Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Research: what you do instead of working

In a prime-time address, President Bush said he backed limited federal funding for stem cell research. 'That's right', the President said, this is a quote, 'the research could help cure brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and whatever it is I have'. - Conan O'Brien, Talkshow Host

A team of researchers based at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Buxton, Derbyshire have spent a month and £12,000 of taxpayers money investigating The Role of Towels as a Control to Reduce Slip Potential in the hope that, at the end of their study, they could could reach a conclusion on the weighty matter of whether or not to use a towel to step onto after bathing. Unfortunately, the research was 'complicated' and they couldn't come up with any significant results.

Research that did come up with results was that done for child trust fund provider Family Investments. 530 women with young children were interviewed about their pregnancies and it was found that just 22 per cent of due dates had been accurate to within 2 days. A consultant commented, 'There are a huge number of births that are overdue.' I'm not sure what the point of this research was but it was stated that 'pinpointing an exact due date can relieve anxiety for families, wrongly predicted dates can cause difficulties in the planning, such as booking maternity and paternity leave.' It's amazing that no-one has yet claimed compensation for not being given a precise date! I didn't realise that this was a subject that needed research. I thought EVERYONE knew that babies arrived just when they wanted to and not according to plan!

6 comments:

Clare said...

yet again I shall have my moan about funding for research. People fund why it is dangerous to step on a towel, but won't fund me to find out what causes autism, or what can be done about similar disorders, either to stop them happening, or to help improve the quality of life of people who suffer from them. It makes me grumpy!
But yes, research is what you do instead of working :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm not surprised Clare is feeling grumpy! what a ridiculous waste of money that "towel research" is. I don't know anything about babies or pregnancy!

jomoore said...

I know for a fact that if there's no towel there when I step out of my bath I will slip. Because the floor's slippery. And the towel's not.

I also know to be careful. This did take years of research, though I prefer to call it "growing up" or "experience". Unfortunately, I don't have a health and safety lab of my own, so I had to learn the hard way...

Clare - this makes me grumpy on your behalf, and on behalf of all the worthy causes that lose out because someone somewhere has got their priorities all wrong.

Clare said...

Hmm, having found you and Paul Bungard on Facebook I am slightly disturbed to be "poked" by Paul... just feels weird!

Lizzie said...

Chris - just catching up with you & last few posts! Loved the 'and if you remember' etc. And on your current point, I agree, so much effort & money into the oh-so-bleedin' obvious scenarios. It's just one of my more serious rants as an unreconstructed grumpy old woman!

Lizzie x

Chris said...

Clare, as I'm not entirely sure what being 'poked' entails, I think I'll resist the temptation.

Good to hear from you, Lizzie. Really enjoyed your latest post.