Written by Daniel Bristol

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

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Contrary to what many people have come to believe, Nobel Prizes and research grants of taxpayer dollars are not all frivolous rubbish.

For example, here is a list of some of the most important contributions to humanity's scientific knowledge that have been awarded the Nobel Prize:

1. The 1996 prize was shared between two Norwegian professors who had investigated the influence of ale, garlic, and sour cream on the appetite of leeches.

2. In 1997, three different professors from three different countries were awarded for measuring brainwave patterns while people chewed different flavors of gum.

3. In 2005, a Missouri inventor was awarded for creating artificial testicles for dogs.

4. The 1993 award was given to researchers who came to the conclusion that people who claimed they were kidnapped by aliens from outer space were probably kidnapped by aliens from outer space.

5. In 2000, the British Royal Navy received this award for replacing the usage of live cannon shell with shouting BANG!

That's just a sample of the stupidity being fostered by the Nobel Prize people. Now, here are some research projects that you and I have paid for with our taxes:

1. Prof. Bonnie Nardi of the University of California Irvine, received the $100K grant from the National Science Foundation for a project to study why Americans modify the World of Warcraft game more than Chinese people do.

2. Piss Christ. Piss Christ is a 1987 photograph by photographer Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine. The piece was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art's "Awards in the Visual Arts" competition, which is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a United States Government agency that offers support and funding for artistic projects. Serrano received $15,000 for this "masterpiece", a large portion of it derived from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts. (Source: Wikipedia)

3. In 1998, The UK's important Turner Prize went to British painter of Nigerian origin, Chris Ofili. Organized by the Tate Gallery in London, the £20,000 ($35,000) prize, was awarded for a painting of the Virgin Mary made with elephant dung.

4. As we speak, lawmakers in Washington are calling on the National Institutes of Health to explain why millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on seemingly ridiculous research projects, including:

-- how dragon boating can help cancer survivors;

-- how canoes can help cultural identity;

-- how snorting cocaine creates anxiety.

5. And now the granddaddy of wasteful research grants:
Arizona Ants Work While Some Arizonans Remain Unemployed ($950,000)
Although the unemployment rate in Arizona is still in the double digits, at least ants in the state have jobs. Two major universities in the state are receiving a combined $950,000 to examine the division of labor in ant colonies. Arizona State University was awarded $500,000 in stimulus funding by the National Science Foundation, while the University of Arizona will receive $450,000. Among other things, the universities will examine larval development, ant caste systems, and "colony fitness". Arizona State University will focus specifically on the genetic makeup of ants that determine distinctive roles within the ant colony. The University of Arizona will utilize the information to develop "a model [for ants] to determine the optimal strategy for distributing specialists in a variable work environment". Ultimately, 3.46 jobs will be created from this study-two jobs for Arizona State University and 1.46 jobs for the University of Arizona, according to Recovery.gov.

Spoof readers are an audience that demands high quality in their goofy articles. They like to laugh, and they want high quality satire. But my research has proven to me that, for world-class jokes, we need look no further than some of the things people are actually getting paid for out there!

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

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Topics: Money, rich
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