Sunday, January 01, 2006

Most Important Research of 2005 - Uncovering the Mystery of the Missing Teaspoons

As my first science post of the year I thought it would only be fitting if I discussed one of the most important scientific researches of 2005 - 'Where have all the bloody teaspoons gone?'

It is of no secret that teaspoons tend to mysteriously disappear, especially in offices and public places.

In this week's BMJ, researchers at the Burnet Institute in Australia attempt to measure the phenomenon of teaspoon loss and its effect on office life.

They purchased and discreetly numbered 70 stainless steel teaspoons (54 of standard quality and 16 of higher quality). The teaspoons were placed in tearooms around the institute and were counted weekly over five months.

After five months, staff were told about the research project and asked to complete a brief anonymous questionnaire about their attitudes towards and knowledge of teaspoons and teaspoon theft.

During the study, 56 (80%) of the 70 teaspoons disappeared.
...
One possible explanation for the phenomenon is resistentialism (the theory that inanimate objects have a natural aversion to humans), they write. This is demonstrated by the fact that people have little or no control over teaspoon migration.
Finally, but I mean, finally someone has taken the matter seriously. Of course, the mystery is too deep to uncover with one study and the scientists recommend this research to become a priority.

I salute them.

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8 comments:

Patry Francis said...

I don't mind it in the workplace, but why do the ones in my home have to join the migration?

Happy 2006, Melly!

Melly said...

And isn't your work place a restaurant???
The disapearance rate in a restraurant must be nearly 90% - wouldn't you say?

Happy 2006, Patry :)

Jean said...

Fascinating study. Absolutely critical. Much more grant money needs to be devoted to researching this pressing problem. Let's pull some from disaster relief or people programs. ;)

But seriously, what a great study to do.

melly said...

Now Jean, how didn't I think of that? The answer, so simple, was in front of my eyes the whole time - pull that money from disaster relief...
Oh, gosh, I'm still laughing :)

Ryan Oakley said...

This is obviously some kind of military research meant to stop the proliferation of teaspoons.

melly said...

Well... Duhh!


:)

Carter said...

It's a conspiracy between teaspoons and wire hangers. They are transmogrifying themselves into rusty cars without tires in an attempt to dominate the world. Down here in Georgia, it's working frighteningly well.

melly said...

Wait, how do you know about the rusty cars? Has anyone tipped you off???

:) Hillarious! LOL, Carter.