I like studies. I especially like it when they prove something that I’ve already been doing and didn’t want to change. A study that says fixing fish sticks and fries once a week isn’t going to kill your kids is a great service to humanity, in my opinion.

However, there are studies I read about that make me think – “Isn’t this obvious already? Why would you need to prove this? And who gives a flying rip?”

I found some studies on the National Post website under the fitting title “Dumb Studies 2008.” I’m going to share them but I have to make the disclaimer that I’ve not researched to see if they are true studies or where they came from, so if all of this information is incorrect, it’s par for the course on this blog.

FYI, the headlines and some of the text in these belong to National Post. To show this, I’ve used this handy punctuation device (“) to show that I lifted this verbatim from their website because they said it a lot funnier than I could. When you see this (“) that means it’s the end of the quote and I’m talking. Also, if I’ve left something out of the quote, I’ll use dot dot dot to indicate the left out part. If this is too confusing, perhaps someone will do a study on ways to improve quotation marks so that people aren’t misled into thinking that the blogger actually wrote the really funny part and not just the regular part. Perhaps I should apply for a grant…

 “Study finds: People who exercise are less fat than people who sit on the couch all day eating chips and watching Oprah. People who added 20 to 40 minutes of walking a day lost a small but steady amount of weight, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. The lead researcher also noted that changing eating habits could help lose even more weight, in what seems a shameless attempt at lining up grant money for a follow-up study on the merits of eating more salad and fewer donuts.”

“Study finds: Young children are a little frightened by clowns.” Researchers found that kids in a children’s hospital didn’t want pictures of clowns on the wall. Did this take a study? Picture of clowns – especially those ones with the huge black, sad looking eyes and the frowns – are not fun to look at. They are downright depressing and have been known to induce nightmares and fear of clowns hiding under the bed.

“Study finds: Women don’t like to be told they look fat.  A national survey found 68% of men have lied when asked by a woman: “Do I look fat in this?” The other 32% of respondents were said to have recently been dumped by their girlfriends or wives.”  I personally don’t condone lying in men, but this is one area where they absolutely must be diplomatic, and by diplomatic I mean lie.

“Study finds: Smoking not so good for you. University of Waterloo scientists conducted a study that established that smoking, which is hazardous absolutely every place it is pursued, including the house, the office, in elevators, crowded rooms, uncrowded rooms, lobbies, bus shelters, bars, restaurants, small caves in southern France, in the upstairs bathroom when you think your parents won’t notice and in every other conceivable location, is also dangerous in cars. The study said second-hand smoke ‘reaches unhealthy levels in cars, even under realistic ventilation conditions,’ which is scientist-speak for ‘with the window open a crack.’”

“Study finds: People who think the government wastes their money might fib a little on their tax returns….But even the honest tax payers were not about to tell their wives they look fat in those jeans.”

“Study finds: People tend to underestimate how much they weigh. McMaster University researchers found that people self-report themselves at a lower weight than they actually are. The most likely to under-report their weight were people who qualify as ‘obese,’ according to their body mass index. They were also most likely to finish those fries if you were done with them.”

“Study finds: Getting fired is disappointing: University of Toronto research found that a pink slip can be disappointing even to people who consider themselves optimistic… Optimists also tended to find it disappointing when they were romantically dumped, a pet died, or they whacked their thumb with a hammer.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed these, courtesy of National Post. There’s a link here if you want to “study” these studies more (yes, I should definitely do standup): http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/12/30/dumb-studies-2008-a-year-of-confirming-the-incredibly-obvious.aspx