Study finds that 70% of studies reveal findings

July 6, 2009

Berkeley, California:

Is it possible that studies conducted about things reveal facts about something? That is among the questions raised by a landmark Berkeley study showing a significant correlation between studies and knowing things about other things.

Led by Dr. Francis McGarnagle, a team of 16 researchers analyzed the results of over 3000 studies from six geographically distant countries performed by a wide variety of scientists.  They discovered that in over 70% of the cases, a study will reveal findings and demonstrate proof of something.

While the latest work is at far too early a stage to demonstrate the feasibility of future studies, it does help to reveal why thinking about something, writing a hypothesis and then meticulously researching that hypothesis using repeatable processes will often result in demonstrable proof of something.  Sometimes even several things.

“Quite honestly, I’m floored.” said Dr. McGarnagle at a recent press conference.  “When we started out, we thought maybe 10, 15 percent of studies revealed stuff about things.  Nowhere in our wildest dreams did we ever think that 70% of studies would actually be effective.”

The President of the University of Berkeley was quick to commended the achievement. “For years we have performed studies with no thought to their effectiveness or purpose, but no more.  This study represents an important landmark in demonstrating the power of getting money and spending it and publishing results.  I commend our dedicated team of researchers for such a significant milestone.”

Not surprisingly, Liberals were quick to jump all over this study pointing out that just because 70% of studies advanced human knowledge, there is no reason to discount the 30% that are factually useless.

“There is no doubt that this is an important landmark study” commented White House press secretary Robert Gibbs during his daily conference.  “But let’s not lose sight of the remaining studies that are performed each year that are utterly without value.  For example, take the recent study which demonstrated that married people are more likely to gain weight or the one which showed that if you stay up late watching TV you’re likely to get less sleep.  These studies represented over $60 million dollars in grant money and are as fundamentally useless as any thing performed by any human being has a right to be.  The results are so glaringly obvious that you could conclude that the scientists had no interest in advancing human thought whatsoever.  However, without these bizarrely transparent glimpses into common sense, we would never know that young children don’t like spending significant time in intensive care

Republicans were equally quick to jump on the story.   Rush Limbaugh devoted half his show to the results, saying “Jews women bend over white supremacy Glenn Beck Obama-fascism, I don’t actually understand socialism, hate America, laughing at you loser fan base from my $20 million mansion.  Also crazy hate spew filth”

But at the end of the day, Dr. McGarnagle isn’t looking to push any agenda. 

“The last thing I set out to do was encourage less or more studies of any kind.  I simply had an idea that some studies showed things and thought, why not?  Surely someone would pay for this and then I’d have something to do for 6 years.  It’s win-win.”

“Booyah” he added.

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Jesus is apparently middle management

March 12, 2009

Inspired from my fellow blogger and ex-roomie at Middle of Nowhere
Jesus does his annual performance review with Saint Polycarp, Patron Saint of Earaches

(Jesus is doing paperwork. Knock on the door)

Jesus: Yes?

Polycarp: Jesus, hi.  I’m a couple minutes early, are we still-

Jesus: Polycarp, how you doing?  Come on in.  Just catching up with some reports (makes “crazy day” gesture).  Don’t even worry about it. Have a seat.

Polycarp: Good, great (sits down)

Jesus: So it’s been a year Polycarp, how have you been doing?

Polycarp: It’s been okay I guess.  Not bad.

Jesus: Yeah not bad.  Kids okay?

Polycarp: Oh, my 259th generational descendants?  I don’t really keep in touch with them too much anymore (shrugs).  Their ears have been pretty good.

Jesus: Nice nice.  Well let’s get right down to it.  I’ve been going over your performance results (shuffles through paper).  Truthfully, they’re a little lean.  You’re not bringing a whole ton of people to the flock and you’re not getting a whole lot of new business in the pipeline.

Polycarp: Okay, but wait a second, hold on here.  I’m the Patron Saint of Earaches.  There’s not a huge market there.

Jesus: I hear what you’re saying, but now that doctors don’t really prescribe antibiotics for infant ear infections anymore, I was hoping you could move into that market..

Polycarp: Yeah, but now they just put tubes in.  They circumvent the entire thing. Medicine, you know? (weak laugh).  It’s… not our friend.

Jesus: Well either way, your rating for the year is “Does not meet expectations”.  Now I appreciate this is hard to hear as it will impact your bonus, but I’d like to discuss strategies –

Polycarp: Woah woah woah, “Does not meet”?  That’s bullshit.  That’s bullshit.

Jesus: Alright settle down there my son.  We can work through-

Polycarp: No, screw this. That’s bullshit.  Do you want me to bend over? Because you’re fucking me.  Should I bend over?  You and the rest of them, you’re fucking me..

Jesus: Let’s tone down the language

Polycarp: This is bullshit. I’m the saint of Earaches. What do you expect? Do you know how fucking bad an earache has to be before you start praying about it?  Even the fucking hardcores don’t bother turning to me and they pray for everything.  To say nothing of the fact that 90% of the time when they do pray they’re going right over my head either to you or the big guy.

Jesus: Yes, and you get the appropriate referral bonus in those circumstances.

Polycarp: Listen, get me out of this. Get me into a territory with teeth and let me show you what I can do.  Make me the Patron Saint of Thieves and Liars.  I could rock that.  Look, I already have some great ideas for how to use “Sex and the City” as a launch point –

Jesus: Not going to happen.

Polycarp: If I could just show you my sketches of Sarah Jessica Parker as a pig / horse –

: Polycarp.  Stop.  It’s not going to happen.  You’re the earache guy.  My go to guy for earaches.  Come up, lighten up.  It was just an off year right?  You’ll recover.

Polycarp: (sullen) Yeah.  Maybe.

Jesus: What about swimming season?  You started to have some positive numbers there, what happened?

Polycarp: Ah, fucking educational programs.   They ruin everything.  People wear earplugs.  You know.

Jesus: Hey big guy – right there. You just said it.

Polycarp: What?  What did I say?

Jesus: Earplugs.  Ear phones.  iPod earphones.  Buddy, I’m doing your job for you, I can’t believe I’m throwing you this solid.

Polycarp: I’m.. not following you Jesus.

Jesus: Those brutal “bud” earphones.  Have you ever used those for any length of time?  They’re like knives, your ears go numb after awhile.  You tell me you can’t move that into some business.  You look me in the face and tell me you can’t set up a meeting with Steve Jobs and fast track this.  Come on.  You rock this ear shit.

Polycarp: Yeah.  Yeah.  You know what?  I just get a couple key players into the room, Jobs owes me after his daughter’s last session with her ear ache.  I think I can swing this.  Those things are like little daggers in your ear.  I put a couple quick spots up on the 700 club and do come kind of “Longview / Lifehouse” tie in and the next thing you know the Jesus Rockers are hailing me as their new God.

Jesus: (laughing) Woah.  Slow down there cowboy.  Thou shalt have no other God before me, you know?  But I like where your head is.  You’re a thought leader.  This was just a bump in the road.  Get outta here you crazy bastard.  Make me proud!

: You just watch Jesus.  I’ll have the kids praying to me while their ears bleed!! (runs out)

(under breath) Dipshit.

Nick and Brian to form coalition

December 2, 2008

In a stunning move, Brian Litrell and Nick Carter formed an alliance on Monday to try to wrest control of the Backstreet Boys from the groups leader, Kevin Richardson. 

The debate started last Monday when Kevin released his economic plan to address slumping CD sales – namely a move towards “Soft Pop”.  Canadians reacted with stunned disbelief to the news.

“I just think it’s a waste of time,” said one man as he walked downtown.  “How is this any different than more of the same?  Their new CD is okay.  It’s no Backstreet’s back, but I don’t think it’s that bad”.

Another woman said “Given the current economic uncertainty within the music industry, a shakeup won’t help.  There’s too much turmoil in the market.  I think, this time, things just need to calm down.  Also, a Kevin leadership gave us I want it that way and As long as you love me.  What has Nick ever given us?  Oh yeah, that garbage solo CD.”

Monday’s showdown took place as sales of Backstreet Boys albums in Canada suffered its biggest one-day drop, selling only 16 CDs, three of which were replacements due to overuse.  Radio talk shows were quickly inundated with angry callers.

“It was crazy” said one host.  “Usually we only do 15, 20 minutes to an issue, but we were using up whole shows just talking about this.  There’s a lot of resentment and this has obviously only going to hurt the fans.”

The callers almost unanimously slammed Brian and Nick for “trying to overthrow the group and seize power,” the host said.

He added that many were also upset by the inclusion of the AJ in the plans, who agreed to prop up any leadership.  “AJ is a separatist who has been trying to go solo for years” said one angry caller.  “How can you trust him with this kind of authority?”

Many others reacted with anger towards Kevin.

“Kevin is in the minority, but he’s been pushing through his agenda for years like he’s the majority.” said music critic Howard Stonk.  “He’s arrogant and he doesn’t talk to the press.  He’s been cutting revenues and refuses to invest back in the band.  Howie has desparately needed pec implants for a number of years, but it just wasn’t meant to be under a Kevin rule”.

However, even among those who supported a coalition takeover, many were not enthralled by the prospect of Brian as the group leader.  “He’s basically incompetent and hated by most of Candians.” said Stonk.  “He was actually about to be replaced from the group altogether in May and now he’s talking about coming the leader?  Seems hypocrytical to me.”

He would prefer to see the status quo.

Local man Steve Biggs says “What the f*ck are you even talking about?”.  Moving on, we spoke to a different local man.

“Anything that stops them from releasing another CD.” he said.  “Anything is better than that.  A coalition is probably cheaper anyway,” he said. “So that’s better given the fiscal scenario.”

The news of the possibility of a new group leader and band direction stunned some.

“I just read it on the screen in the elevator,”one man in Bankers Hall said. “I can’t believe it. I just bought their new CD like 7 weeks ago…It’s crazy.”

My night is colored headache grey

July 16, 2008

Terms used by business people that are totally incorrect

Quantum Leap
What they think it means:
It’s used to describe a large progression, typically with an undertone of time, as in – “This move to Internet banking is a quantum leap forward for the way we communicate with clients”

What it really means
A quantum leap is defined as being an abrupt change, where energy moves from one atom to another instantaneously. It is a change that happens all at once (revolutionary) as opposed to gradually over time (evolutionary). Either way, it certainly isn’t a large change, and in fact can be rather insignificant from a time / space perspective

How it should really be used:
Steve: Hmm… Every piece of wiring melting simultaneously within our new Internet Banking system certainly was an unexpected quantum leap.

What they think it means
Talk to. As in – “I’ll try to ping you later on today.”

What it really means
It is a computer network tool to determine whether a particular host is reachable across an IP network. It can also refer to the amount of time the ping program runs. It has nothing to do with having a conversation, in that all a ping does is determine if the host is reachable. It doesn’t stop to chat with the host, and it certainly doesn’t return any information. It just connects.

How it should really be used:
Steve: Mike, Ping Dave and find out if he knows why all our Internet Banking wiring inexplicably melted.
Mike: You got it. <calls Dave>
Dave: Hello?
Mike: <Hanging up> That took 1.4 seconds.

Boil the Ocean
What they think it means
It’s a description of an end state that is too big for one particular person or group of people to tackle all at once, so it’s recognition of a phased approach as in – “We can’t rewire the entire goddamn Internet Banking infrastructure overnight, we don’t want to boil the ocean here. Let’s just see if we can get New York back up to start”

What it really means
An impossibility. You can’t boil the ocean. Ever. It’s describing an event that could under no possible circumstances ever happen.

How it should really be used:
Steve: <to room> Listen folks, I get that we’re getting a lot of fire from the VP’s for this melting issue, but I don’t think moving to the Moon is realistic. It’s like boiling the ocean.

Take that Offline
What they think it means
It will happen later on, or it will be addressed outside of the current forum. As in “Okay, I get that somehow magic could have been involved in this thing, but let’s take that offline for now”

What it really means
To disconnect a piece of machinery (computer, telephone, etc) from the infrastructure it uses to communicate with other pieces of equipment. Once something is offline, it’s still functional, but it can’t really communicate with other things. The fact that something is offline certainly doesn’t mean it will do something later.

How it should be really used:
Steve: <on the phone> I told you, I don’t fucking know how or why our wiring all melted! <hangs up, breaks phone>. Fuck this, I’m taking myself offline <drinks>

What they think it means
The summary of an event, communicated verbally or otherwise as in “I don’t need to know the specifics of the profanities the VP’s were saying, just give me the net-net”. Recently further bastardized to mean “outcome” as in “What is the net-net of this internet fuckup?”

What it actually means
No clue. “Net” is a financial term which is an antonym of gross or total. So this is like saying “what is the total” or “what is the gross”. Except it’s not, it’s now like saying “what is the total-total” which makes absolutely no sense in any context.

How it should really be used
It shouldn’t. Also, Steve eventually fixed the Internet problem by going after the low-hanging fruit. It was a win-win value proposition that upped his market share and gave him good face time with the CEO’s.