#2. The Length of Your Name Determines Your Success
Knowing what we just told you above, it should come as no surprise that so many manly action heroes are named "Jack" (hell, in the last two years alone, Tom Cruise has played two guys named Jack and another named Jaxx). But there's something else we like about names such as "Jack" and "Tom" -- they're short. We like them so much, in fact, that we throw money at people who have them.
John always gets the best birthday presents.
So What's Going on Here?
When career website TheLadders took a closer look at the names of their over 5 million members, they found some interesting patterns: Firstly, they discovered that people with popular names (taken from a list of the site's top 25 names) were earning, on average, nearly $7,000 more than the rest of us. Secondly, they found that shorter names equaled larger paychecks -- in fact, they found that every time you add a letter to your kid's name, you drop his or her future salary by about $3,600. And ... we just kicked off a trend of people naming their kids A, B, or C, didn't we?
"Let's name him something masculine, like 'U.'"
Unfortunately, it's not just how short your name is that affects your job prospects. You're also going to need yourself an Anglo-Saxon name in order to get an interview, which is about 100 percent as depressing as it sounds. Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that people with English names had a 40 percent higher chance of landing a job interview than those with "foreign" names (foreign to white people, that is, which is the best kind of foreign).
Sending out 6,000 resumes, researcher Philip Oreopoulos -- obviously no stranger to weird-sounding names -- found that when an applicant wrote down an English name, he was more likely to land a job interview from a white employer than somebody with a Chinese or Indian name with the same qualifications. Keep in mind, this was just based on the name -- the applicant's family might have been in the country for five generations for all the interviewer knew. They just instinctively avoided the name that "sounded" foreign.
#1. Your Food Is Made Healthier (by Renaming It)
Food renaming is probably as old as food itself. We're betting, for example, that caveman food seemingly got a whole lot tastier when they stopped calling it "burnt dead hairy monster" and started calling it "steak." We've already pointed out some of the weirder cases of food renaming, but it turns out that having "rape" in its name isn't necessarily a requirement for a food to get a snazzy new title -- sometimes it's done solely to convince you that said food is better for you.
Those small batch, organic vita-cakes might not be as guilt-free as advertised.
So What's Going on Here?
Since the FDA doesn't approve food labels, marketers are free to get pretty creative when naming their products. That "organic lentil cola" you're drinking? It could be made from poached pig shitters and the shattered hopes and dreams of orphans, for all you know. They can also plaster the words "natural" and "healthy" in bright, bold fonts all over the label -- since, from a certain perspective, that's true -- and as long as the ingredients and nutrition facts are also on there (in small print, of course), they'll probably stay in the clear right up until someone chokes on a piece of pork perineum.
The first ingredient may be love, but the second is propylene glycol.
And speaking of ingredients, it turns out that they get renamed all the time. Perhaps the sweetest example of such shenanigans is the time when the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the FDA to have high fructose corn syrup, the gooey boogeyman that's probably lurking inside your favorite soda right now, renamed "corn sugar." Even though both of those things would literally be the same product with the exact same nutritional value (that is, negative nutritional value), "sugar" apparently sounds better to our media-assaulted ears.
It looks so wholesome before you render it down into diabetes-inducing goo.
Today, that is. You see, the best part is that this has actually happened once before, but the other way around. Back in the early '80s, there was a big push to replace the sugar in soda with high fructose corn syrup because ... well, because it was cheaper, but also because -- get this -- the public perception was that sugar was unhealthy, whereas high fructose corn syrup was seen as a healthier alternative. The truth is, they're both about equally bad for you because they're essentially the same goddamn thing. If we didn't know any better, we'd almost be tempted to say that all it takes for food manufacturers to buy themselves a few comfortable decades of consumers contentedly shoveling toxic swill down their gullets is a simple adjustment in terminology.
Follow C. Coville's Twitter and she will assign you a new drug name. David Rose has a blog, and if you're in Melbourne, Australia, you can come and see him perform in the Monash Law Revue August 8 through 17.
For more ways to channel your inner Jedi, check out 6 Factors That Secretly Influence Who You Have Sex With and 5 Ways to Trick Your Body Into Being More Awesome.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Signs That Educational TV Is Totally Dead.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn to use your newfound abilities for good rather than evil.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up RIGHT NOW and pitch your first article today! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!
Related Reading: The manipulation doesn't end there! You're being mind-controlled right now, by things as simple as the color of pills you take. Corporations are working to take over your brain, too, by making you add eggs to your cake mix and convincing you that huge meals are "normal." You're probably pretty pissed at the business world right now. But, in fairness, your own brain is just as manipulative.