October 16, 2003

Studies That Could Change Your Life, But Probably Not

Some of the greatest breakthroughs to benefit mankind have come about as a result of important studies conducted by important people with important titles making important amounts of money.

Where would we be today, for example, if it weren't for the studies conducted by Masters and Johnson about the intracacies of human procreation? Well, my dreams would be far less interesting, for one thing. Where would we be if it weren't for the studies that led to automobile engine heat balance, car safety, car noise and riding comfort? Well, my dreams would be far less interesting, for one thing.

And, truly, where would we be if it weren't for the diligent folks working around the clock to understand why cookies crumble? Wait a minute, a study was conducted to find that out? Why, yes, there was.

According to an Oct. 2, Reuters news report out of London, British scientists say they may have worked out why the cookie crumbles. Every year, biscuit-makers throw away thousands of biscuits because they emerge from the oven cracked or broken. Thousands more reach the supermarket shelves but then crumble in the hands of their would-be eaters.

Well, okay, I guess that warrants a study. Doesn't it? I mean, isn't the phenomenon of crumbling cookies something that can tear families apart and lead to widespread rioting and looting?

Researchers at Loughborough University in central England say the problem may be due to cooking techniques and humidity.

"When you take (a biscuit) out of the oven it likes to absorb moisture from the atmosphere," Loughborough University's Ricky Wildman told BBC Radio Thursday.

It "likes" to absorb moisture? I think the real story here isn't the act of cookies or biscuits crumbling so much as it is the fact that cookies are apparently thirsty. I find that fascinating.

He described the process as like "an earthquake running through the biscuit."

"It's very exciting," he added.

I think Mr. Wildman really needs to get out more, maybe meet a nice girl and buy her some flowers. Just get out of the lab, man!

In other "exciting" news, we learn that dog breath is often times better than human breath. According to an Oct. 16 news report, again from Reuters and again out of London, we learn that more than half of Britons could have breath that smells worse than their pet's, according to a survey released Thursday. And women are the worst offenders, with three out of five failing a sulfur emissions test, according to research by toothpaste manufacturer Aquafresh.

Leave it to Aquafresh to go down the forbidden path of unlocking the secrets of the sulfur emissions jetted forth by humans and their pets. Is nothing sacred, Aquafresh? Is nothing sacred?! Perhaps I'm being too harsh here because I suspect that my own sulfur emissions, both front door and back, are probably appallingly high.

"Some mouths may be dirtier than cat litter," dentist Brian Grieveson said in a statement that accompanied the research.

Well, okay, I hope I'm not THAT bad. But, what if I am? What if people are secretly joshing behind my back, talking about "Old Cat Litter Breath Rhodes?"

"Oh, sure," all the women say. "Ryan's a smoking hot specimen of male hunkiness, and I'd love to wrestle with him in a tub full of Jell-O, but he HAS to do something about his cat litter breath."

Thanks for the complex, Aquafresh. Like I needed another one.

Finally, we turn to yet another groundbreaking study that answers, once and for all, where the worst place is to pass gas. I, for one, find it hard to believe that there's a BAD place to pass gas, but that's just me.

According to results, um, "Yahoo.com/prnews/030826/nytu031_1.html">released" Aug. 26 by (who else?) Gas-X, the three worst places to pass gas are 1) at a business meeting 2) on a date and 3) in an elevator. Again, in my mind, those are the three BEST places to pass gas, but what do I know.

I think it's interesting that such a survey was even conducted, so I decided to learn more about it. Apparently, the online survey was made up of a national panel that included 1,534 men and women, 25 and over. Why am I never selected to sit on a cool panel like that?

Somebody should do a study to look into that.

Posted by Ryan at October 16, 2003 01:04 PM
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