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If people wrote about other things the way they write about particle physics
Paying homage to K.A. Tsokos
1. It is theorised that all humans have purple hair naturally. Technically, there is no observable evidence to suggest this is a common phenomenon, or indeed, that purple hair exists at all. However, according to the Purple Hair Experiment — conducted by German trichologist Hans Icherfindegernesachen — shining light of a specific hue on a blond person’s hair causes it to have a purple appearance. This led to the creation of the Icherfindegernesachen Purple Hair Model, in which all hair is secretly purple but disguises itself in other colours for complicated scientific reasons (discussed further in Appendix C: “The Observer Effect As Applied to Your Scalp”).
2. Experts classify breakfast cereals into three simple categories: Durgenpoltzers, Fawbcrengs, and Kleedmeists. Durgenpoltzers are invisible to the naked eye, but are believed to contain higher sugar levels than Fawbcrengs and the lowest crunchiness ratios of any cereal known to man (other than the elusive Polkverdenhitzgard, which was found once in a grocery store in Oslo in the year 1634 and has not been spotted since). There are six types of Durgenpoltzers: Lefts, Rights, Salts, Peppers, Quirkies, and Refrigerators — the six favourite words of some random Austrian cereal theorist.
3. One of the most famous frog biologists of all time is Ernest Seltsamertyp, who was raised in the 1800s in the small German village of Dinkelsbühl. Seltsamertyp was known by his fellow German villagers to be a strange child. Mark Smith, renowned biographer and author of New York Times bestseller The Life and Times of Ernest Seltsamertyp, interviewed 400 schoolchildren who attended Seltsamertyp’s school. They reported that he was left-handed, atheist, and kept tadpoles in his water bottle, where he tortured them to death. These were all unusual habits for a young German Catholic boy in the 19th century.
At the age of 12, Seltsamertyp left Dinkelsbühl to attend the German University of Physics. He dropped out two years later so he could pursue frog studies independently. After marrying four village women (simultaneously) and subsequently divorcing them, Seltsamertyp decided to lock himself in his home laboratory for 36 years with a colony of European grass frogs. He wrote about his observations in a notebook which was later published and recognised by the German government as one of the greatest scientific contributions of all time. His primary observation — that locking a frog in a room for multiple years will progressively damage its psychological health — was considered groundbreaking at the time and is now known to scientists as the Sad Frog Principle. Unfortunately, Seltsamertyp was killed by fatal levels of exposure to frog venom over the 36 years he spent in the lab.
4. It is a fundamental belief of the medical establishment that the polio vaccine is 98% effective in preventing polio and thus, that all children should receive this vaccine. Admittedly, medical advice on the polio vaccine has shifted slightly over the years: as late as 2016, some medical trials showed that the polio vaccine actually caused polio in young children. However, newer research shows that this is probably not the case. When asked in a New York Times interview about the evidence behind the polio vaccine, Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist replied reassuringly, “It works. Trust me, bro.”
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