The weirdest research projects at our unis
Batman’s wings, Bond’s cocktails, and the five second rule. This is the research your money is being spent on…
With growing tuition fees and real terms staff pay cuts, its surely now more important than ever for students everywhere that they know there money is being spent wisely.
In an effort to showcase the research talents of the university in the most headline grabbing PR friendly way, your hard spent money is pushing the frontiers of human endeavour.
From investigations into Batman’s aerodynamics, to rigorous examinations of the wide term implications of the 5 second rule, never let it be said that research is out of touch with the real world.
Researchers prove the five-second rule is real
It’s particularly fascinating that these final year biology students even felt the need to prove this; everyone knows that the five second rule is real, I’ve known it since I was 11.
Even more uselessly, the research didn’t actually conclude that it was fine to do so, only that leaving it five-seconds was better than leaving it longer than that. Groundbreaking.
The world needs to ‘be alert’ to the threat of mosquito-transmitted diseases
In one of the most pioneering pieces of research to come through our universities in the 21st Century, Professor Steve Lindsay tells us that mosquitoes are capable of carrying a mystery new disease called malaria.
We should be careful when going to tropic towns and cities and remain alert to the dangers.
Professor Lindsay has received acclaim in the past for his research into the sun’s ability to darken our skin colour and the use of food and water in nourishment of humans.
Maths problem solved, but it’s impossible to check
Computer Scientists at the University of Liverpool successfully solved an almost century old mathematical problem, The Erdős Discrepancy Problem, by using a super computer to come up with a proof. Good!
But the resulting proof was 13 gigabytes long, that’s more than the entire written content of Wikipedia and so is far too large for humans to ever check. Bad.
The Dark Knight Rises…and crashes
A group of four MPhys students at the University of Leicester spent the final part of their BLOODY MASTERS degree, writing a paper on whether or not Batman’s cape would work.
They discovered it wouldn’t, basically. And suggested instead that he should wear a parachute. Well, at least they didn’t lose touch with the real world implications of their research.
Some people are genetic couch potatoes
In news that has been heralded as great news for fat and lazy people everywhere, a study partly completed by scientists at the University of Aberdeen has discovered that some people are genetically engineered so that they get less pleasure from excercising.
So go celebrate with another kebab, get your feet up and watch the telly, because it’s just not YOUR fault that you’re this way, its your genes! Which just so happen to be size 28.
The animals actually did come in two by two…hurrah!
More world-leading research from the University of Leicester physicists.
They discovered that given the dimensions of the ark as accounted in the Bible, and the supposed amount of species around at the time, the ark would actually stay afloat.
Now where would you be without that piece of information?
Was there a reason why James Bond wanted his martinis shaken?
Not a student led research project this one, a serious study undertaken by Dr Neil Guha at the University of Nottingham into the alcohol consumption of James Bond, and whether this would cause alcohol induced tremors that explain his preference for shaken martinis.
Nothing quite screams, ‘I want to be paid a university lecturer’s wage to watch James Bond films’ quite like Dr Neil Guha.
Turns out 007 consumed about 4 times over the adult’s recommended weekly alcohol allowance. Next from Dr Guha, whether or not the Cookie Monster had diabetes.
Maths students get formula down to a tea
Clever clogg maths undergrads were challenged to find out the perfect formula for a cup of tea. Shockingly, it found you had to brew the tea, let it rest, add some milk and even have a treat.
Apparently employers bemoan the lack of applicable skills in students. If you’re stuck making tea on work experience at the moment, apply this formula, and you may land yourself a job.
Shape of the Ponytail Explained!
Professor Ray Goldstein, physics professor at one of the most widely respected academic institutions in the world, has devoted his precious time to finding out one thing, and by jove he’s done it!
Finally we can all sleep happily in the knowledge that a formula exists to predict the shape of any ponytail. Thank goodness. For those interested, the formula is Johnny Depp x David Beckham circa 2003 all divided by the average sweaty running girl. You’re welcome.
The Physics of Spilled Coffee
More pointless physics research, this time from across the pond in Santa Barbara. Just when I was starting to wonder whether these professors are all just taking the piss, Krechetnikov and his team come through with three incredibly useful pieces of advice to prevent a serious coffee scalding.
First, make sure you’ve not filled your mug up to close to the edge, then ensure that you’re walking nice and slowly, and finally make sure you keep concentrated on what you’re doing. Revo-fucking-lutionary.
How to Keep Colonoscopy Patients from Exploding
Okay, so this one might actually have some genuine scientific credibility. But it’s still bloody funny, as well as quite scary.
As if colonoscopies weren’t scary enough, with the whole invasive nature of it all, what the hell are they gonna find up there, camera in your arse thing going on, now it turns out that there have been a number of incidents of people actually exploding from routine colonoscopies.
It turns out that your colon harbours any number of combustible (and highly smelly) gases, and the application of heat that occurs in some treatments associated with colonoscopies provides the perfect explosive environment. Messy.
Fat Mice Eat Thin Mice’s Poop
On the subject of shit, here’s another get thinner study from across the pond, Washington University to be precise, and with absolutely disgusting consequences.
Scientists transplanted the bacteria from two twins’ guts, one thin, one fat, into mice and found that the one with the fat bacteria became overweight despite being on the same diet as its thin counterpart. But the really disgusting part was that when the fat mouse ate the thin mouse’s faeces, it miraculously slimmed up.
Could we be on the verge of a huge scientific discovery that will lead to thin poo donors and medical centres full of fat people eating thin people’s shit? I really hope not…
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