Satire becomes reality: Poop Like a Champion cereal

I miss Phil Hartman, another good Brantford, Ontario (that’s in Canada) boy who lived there until he was10-years-old, when his family moved to the U.S. His third wife shot him to death while he slept in 1998.

He had a satiric advertisement for a cereal called Colon Blow during his Saturday Night Live years (see below).

My Joy Online reports that Poop Like a Champion is an actual cereal that can allegedly get your bowels moving like nothing else.

Advertised as “the ultimate colon cleansing formula” or “the number one high fiber cereal for number 2’s,” Poop Like a Champion cereal is packed full of fibers and designed specifically to help you get those bowels moving.

Its creators aren’t ashamed to admit that it’s not the greatest tasting cereal money can buy, but it’s not meant to blow you away with its amazing flavor, it’s meant to help you go potty, and apparently, it’s very good at doing that.

Someone was inpatient: Waiter shot dead by customer who waited too long for a sandwich in France

A waiter was shot to death in a restaurant just outside Paris by an impatient customer who lost his temper for having to wait for a sandwich, bystanders said.

The customer, who has not been identified, shot the waiter in the shoulder with a handgun after believing that the restaurant was taking too long to prepare his sandwich, according to several media reports.

Joshua Bote of USA Today  writes the restaurant, Mistral, is  in the Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand. The suburb is less than 10 miles east of Paris’ city center.

The waiter, 28, died on the scene.

The eatery, which mainly serves burgers and sandwiches, opened in March, according to its website.

The gunman has not been found as of Sunday.

What a difference a grade makes

When I was about 10 or 11, playing goal in AAA hockey, I used to vomit before games I knew I was starting, Gump Worsley style.

There was this one time in a 3rd year cell biology class about a century ago, that I totally choked on an exam.

Guess I should have guessed I had anxiety issues back then.

I went to the prof the next day and she let me retake the exam and I aced it.

That’s the thing I’ve learned about anxiety, which is like playing goalie in ice hockey: sometimes you’re good, sometimes not so much (ya let in a goal, gotta get over it and keep your mind in the game).

Amy and I have a lot of shared values, but I can see that my anxiety is causing issues.

She’s going to a conference in the U.S. for a couple of weeks with the kid, and I’m going to a new rehab place (if what you’re doing ain’t working, try something different) with my trusted psychiatrist, beginning last Monday. It gives Amy some peace.

For at least three weeks.

I may write a little.

I may write a lot.

I’ve learned not to make predictions.

Can governments use grades to induce businesses to improve their compliance with regulations? Does public disclosure of compliance with food safety regulations matter for restaurants? Ultimately, this depends on whether grades matter for the bottom line.

Based on 28 months of data on more than 15,000 restaurants in New York City, this article explores the impact of public restaurant grades on economic activity and public resources using rigorous panel data methods, including fixed‐effects models with controls for underlying food safety compliance.

Results show that A grades reduce the probability of restaurant closure and increase revenues while increasing sales taxes remitted and decreasing fines relative to B grades. Conversely, C grades increase the probability of restaurant closure and decrease revenues while decreasing sales taxes remitted relative to B grades. These findings suggest that policy makers can incorporate public information into regulations to more strongly incentivize compliance.

Wiley Online Library

Michah W. Rothbart, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Thad D. Calabrese, Zachary Papper, Todor Mijanovich, Rachel Meltzer, Diana Silver

https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13091

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/puar.13091

From the duh files: Health facts aren’t enough, should persuasion become a priority?

My lab has been studying this question for over 20 years and we figured out fairly early that facts suck (to the audience, below is a video from about 2002) but I always insisted on good facts combined with good storytelling.

Aaron Carroll of the N.Y. Times writes that in a paper published early this year in Nature Human Behavior, scientists asked 500 Americans what they thought about foods that contained genetically modified organisms.

The vast majority, more than 90 percent, opposed their use. This belief is in conflict with the consensus of scientists. Almost 90 percent of them believe G.M.O.s are safe — and can be of great benefit.

The second finding of the study was more eye-opening. Those who were most opposed to genetically modified foods believed they were the most knowledgeable about this issue, yet scored the lowest on actual tests of scientific knowledge.

In other words, those with the least understanding of science had the most science-opposed views, but thought they knew the most. Lest anyone think this is only an American phenomenon, the study was also conducted in France and Germany, with similar results.

If you don’t like this example — the point made here is unlikely to change people’s minds and will probably enrage some readers — that’s O.K. because there are more where that came from.

A small percentage of the public believes that vaccines are truly dangerous. People who hold this view — which is incorrect — also believe that they know more than experts about this topic.


Many Americans take supplements, but the reasons are varied and are not linked to any hard evidence. Most of them say they are unaffected by claims from experts contradicting the claims of manufacturers. Only a quarter said they would stop using supplements if experts said they were ineffective. They must think they know better.

Part of this cognitive bias is related to the Dunning-Kruger effect, named for the two psychologists who wrote a seminal paper in 1999 entitled “Unskilled and Unaware of It.”

David Dunning and Justin Kruger discussed the many reasons people who are the most incompetent (their word) seem to believe they know much more than they do. A lack of knowledge leaves some without the contextual information necessary to recognize mistakes, they wrote, and their “incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.”

This helps explain in part why efforts to educate the public often fail. In 2003, researchers examined how communication strategies on G.M.O.s — intended to help the public see that their beliefs did not align with experts — wound up backfiring. All the efforts, in the end, made consumers less likely to choose G.M.O. foods.

Brendan Nyhan, a Dartmouth professor and contributor to The Upshot, has been a co-author on a number of papers with similar findings. In a 2013 study in Medical Care, he helped show that attempting to provide corrective information to voters about death panels wound up increasing their belief in them among politically knowledgeable supporters of Sarah Palin.

In a 2014 study in Pediatrics, he helped show that a variety of interventions intended to convince parents that vaccines didn’t cause autism led to even fewer concerned parents saying they’d vaccinate their children. A 2015 study published in Vaccine showed that giving corrective information about the flu vaccine led patients most concerned about side effects to be less likely to get the vaccine.

A great deal of science communication still relies on the “knowledge deficit model,” an idea that the lack of support for good policies, and good science, merely reflects a lack of scientific information.

But experts have been giving information about things like the overuse of low-value care for years, to little effect. A recent study looked at how doctors behaved when they were also patients. They were just as likely to engage in the use of low-value medical care, and just as unlikely to stick to their chronic disease medication regimens, as the general public.

In 2016, a number of researchers argued in an essay that those in the sciences needed to realize that the public may not process information in the same way they do. Scientists need to be formally trained in communication skills, they said, and they also need to realize that the knowledge deficit model makes for easy policy, but not necessarily good results.

It seems important to engage the public more, and earn their trust through continued, more personal interaction, using many different platforms and technologies. Dropping knowledge from on high — which is still the modus operandi for most scientists — doesn’t work.

Everyone’s got a camera, cat edition: Australian man captures CCTV footage of cat suffocating him in his sleep

For a year in 1986-87  I wrote in the University of Guelph weekly newspaper a science column about cats.

(These are the current two, right) I was fascinated.

The next year, I became editor-in-chief.

They were the first warm-blooded pets I’d ever had that my first wife the vet student – who wrote years later she didn’t love me those 18 years but I threw off 4 good-looking daughters so she kept me around – and I named them Clark and Kent.

An Australian man said he “couldn’t breathe” while sleeping, so set up a camera to figure out what was going on.

Luis Navarro posted a series of photos on Twitter detailing the mystery he had to solve.

Using a unique Australian invention – sure your cats are fine when you’re awake but as soon as you go to sleep hell breaks loose in the kitchen, outside with the possums, anywhere

“I couldn’t breath when I slept so I installed a camera”, he tweeted.

A set of photos, still images from the camera, show Navarro’s cat staring at him in his sleep before crawling onto his face to lie down, blocking his nose and mouth in the process.

Some Twitter users responded with photos and stories of their cats doing the same thing, making it difficult for them to breathe while they slept — with others claiming Navarro’s cat was actually trying to kill him.

Doctor Rachael Stratton, a veterinary behaviourist, told 10 daily she has heard anecdotally of cats sleeping in various inconvenient places on top of people. It is often not harmful — although it can pose a problem when they try and sleep on babies in the same way

St Louis ‘porch pooper’ defecating on woman’s property

I’m thankful Australia has an abundance of public bathrooms (mainly because they are in parks that are flood areas). I was in Gerrmany a few times, impossible to find a public bathroom, the train conductor told me to just piss on the wall like everyone else.

Jasmine Payoute of KSDK writes I’ve told you countless times about porch pirates but now a new porch invader has people on the lookout.

This one is known for what he leaves behind and not what he takes.

“I’ve seen a lot, but other than animals that’s a new one,” said Angela Sanders.

It’s an act that’s usually reserved for bathrooms, but this guy decided he didn’t need that privacy.

“We woke up in the morning, my boyfriend and I, to a text letting us know somebody had defecated on our porch,” said Mary Hatches.

The dirty deed unfolded near the corner of Taft and Compton in St. Louis Sunday evening.

The poop perp was caught on camera in front of the home Mary Hatches rents.

“So I took a look at it and thankfully it cut off where I was comfortable anyway and most people would be as well,” Hatches said.

In the video, the man appears to be holding a second pair of pants as he walks past Hatches’ home to the bottom of the porch where he squats then proceeds to poop.

“One day I’ll laugh, I’m just not there yet,” Hatches said.

Not yet finding this funny, Hatches posted the video to Facebook in hopes of finding the man she calls the porch pooper.

Teens recorded spitting into soda bottles, placing them back in store fridge

The New York Post reports teens from Indiana were recorded spitting into soda bottles, then returning the drinks to a store refrigerator, according to a report.

Video footage of the cringe-worthy incident was posted online and shared by Indianapolis resident Brittney Edwards with the hopes of catching the soda spitters, according to WTHR.

“I don’t know what’s in kids’ minds these days, but that’s not right at all,” Edwards told the station.

Gassy suspect caught by police after letting out loud fart in Missouri

I never tire of fart stories.

KXAN reports law enforcement in Missouri are sharing the unlikely way they managed to capture a suspect wanted for possession of a controlled substance.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says the man was hiding but passed gas loudly enough that it gave away his location.

The sheriff tweeted about the incident, saying “if you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a (poop emoji) day.”

The City of Liberty thanked the sheriff’s office for “airing out a wanted person’s dirty laundry.”