Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Best to Stay Focused When Swallowing Swords

tidbits that tantalize

When Professional

Sword Swallowers

Get Distracted...




Researchers studying the safety issues surrounding the art of sword swallowing are still in a state of shock. How could it be? The results are not in the least what they expected to find, but... There is that whole thing about the scientific process. You know, letting the results speak for themselves, not performing extraneous extrapolations ad infinitum, protecting the integrity of the scientific community.

What has the scientists so baffled?

Researchers found sword swallowers are more likely to sustain injury when distracted. Hmm... A group of researchers in Britain enlisted 46 sword swallowers to participate in the study. The sword swallowers, members of the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI), reported a variety of medical complications directly attributable to their craft.

Their maladies included sore throats (19), lower chest pain (many), perforation of the pharynx and esophagus (6) and a "brush" of the heart (1). [As an aside, the reporting of "many" by the researchers for the occurrence of lower chest pain has called the entire report into question - critics contend the scientists should have demonstrated the necessary skills, even if occurrences numbered well above 25, to accurately tally the yes responses.]

The scientists found the injuries occurred when the swallowers either used unusual or multiple swords or when they were distracted. One sword swallower reported a misbehaving macaw precipitated his distraction and subsequent injury. This, of course, is to be expected, as many macaws are brash, scene stealing showboats.

Having calmed themselves with a soothing spot of chamomile tea, the scientists feel they are ready for their next intriguing round of research. Safe driving habits are on the agenda. Specifically, they will explore whether it is safer to drive with both eyes wide open, with either the right or left eye closed, or with both eyes blindfolded.

Ah - better brew another pot of tea...

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim,

"One sword swallower reported a misbehaving macaw precipitated his distraction and subsequent injury. This, of course, is to be expected, as many macaws are brash, scene stealing showboats."

ROFL. You really crack me up. How do you come up with this stuff? :)

BTW - We missed you at the Meetup last night.

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach
http://www.workingwriterscoach.com

10:14 AM  
Blogger Devon Ellington said...

Wow! I have to send this link to a friend writing about this topic.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous hal manogue said...

Great fun Tim! A valuable lesson in focus.

10:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home