Your Research Dollars at Work

First let me apologize for my silence for the past 2 weeks. Unfortunately my laptop has been in the shop and the first week in the shop did not fix the problem. To paraphrase the New Testament, 'Those that live by the laptop fail miserably while the laptop is in the shop.'

However, current events continue to fly by. Two research studies in the news recently caught my eye. First, as I type this with my laptop laying firmly in my lap, I come across the news headline "Laptop heat a threat to fertility"   Ooops! Good thing my wife and I have already had our darling children who are in college now. This has generated 265 articles across the world on Google News and a hilarious thread, most of which cannot be repeated here, on Slashdot.   I mean, dude, can I file an OSHA claim?

And then, a linguist at the University of Pittsburgh has done extensive research on the term 'Dude' to be published in the fall edition of American Speech. I mean it seems like a totally lame study, dude, but it has generated 211 news articles according to a search of Google News. Here are a few extracts from the CNN report:

"An admitted dude-user during his college years, Scott Kiesling said the four-letter word has many uses: in greetings ("What's up, dude?"); as an exclamation ("Whoa, Dude!"); commiseration ("Dude, I'm so sorry."); to one-up someone ("That's so lame, dude."); as well as agreement, surprise and disgust ("Dude.").

Kiesling says in the fall edition of American Speech that the word derives its power from something he calls cool solidarity -- an effortless kinship that's not too intimate.

Cool solidarity is especially important to young men who are under social pressure to be close with other young men, but not enough to be suspected as gay.

In other words: Close, dude, but not that close."

And these guys get paid for publishing this stuff? Where did I go wrong?

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