An argument between two academics over the British actress, Dame Helen Mirren, may have finally led to an answer for that complex and burning question asked by any adult trying to understand the teenage-psyche, “What is cool?”
The most immediate and direct answer from seven out of ten teens is, “If you gotta ask the question, not you, old dude!”
However, applying an empirical investigation to discover the essential nature of coolness, three separate Canadian studies were devised first to identify through a survey qualities that were cool, then ask respondents to rank those qualities in desirability and finally to rank their friends on these qualities.
Basing their research on the notion that cool is being attractive and desirable, Dr. Sal Minella, who works at the University of Guelph Center for Ennui and his colleague, Dr. Marion Money, of the Canadian Institute of Beer Pounding came to some interesting and almost scientific conclusions.
Beginning their research after a few beers, when Money dismissed her colleague Minella’s assertion that Mirren is cool, dismissing the British actress as a “dish-water blonde skank with an attitude and a pack of Marlboros,” the two scientists decided to discover why Mirren would even be considered cool in the first place.
With her unusual nose and husky voice, Mirren is not the quintessential movie star. However, she has starred in some arguably “cool” roles such as Morgana in Excalibur and Victoria in Red and Red 2, not to mention her brief but memorable voice-cameo as Babette the Caller in the popular US Sitcom, Frazier. And, who could forget her role as the malevolent high school teacher in Teaching Mrs. Tingle?
She has also appeared in roles that were decidedly uncool, like that of Queen Elizabeth in various productions. In fact, there is a consistent rumor that Mirren has been impersonating the monarch of Great Britain since the real monarch passed away in 2008 in order to keep Camilla out of Buckingham Palace and to mess with Charles’ head.
So what is it about Mirren, other than multiple pitchers of beer, that would cause a Canadian academic to consider her “cool”?
Being academics and nerds in a nanny-state, Minella and Money of course decided to waste piles of government funds and university time doing a scientific study.
The pair came up with three separate studies which asked 353 Canadian college students at a pub near the University of Guelph to first submit words they thought described cool. The most common were “hockey,” “hoser,” “Mayor Bob Ford,” “beer,” and “Celine Dion,” which was tied with “curling.”
Of course, being a publically-funded university in a theoretically bi-lingual country, the results were also reported en Français comme ça, <<le hockey>>, <<un Canadien qui ne peut pas parler Français>>, <<le bien ivre clochard>>, <<la bière>>, <<la belle Celine>>, et <<le curling, comme si je m’en fiche>>.
Then, the students deemed these qualities as how desirable they were and then used them to judge their friends, as usual.
“We wanted to tease apart coolness and social desirability,’ said Sal Minella, according to a report on MSRENARD. “There is a lot of overlap between social desirability and coolness.”
Indeed, the majority of responses that the two psychologists received as words to describe cool focused primarily on Canadian sports, beer consumption and quasi-media celebrity, none of which had anything to do with Helen Mirren, who has been known to fancy a sedentary existence of vodka and unfiltered Marlboros.
“Our research was designed to settle a bet at government expense,” said Marion Money. “And my assessment of the results indicates… I win! I win! I win!”
When the results of the study were published in French-speaking Quebec, tous les académiciens dismissed it with a sneer. When interviewed, le Professeur Al Ouette of L’Université de Chicoutimi, dismissed the study and Helen Mirren, saying she could never hold a candle to La Belle Catherine, although Ouette admits that both actresses are très sexy when they smoke.
Dame Mirren refused an interview for this article, a spokesperson for the actress saying, “Sod off, you silly bugger!”
In news that might not surprise most women, shoes are a girl’s best friend… right after diamonds, Botox and moisturizers.
According to a recent study conducted by the Department of Obscure Urban Myths Related to the Sitcom “Sex in the City,” of a major university that has asked not to be identified, one in five women is more turned on by her shoes than by sex. In fact, the study points out that one in six women prefer footwear to sex.
Not only are women choosing shoes over men, they might also be lying about it. Half of the women surveyed in this quasi-snarky, not-too scientific survey said they’re more prone to lie about how much their shoes cost than with whom they’ve had sex… or shoes… whatever their thing is.
One in four women also said they would never take off their heels, no matter how much it hurts, even if they were walking miles to a party or had to be dancing for hours. Interestingly, a not-overly-surprising number of men surveyed agree with this in a way saying they preferred that women not remove their ankle-strapped, open-toed, stiletto-heel FMP’s in bed during sex.
Not all women’s’ shoes are a turn on for either sex. Both sexes agree that flats, especially casual canvas skimmers, sturdy loafers and moccasins-basically, anything bought out of a Lands’ End catalogue-have no sex appeal at all except to WASP’s in the northeast and only after a half dozen martinis. On the other hand, ballet flats, especially with a delicate bow on the front and ankle ribbons, seem to light men’s candles.
Women’s sandals, like clunky Birkenstocks, share the same fate as flats… no turn on here. Mules are also to be avoided. But, slides with an open toe can be quite effective if paired with a sundress.
The survey indicates that heels have appeal for both men and women. The general rule is the higher and narrower the heel, the bigger the bang. Stilettos, extremely narrow, four inches high or more, usually will cause any man to walk right into traffic and any woman to be crippled by the time she’s forty. Kitten heels only seem to work when paired with a Catholic school girl outfit.
Boots, especially with heels, buckles, zippers and leather straps, anywhere in height from the ankle to thigh, scored highly on the survey for both sexes.
The survey also found that 50% of women admitted to judging others based on their shoe choices, and of those, half said the taste of the women observed wasn’t as good as their own, as in, “How could she wear that color shoes with that purse?” or, “You’d think she would have had to buy walking lessons with those heels!”
Since the release of this study, the number of men applying for positions in the women’s shoe department in high-end stores, like Barney’s New York, Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, has hit an all-time high.
A recent study released by MIT, the Muncie Institute of Technology, indicates that listening to Car Talk, a popular radio, call-in show on NPR, can temporarily lower the IQ of listeners, cause brain damage, and actually cause individuals to “drive like my brother.”
Cognitive scientists and personal injury lawyers, Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, investigated the effect of listening to car advice by “Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers,” on spatial reasoning. The results were published in this month’s Car and Driver.
They gave research participants one of three standard tests of abstract spatial reasoning after they had experienced each of four Car Talk, listening conditions: a call-in conducted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, an episode of “Stump the Chumps,” the answer to the previous week’s “Puzzler”, and Ray snorting.
They found a temporary deterioration of spatial-reasoning, as measured by spatial-reasoning sub tasks of the Stanford-Binet IQ test.
Dewey, et al. show that the deteriorating effect of the bad car advice, asking women callers how to spell their first names, moronic puns and snorting responses is only temporary. No subject had effects extending beyond the three halves of the show.
Car Talk is an NPR call-in radio show. Listeners call in with questions related to motor vehicle maintenance and repair, with callers describing symptoms and demonstrating sounds of an ailing vehicle while the Magliozzis make an attempt at identifying the malfunction. It is rumored, but not proven, that the Magliozzis are at times able to arrive at a correct diagnosis and give helpful advice.
MIT statistician, Marge Innovera, stated not only does listening to the Magliozzis lower IQ’s, but exposure to their theme song, “Dawggy Mountain Breakdown,” has caused temporary epileptic episodes and hallucinations in test subjects. When asked how often this occurs, Innovera stated, “A couple here… a couple there…”
Spokesman for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Pikov Andropov, stated that this study is particularly troubling. “Most listeners of the show listen to it in their cars, because their sane spouses will not tolerate it in the home. If we suddenly have thousands of people, “driving like my brother” on our roads, it could cause a cataclysm of epic proportion.
When informed that the listening audience of the show usually peaks at about half a dozen, most of whom are close relatives of Tom and Ray living in Boston, Andropov seemed somewhat comforted.
Neither Magliozzi agreed to be interviewed for this article, thank God! But, the show’s hygiene officer and chief of the Tokyo office, Otaka Shawa, stated, “Whadda you… nuts?”
(The author of this article is an unfortunately regular listener to Car Talk and wrote while still under the frontal-lobe-numbing effects of Tom and Ray’s mystique.)
Today on the campus of the Tubingen University Institute of Microbiology, some twenty-two firefighters, two gynecologists and a pediatrician in five emergency vehicles rescued an American exchange-student, Pat Putz, from a giant stone vagina.
It is not clear how Putz became trapped in the putz. Witness Pitsel Schmeckel, who posted photos of the incident to Facebook and Twitter, said his friend just wanted to take a funny picture.
He succeeded famously.
Tubingen University is one of the oldest in Europe and the only institution of higher learning, other than the University of Florida, dedicated to the vagina. The University’s history began in 1477, when Count Eberhard von Venusmuschel of Württemberg founded the University to study his favorite pastime.
In Tübingen’s historical center there is hardly a building or a square that is not linked to a renowned vagina. Tübingen notables include Catherine di Medici, Mata Hari, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Eva Peron, Tallula Bankhead, and Jessica Rabbit.
The vagina was created by a benevolent god, but the 13-year-old marble statue that trapped Putz was designed by Romanian artist and aficionado, Demut Pasarica. The vagina was not damaged in the incident but got quite wet.
It’s still unclear how the student explained his position to local authorities, who were too busy wetting themselves laughing to listen. Putz is facing a number of possible charges including criminal trespass, unlawful entry, rape and gross stupidity. Also, since the stone vagina is only thirteen years old, Putz may be charged with pedophilia.
Upon removing Putz from the vagina, an emergency pediatrician spanked him until he cried and began breathing on his own.
AP, Amalgamated Press, June 19, 2014 1:52 PM ET
NEW YORK (AP) — Krappe Foods is recalling its Velvet Cheese-Like Spread from Smallmart stores in as many as eleven states, mostly in the Midwest and the South, because there were traces of actual cheese found in the product.
Microscopic levels of cheese detected in laboratory tests has led to the massive recall of Velvet Original Pasteurized Recipe Cheese-Like Spread because it could actually cause nutrition in a consumer.
Krappe Foods Inc. of Bayonne NJ says the cheese-like product was sent to three Smallmart distribution centers and could have been shipped to as many as eleven states: Mississippi, West Virginia, Delaware, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Oklahoma and ironically Wisconsin.
According to recent government reports, all of these states have developed a unique evolutionary trait in its inhabitants of converting food directly into fat while bypassing any nutritional benefit to the body.
Scientists working for Krappe Foods fear that the consumption of real cheese, or any food product with potential nutritional value, could disrupt this evolutionary process and actually reverse obesity to the point that consumers may reduce the fats and calories in their diet and begin to lead healthy lifestyles. Such a change could have devastating effects on the products of Krappe Foods, Smallmart and interestingly the US Government.
The USDA has over the years created a huge bureaucracy, whose only apparent purpose is to develop obesity charts indexed to the average body fat of a super model and to spend billions haranguing the US public about its failure to meet these standards.
Further, the US government has in effect used tax-payer money to subsidize the fat-food industry, of which Krappe Foods is an industry leader, by purchasing tons of nutritionally challenged food-like products, such as Velvet Cheese-Like Spread, Potato-Tasting Lard Chips, and Bacon-Like Salad Lumps, and shipping these to third-world countries as food aid, to the US Armed Services as rations, and to public schools as school lunches in US “Red states,” Guam and Puerto Rico.
A spokesperson for Krappe Foods stated that the recall does not affect the company’s Velvet Cheese-Like Individual Slices, Velvet Cheese-Like Chunks, Velvet Cheese-Like Bricks or its new Velvet Cheese-Like Crackers. These can still be consumed with no danger to the consumer of providing actual nourishment.