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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Science and such

On Friday I have a meeting with my thesis advisor to wrap up my big, fascinating research project. Now, it may not have been the most thrilling project on earth. It’s not going to fuel a Hollywood blockbuster anytime soon. The world would have to go through some fairly extreme changes for that to happen.

Then again, there are weirder science projects out there.

Like, for example, the one conducted at Wayne state- and Auburn university in 1992 which examined the effect of country music on suicide. That was odd.

Not quite as strange as “Love and sex with robots” by D. Levy at the university of Maastricht in 2007. He predicted that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriage with robots. “At first, sex with robots might be considered geeky, but once you have a story like ‘I had sex with a robot and it was great!’ appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I’d expect many people to jump on the bandwagon,” Levy said.

Personally, there a few people I’d rather jump on than a damn robot.

Granted, that project is very odd. But there are even stranger ones out there. Like the “rectal foreign bodies: case reports and a comprehensive review of the world’s literature” by Busch and Starling in 1986. The citations include reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a knife sharpener; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegatables and other foodstuffs; a jeweler’s saw; a frozen pig’s tail; a tin cup; a beer glass; and one patient’s remarkable ensemble collection consisting of spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine.

The world has literature on rectal foreign bodies. Who knew?

Then there’s the “safe and painless manipulation of penile zipper entrapment.” I swear I’m not making any of these things up. Most of them are online, even. Then there’s “pressures produced when penguins poo – calculations on avian defecation” by Breno Meyer-Rochow and J. Gal at the international university of Bremen and Lorand Eotvos University of Hungary in 2005.

Last but not least, there’s “Farting as a defence against unspeakable dread” by Dr. M. Sidoli in Washington DC, 1998. According to it's author, "this paper describes some features of the behaviour of a severely disturbed adopted latency boy. Peter was born premature, suffered several early hospitalizations and surgical operations, and at 2 months of age was removed from his mother's care by Social Services for neglect and abandonment. When feeling endangered, Peter had developed a defensive olfactive container using his bodily smell and farts to envelop himself in a protective cloud of familiarity against the dread of falling apart, and to hold his personality together."

MY project is nothing like either one of those.

6 comments:

Jazz said...

Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work!

sundby said...

"and farts to envelop himself in a protective cloud of familiarity"

I think the kid's on to something here! Now if I could only find a way to envelop myself in a protective cloud of candy...

Hagelrat said...

lol, hmm i'd like to conduct a study on relative levels of navel gazing when conducted at home, in a coffee shop and in the office.

Jocelyn said...

...although you might, during that meeting with your advisor, do the farting thing.

Big Brother said...

Hmmm publish or perish says he...

choochoo said...

Jazz - gotta love research funding. lol.

Sundby - yeah...good luck with that. Pooch seems to have it figured out, though.

Hagelrat - I think you need to fill in an application of some sort.

Jocelyn - damn! Why didn't I think of that???

Big brother - some ppl clearly make the wrong choice there.