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They Paid You For That? 7 Pointless and Crazy Science Experiments

Have you every read about some new science experiment or research study that just seems... well, stupid? If you've ever gotten to the point where you've wondered what other bogus things they'll pay people to learn about, you're in luck. Here's 7 of the most ridiculous studies ever:

Sex, Drugs and Science

If this first group of studies show us anything, it's that scientists are as drugged up and crazy as the junkies up the street from me.

Elephants on Acid:

If you were going to see the effects of LSD on an elephant, wouldn't you start with smaller doses and progressively increase the dosage until there was a noticeable change in their behavior? I sure would. But the researchers on this one aren't like you and me. Instead the researchers working on this one started off by injecting the poor beast with 3000 times the dosage needed for an average human, despite the fact that elephants weigh around 50 times what the average human weighs. Within two hours, the animal died. The scientists defended their actions by saying they had used LSD plenty of times and were sure it was safe. They then concluded, "elephants are highly sensitive to LSD." Apparently another scientist found their results to be suspicious, so he gave elephants LSD in their water. In his study, the elephants acted a little funny, but were totally fine.

Source

Turkey Arousal:

We've all heard stories detailing how stupid turkeys are -like the one that says they'll drown if you leave them in the rain. Well, some of those turkey stories may be bogus, but two Penn State researchers discovered that turkeys are so stupid they can be trained to be aroused by little more than sticks. Their experiment consisted of creating a model female turkey that could be progressively deconstructed. The scientists would then gauge the turkey's interest in the "female" and then remove some parts of her body and try again. They were expecting the birds would lose interest after is was stripped down enough. Surprisingly, the turkeys were aroused even when the model became little more than a stick with a head. I guess this not only shows how stupid turkeys are, but how perverse they are too.

Source | Photo Via Vicki's Nature [Flickr]

Semen As an Anti-depressant?

I always thought scientists were supposed to be unbiased. I mean, if you're hoping for certain results, might that affect your research? Obviously these researchers bypassed that concept, by attempting to prove that semen works as an antidepressant. They decided to study this theory by interviewing college women who were sexually active. Their conclusions proved that women who had sex without condoms were less depressed than women who used them. Of course, their research was extremely preliminary and they didn't even bother to take into account additional factors, like the fact that women not using condoms are more likely to be in serious relationships. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that this might play into someone's relative level of happiness. But like I said, this study was about as unbiased as all those tobacco company ones that couldn't connect smoking with cancer.

Source | Photo Via Zen [Flickr]

Paging Dr. Obvious

The rest of these studies are amazing -in that someone actually bothered to research things so obvious:

Head Banging is Bad For You:

Who would have ever thought that aggressively and repeatedly throwing your head up and down would be bad for you? Gee, I never would have imagined that spinal damage and brain trauma could have resulted from head banging. Obviously, I'm being sarcastic. After years of dating a metal head, I can assure you that head banging can certainly make you retarded...or at least, it doesn't help your intelligence at all. The only good thing researchers found was that head banging is unlikely to leave you unconscious. What is really funny is the researcher's suggestions for the metal genre. They suggest metal bands play more mellow tunes and less "beat oriented" music. They also urged label to place anti-head banging warnings on their cds. Oh, and listeners were advised to start listening to "adult-oriented rock" instead of heavy metal. Yeah, that's gonna happen real soon.

Source | Photo Via Cayusa [Flickr]

Male science nerds likely to be virgins:

Hmmm, who is most likely to be a virgin, a party-girl, a jock, or a nerd? Think about it. No surprise here; male science nerds between 16 and 25 are the most likely to not have had sex. At least the study provided some legitimate reasons for this statistic, rather than the typical "nerds are pimply and boring" theories of popular media. The study reasoned that these nerds were the population segment least likely to be in situations where they would meet potential lovers. Apparently, doing homework and going to the library doesn't help you meet chicks. Hey, at least they're being productive. Interestingly, female art students were the most sexually active.

Source | Photo Via Miss604 [Flickr]

Bullies Like Seeing Pain:

If bullies were compassionate they would sit around crying whenever they picked on people. The fact that they don't do so might just indicate that they are mean. Why did anyone need to set up a study to confirm that bullies enjoy seeing other people in pain? An interesting thing about this study is that it was the first time anyone used fMRI to evaluate how respondents reacted to different emotions. Instead of being empathetic like the brain of a normal person, bullies mind's activate their reward centers when they see videos of other people being picked on.

Source | Photo Via ZZClef [Flickr]

Television Viewers Are Unhappy:

It's common knowledge that television and other forms of entertainment are a way for people to escape their problems. If you run home to watch tv instead rather than hanging out with friends, you might be unhappy. Did we really need a scientist to tell us that people who socialize are generally more happy than people who sit at home watching tv all day? What's more crazy is that they needed over 30 years of data to back up their claims. The only unique thing the study discovered was that many viewers are actually addicted. (Marx was right about television, is this evidence that the scientists are commies?):

"Addictive activities produce momentary pleasure and long-term misery and regret," said Steven Martin, co-author of the study. "People most vulnerable to addiction tend to be socially or personally disadvantaged. For this kind of person, TV can become a kind of opiate in a way. It's habitual, and tuning in can be an easy way of tuning out."

Funny, I've was using the audio/visual equivalent of heroin the whole time I was researching this. I swear I could quit any time. Source Now that I've written this, I think I've got a couple of ideas I could get funded. For example, are people happier when they're warm at home or cold in the middle of nowhere? Or maybe I could find out if donkeys really die when they take a bunch of cocaine and other drugs at a bachelor party. Do you guys have any ideas for awesome studies?


For fun? Seriously? Were you to kill an animal with LSD, just for fun an Elephant would be the last thing you'd choose. I'd start with kittens. It was done in 1962 BTW. More info here:
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_history4.shtml

Besides, everyone knows that semen is only an anti-depressant if taken orraly.
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Head-Banging makes you retarded and doesn't help intelligence? What bull... I personally consider metalheads to be some of the more intelligent people on the planet. I'm a metalhead with an IQ of 134, headbanging every weekend for almost 10 years now. Don't think it's made me stupid or retarded (that was thanks to smoking pot and taking weird drugs my whole life...)
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The headbanging thing was hokey. All they were recommending was different music, even if it's not to your taste. If headbanging hurts your head or neck, don't do it. It's not a requirement to enjoy heavy metal for crying out loud.
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change the picture of the turkeys. the arousal experiment was conducted on turkeys raised in turkeyhouses for consumption. the wild turkey (in the photo) is one of the smartest beasts in the wild. the domestic turkey is the one dumb enough to drown in the rain. get your facts straight you liberal chump!
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Skidworth,

Why does thinking turkeys are dumb make you a liberal? And, BTW what evidence do you have to suggest that Turkeys raised in a shed are dumber than the outdoors-ey type? "One of the smartest beasts in the wild"? No doubt they'd give *you* a good game of chess but they'd surely still lose a battle of wits to a wooden spoon. Am I wrong?
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When I was in college, they had us do a journal search for research articles about depression. The one on semen was the first article I found. I thought it was ridiculous that it was ever even published, dismissed it, and gave up on research articles for a very long time! Bizarre to see it here!
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I really don't like the way this article was written. It has completely turned me off from reading anything you ever write. The tone of this article is pretty much 'if you don't agree with what I'm writing, you're an idiot.' I would like to decide that on my own thank you. But seriously...you should check the tone of what you write because I couldn't even pay attention to what you actually wrote.
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Looks like someone was just itching to be offended. How dare a person actually inject their own opinions into their own blog post?! What is the world coming to?
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14 comments, none directed at the actual question. I would like to see a study done on how upset people can get reading anonymous message boards. Ooh, shiny.
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"Why does thinking turkeys are dumb make you a liberal? And, BTW what evidence do you have to suggest that Turkeys raised in a shed are dumber than the outdoors-ey type? “One of the smartest beasts in the wild”? No doubt they’d give *you* a good game of chess but they’d surely still lose a battle of wits to a wooden spoon. Am I wrong?"

ever been wild turkey hunting? shoot, you probably live in a condo in a city somewhere and have never even seen wildlife. having said that, let me see you go out and call a 25 lb. tom in to play a game of chess. chances are that i would get one in range sooner. you, sir, are dead wrong!
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Here are some studies that desperately need to be done for the good of humanity:

1. Does food make you fat?
2. Is sex related to pregnancy?
3. Do cats really land on their feet (from 3 story drops)?
4. Can Dogs Smoke Cigarettes?
5. (Follow up) Can Dogs quit smoking Cigarettes?
6. Where do those socks go when the drier eats them?
7. Is their a good side to schizophrenia?
8. When you put milk in a bowl full of cereal, where does the cereal at the bottom of the bowl go?
9. Is the CIA really so bored that they want to read my thoughts?
10. Is Big Foot flatulence destroying the o-zone?

I have more, but the voices in my head told me to shut up.
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JoeyD,
I really like those suggestions. Especially the sex being related to pregnancy. Maybe if we figured that one out, there'd be less teen pregnancy?? Anyway, I have another one:

Are wild turkeys smarter than shed-raised turkeys?

Headbangers...rock on.
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Caitlin, what are you talking about? Nice opinion you got there. "The tone of this article is pretty much ‘if you don’t agree with what I’m writing, you’re an idiot.’ I would like to decide that on my own thank you."

I think you did, and so did I and everyone else. Sheesh!!
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"Are wild turkeys smarter than shed-raised turkeys?"

very much so. turkeys raised for human consumption are kept in turkey houses as they are so dumb they will drown in a hard rain....they look up into the sky and drown from breathing water!

i've been hunting wild turkey for better than 30 years and there is nothing as wily and careful as a huge tom.
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Regarding the study on virgin nerds, I read about an online anonymous study that concluded that males 16-25 that consider themselves nerds get lots of sex, all the time. Weird.
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The guy who killed the elephant was Dr. "Jolly" West. He was no scientist by any means, he was simply another quack psychiatrist.

By the way, the elephant he killed was the city's favorite petting elephant, and after he killed that one, he had the balls to ask for another...
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Yes, I definitely think research should be done to find out if semen works better as an antidepressant taken orally or vag--ly. Of course, I may start my research with a bit of bias, but that just suggests I should be more rigorous in my research with a larger sample. Don't you think?

What about getting some of these researchers to test if it is true that it is not the fall that kills you, but the sudden stop at the end?
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i got an awesome idea. how about researching if a pothead is happier if he's high as fuck or not that high at all.
it should be a worldwide project though, just to make sure.
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What was it that Marx was right about with regard to television? The guy died in 1883?!?

Marx called religion the opiate of the masses. TV as the opiate of the masses is of much more recent vintage.
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just to throw one more log on the fire, it was Ben Franklin's opinion that the American Wild Turkey was a noble bird that exhibited intelligence guile. He preferred it over the Eagle for the National Bird.

Skidworth, learn from your esteemed prey. Don't jump to conclusions about people. Teach, don't preach.

peace out
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Nice, cute and very funny-witty!

But, please read Marx carefully and have some common sense. How could have he even known the effects of TV when he lived in the 19th century?

The person who really made such comments about TV was Theodore Adorno, a Frankfurt School Marxist scholar and musician who wrote extensively about the effects of Capital and pop-culture.

This is a very typical mistake because Americans are taught to hate Marx without ever reading or understanding his ACADEMIC CRITIQUE (NOT REVOLUTIONARY DOCTRINE)of Capitalism

-Christopher
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