Friday, June 11, 2010

How To Talk Like a Modern Scientist

Humans were once curious as to why certain homes had an address of Toledo, Ohio while most homes did not. Modern scientists, attracted by some sizable grants, decided to look into the matter. Here is what a few of them had to say about their findings:

“We compared furniture arrangements of a large set of Toledo homes versus controls and found that if we focused on unusual furniture arrangements (those found in less than 1% of the homes), we could get some interesting and hopefully publishable results. At first we were disappointed to discover that both Toledo and non-Toledo homes were equally likely to have unusual furniture arrangements, but when we cast our statistical eye further we noticed that for unusual furniture arrangements involving television sets (rare televisionic furniture arrangements), Toledo homes were somewhat more likely to have such arrangements than controls. This is a major breakthrough.”

“We discovered novel candidate furniture arrangements that significantly increase the risk of having a Toledo address. This will allow us to develop home decorative intervention strategies and get furniture therapists to front doors much quicker—in some instances preventing homes from ever appearing in Toledo, Ohio.”

“Our results substantiate the importance of unusual furniture arrangements in Toledo homes, and this is likely to change how home decoration is viewed in the Toledo area. Most people in the field believed that Toledo homes shared common furniture arrangements perhaps in just a few rooms. But in fact most Toledo homes are probably decoratively quite unique—each having their own form of furniture arrangement.”

“You and I may have just as many unusual furniture arrangements in our homes, but since they don't involve television sets, we don't live in Toledo, Ohio.”

“Of great significance to us was the finding that in seven of the Toledo homes there was an unusual furniture arrangement involving a Go Mud Hens pennant, whereas this unusual furniture arrangement did not show up in any of the controls. We double checked against a broad population of Canadian homes and confirmed that those also did not have any Go Mud Hens pennants. This is consistent with earlier findings of high risk Toledo furniture arrangements—such as those involving cheap bowling trophies.”

“The findings, to some extent, are not unexpected. These unusual furniture arrangements are turning up in a number of other cities so it is no surprise that they may be involved in Toledo, Ohio as well. How significant they are will await further testing as to how sensitive and specific these furniture arrangements are as well as what percent of Toledo, Ohio is involved.”

“We have been trying to put together a very large jigsaw puzzle without having the benefit of a nice colorful picture on the box. The unusual furniture arrangements are like the edges, you might say, and they give us an idea of what the picture may look like. With these findings, we are starting to find some of the edge pieces, and that may provide us with some sort of framework for looking at how these decorative schemes work in Toledo, Ohio, leading to cartological features and how these might work in collaboration with the geography, thus producing some of the Toledo houses that we can see around us.”

“The exciting thing about the findings of this study is that it highlights fashionable pathways that can be targets for renovation.”

“Even with these findings, we are able to explain only about 10 percent of the homes in Toledo, Ohio. What causes the other 90 percent of Toledo homes to be located where they are is still on the table. Every little victory is important, but it's still amazing how little we know.”


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