5 Things People Put Way Too Much Thought Into

Me and my team of researchers are proud to report that water is wet
5 Things People Put Way Too Much Thought Into

Humans are, by nature, incredibly curious creatures. Since our backs got bald enough to separate ourselves from monkeys, we’ve had a pretty constant obsession with asking “why?” This isn’t a bad thing, and without it, we’d probably all still be attributing thunder to some angry god’s irritable bowel syndrome, or happily cramming our walls chock-full of asbestos. Animals are curious too, of course, but their focus seems to be mostly on things like, “What does my own vomit taste like?” Or: “How much toilet paper can I get off the roll before a human stops me.”

Not all curiosity is created equal, however. Sometimes, we desperately want to know the answer to some very, very stupid questions. Do I want to know what causes sociopathy? Yes. Do I want to know how many wild turkeys it would take to kill a UFC fighter? Also yes. There’s a perverse joy in using every bit of our millennia of intellectual advancement to answer a question that truly doesn’t matter. The time wasted is only rivaled by the joy gained. 

Here are five of the best and biggest wastes of time spent figuring out highly stupid things…

Do Bullies Enjoy Bullying?


The only thing worse than a bully? Six bullies.

Of all the people that might consider this mystery done and dusted, you’d think that scientists would be pretty high up on the list. The embryo of many a nascent scientist’s brain was formed from the inside of a locker or the bottom of an atomic wedgie. However, some scientists decided, in a clinical variation on tearfully screaming “why are you doing this?!” at a mulleted kid in a sleeveless jean jacket, to test whether bullies enjoy causing harm.

I’m not exactly sure what they thought the competing theory was. Maybe the bullies thought they were on a mission from god? After all, one of bullies’ biggest trademarks is laughing the whole time they’re terrorizing people. You know, the sound of uncontainable joy. Regardless, a number of scientists put in the time and the medical equipment to confirm this. Scanning the brains of bullies while they looked at people experiencing pain, like having a piano cover slammed on their fingers while playing (Nice song, Mozart, be a shame if something happened to it) showed that their reward centers were activated by the stimulus. Before, they were just assholes. Now, they’re medically confirmed assholes.

Are Cows That Have Been Standing Up Longer More Likely to Lay Down?


Surprisingly, the number one reason cows lay down is not to “avoid snipers.”

Our second mostly unnecessary scientific study is one that feels like it was pulled straight from an Oklahoma high school science fair. In it, a group of scientists set out to discover if cows that had been standing up for longer were more likely to lie down. Basically, they decided to find out if cows got tired. For this, we got an 800-word-plus INTRODUCTION alone. I guarantee you, we’re picking up what you’re putting down, dude.

Doing an experiment like this feels like a good way to get investigated for some sort of grant money fraud scheme. I mean, they bought sensors for this shit. Even if aliens came to earth, and were as obsessed with cows as media portrays them to be, I still think the question of “do they want to lay down when they’ve been standing for a while” is one they’d just mark off by default. 

Anyway, my apologies for burying the lede: Yes, the longer a cow has been standing up, the more likely it is to lay down. I hope I haven’t removed the wonder from your life.

Could Both Jack and Rose Have Fit on the Door in Titanic’?


No need to hurry this up, we're only four hours into the movie.

Titanic, the movie that asks, “What if a boat… went wrong?,” is one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. With that success, it's inspired an incredible amount of highly annoying bullshit. Creeps talking about drawing someone like a French girl, tourists doing the “king of the world” pose on anything more than a half foot tall and people who very much are not Celine Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On” at karaoke — all thanks to Titanic. As a collective drain on brain power, though, it might be argued that nothing has received more thoroughly undeserving discussion than whether Jack could have fit on the door that Rose floats on until rescued at the end of the movie.

People have argued about surface tension and buoyancy with regard to this fucking door for 25 years of my 32 years on this earth. I would rather discuss the weather than this fat fucking plank in the sea ever again. In a win for “actually” guys everywhere, the question became somehow so pressing to a population on its way to heat death that MythBusters finally addressed it. Jack could have made it, according to them. We could have had the future we deserved! The one where Rose breaks up with him two weeks later after she’s less impressed by his ability to draw her nude and then gets married to some dignitary and has two kids an au pair raises.

The Official Guinness Guidelines for Stacked Breakfast


Disgustingly uneven. 0/10.

The Guinness Book of World Records is, by design, a thorough accounting of the most impressively stupid things humans have ever done. For that reason, I’m not going to waste time criticizing them for what they do and don’t cover, or how much money they spend on plaques. However, for occasional records, the joke of taking something stupid seriously accidentally results in a massive amount of real work to make it “fair.”

One example? The apparent 40-page PDF you receive defining what is and isn’t a waffle, should you attempt to break the stacking record of the breakfast item in question. Unfortunately, my internet sleuthing has not unearthed the document in question. Not sure why waffle rules are so sensitive that they need to be reviewed in some sort of Guinness SCIF, but it’s their PDF to distribute as they see fit. I was, at least, able to track down some similar rules for pancakes: A Guinness approved stacking pancake is between 12.5 centimeters and 25 centimeters in diameter, and less than 1 centimeter thick. I know it’s in metric because Guinness is European, but I love how clinical it makes these pancake measurements sound, like you’re evaluating a melanoma.

The Meaning of Life


Hey buddy! Get off your ass!

“Why are we here? WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?!” Who gives a shit? Finish your fries or push them over here, Plato Junior. Maybe the meaning of life is spending as much time as possible not thinking about it. Nobody past 25 is impressed that you know the word existentialism.

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