Not long ago I published the results of a 10-question quiz that hundreds of Cracked readers took part in. The questions were designed to dig into the nitty-gritty of life's less significant and, frankly, dumber questions. I thought doing that would scratch an itch, and it did -- but not well enough. There are still questions I need answered. But for as good as you guys and gals were at trying to help me figure out the world, I need more than just a quiz. I need a full-on scientific study.
Studies are catnip for news and comedy writers. News websites and blogs suck them in like a whale sucks in krill, and they're a cornerstone of late-night talk show monologues. We here at Cracked love them too. With the release of every new study, the human race advances just a little bit; each one adds to our ever-growing understanding of our complex world and our place in it.
Except for my studies. My studies would be a tremendous waste of a researcher's time. But that doesn't mean they can't humor me and commission a study to figure out ...
#4. Does Not Being Able To Sit Beside Friends Have A Measurable Effect On A Person's Enjoyment Of A Movie?
Let's say it's the opening night of a huge summer blockbuster. You and five friends show up to the theater minutes before the trailers start, because Brett thinks being on time is when you leave at the time you said you'd arrive, and Cynthia took a longer-than-expected dump. There are seats for all of you, but the place is packed and you won't be able to sit together. Rather than get tickets for a later time, you split up and sit where you can, even if it means sitting beside strangers.
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Combat this by throwing a temper tantrum directed at your new seat mates.
If you have to sit separately -- and assuming that under ideal film-going circumstances you would all rate the film a 10 out of 10 -- will you all enjoy the movie as much as you would have if you had sat together? Does the disappointment of having to deal with some stranger's popcorn affect your perception of a film's quality?
People who are closed-in and put more value on their personal space would probably be annoyed that they might have to stifle their reactions since they're without the buffer of someone they feel comfortable releasing their emotions around. For a lot of us, it's not in our nature to be so open with our emotions around people we don't know. Would you be able to laugh with the same ease when beside a stranger? Could you feel comfortable screaming like a tortured goat during a horror movie jump-scare when you're flanked by random people?
Here's a twist on the study: You and your group of friends arrive early enough to get some great seats way in the back of the theater. Once the theater fills enough so that both seats on either side of your row of friends are occupied, would the friends at the ends (the ones who have to share one armrest with a stranger and another with a friend) like the movie less than everyone else?
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"Our elbows touched. Bro, are we gay now?"
In the end, there probably wouldn't be some massive drop-off in the perception of a film's quality for someone separated from their friends. But there would be a spike in the amount of harrowing forearm-to-forearm contact with strangers.
#3. Are Super-Healthy Eaters As Productive, Or Do All Their Bathroom Breaks Hold Them Back?
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My eating habits fluctuate between trying to get back down to my birth weight and periods where my eating is so obscene it needs to be pixelated and bleeped. I am intimately familiar with how the human body responds to both diets. I know that if I'm eating sweets and fried foods and drinking very little water, I'll have no energy and my bathroom visits will be irregularly timed and disastrous. When I eat my veggies, lean meats, and whole grains and fiber whatevers, and drink lots of water, I'm shitting and pissing in ways that are worthy of awards. The downside is that bathroom breaks are more frequent.
"Let's see: $17.50 per hour, 40 hours a week, about nine minutes per poop over five days. That's $2.63 per poop,
or $682.50 per year made while pooping. So, 1.88 percent of my income is poop-based."
This leads to the study's objective: Is an energized healthy eater who takes many bathroom breaks per day any more productive than someone with less energy due to a poor diet, but as a result spends less time at the toilet and more time at their desk?
In this case, I would define a "healthy diet" as that person at work who eats two separate lunches of broiled cod and broccoli every day like there isn't Pizza Hut within walking distance. I would define an "unhealthy diet" as pretty much anything below that. But, specifically, someone who deep-fries fruit.
My meals can be a whole flopping basket of fish eaten Gollum-style, but if all that healthy eating is making my colon function so efficiently that it interferes with the time I need to spend working, then what's the point of eating well? Living longer? Feeling better? Yeah. Sure. Whatever, hippies.
This would be especially true if shitting and pissing less as a result of a diet made up of poor choices caused me to dedicate more time to work, but with the downside of always being on the verge of passing out from a cocktail of boredom and unearned exhaustion.
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"We will never forget Roger's last words: 'Yes, I'll have two marshmallow
and fried hog's ass sundaes, please.'"
Both have upsides and downsides, and one will clearly kill you in the long run (which would lead to less work getting done), but both options share the same final question that demands answering more than any other: Will the ripple effect of the many poop breaks of a healthy and shit-stuffed workforce impact productivity in a way that will eventually affect a company's stock price?