Making fun of British scientific studies

Apparently, British scientists are the butt of constant jokes in Russia. Can you work out which of these are Russian headlines about real studies, and which are jokes?

1. British scientists have established the height of Cinderella’s heels.

2. British scientists have found that women more often reach orgasm if they have sex in their socks.

3. British scientists have invented a teacup for left-handed people.

4. British scientists have found that ostriches become sexually active in the presence of humans.

5. British scientists have discovered that primates can find the connection between a cassette tape and a pencil more quickly than people born after 1995.

(The real studies are 1, 2 and 4). These are some of the research made fun of in Russia:

– Richard Stephens of Keele University, who showed that swearing can help reduce pain.
– Olli Loukola, Queen Mary University of London, who has taught bumblebees how to play football.

In the past year, Russian news outlets have reported that

– “British scientists have found that fish have personalities”
– “British scientists have discovered the best time to make love”.
– “British scientists have calculated the IQ of cats”.
– “British scientists have proven that birthdays are good for you: people who have the most live the longest”.
– “British scientists have invented a way to walk through walls. They called it a door”.
(New Scientist, Christmas issue)

The problem is it’s all rather true. Some researchers waste their time on the silliest things. But then the British do do things with tongue in cheek. It’s called a sense of humour, Ivan.

Have a happy ChristmasJ,

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