nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Breaking Public Health Crisis: Smoking Scenes In Films

Call out the National Guard:  Watching smoking in movies makes smokers want to smoke.

Brilliant.  The world was waiting for this key scientific finding.  Lest you think I'm joking, go here for the research study.

The shocking--yes, shocking--finding was that those smokers who rated high on impulsivity were EVEN MORE likely to smoke during a break in the movie.  Who would have thought...

Seriously, here's my fantasy.  Somewhere out there at East Jesus University, there is a grad student in the public health program who is so hapless he can't come up with a dissertation after six years of graduate work.  His frustrated preceptor says, "You like movies, right?  Here's $100K of the taxpayers money from some outfit called the State of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (this part is true).  Go watch a bunch of movies, and enjoy yourself.  But watch for smoking scenes and then go see who smokes afterward.  Collect a bunch of this worthless data and we'll do some statistical magic on it to make it look like this was meaningful science.  Then at dissertation time, I'll be on your review committee and vote for you to get a degree."

Also, this will get rid of a pest, who has been hanging around this professor's neck forever.

In reality, this research probably came from a wholesome, public-spirited, HopeyChangey person who wants to do good in the world. 

Just think of the consequences, though.  When you fork over that huge tuition check for your kid to go to college, this sterling product of higher education may be teaching him....something.

You gotta love the system, right?  The soupcon of justice here is that California taxpayers are footing the bill.  They deserve to...just not the rest of us.

My nominee for the Useless Medical Finding Of The Year.


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