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A bit of radical humour for AAG week…

“A true joke…suddenly and explosively lets us see the familiar defamiliarised, the ordinary made extraordinary, and the real rendered surreal…Humour brings about a change of situation…” – Simon Critchley, On Humour, London: Routledge, 2002 (p. 10)

Coburnian Science

by Mya Frazier and Sam Kay

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who has singled out studies of duck penises and shrimp running on treadmills as examples of questionable science, recently pushed through an amendment requiring political science research funded by the National Science Foundation to promote “the national security or the economic interests of the United States”. After digging through the NSF’s rejection bin, Coburn issued a press release touting his favorite unfunded “political science” research projects…

From Madison Avenue to Mazar-i-Sharif: Department of Defense Budget Relief. This study investigates the effectiveness of brand sponsorship of military hardware in opening new markets for American retail brands in post-conflict zones, deploying the taxi-billboard advertising model to Stryker ground vehicles and C-17 cargo carriers in the waning days of military operations. This study will track gains in support for the opening of Wal-Mart supercenters among village populations exposed to the advertising-enhanced weaponry against a control group exposed to weaponry without advertisements.

The Drone Channel: An Overlooked Revenue Source to Keep America’s Military Strong? This study evaluates the viability of selling the broadcast rights of military strikes from drones and guided missiles to reality television producers. This study will determine the optimal special effects necessary to modify the footage to appeal to American teen boys accustomed to more graphic and bloody gaming.

Productivity and Paid-Sick Leave: A Tenuous Link? This research aims to apply the quantitative findings from a previous study on worker morale and productivity in a Chinese garment factory without paid-sick leave to an American worker population at a microwave popcorn manufacturing facility in the Midwest. With an innovative geo-tracking model and RFID embedded factory uniforms, every movement of workers can be traced for optimal movement efficiency. The experimental group, denied paid sick-leave for six months, will be compared against a control group offered paid sick-leave.

“Top-Down” Economic Stimulus: Growing Hair, Growing Businesses. The impact of follicle implantation subsidies for male small business owners will be tracked within a regional economic study investigating economic growth trends in relation to the rise and fall of male confidence in an era of the feminizing workplace.

Productivity Stagnation and NPR: A Dangerous, Undiscovered Causation? This year-long study in Peoria, Illinois, examines the productivity gains and expected rise in patriotism during the forced closure of the local National Public Radio affiliate and all arts organizations in the city funded by the National Endowment of the Arts.

Making Prison Work: A New Model for Productivity in Privatized Prisons. By adapting the FoxConn Technology dormitory and wage model developed in China to a privately-run West Texas prison, this research will develop the optimal design for an assembly line-based cell block, making for-profit prisons more profitable, although state expenditures will remain the same.

Developing a Next-Generation Robot Army: Saving Blood and Treasure. This study examines the viability of retrofitting dormant rust-belt steel mills to spur America’s next manufacturing boom through investment in a droid army. With thousands of soldiers returning as amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan and an increasing proportion of Americans too obese to draft, this research examines the workplace-readiness of unemployed auto and steel workers in the Midwest to help Lockheed-Martin find the lowest-cost labor force and municipal tax structure for opening a robotic war innovation center. Police forces in rust-belt cities will be enrolled as collaborators for beta-testing of armored droids and drones in high-crime areas.

*         *         *

Mya Frazier and Sam Kay are graduate students in the Department of Geography at the Ohio State University

2 comments on “A bit of radical humour for AAG week…

  1. How could the Next-Gen Robot Army be denied funding? I guess that means Omni Consumer Products still has time to beat Lockheed-Martin to market, though.

  2. Catholicgauze
    10 April 2013

    Well, these projects certainly shouldn’t deserve funding (if they were real instead of jokes). Sadly though Senator Coburn has a point on the money wasted on projects. The move to limit funding is a bipartisan move and could be very good for geography. I discuss it over on my geography blog

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