Hats off to your brain

Wearing a close fitting hat is a way to decrease one’s intelligence, according to Manfred Toule and his team of scientists. In a study involving more than five hundred candidates, the figures show that wearing and not wearing a hat creates a noticeable change in the apparent IQ.

“We had our candidates perform a set of tests over several days. Some wore hats first, others wore hats second, some wore none at all,” he says, “Those who wore no head-wear deomnstrated a relatively constant IQ. Those who wore hats, however, had an almost consistent 13% decrease in their apparent IQ on the days when their heads were covered.”

The teams first embarked on the research after they noticed that, in a separate study involving hair and intelligence, those with less on top tended to have more up top.

“The theory is that the brain, being so large in the human body, requires a very temperature regulated environment. One of the reasons we perspire so much, for example, and have such a large surface area on our head, is to shed the excess heat. Our cooling ability works quite well, so the ambient temperature normally doesn’t play a significant role in our ability to think.”

Tight or insulated head-wear, though, changes the way the body regulates its temperature and, as a result, the cranial temperature increases and this, he says, appears to be the main reason for the drop in intelligence.

“We have also experimented with the type of hat. Large, open space hats, like top-hats or stove-pipe hats, don’t exhibit as severe a drop, whereas woolen beanies, caps and ushankas all push the IQ down.”

Manfred has enlisted a design engineer to create a head cooling apparatus to see if a drop in cranial temperature results in a change in IQ, also.

“If it turns out that there is an optimal temperature for thinking, we may soon see a market for devices like this in offices, laboratories, anywhere that requires brain power. And why not? Athletes have specialised clothes to ensure their body runs efficiently, why not intellectuals?”

Manfred’s research is expected to be completed next year.

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Watch out Below, it’s ‘Para-poo’!

Researchers in Belgrade have been spending their days throwing faeces out of drones. In a recent release, the team has revealed their preliminary findings pertaining to one’s diet and the aerodynamics of poo.

Says Yuri Asmorov, “You’d be surprised the amount of defecation that is released from flying vehicles every year. Some of the more solid masses can reach a high velocity and may even cause destruction. Others, the more loosely held stools that is, are dispersed readily, which we fear may contribute to the spread of faeces-borne diseases.”

He goes on to cite the recent outbreak of dysentery caused by a particular strain of protozoa that was shown to be only available inside the gut of humans.

“The only way that strain could have covered such a large area is if it (the faeces carrying the protozoa) was blown into a kind of aerosol. Looking at the flight pattern of the aircraft, we can see that it’s very close to the official path of many jetliners.”

The team is now divided into groups, each eating a particular diet known to affect the style, substance and consistency of faeces. Each member’s sample is collected and sent up in a drone to various heights, and the final speed, scattering, area-coverage and ‘splat’ is recorded by high-speed cameras.

“The vertical drop test is already showing promise. We need to step it up and try various combinations of speed, wind, humidity and the like. We are considering using a wind-tunnel to facilitate this, but so far we have not been able to convince an operator to let us use one.”

Yuri and his crew will continue the tests and present their full findings next year.

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Old Habits Die Hard

Paranormal Researchers have teamed up with Behavioural Psychologists to determine whether ghosts retain their prior personalities and habits.

“It’s just something we take for granted, that someone who had tendencies in life would carry them on after they died. But with any science, assumptions must be tested, so that’s what we set out to do,” said Hente Vaumer, Project Lead of Spiritual Investigations of North Carolina (SINC).

Using a mixture of techniques, such as psychological profiling, environmental analysis and sifting through historical records, the team compiled a set of characteristics to examine on a host of ghosts.

“While most investigators look at hard evidence, like photographs of apparitions or listening to EVPs, we go one step further an apply what we’ve found back to the personality of the entity we’re after. It is challenging, especially since, just like common folk, we have good days and bad days. Another time we had to throw out a whole month worth of compiled data because it turned out that we were dealing with two separate entities,” he says, “Still, it’s proving to be very insightful.”

Some of the key findings to come from the research include:

  • Most ghosts (86% of the sample collected) are not malevolent in nature.
  • Habits formed during a lifetime have a higher tendency to carry on after death.
  • Speech and behavioural habits have the highest tendency, whereas physical habits, like a limp or finger strumming, are less evident.
  • Of the entities marked as malevolent, 70% resorted to physical interaction when provoked, compared to 25% of non-malevolent.
  • Intelligence does not appear to have a correlation to the entity’s previous apparent level.
  • Criminal entities, those that have been identified by historical records as having served time for serious crime, represented 65% of the malevolent entities.

Says psychologist Rana Martina, “This is very exciting. It shows that the physical body, the chemicals and makeup, become insignificant after one dies. Without the influence of hormones and bodily constraints, the mind is free to develop on a different plane altogether. One can imagine that it would be like living in a sensory deprivation chamber, only even sensations of thirst, hunger and other desires would be quashed. So this raises a very important question: If there are no physical demands to motivate the mind, all that is left, the core motivator we can call it, must be of a pure essence.”

The team are cautious about drawing conclusions, conscious that others in the field do not appreciate their approach.

“Some say Paranormology is a quack-science. Others say the same thing about Psychology. Be that as it may, we’ve kept to scientific methodology and our papers can be scrutinised by peer review. We’re also using statistical analysis rather than pure empirical methodologies, and I think this makes all the difference.”ChesterLogoSmall

Hairy Men Even-Keeled

Beards are making a come-back these days, but did you know that they also serve to bolster the agility of the grower?

New research from the Follicle Analysis Collective of Tasmania (FACT), a collective of like minded scientists that collate and analyse scientific data pertaining to hair, shows that sporting a beard, moustache, goatee or side-burns actively improves a man’s balance.

“In a way similar to cat’s whiskers, having facial hair allows the Grower – we use the term Grower because it could be male or female – to receive extra-sensory data from the surroundings. Small deviations in air currents move the hairs which, in turn, trigger signals to the brain that are interpreted as a shift in the attitude of the head,” says Dr. Grace Potenza, “In layman’s terms, the hairs of a beard act as thousands of tiny fingers that ‘feel’ the air for movement. If the Grower moves to the left or right, for example, the sensation of that movement is more fine-tuned than a clean shaven person, or non-Grower.”

The find is of particular interest to the field of sports. A loose correlation between hair and sporting ability has already been established, with grants applied in a bid to formalise that finding. From the outset, it appears that those who sport a solid crop can expect an average of 15% better agility.

All manner of chin, lip and cheek hair will do but a light facial fuzz isn’t going to help much.

“We can see that any kind of solid facial hair, like a beard or a moustache or even sideburns or mutton chops, will help however the length of the hair must be sufficiently long, at least a centimeter exposure before we start to see any effects,” she says.

Dr. Potenza wishes to expand her studies to see if the Grower’s extra-sensory perception can aid in altered environments. Of particular interest is the apparent tolerance to alcohol, exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Another field is in low visibility environments like darkened rooms, fog and smoke.

“Who knows? We might find that as a recommendation all Fire-fighters be required to have a minimum beard length.”ChesterLogoSmall

Global Warming Linked to Earthquakes

A team of Japanese seismologists and meteorologists have joined efforts to determine whether ambient temperature fluctuations have a bearing upon tectonic activity.

“It came as a surprise. We decided to compare [data from separate studies] on a whim, just to see if there was any link,” says Professor Yamato, Head Meteorologist in the study, “There is no direct correlation, not in a perfect sense, however we did see that the patterns of environmental fluctuations were followed, after the order of several years, by deviations in tectonic activity.”

In layman’s terms, it appears that there is a 14 or 15 year shift between extreme temperatures on the Earth’s crust manifesting and subsequent tectonic activities. Extreme cold and hot years cause a rippling effect, a contraction and expansion on a global scale, that disrupts the motion of tectonic plates.

“Think of it like metal fatigue. Thermal fluctuations cause ultra-long scale oscillations. Rapid expansion and contraction, and when I say rapid, I am talking about the order of years in this case, can loosen the macroscopic bonds, freeing up plates so that they move more easily.”

Professor Hiro, Head Seismologist, is more cautious when it comes to the claims.

“I will not accept that a hot spell ’causes’ earthquakes,” he says, “For that would be going too far. I will [accept that] there is a distinct and uncanny correlation between the two if we perform the time shift.”

He states that the Earth has a natural, complex cycle and that while his team’s research is potentially revolutionary, causality cannot be established with any confidence given the current research.

“More research is required, specialised and particular, and it will take many more years, I am afraid. I would hesitate to jump to any conclusions.”

An application for further research is expected to be submitted in the coming months.ChesterLogoSmall

The Best Medicine

Forget laughter as a cure-all, unless it’s part of a romp in the sheets. A new study reveals that the exercise and reproductive hormones that come as part of a sexually active lifestyle actually contribute greatly to health.

“The study was so conclusive,” says Jim Barker of the National Administration of Drugs and Procreation, “We were all shocked at the result. Sure, there is the obvious exercise and endorphin, but it’s more than that. Thirty minutes of sex, twice a week, had a more positive effect on the body’s overall health than daily, hour long exercise regimes.”

Scientists measured resting heart-rate, blood sugar and fat content, cortisone, salt and fluid levels, along with less tangible elements such as mood, alertness and cognitive ability. When compared to the control, candidates who did little or no exercise and did not engage in sexual activities, a sexually active lifestyle far outshone a lifestyle of exercise.

Other factors, including alcohol and tobacco consumption, age, level of education and the subject’s demographic were taken into consideration. Interestingly, these factors had little bearing on the overall results when it came to those who regularly made love.

“It’s like chalk and cheese. It’s easy to see how anecdotal evidence spawned this research. Those who had regular sex performed better across the board. They were less stressed at work, enjoyed life more and were fitter both mentally and physically. I wouldn’t be surprised if a doctor were to prescribe it as a precautionary measure.”

He stresses that maintaining a healthy diet and performing regular exercise outside of the bedroom is still recommended, despite the research.

He laughs, “Think of it as a super-food, a booster for your general well-being. Please, by all means, keep eating kale and carrots and going for runs, but, every now and then, drop the dumbbells and start playing sack races.”ChesterLogoSmall

The costs of fads – Pokemon Go

With fads such as “Pokemon Go” hitting smart-device screens, social researchers at Wisconsin Society Administration have evaluated the indirect costs. The figures are alarming.

“If we take the first level of indirection – lower productivity – we see that this, in the Wisconsin area alone, comes to an average of just under 30 minutes per working day lost to ‘screen time’. This comes out to the order of over 15 million dollars per day in lost productivity,” says Sarah Erstman, fellow at the WSA, “That it alarming by itself. We deliberately ignored time off for accidents caused by looking inattention, since the causality for this would be too hard to associate with our study, yet you can consider this figure to rise if we included it.”

She goes on to say that there are many knock-on effects, such as a drop in the quality of work, unsafe workplaces resulting in higher rates of liability and time off for employees. She says to expect higher incidents of food poisoning along with neck, hand and eye complaints, rises in personal liability premiums and telecommunication bottlenecks.

“The figure (of 15 million per day) is conservative. If we include level two factors, the cost can be estimated at somewhere between 40 to 50 million. This is a significant loss and the effects will be felt for years to come,” she says, “We are still waiting on the official results from our sister study, based upon traffic flow, but the current consensus is that trains and busses are being delayed, traffic is more congested. I would expect to double that figure for tertiary effects.”ChesterLogoSmall