Olive Garden LIES
Looking for another reason to hate the Olive Garden? No? Here’s one anyway: it was one of the primary culprits in a new study claiming that nearly a fifth of American restaurants underreport the calorie counts of their dishes by at least 100 calories. (Other big-name offenders included Boston Market, Outback Steakhouse, and, I’m sorry to report, Chipotle.)
The study examined 269 menu items at 42 fast-food and sit-down restaurants in three states and compared the actual lab-tested calorie counts to those reported on the restaurants’ websites. (In defense of Chipotle, et al., two of those three states were Indiana and Arkansas, which might not be, well, representative when it comes to calorie intake.) One item apparently had more than 1,000 calories more than it was supposed to: a side order of chips and salsa at (the inaccurately named) On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina. How a side order of chips and salsa could possibly have 1,000 more calories than any food item on earth is beyond me. Maybe the salsa contained three too many sprigs of cilantro…
Scientists Discover Reproduction Requires Sex
And the award for Stupidest Headline of the Week (a very competitive category, by the way) goes to Physorg.com for this little gem: “Asexual ants are actually having sex: study.” A word like “reportedly” or “purportedly” at the beginning would have helped this one a bit, as would some more traditional colon use. Then again, if it was impeccable diction and punctuation I were looking for, I’d go to Engorg.com, not Physorg.com.
Anyway, it’s the scientists involved in these studies on purportedly asexual ants who deserve the snide commentary. Between 2005 and 2009, three studies of Mycocepurus smithii (“Michael Smith” in English) colonies in Puerto Rico turned up no males. Dissection of the colonies’ queens revealed that their sperm-storing chambers were dry. The biologists thus concluded that the ants must reproduce asexually.
I’m no biologist, but I would have stopped them right there: Wouldn’t the presence of sperm-storing chambers suggest that sperm was involved somehow? Turns out, well, yes. In a new study, Harvard’s Christian Rabeling and his team discovered four colonies along the Amazon River that exhibited “a variety of genes typical in a sexual society,” along with a queen whose sperm-storing chamber was full of, yep, sperm. “The researchers still have yet to find a male M. smithii,” however, “even within the apparent sexual colonies. They suspect the males may be used for mating and then sent packing.” I know how they feel.
If You’re Reading This On The Can, You’re Not Alone
According to a new study by Plaxo—a company that stores mobile device data and is thus perhaps not the most objective source for a study like this, but regardless, I couldn’t resist including this one—19% of cell-phone users have dropped their phone in a toilet and been forced to buy new one. “This data corresponds with another study from Google that stated nearly four out of every ten people bring the phone into the bathroom for use,” according to the article.
First of all, I love that this story is on a website called Digital Trends. Secondly, who are these people, and where can I go to mock them in person? For a moment, I tried to picture scenarios in which dropping an iPhone into a toilet was possible, much less common. Yapping with legs spread treacherously wide? Texting with one hand, wiping with the other? Then I thought better of it—some things are better not left to the imagination. Anyway, if you are one of these unfortunate people—and apparently there is a one in five chance you are—you might already know that submerging your soaked phone in dry rice (jasmine, for a better scent) is a commonly used resuscitation technique. You can thank me later. Just don’t expect me to shake your hand.
Penis Size Vis-à-Vis Economic Development
I’m just going to skip the foreplay and cut right to the chase on this one. According to a new study by Prof. Tatu Westling of the University of Helsinki—a long-known hotbed of hot Finnish coeds and, now, in-depth analyses of junk length—size may matter after all, at least when it comes to economic development. (When it comes to other developments, it’s all about the motion of the ocean. Trust me, ladies. Please? Trust me?) “It is argued here,” Westling writes, “that the average size—the erect length, to be precise—of male organ in population has a strong predictive power of economic development during the period” 1960 – 85. “This paper’s major contribution has been the identification of this perplexing link.” If he says so.
Dubious conclusions aside—the main thing I learned was that even a paper devoted entirely to penis size can be dull in the hands of an academic—it is nonetheless worth skimming for the prose alone, most of which is unintentionally hilarious. More than anything, it is a veritable treasure trove of inadvertent double entendres (“The size of male organ is found to have an inverse U-shaped relationship with the level of GDP in 1985”; “Did countries with little male organs continue their growth spur?”) and complete awesomeness cloaked in bone-dry academic-journal prose (“One striking result is the collapse in GDP after male organ exceeds the length of 16 centimetres”). Reading it is, at times, like watching a hippo try to cross a minefield. Occasionally even Westling falls prey to the lure of easy puns. “It clearly seems that the ‘private sector’ deserves more credit for economic development than is typically acknowledged,” he writes. He’ll be here all week.
Sadly, the study is conspicuously short (heh heh) on takeaways. “For obvious reasons the male organ narrative yields little in terms of feasible policy recommendations,” Westling writes. “Beyond mass [im]migration, not much can be done on the average size of male organ at the population level.” Evidently he has never heard of ExtenZe. As for you size queens, I recommend checking out Tables 6 and 7 in the appendix, which include average “male organ” length by country. Assuming the State Department doesn’t lift its travel ban on the former Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to both a bloody civil war and, apparently, the best-endowed men in the world) anytime soon, you might consider booking the next flight to Quito—Ecuadorean men boast an impressive seven-inch average. You know what they say… Once you go Ecuadoran, it ain’t ever borin’.