Regular readers will know that I can’t resist an occasional laugh at some of the really mindless science that gets into print.
It’s not just the daft principle of it that irks me; it’s also a sense of amazement at money being available to waste on stupid studies that have little purpose.
We’ve had the fact that a pot belly increases your chance of heart attack; and adding resveratrol to milk, to see if it “really” protects from heart disease (no suggestion the milk itself is a major heart hazard!); discovering that the children of alcoholics are more likely to drink; and surgeons with a bad hangover are more likely to make a mistake.
It’s actually a whole new seam of humor, I think!
The latest in this category to catch my eye was a study showing that people drink beer faster out of glasses with curved sides than they do from straight sided glasses.
Wow! That’s a medical breakthrough of awesome proportions (heavy irony).
Researchers led by Dr. Angela Attwood from the University of Bristol, in England, asked 160 social drinkers aged 18 to 40 to make decisions about drinking.
In one experiment, they were asked to drink either lager or a soft drink from either a straight-sided glass or a curved beer glass.
When they drank beer from a straight-sided glass, they took twice as long as when they drank from a beer glass.
The researchers think this may have something to do with how the curved glasses make it hard for drinkers to figure out how much they’ve consumed.
In another experiment, participants looked at pictures of the two glasses with different levels of liquid and tried to determine whether they were more or less than half full. Their estimates were off by a greater extent with the curved glasses.
It’s nice to know we can sleep safe in our beds, with science of this magnitude to protect us from harm!
[SOURCE: University of Bristol, news release, Aug. 31, 2012]