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The Most Obvious Scientific Discoveries of 2009

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the fire-still-hot dept.

Idle 23

ectotherm writes "See the most obvious scientific discoveries of 2009, actually backed up by scientific studies. These include such no-brainers as 'Men are much more interested in casual sex than women.'"

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First Post ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30644860)

.. backed by evidence!

Argh! (1, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30644886)

I had thought that since "idle" was one of /.'s worst discoveries of 2009, that it would no longer be around in 2010.

Sadly, this seems not to be the case.

Re:Argh! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30645024)

Hey wow look at you bashing Idle. You are so Slashdot-Cool now.
You are also so Slashdot-Inept you cannot ignore Idle entries.

Re:Argh! (1)

carluva (963158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30646476)

HA! This has to be the best comment I've seen on Slashdot, ever! You hit the nail on the head!

Re:Argh! (2, Funny)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30651502)

HA! This has to be the best comment I've seen on Slashdot, ever! You hit the nail on the head!

Beats hitting the nail on the thumb.
[drum-roll, kaaa-ching!]

I'm sorry ; I'm sure it's not novel. But it just called out to me, and I was too weak to resist.

Re:Argh! (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 4 years ago | (#30645084)

How else did you expect Fox News to get on Slashdot?

Re:Argh! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30645112)

Yeah, this one in particular is terrible.

There is a difference between "common knowledge" and actually testing and quantifying it to see if it's true at all, and to what degree. The problem with just relying on common knowledge is that it's wrong often enough, but people generally don't know it. For examples, just watch an episode of Mythbusters.

Ripped out of the Metro? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30645238)

Metro, that shitty Newscorp rag that's given away on UK public transport, does a daily feature called "NO S**T SHERLOCK" on scientific discoveries where they list an obvious quote from a bit of scientific research as though positing the idea - never mind proving it, or quantifying it - was the entire purpose of the study.

people's beliefs in god are really just their own: (0)

oneplus999 (907816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30645322)

they missed one. []
"In particular, reasoning about God's beliefs activated areas associated with self-referential thinking more so than did reasoning about another person's beliefs. Believers commonly use inferences about God's beliefs as a moral compass, but that compass appears especially dependent on one's own existing beliefs."

Just G-rated films? (0, Troll)

Gamer_2k4 (1030634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30645350)

I'm pretty sure that ANY film promotes heterosexual relationships, not just kids' movies. That's why Brokeback Mountain made such a stir, after all; its portrayal of a homosexual relationship was completely opposite of what every other movie has done, ever.

Re:Just G-rated films? (1)

rusl (1255318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30646324)

Yeah the long suffering homo image was a totally new thing to that movie that had never been done before.

Fox News Discovery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30645438)

They forgot the most obvious one of all:

Fox News is Unfair and Biased

casual sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30645518)

"men are more likely than women to report having had casual sex"

Important to note the words 'to report'. It does, after all, take two to tango... that is assuming the majority of males engaging in casual sex are not sampling the other side of the buffet.

Re:casual sex (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30647806)

that is assuming the majority of males engaging in casual sex are not sampling the other side of the buffet.

Or the women who do like casual sex are very, very promiscuous.

Re:casual sex (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648644)

It depends also on how the individuals involved define casual sex. One partner might well consider it fairly serious whilst the other considers it meaningless.

Most Obvious Scientific Discoveries of 2009 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30645732)

"See the most obvious scientific discoveries of 2009, actually backed up by scientific studies. These include such no-brainers as 'Men are much more interested in casual sex than women.'"

Like the notion that whatever goes up, must come down. Or that the Earth is the center of the universe. Doesn't it just suck when scientists question common knowledge? Why are they wasting their time? Sounds like we need to light our torches and get our persecutin' hats on!

Even if the experiments only prove (or lend evidence toward) what we already believe, so what! But what if the experiments prove otherwise? As a society we have nothing to lose and a lot to gain from these types of experiments. Mercury's orbit is much better explained after factoring in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, but it's still not entirely accurate to what it should be. For everything we know, there's a whole lot we don't know. And some of what we don't know is probably what we think we already know.

Let the scientists be scientists. And when they discover something new, or change the way we thought about what was previously common knowledge, you can write another article about how in hindsight it was obvious.

Suprised by free software (1)

Aan Cocks (1696952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30645784)

Eric had been driving through Pennsylvania since dusk and had crossed into Ohio about two hours ago. It was 2 AM and pitch black outside as he approached Columbus. He flicked the ash from his Marlboro Light out his cracked window and mopped a greasy swatch of orange-brown hair back across his forehead. He hadn't stopped to eat, drink, or relieve himself since he'd left Malvern and the strain of the road was getting to him. With a gulp of cold coffee and one last puff from his cigarette he rolled his window up and refocused.

His eyes glanced over the console on their way back up to his dirty windshield, and to Eric's chagrin the gas needle was hovering just above E, shimmying ever so slightly as his Omni wiggled and jammed down the highway. He began scanning the horizon for travel plazas where he could buy gas and freshen up for the next third of his journey. It wasn't long before he saw Exit 122 and soon after a sign for a Flying J Travel Plaza. Eric exited I-70 quickly, anxious for a break.

After pulling up next to a pump, Eric dragged himself out of his car and waited with the gas nozzle in hand, just in case of a backfire, as his Omni usually shuttered for a minute or so after he'd shut it off. Finally jamming the nozzle into the hole, Eric smiled as he envisioned a steamy hot shower. After that he would indulge in the luxury of a late-night truck-stop feast. ESR tapped his foot as he waited for the pump to start. Half a second later, he almost had a heart attack.

"Sir, all of our pumps are now prepay and you'll have to come inside to pay before you can pump your gas," an unseen speaker blared at him.

Startled, Eric jumped back, dropped the nozzle on the ground, and bumped the Omni's gas door shut with his ass. His heart beat furiously and he trembled uncontrollably. Heeding the cashier's friendly greeting, Eric picked the nozzle up and shoved it back in its holster and made his way to the store's entrance. He was not pleased with having to prepay, not pleased at all. And he intended to share this with the clerk. He marched up to the front checkout and drew himself up to his whole 5'6 and glared.

"Do you know who I am?" Eric demanded, his voice like a teapot about to blow its top.

The cashier, a lean young man of about 20 with longish dark hair pulled back in a pony tail with three days of stubble and sky-blue eyes, looked at him and stifled a chuckle. "No," he said. "I don't."

"Well that's your first mistake," Eric said before he paused to look at the clerk's name-tag, "Shawn."

Shawn bit his cheeks to keep from smiling and made direct eye contact with Eric — or tried to, since Eric's eyes were all over the place at this late hour. "I'm sorry about that, sir. What can I help you with tonight?" he asked.

"You can start by putting thirty five dollars in gas on pump thirteen," Eric said. "And then I'll take three of these motor oils, five of those bottles of trucker pills, and one of your hot showers in the back," he finished, grabbing and throwing the items on the counter.

Ringing, Shawn watched to make sure Eric didn't pack anything in his pockets during the sale.

"Will this be cash or credit?" Shawn asked.

"Credit," Eric answered with gusto. "On my VA Software credit card!"

Eric produced a blue credit card with the familiar Tux penguin logo in the right hand corner and gave it to Shawn. He stared at the ground and tapped his foot while the transaction went through. He yawned and looked off into the distance at the showers, where he would soon bathe himself after days of sweaty travail. That last eight hours of driving had really clenched the odor. Eric idly noticed one of the doors had a Linux sticker on it and smiled, bemused. He'd take that room for luck.

"Just sign here," Shawn said after handing Eric his card, a receipt, and a cheap pen. "Would you like a bag?"

"No, no, no, no bag tonight," Eric said as he signed the receipt and gathered his purchases up in his arms and began hobbling toward the door.

"Sir, wait up!" Shawn called after him.

Eric turned and raised his eyebrows. "Yes, what is it?" he said.

Shawn held out a small, full plastic bag. "You forgot your shower bag, sir." he told Eric, who was now standing at the counter again, negotiating a hand free from his motor oil and speed pills.

"You can use any of the free stalls, you just have to lock it from the inside," Shawn told Eric as he deftly placed the bag on top of the motor oil. "Enjoy your stall, man."

"Oh, I will!" Eric said as he made his way outside. "I will!"

Eric sauntered slowly to the shower rooms in the back of the Flying J trucker mall, thinking about how nice a long, steamy shower would feel. He opened the door with the Linux sticker on it and took a towel, wash rag, soap, shampoo, and several small tea lights out of his shower bag and set them on the sink. Humming Ride of the Valkyries, he disrobed and began lighting the candles, thinking of sudsing his sloping shoulders and running soap through his naughty areas. His humming grew more intense.

Standing naked in the candlelight humming, Eric closed his eyes and envisioned summer waterfalls in the Germanic countryside. In Eric's fantasy pure Teutonic waters lapped at his thin, pale chest while Swabian maidens giggled as he spat water at them. His hands reached forward past the shower curtain, turning the faucets, and water began spraying from the shower head. He stepped inside. His humming filled the shower and he was lost in the Black Forest, wild with the secrets of Germany and Open Source.

He ran his thin bar of soap across his limp body as the warm water washed over him. A German maiden stepped under the hidden waterfall with Eric, eyes sparkling in the candlelight. Eric soaped his buttocks and stood ready for her in the warmth and darkness. Wagner thundered in the magic cavern and he extended his hand, full of the magic energy of the motherland — and soap — to caress his young valkyrie's face. He reached out, ever so slowly, savoring the moment...

And touched a thick blanket of whiskers.

"What the fuck!" Eric yelled as he opened his eyes.

Standing at the other end of the shower was none other than Richard Stallman, leader of the Free Software Foundation, in his dripping wet altogether with a look of anticipation on his shaggy face.

"I was wondering when you'd realize I was here," he said. His voice was high pitched and monotonic. It rang in Eric's ears.

"What," Eric yelled, "Are you doing in my shower twenty minutes outside of Columbus?!"

"Please, Eric, calm yourself," Richard said. "I thought we were getting along."

"We were," Eric said, "Except for that nasty little problem of you always saying that Free Software is better than Open Source."

Richard looked at Eric with puppy dog eyes. "Fine enough to have a truck stop rendezvous?" he pleaded.

"Look – no – not until you tell me how you knew I would be here," Eric said, pointing at Richard. "Was it you on all along?"

"" Richard said, looking puzzled. "If you're cruising for ass online you should not use It is not Free."

"Then what are you doing here?" Eric said, ignoring Richard's capital F. "Columbus is a little out of your territory, don't you think?"

"I could ask the same thing of you," Richard said. He noted that the shower was still running warm water all over Eric's backside as they spoke. "But I am down here speaking to the Central Ohio Linux User's Group about the GPL."

Eric said, "I'm on a little road-trip to Kansas City," He dropped his hands to his hips. "And I took this room because I saw the Tux sticker on it."

"Ah!" Richard exclaimed. "I knew I should have used a gnu sticker! Any old bum will take a room with a penguin on the door."

Eric noticed the gleam in Richard's dark, beady eyes from the low amber light of the candles. And just then, in the middle of their silence, Flying J's muzak came on. Richard and Eric both looked up, waiting to catch the tune. It began softly but suggested a faster beat. Then, slowly, the sound came into focus — it was Hung Up, the first single from Madonna's new album. Both Eric and Richard's heads bobbed in sync with the beat and their feet began tapping along. Eric's hips started swaying as well.

Eric was the first to break out of the song. "Look, I have a bottle of Jäger in my Omni. There's not much room in there, but–"

"Don't worry about how much room there is," Richard said, stopping Eric. "Let's just enjoy this song first and worry about the rest later."

And that's exactly what Eric and Richard did while Madonna gave way to a string of other muzak hits and the tea lights burned out. Eric had a long night ahead of him before he embarked westward to Kansas City in the morning.

Re:Suprised by free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30647372)

Classic. Thanks bro.

Much more work to do! (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 4 years ago | (#30646290)

Dogs are smarter than cats. Cats are smarter than dogs. Women prefer the window closed. Men see driving as a road race. Teens see their parents as full on dorks.

Stupid biased article (2, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648600)

Read the comments on this article. Only one article is from a prestigious, and the article is not about the obvious thing but about the physiological underpinnings of the obvious thing. It's not the obvious thing that's interesting but the mechanism behind it that was not obvious.

You know what drives me nuts about science? The scientists. And the non-scientists. In other words, people. If it weren't for the people, better science would get done. People are motivated by selfish reasons like funding, tenure, respect of peers, fame, etc. As a grad student, basically what I do is come up with ideas so I can get published. However, in order to get published, I do have to come up with something innovative and useful (which is why I got into academics in the first place). Peer review is a good filter for a lot of junk science and just plain idiots that don't know how to do science but try to publish their junk anyhow. But then you have to deal with some reviewers who have biases too.

Re:Stupid biased article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30671606)

GLaDOS? Is that you?

Fox News is untrustworthy (1)

Zotdogg (1469295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30657942)

I was JUST having a conversation about how the anchors on Fox News will say anything to entertain regardless of whether it is based purely on speculation, wild interpretation or even no facts at all. While I am impressed that there is a "Scientific Discovery" listed on the article with a description bemoaning the lack of homosexual portrayals of any kind in movies, I fail to see any links to any actual documented research in all cases except the high heels case. That and it was probably just a perfect excuse to rip on Disney. (The right doesn't like Disney because of their "World Days" or whatever they're called at the Disneyland resorts where they includ(ed) gays as normal people.)

I find it kinda funny that they are referencing journals that their demographic will probably never see. Maybe that's Fox News' strategy for convincing the gullible: "Let's get our stories from sources our audience will never see. Once we find those stories, we'll come up with some sensational interpretation of them that'll get us some exposure." Too bad they can't expose the story only to the gullible, restricting it from the more discerning. When the discerning see it, they immediately (or at least as soon as they see the FN icon) realize that Fox News has done a good job of roping them in to looking at another on one of their yarns and close the page. (This part get's a little pretentious --->) Then open then open the page again to see if any of the sources could be verified. Then close the page again, only this time frustrated enough to sign in to their /. profile to rant about it. (/pretentious) Not that any of that matters because their audience has already been brainwashed by so much interpretive data, they'll never listen to anyone speaking the plain ol' boring truth.

No fault to /. here for using a Fox News article for a story (they'll use anything to get that headline anyways =-), for they wouldn't be Fair and Balanced if they didn't.

Gay Disney (1)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663754)

"Since Disney just got around to featuring its first African-American princess this year, it's no shock that we may have to wait a while for a gay heroine."

Erm... when you consider the fact that many interpret Mulan as a film about a transsexual man... I don't think we're too far away from having gay Disney.

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