Written by Ilona Ronay
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Topics: Scientists, cereal

Monday, 21 June 2004

image for Kellogg's New Cereal Enables Data Crunching
Kellogg's Introduces Two New Cereals for Scientists

Bottle Creek, MI--The giant cereal manufacturer Kellogg's today introduced two new cereals targeted to scientists. Both cereals were the brainchild of an associate product manager named Saralee von Weingartenbergerson-Smythe, who was once married to a hard-working and prominent research scientist.

"All he ever talked about was 'crunching the data' or being 'swamped with data,'" explained Saralee. "He never wanted to go anywhere or do anything. He didn't even want to have sex! So I thought, "as opposed to hitting him over the head, what if I designed a breakfast cereal that would allow him to really crunch the data? Then he could get it out of his system and pay me some attention."

Thus, after a lengthy multi-site, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase III study, Data Crunch was born. Data Crunch is a high-fiber cereal containing the following shapes: the Greek letters alpha, beta, gamma, and kappa, as well as the letter P, for p value.

Data Crunch has a robust taste that tends toward but does not approach statistical significance. The AMA, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet have commented favorably upon it.

"With 22 grams of fiber per serving, it produces an excellent conclusion!" enthused one editorial assistant.

"No matter how much milk you pour on it, it never gets soggy," explained Saralee. "These data have integrity."

Data Swamp, on the other hand, is a pallid and insipid, highly sweetened, low-fiber cereal for those days when no good data are available to crunch but researchers still want to immerse themselves in data. It also contains Greek letters and the letter P and can be used as a shower gel or shampoo in addition to be eaten.

"It dissolves immediately upon contact with milk and is really quite disgusting," confided Saralee.

When asked if eating the two cereals had redirected a portion of her husband's attention away from work, Saralee chuckled before answering. "I don
't know. I ended up running away with a musician who knows how to cook real food. I don't ever want to see another bowl of cereal again."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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