In a continual effort to bring you the latest research breakthroughs, the RonnBlog (in partnership with the Institute of Things You Already Know) presents the following compelling findings, all financed by you, the taxpayer.
These surprising insights come via Uncle John’s Perpetually Pleasing Bathroom Reader, the 26th edition of their fine series of things you simply must know.
Get Me Outta Here
The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration spent $26,000 to determine why inmates want to escape from prison. Inmates were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their criminal histories, attitudes toward escaping from prison and other aspects of criminal life. The findings:
- “Escape is both a function of the characteristics of individuals and the situations in which they find themselves.” For example, if they are criminals in prison.
- “The escapee is more likely than other inmates to be, among other things, ‘one who has been turned down for parole’ and ‘not scheduled for parole review.’” Well, that’s surprising!
- “Analyses tend to depict the escapee, particularly the multiple escapee, as a career criminal.” So, don’t worry about the amateurs or enthusiasts.
Take All You Want, But Want All You Take
Researchers were vexed by a persistent question: Are obese people more likely to opt for “all-you-can-eat” restaurants? For a mere $2,500, they observed 1,718 patrons at 4 different restaurants that offered a buffet or smorgasbord in addition to menu items. To what must have been their surprise, they discovered that:
- “Obese persons formed a far higher percentage of the customers in restaurants where smorgasbord was served rather than under conditions of traditional menu service.” Well, I’ll be darned!
- “Far more food was eaten in the smorgasbord than in the menu-service condition.” Well, butter my buns!
- “Obese people may be more likely to seek out sites where more food is available.” May be more likely? MAY be???
Is This Crystal Ball Working?
In the 1970s, U.S. Department of Transportation invested $225,000 to forecast transportation needs in the year 2025. They examined the transportation needs in four different scenarios, including the U.S. entering an Ice Age. They prognosticated that in an Ice Age:
- “It will no longer be socially acceptable to attend business meetings in traditional walking, bicycle or motorcycle attire.” Oh, the horror!
- “Large numbers of people will move south and west in search of a warmer climate.” Wow…who’da thunk it?
- “Hitchhikers will be ubiquitous and drivers will charge 25¢ to take them on local trips.” Seems reasonable. Especially when you factor in the cost of snow tires and ice scrapers!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration spent $45,000 to determine how long it takes to cook breakfast. FDA researchers timed themselves cooking breakfast, but instead of using seconds and minutes, they devised a “time measurement unit” (or TMU) that was equal to 0.036 seconds. They found that it takes:
- 838 TMUs to fry two eggs in a skillet.
- 1,222 TMUs to fry six ounces of hash.
- 960 TMUs to make french toast, including 22 TMUs to reach for the egg and 15 TMUs to crack it against the bowl.
Well, that settles that, then.
Aren’t you reassured to know that as you read this, researchers are beavering away to unravel the significant mysteries in our world?
No, me neither.
Today’s Fact Cetera
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.