Thursday, 12 March 2009

Study Finds Older Men Have Stupid Children: New Insult Is Born

11 Mar 2009 - Medical News Today reports that a study (quoted below) has discovered a link between the age of the father and the intelligence of the child. The study concludes that the older the father, the lower the standard of a child's (up to 7 years) performance on cognitive tests.
"Advanced Paternal Age Is Associated with Impaired Neurocognitive Outcomes during Infancy and Childhood."
Saha S, Barnett AG, Foldi C, Burne TH, Eyles DW, Buka SL, McGrath JJ.
PLoS Medicine Vol. 6, No. 3, e40. Published online March 10, 2009 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000040
Bullies the world over rejoiced today as the potential for creative and novel snide remarks dawned upon them. For example, the incompetent colleague can be issued with a, "I see that your father must be about 200 years older than you" to put the point across - with scientific evidence that qualifies the statement, to boot. Similarly, for the moron who couldn't care less about others, a quip of "it must have been difficult to be born to a senior citizen" will hit the nail on the head.

Practitioners of sarcasm advised though to wait until the results of the study have propogated well into the homes of the intended recipients before employing such comments. And for those who cannot wait, it would be wise to include a link to this study and report for the intended target to refer to when making such retorts.

It remains to be seen how well this vein of insult will take to the masses, but with the clear advantage of being able to insult both the target AND his/her father at one go, observers believe it could very well be a winner.

source: Malice4U

Does 'Not Unhappy' = Happy?

With all the internet chatter among Singaporeans on how train commuters have to constantly enjoy the whiffs emanating from fellow passengers' armpits on a regular basis - so much so that one can recognise and identify a fellow commuter by smell (are you nodding your head? Eww!) - I was surprised to read the headlines '90% of Singaporeans happy with level of graciousness' (carried in TODAY as well) and '1 out of 10 Singaporeans unhappy with current level of graciousness' in today's local news.

source: IMETRO

If the reports are to be believed only a mere 1 in 10 Singaporeans are unhappy with the standard of graciousness and CNA goes as far as making it sound as if the other 9 declared that they were happy. But in actual fact, the survey conducted by don't-know-who which was commissioned by the Singapore Kindness Movement, polled only 502 Singaporeans (nationality by whose definition?) and only half of them actually said they were happy. So, apart from the 50-odd folks who plainly said they were unhappy, there were about 200 who DID NOT SAY whether they were happy or unhappy.

So it is misleading to suggest '90% are happy', isn't it? Once again, we get a lesson in how to have fun with statistics by using a sample size that is 0.0125% of the population and making incredible assumptions to make an erronous sweeping statement.

The reports also indicate that those polled ranked Singapore fifth in a list but stops short of letting us know exactly how many were in the list of choices. For a 500-respondent survey, I wouldn't be surprised if the list only had 5 options to begin with - i.e. Singapore is placed last! Let's see if more information comes along - perhaps the Singapore Kindness Movement will publish the exact/full survey findings on its website (Note: link may be broken/down).

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