Opinion: Chewing the fat on science


They just reported on the local evening news that Indiana is the 10th-fattest state in the U.S. Where did they do their research? The State Fair? The Mini-Marathon? That could make a big difference.

 I have made fun of scientific researchers for their fascination with bizarre and meaningless numbers. These are individuals who, statistically speaking, are among the unhappiest people in the world.  About 75 percent of the studies show that 57 percent of statisticians are 49 percent unhappier than 75 percent of all other scientists. You probably knew that.

 Here are a few odd stats: Redheads need 25 percent more novocaine in the dental chair than people with other hair colors; 67 percent of men prefer gas to charcoal grills; pet owners wake up 45 percent more often in the middle of the night.

 Now, the weirdest statistic of all: According to the University of Illinois, overweight people use more gas per mile than people who are thin. This information helps Americans understand the crisis we face with our dependence on foreign oil. Seems to me that the real crisis is more in domestic oil, canola, peanut and corn, all of which can take a simple potato and turn it into a cholesterol catastrophe called a French fry.

 Imagine telling someone who orders a Big Mac, large fries and a Coke for lunch that if he would just switch to a salad with no dressing every day for a month, he could get an extra mile per gallon. Oprah didn’t really care how she looked on the cover of O,but she lost weight to save 34 bucks a year on gas.

 The other day my Speedy Rewards Card indicated I was eligible for a free chocolate doughnut, an egg and cheese sandwich and a jumbo fountain drink . Did they mention that by consuming these, I was going to end up spending more for fuel? What a scam.

 We should not be proud of being the 10th-heaviest state, but I try to look at the positive side of things. Last year I had the occasion to drive from one end of Kansas to the other.  I don’t care what the scientists say about overweight Indiana, Kansas is wider across the middle.

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