Thursday, July 30, 2015

The IG Nobels

In my routine of perusing all the news that I can read before my eyes start to water I came across a story about one of the honorees of the Ig Nobel awards.  The story read:
“Deborah Anderson of Boston University Medical Center and colleagues were awarded the chemistry prize for a 1985 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found Coca-Cola kills sperm.
She said she was serious in testing the soft drink because women were using it in a douche as a contraceptive and, later, to try to protect themselves from the AIDS virus.
"It definitely wouldn't work as a contraceptive because sperm swims so fast," Anderson said. But Coke made with sugar quickly kills sperm, she said, probably because sperm soak it up. "The sperm just kind of explode," she said in a telephone interview.
It kills the AIDS virus too, she said.”
This got my mind a wanderin’…in all the wrong directions.  I began to think about just how Ms. Anderson and her colleagues went about gathering results for their work.  Par for the course, I fixated on if I was one of those asked to go out and collect the data necessary for this important research.  I figure it would go something like this:
Two women are walking leisurely through a typical mall when a booth catches the eye of one of the women…
Bobbi-Jean Hiphug:  (Tugs on the sleeve of her companion gently) Hey Martha, look over there – isn’t that one of those cola taste test booths?
Martha Moanneir: Why Bobbi-Jean I do believe you’re right!
Bobbi-Jean:  (clasps hands together) Shall we try it?
Martha: Why not?  Say why you suppose it’s got that lil’ ol’ curtain surrounding it for?
Bobbi-Jean: Oh you silly!  Haven’t you heard how secretive those cola folks are about their goings ons – maybe they’re worried that the competition is oglin’ at the results and using them to their advantage…
Martha: Yes they do seem worse than the CIA at times don’t they?
Me: (The women walk up to where I stand behind a dais with the statement “Take our Cola test!” blazing like a demon rising out of hell on it.  I give a nod and a large smile) Hello ladies!  Would you like to take our cola test today?
Bobbi-Jean: Yes, I believe we would!
Me: Great!  Here you go and here’s one for you! (Hands the two ladies two garment bags and points behind me)
Bobbi-Jean: Uhm….
Me: (even wider grin and a shooing motion) Now you ladies just step into our fitting rooms and we can begin!
Martha: (Looking unsure first at the bag, then to me, then back at the garment bag) Excuse me, why are you getting us to put on hospital gowns for a cola challenge?
Me: (Gives a reassuring laugh) Well ladies, we wouldn’t want any contamination in the test, would we?  After all, scientific study demands pure results!
Bobbi-Jean:  (nods with little certainty) Oh I suppose not…
Martha: (gently hits Boobi-Jean’s arm with her elbow) the lengths these cola boys go through…

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