Monday, May 7, 2012

Why do they spend money on studies like this?!?

Recently, it was noticed that Swiss farm kids have a lower incidence of asthma and allergies than the general population, so someone who read that study got a bug up their butt to replicate it in the U.S. with the Amish.  Surprise, surprise--Amish kids are even less likely to have allergies or asthma than Swiss farm kids.

Farm kids in general are healthier: they're outdoors more than non-farm kids (chores and stuff), exposed to more potential allergens (animal dander, feathers, straw and dust, etc.), drink raw milk (with more allergens), and likely eat local honey (with local pollens).  Their immune systems are exposed to a lot more, and is better able to recognize what is and isn't harmful, so doesn't go batshit trying to combat everything.  And Amish kids do a lot more chores than other kids, and are more likely to drink raw milk and eat honey from their parents' beehives than other kids. 

They noticed that a long time ago.  This study is just throwing more money after the first proven study, and at a time when we can't afford it.

3 comments:

  1. Because otherwise, the Powerpoint Rangers can't justify the oxygen they breathe. That's their stock in trade, Excel Spreadsheets and Powerpoint Presentations.

    You know, tracking the trackers who track the trucks. In other words, dead weight.

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    1. Ah...university admin and literary criticism theorists and researchers.

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  2. It's so that "overhead costs" come in to the university.

    My research is cheap and not terribly likely to directly benefit society, so I don't write government grants for it (if there is a private group willing to give me money to do research, fine, but I generally don't write grants, because it's easier to buy the field equipment out of my own pocket).

    But we're being harassed to write more grants - get more "overhead costs" - because the university's appropriations have been cut. Never mind the high administrative salaries and the generous money spent on generally-losing sports teams....

    The thing is? They don't give us time to do the research we have now. We don't get release time and most of us are teaching a generous number of credit hours...and we don't have TAs for labs or grading.

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