a significant correlation between later bedtimes and freer access to candy. “It’s clear that from a happiness point of view, liberal parental attitudes are key. The studies indicating otherwise suffer from a prejudiced set of assumptions, among them that whatever a parent wants is ipso facto desirable.”

Adult researchers, in turn, have assailed the schoolchildren’s research as agenda-driven, and noted that it was all underwritten by manufacturers of unnecessarily sweet breakfast cereals and of violent video games masquerading as educational tools.

Written by Thag

September 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Students Protest Inconsistent Value Of X

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find xWashington, DC (AP) – Students across the country have begun to object to the variable value assigned to the character X in their mathematics curricula, and intend to petition the Department of Education to demand a single standard value.

The Disciples’ Union for Mathematical Basics (DUMB) has collected the signatures of over four hundred thousand middle school and high school students since the start of the academic year on a petition to have the federal government mandate that X represent a constant value, a move that would remove serious unnecessary burdens from the shoulders of tomorrow’s leaders.

“We students spend countless hours in class and at home, puzzling out something that could just as easily be assigned a value once and for all,” said DUMB president Blonde Zaff-Morfun, 17, a high school junior and captain of her Memphis, Tennessee, cheerleading squad. “That time could be better spent on pursuits with more lasting impact, such as exploring the proper use contraceptives,” she claimed.

Along with the support of those myriad students, the movement has attracted the unexpected endorsement of teachers. The nation’s third-largest teacher’s organization, the Disciplinary Union of Mathematics and Biology EducatoRs (DUMBER), issued a statement backing the students’ initiative, asserting that its members waste valuable classroom time training their charges how to discover the value of X, only to have X represent a different – sometimes vastly different – number in a following exercise, often on the very next line of the textbook.

“DUMBER educators fully support the DUMB petition to assign one value to X once and for all,” read the statement, in part, “much as it supported the successful effort to ban biological terms longer than ten letters,” referring to a 1995 campaign to simplify the life sciences for junior high and high school students. That campaign won over enough Congressmen and Department of Education program directors to go into effect nearly immediately, putting an end to, for example, the Endoplasmic Reticulum, thenceforth known as Squiggle.

Whether the push by DUMB and DUMBER will attain its goals remains to be seen, as it has encountered opposition from rival movements that would like to see priority given to other educational arenas. The Brawny Union for Lotharios, Lackeys, and Yes-men (BULLY), for instance, sees the elimination of the variable value of X as a threat to its members’ social standing, as proficiency in math and the sciences remains one of the few academic areas in which the differences between BULLY students and others are still apparent in the classroom.

“The progressive dilution of the American middle- and high-school curriculum over the years has effectively eliminated the few diagnostic tools our members have to identify the Poindexters,” read a BULLY press release. “Any further elimination of achievement-based indicators threatens the more physically endowed students’ capacity to make gym class and between-period hallway taunting a living hell for those elements of the student body too pathetic to merit being left alone.”

The statement added that such treatment of academic achievement has been a cherished, valuable part of the American educational heritage, and its post-high-school practitioners have influenced the development of American foreign policy since Eisenhower.

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September 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

44% Of Broken Backs Result From Kid Stepping On A Crack

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step on a crackAtlanta, August 23 (AP) – The Centers for Disease Control has announced new findings in orthopedic research, noting that nearly half of the vertebral fractures among mothers occur subsequent to their child treading upon a crack in the pavement or the space where one piece of flooring meets another.

In a paper to be published in next week’s New England Journal of Medicine, the CDC team outlines its analysis of hospital orthopedics department statistics, which the study says indicate a close correlation between offspring crack-stepping and maternal spine fractures. The study authors did caution that the time interval between the stepping and the breaking has not yet been defined, but that the team currently believes it ranges from fractions of a second to several years.

“The implications of this study are obvious,” noted the lead author, Dr. Mo Thergus. “Beyond mere aesthetics and road safety, proper maintenance of road, sidewalk, and flooring surfaces can now be understood as a bona fide public health concern.”

Houston-area physician Allie Oxenfree, who was not involved in the study, agrees. “My orthopedic clinic sees a good number of back injuries among mothers, and one of my first questions is always, ‘Has your child been stepping on cracks recently?’ It’s been anecdotal for some time, and it’s good to see the CDC doing real clinical research to pin down this important injury factor.”

Others would like to see more research before they are prepared to accept the link between crack-stepping and back fractures. “We saw the same rush to judgment when alligator purses were linked to the likelihood of a doctor-nurse team paying housecalls,” said Lucy Steamboat, currently the head of pediatric orthopedics at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York. “But it turns out the sample size for that study was small, and it involved only fourth-grade girls with a sense of rhythm.”

 

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August 24, 2013 at 12:45 am