BIG LIST: Applied Science
Science can tell us all kinds of wonderful things, like why the elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump, or what colour car you should buy to avoid bird poo. But science can also be a lame excuse to finger a guy’s rectum and hang out with strippers:
Friday 29 June 2012, 09:23AM
■ Monkey-brained: If you give an infinite number of monkeys, an infinite number of typewriters and an infinite amount of time, the monkeys will eventually produce the collected works of William Shakespeare.
Whether or not it will be leather bound and possess a foreword from a more contemporary Shakespeare monkey expert isn’t really the point. It’s simply a highly improbable situation called the Infinite Monkey Theorem, and so some researchers at Plymouth University in England decided to put it to the test.
The results? Well, one of the researchers probably sums it up best: “They [the monkeys] get bored and they sh*t on the keyboard rather than type.”
■ Rags to riches: If you’ve ever been to a strip club during its off-peak hours, you probably know that’s the time when the D-List dancers are brought out (or so we’ve been told) – whether they be ugly, fat or ovulating. Some scientists at the University of New Mexico took a particular liking to the ovulaters, and they then wondered why.
They immediately went to their lab and they started to do some ‘science’. And by science we mean getting 18 strippers to log their hours, menstrual cycles, and tips, over the course of 60 days. They discovered that when the dancers were in the estrous phase of their ovulation (when women are “in heat”) they pulled in the most cash.
But by the time a dancer was in full-blown menstruation they received less than half their peak earnings. The researchers couldn’t exactly explain why, but they are pretty sure it has nothing to do with the dancers’ “conversational content”.
■ Life’s a gas: This study is all about the story of a little boy named Peter. Now let’s just say young Peter’s childhood wasn’t all Disneyland and clown-themed birthday parties, and he consequently developed a rather unusual defence mechanism. Peter farted. A lot. Like a skunk fending off a predator, Peter would fart his way out of trouble.
The study’s abstract describes the fart as “a protective cloud of familiarity against the dread of falling apart.” That’s all the information that exists on Peter and his stress soothing ass smells. But it does beg the question: What was the scientific purpose of this study? None really, but at least now you feel a bit better about your own aromatic existence.
■ Rectal remedy: Intubating is the fancy medical term for sticking a tube down your throat or nose. It’s pretty useful, we suppose, but intubating has a few side effects. One common one is a persistent case of the hiccups, and a particularly bad case was a 60-year-old American man that had acute pancreatitis.
The doctors removed the tube hoping the hiccups would go away, but his hics just kept on upping. Then they called in Dr Thinksoutsidethebox [probably not his real name] to see what he could do. And what he could do was a “digital rectal massage”.
Now, before you picture a giant ass-groping robot, think of the other meaning of ‘digital’ – the doctor basically just slipped a finger up into the patient’s poopy nethers and wiggled it around a bit.
■ Explosive evacuation: If you ever wondered what scientists do when they’re not saving the world from climate change, they measure the distance and pressure involved in a penguin doing a poo.
Like most stupid science, the researchers in this little scenario attempted to fancy-up their report with all manner of complex terminology and mathematical equations, like replacing ‘poo’ with “expelled material” in their report, but no amount of language could disguise the fact that they were braving the desolate depths of Antarctica, just to watch penguins sh*t all over the place.
Of course, they did find that penguins basically poo with the force of a thermonuclear warhead – the stuff can shoot as far as 50cm.