Thursday, November 30, 2006

From the Annals of Scientific Literature

From the annals – that’s with two “n”s – of scientific research come two reports of really no interest, but mild amusement, nonetheless. I am indebted for these finds to a former colleague who says he reads this blog religiously. I will suggest he find a new religion!

Something to Chew On, But Not for Long

The first one to chew on seems to be a joke, but it is isn’t. The authors claim this is the world’s first study on whether listening to your lip-smacking while eating makes you enjoy the meal more.

This is an important subject, they say, because it is well known that elderly people in hospitals often suffer poor nutrition. But these crack scientists found zero relationship between noisy chewing and enjoyment. It is always a tragedy for graduate students and their professors when they don’t find what they were looking – or listening – for, but this research team was honest. It decided the sample of 10 people was too small to be meaningful.

Y’a think?

I have two theories why there was no relationship between hearing yourself masticate and having a mouth orgasm over the food. 1) Old people don’t hear so well. 2) The study was done in England, where nothing can improve the enjoyment of one’s meal.

I am only thankful that my tax dollars did not pay for this study.

No Moose is Good Moose

The second study is very much important to the people, and wildlife, of the state of Maine.

A five-year study found that drivers in Maine 1)need to be more careful, 2)auto engineers ought to improve safety and 3) state arborists ought to remove roadside vegetation in order to cut down on the fatality rate caused by horny moose.

This was paid for by my tax dollars, not that I can identify which ones. (Maybe the Susan Anthonys I dropped off at the bank a few years ago.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – nominally known for fighting bird flu, anthrax and polonium – offered its advice based on this jaw-dropping moose-in-the-headlights statistic:

Although collisions with moose accounted for only 15% of collisions with animals, they accounted for 803 (50%) of the 1,600 total injuries: 14 (82%) of the 17 fatal injuries and 789 (50%) of the 1,583 nonfatal injuries.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled pharmaceutical, gene-cloning and breast implant scares.

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