Saturday, June 24, 2006

How PBS Changed My Life (For the Worse!)

My eyes were glued to the television as I watched what was supposed to be a depiction of actual events. He approached her like an animal, like a predator stalking its prey. Then, when she seemed to least expect it, he jumped out from behind the bushes and knocked her to the ground. She struggled and tried to scream, but all her attempts to resist were futile. In minutes he had her by the throat, not with his hands (like any sane man) but with his mouth. Sinking his teeth into her neck, he severed her jugular artery. She struggled for a few seconds in a vein attempt to maintain her hold on the mortal coil. But slowly the life drained from her eyes and then, suddenly, her body went limp.

But this was not a horror flick I was watching, a mere work of twisted fiction. This was a PBS documentary; and even at the age of six I knew the difference between ‘make-believe television’ and ‘real-life television’. It was then that the awful truth came home to me. The truth that tigers routinely killed and ate Bambi! And so, at a tender age my long held belief that tigers were loveable, friendly animals that enjoyed eating breakfast cereal and that encouraged kids to do the same with a resounding “they’re grrrrreat!” was forever dashed to pieces. From that moment forward, the world became for me a hostile, dark and lonely place.

My memory of that dreadful day, when my innocence was forever cruelly snatched from me, now fuels my passionate opposition of Public Television. Children deserve to grow up in a world free of harsh depictions of the Darwinian struggle for life. If we want to have a moral peaceful society then it is imperative that we keep prayer in school, evolution out of our science textbooks and (most importantly) educational programming off the telly!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scientists Discover Eating is Good for You!

By Nubian Nerd
London Sunday Telegraph

Zürich, CH—Swiss and German scientists have recently discovered that eating food is nutritionally beneficial. “Members of the scientific community have long assumed that eating is important for life” remarks Joseph Goldstein, winner of the1985 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. “But no one has ever demonstrated experimentally that this is so—that is until now!”

The groundbreaking study, lead by biochemist Albert von Hohenheim and medical researcher Katherine Müller, took the form of an elaborate controlled experiment that utilised three sample groups, composed of twenty subjects each. The first group was provided with three balanced meals per day while the second group was provided with no meals and were carefully monitored to ensure they didn’t eat anything within the thirty-day duration of the experiment. Hohenheim and Müller were surprised to discover that while the members of the first group remained in good health, those belonging to the second group grew physically weaker, experienced progressive weight lose and regularly complained that they felt hungry.

In order to ensure that the difference observed between subjects in the first and second groups was nothing more than a fluke, the third group was given a regimen of placebo meals, composed of authentic-looking but nutritionally empty plastic fruits, ceramic bread and papier-mâché meatloaf. The two researchers were amazed to find that though subjects in the third group believed they were enjoying real food, they manifested the same symptoms as those given no food, but with the added side-effect that their stool took on the consistency of blue silly-putty.

"The evidence is overwhelming", said Müller, chewing on a ham and cheese sandwich. "It's almost as if food is supposed to be eaten!" In fact, the researchers suspect that eating food is so essential that complete and prolonged abstinence from food may even be fatal, a medical condition that Hohenheim calls ‘starving’.

However, the so-called ‘food study’ is not without its naysayers. "The experimental evidence remains inconclusive," says Kun Huang of Ohio State University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics. "Sure there was an observed difference between those that ate food and those that didn't. But we haven't ruled out the possibility that there may be some other variable responsible for this difference which the researchers have failed to control for." Johann Heinrich, professor of pharmocological studies at Geneva University, also criticised the study; calling the claim that food is essential for life “unsubstantiated” and “alarmist handwaving”.

Despite some remaining opposition, most of the biomedical community has embraced Hohenheim and Müller’s findings. “I believe the ‘food study’ will go down in history as one of the great scientific triumphs of our age”, opines Goldstein. “These results are no less astonishing than the discovery that what goes up must come down or the invention of the nail clipper.”

Bolstered by the success of the food study, the two maverick researchers have now set out to prove experimentally that breathing is necessary for life. "Are we crazy?" Hohenheim asks with a mischievous grin. "Many of our collegues think so…but we sincerely believe it can be done!" Like the 'food study', the proposed ‘breathing study’ will also take the form of a controlled experiment in which subjects won’t be allowed to breath over a thirty-day period. Says Müller, “we can only wait in eager anticipation to see what surprises the upcoming ‘breathing study’ will yield”.