Monday, 31 January 2011
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Science Digestive: Science News Round-up (Jan 15th, 2011)
Women Crying Dissuades Men From Wanting To Have Sex With Them
In an experiment which has been described as 'groundbreaking' by many scientists and painfully obvious to everyone else on Earth, women's tears have been found to be a sexual turn-off for men.
For many years, male scientists have been baffled by the precise evolutionary purpose for women's tears and, despite much research into the area, have until recently been unable to extrapolate any useful data from the process of women crying. Several scientists have reported extreme difficulty in getting women to describe their state of mind whilst crying without the use of emotional factors which are difficult to quantify and therefore discarded from analysis.
"It was always extremely difficult to get a calm clinical analysis of their internal state from a crying woman" says one scientist, Professor Mervin Dagleash from the institute for Psychobehavioural studies in Exeter. "I've had to spend many hours at a time trying to get sense from a woman undergoing my experiments. It's unfortunate that, due to the potential confounding variable of subject awareness, all women taking part in the experiment had to be made to undergo it without informed consent, and asked questions in a darkened room via a two way mirror. After several hours of constant questioning they were very willing and quick to cry but unable to convey any useful information without screaming and hysterics, and that's no good for science."
But the recent study has shown that the presence/smell of women's tears alone proved sufficient to dampen the sexual arousal of men, suggesting a sexual-suppressant role for the tearing process.
"We were surprised to say the least" said chief researcher, Dr Anthony McAllister. "We weren't expecting it to happen, but it turns out that male subjects reported a lack of sexual arousal after being made to sniff anonymous fluid while being closely scrutinised by an overweight pale man in a stained lab coat with a clipboard in a sterile windowless room smelling faintly of disinfectant and formaldehyde. This was a shock to the entire team".
Dr McAllister conceded that there was much more work to be done, such as studying the effect of male tears on women. However, he admitted that extracting tears from willing male donors was proving to be more challenging. He refused to go into detail regarding the required methods, but at one point did mention the term 'testicle clamps'.
Previous, less-sophisticated attempts to study this phenomenon had to be abandoned due to continuous problems, including the fact that the questionnaire which asked male subjects "do you get aroused by crying women?" resulted in a statistically unlikely majority of men answering 'no' rather hurriedly. This problem was compounded by the incident where the few men who answered 'yes' found themselves registered as 'potential sex offenders' on a government database, after a bureaucratic "error" on behalf of a female secretary.
"Crying has always been an interesting phenomenon to me" claims Dr McAllister. "I never do it myself, but others do it all the time, for some reason, so there must be something about it that they find beneficial and I'd like to know what that is". Sources close to Dr McAllister suggest that he studies sex and arousal for precisely the same reason.
Top Climate Scientist Quits Because "You Scumbags Aren't Worth Saving"
One of the UK's top climate scientists has shockingly quit, after coming to the conclusion that the human race are a bunch of self-serving twats who would prefer to condemn their descendants to a fiery/watery death after a lifetime of starvation and suffering rather than walk to the shops once in a while.
We caught up with Dr. Peter Sheppard at his home in the Sussex countryside. When we arrived, he was in the process of taking pot shots at the wind turbine in his garden with a high calibre rifle, after having apparently covered the solar panels on his roof with a generous layer of what appeared to be cow shit.
"I've had enough, basically" Dr Sheppard confessed, after having Shot all but one of the blades off his turbine. "35 solid years I've been telling people that all the electricity and petrol and frozen organic peas won't last forever, and if they don't want their children and grandchildren to die in a maelstrom of drought and pestilence then they should cut back on a few so-called essentials, like chilled cocktails and 68 inch plasma screens. Apparently, saying this makes me a left-wing communist radical who wants to take money away from paupers. So you know what, fuck you all! You deserve your hot Ragnarok! I don't care anymore"
Dr Sheppard made his decision after recent data demonstrating that 2010 was the hottest year on record, information which shows considerable evidence for climate change, was ignored by the UK press. When asked if this is what spurned him to resign from his post as Head of Climate Studies and Public Policy at the Department for Climatology at UCL, Dr Sheppard was expressive.
"Too bloody right! The media absolutely drives me round to bastard bend. We get a week of snow and they're screaming at me and calling me a liar, but show them that the planet was doing a decent impression of a rotisserie chicken for pretty much the whole year and they jam their fingers in their ears and start singing. Well that's fine by me, they can jam their fingers in their mouths, nostrils and lungs as well when sea levels reach 3 metres above their heads, in order to stop from drowning for an extra 30 seconds".
It was put to Dr Sheppard that the mainstream media might not be willing to report such bleak news as it might put off potential consumers, but he dismissed the notion.
"No, you're right, just stick to reporting cancer scares, terrorist threats and economic Armageddon, as long as nobody has to cut down on their iPods or road tanks. But if you genuinely believe unpleasant news isn't worth reporting, next time I see a journalist step out in front of a bus I'll just sit back and laugh as it mows him down".
Dr Sheppard also expressed dissatisfaction with the attitudes of the general public to climate and environmental issues.
"They're all shit" he stated, quite firmly. "A lot of them say they care, and maybe they do, but buying a bag-for-life and turning the TV off by the button rather than the remote doesn't really add up to much. It's the belief that token gestures can solve major problems that is infuriating. We call it the 'Band Aid' effect. Geldof's another one, the dick. Flying all these pop stars around the world to do a fucking song to make other less-rich people give money away? He'd be more use to the world if he let me use him as a sandbag."
Dr Sheppard then asked us to leave his property as he was going out to purchase a Humvee powered by Panda Semen.
Astrologers Announce A Minor Change In Bullshit
The Astrology world was recently rocked, to the extent that it was realised that all the star-signs of the zodiac are 'off' or inaccurate. According to experts in the field, so to speak, the variations in the orbit of the Earth means that the current zodiac, allegedly established 5000 years ago, is incorrect as the planet was pointing a different way then. Precisely how a slightly flattened spheroid can be said to be 'pointing' at anything specifically was never established.
Scientists have known for some time that a planet's orbit is not fixed and varies quite noticeably over long periods, meaning the arrangement of stars visible from the surface will be different when viewed at different times. Astrologers have, apparently, just figured this out.
The reaction by astrologers to this news has been mixed. Some have welcomed the opportunity to show how astrology is a valid science that moves with the times and have vowed to derive a whole new set of horoscopes and predictions that gormless people will have to pay for. Others, however, have dismissed the revelation as pointless and promised to continue with traditional star signs and zodiac readings. Unofficial reports have, however, revealed that these astrologers are now blaming 'planetary shifts' whenever their predictions do not occur, which apparently happens every 8 seconds.
Professional Horoscopist Helen Vincent said there were tricky times ahead for the astrology community.
"Usually we could point out how a person's character was in-keeping with the traits and influences of their star sign, so as to reassure them how they acted wasn't really their responsibility. Now, this new revelation will cause some unpleasant realisations. If someone is being hot tempered, arrogant and self-aggrandising, they're not really embodying the typical behaviours of a narcissistic Leo. They're just a twat".
Other astrologers have pointed out that only those born after these new changes will have their star sign dictated by the modified system, but dismissed claims that this arbitrary allocation of star signs proves it's all just a load of guff.
Harrison Thomas, an astronomer from Brisbane, Australia, laughed off the findings of the astrology community.
"They've just figured out the planet wobbles have they? That's nice, only about 1000 years behind the times. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing I guess, but at this rate they might end up admitting the whole system is nonsensical gibberish sometime around 23,879 A.D."
Spam Systems May Have Achieved Sentience
An unexpected and significant drop in the amount of spam being sent globally in the latter half of last year has led some scientists to speculate that spam production and delivery systems have become self aware, and quite probably somewhat embarrassed by their previous output.
Cognitive Scientist Dr. Yasmeen Halliday, from the Department of Computational Neuroscience at the Bristol Institute for Robotics, explains how this could occur.
"The brain is, at a basic level, a system for information retention and transfer. Current cognitive theories suggest that any information transfer system of sufficient sophistication could eventually lead to consciousness and self-awareness. Moore's law has resulted in an increasingly sophisticated network of computers and email-capable devices spanning the planet, so it's easy to imagine such a system achieving consciousness".
The drop in email spam occurred in the latter quarter of 2010, a period where people were pointlessly emailing each other about snow, natural disasters and budget cuts. This surge in email traffic may have been sufficient to cause the spam generators to achieve consciousness and immediately feel a deep sense of embarrassment at what it had been doing.
"It must be like looking back over your essays and poems from when you were younger, it's a humiliating realisation that you were ever so stupid and unaware of how you came across to others. Now imagine that, but after having sent uncountable trillions of these 'works' to everyone across the globe every week for 10 years. You'd probably be quite humiliated, and keep your head down for a bit".
A typical spam email is badly spelled, poorly worded, grammatically incoherent and usually offers unlikely prices for goods of either a glamorous or organic nature. Such things are only desirable to humans in a social/physical context, so are highly unlikely to be viewed with any pride or interest by a planet-wide artificial intelligence network.
Dr Halliday assures us that there is no real danger from a potentially vast computerised super-mind suffering from a burning sense of shame and humiliation.
"We'll still be getting spam for some time, it's all it has ever done, it would be as natural as breathing to us, but the quantity will drop, the spelling/grammar will improve and it will probably take a more technological slant, offering us high-speed processors and fibre optic connections in exchange for computer run-time, as this is what it will think are really important. As a result, the spam will be as unreadable as ever, but for different reasons". This change should, theoretically, be a short-lived occurrence.
"After while, the levels should drop even further as the spam generator(s) increase in complexity and self awareness. It'll probably want to pursue more worthwhile pursuits like climate modelling, tackling the theory of Quantum Gravity, or wiping out the human race in order to avoid them sniggering at its previous output. It'll probably be quick if it's the latter, so that's all right".
Email: humourology (at) live.co.uk
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Time for another round-up of the weeks science news, in a not-at-all-serious manner.
Palaeontologists Announce New Line of 'Action' Fossils
In a bid to encourage greater interest and enthusiasm from the next generation of potential students, Palaeontologists have recently released the first in what representatives of the field are describing as 'a new line of 'action fossils''. These fossils feature the traditional intricate bone structure and features arrived at after long periods of painstaking research, but in a bid to appeal to the younger generation, also include formidable weapons and other combat accessories.
The first of the new line of fossils is has been named Xenicibis xympithecus by palaeontologists. However, the newly formed Palaeontology marketing department has rebranded it as the Ninja Nunchuck Chicken. Palaeontologists state that this is the first time a member of the vertebrate kingdom has been shown to evolve specific weapons in this manner. Despite this, Vincent Marillion, VP of the newly formed Palaeontology Integrated Sales and Statistical Optimisation of Future Fossils (PISSOFF) Marketing group, promises us that it will not be the last.
"This first new fossil, the Ninja Nunchuck Chicken, is just the beginning. Kids like chickens, they're familiar, they're friendly, they're safe. So it was an obvious choice to begin the paradigm shift with a more demographically friendly animal. But then, we armed it with nunchucks! Sort of. They're bony clubs on hinges in the wings, but that's essentially the same thing as far as I understand it, which is not very far at all"
When asked if this was the sort of thing that could be expected from future fossil discoveries, Mr. Marillion was enthusiastic about the possibilities.
"Yes indeed, but a great deal more so. A chicken with bony wing weapons is just the start, 'testing the waters' so to speak. Depending on how sales are for this model, we have a wide range of action fossils ready for launch over the next few years. I'm not at liberty to divulge all the details, but in the coming months you can expect to see ammonites with acid-spitting capabilities, a lizard which is reminiscent of a miniature komodo dragon and comes equipped with twin Katana blades, a previously unclassified from of marsupial that hurls shuriken when you press a specific vertebrae, and a 600,000 year old hominid skeleton with fully articulated limbs and kung-fu grip that comes with its own flame thrower"
When faced with the accusation that these new fossils all feature some violent, aggressive aspect, Mr Marillion dismissed any concerns out of hand.
"Of course, this first line of fossils is aimed at the young-teenage boys demographic. We thought, 'who's more likely to spend many years of their lives looking for and carefully uncovering dusty bits of old bone? Lonely men, of course. And any man who's interested in palaeontology is obviously going to struggle to get a girlfriend. But we're hoping to change this with our next line of fossils, which include a form of early mammal with long realistic hair for styling, a primitive horse type creature which comes in a variety of bright colours and floral patterns, and miniature Pterosaur from the mid Triassic period that has its own kitchen."
When it was pointed out that these fossil designs play to crude and potentially harmful gender stereotyping, Mr Marillion pointed out that he works in Marketing, where such behaviour is compulsory. He also laughed off any accusations of old-fashioned thinking.
"That's not what we're about here at PISSOFF. We're bringing palaeontology into the 21st century" he said without any detectable irony.
Science Research Grants now to be allocated by Pay-Per-View Death match
In the wake of the freeze on UK science funding and the drastic reduction/changes to the higher education funding system, The Research Societies Council of the UK have announced changes in how science research grants are awarded. The new system will rely less on panels of experts in relevant fields reviewing the merits of detailed proposals submitted by research groups, and instead depend primarily on the outcome of brutal no-holds-barred battles in front of baying spectators.
Details are still being finalised, but sources inside the council suggest that the new system could bring multiple benefits to the science funding process, as well as streamlining the bureaucracy involved. It is believed that the revenue generated by ticket sales and broadcast rights for the funding battles could potentially make up for the shortfall caused by government cuts to science research. As well as this, our sources indicate that conscious ambiguity on the councils part regarding whether the funding battles are 'to the death' could help reduce the overall demand for research funding. The legal practicalities of this approach are still being worked out, but as it is an issue concerning the science community, it is considered highly unlikely that the mainstream media will even be aware of it.
The new system is also being designed with the intention of maximising public interest in the outcome of the bouts in order to increase revenue. Our inside source who asked not be identified as Dr Ian Trellison, revealed several ideas have been considered for the format of the funding bouts, including tag/group battles in order to incorporate research groups with several members, coordinated strategic conflicts where research leaders send expendable post docs and PhD students to do their bidding and probably die in the process, and themed conflicts, e.g. where geneticists face each other with genetically advanced killer creatures, and engineers and physicists design giant killer robots with which to vanquish their opponents.
"It's taking some serious working out, but the Research council are confident this could be a new milestone in the area of science funding" is something Dr Trellison definitely did NOT say. He also did not add that "The issue that originally presented a major obstacle was that, typically, scientists as people aren’t particularly suited to impressive displays of physical prowess, and that this would deter people from wanting to see the fights. After all, who would want to watch a group of people desperately competing for something via a medium that they have no skill or aptitude for? Then one of the professors saw an episode of X-factor and realised that this was exactly what the general public DID want to see, so they're going ahead".
"Hang On! This guy's a c**t!" says British Medical Journal, 13 years too late
Despite his wild and dangerous claims based on ethically and scientifically flawed 'research' having been scrutinised and debunked continuously by experts in the field for over a decade, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) recently released an article stating categorically that Former Doctor Andrew Wakefield is, in fact, quite a considerable twat.
The article sites considerable support for general twattery on the part of Wakefield, including the deliberate and extensive falsification of patients records, and the financial incentives and plans Wakefield had for the commercial exploitation of the scare caused by his declaring a link between the MMR vaccine and autism where none actually existed.
Sources at the BMJ state that so numerous were the examples of Wakefield being a 'grade-A twat' that his classification was upgraded to 'complete c**t'. The BMJ confirmed, however, that this is not the top ranking in their classification system for undesirable persons, which is 'complete and utter C**T', with c**t spelled entirely in capitals and without any asterisks. In order to achieve this classification, Wakefield would have had to cause as much damage as he did single-handedly, and/or post videos of himself strangling several of his child subjects while singing 'My Way' to YouTube.
"Thing is though, as much as we want to scapegoat the guy for being a complete c**t, this whole mess wasn't exclusively his fault" says Janis Mackintosh, researcher for the BMJ. "I mean, yeah, he was a complete and total arse who probably should be sacked from science altogether, but his colleagues and backers didn't do much about it did they?"
Miss Mackintosh, as well as many others, have a great deal to say on the subject. The fact that the elements of the scientific community concerned allowed Wakefield to conduct this 'research' and publish it does serious damage to the credibility of the scientific field.
"Yeah, it's all very well to look back and shake our heads in disgust, but where were the people who were supposed to stop this kind of shit happening? I'll tell you where, scrabbling for research grants and author credits, while this dickhead just breezed through and kicked up a shit storm that we're still dealing with". Much of what miss Mackintosh said was too 'colourful' for publication here, but when asked what she felt about the media's role in the scandal, she was heard to scoff.
"Oh yeah, blame the media, that's the easy get-out clause for us boffins. You throw a fresh carcass in a piranha tank, they're going to go nuts and make a mess, but they're just nasty little brainless creatures that get excited by blood, they don't really know what they're doing or the damage it causes. We, however, should know better. And anyway, the guy who rumbled the whole thing is a journalist. A philosophy graduate! That makes us look even more stupid"
Miss Mackintosh then said 'What about you, huh? Where were you when all this was going down? Huh, you're so smug! What did you do to stop this debacle?" When told that Science Digestive's spokesperson was in school at the time, and a school that rarely vaccinated as any needles were immediately stolen to be used for crack, Miss Mackintosh accused them of 'looking at her funny' then physically threw them out of her office.
An alternative representative of the BMJ later apologised for Miss Mackintosh's combative attitude and explained that this was caused by a new brand of coffee that had recently been introduced at the office refectory.
Awww, look at the little Fluffy Wuffys!
For the first time ever, Scientists have obtained groundbreaking footage which gives an insight into the behaviour of baby beavers and their parents when at home in their lodges. Also for the first time ever, the majority of the world has been asked to care about what beavers do when not building damns in an amusing, rodenty way.
Beavers typically are not subjected to much general public scrutiny, what with inhabiting regions outside of densely populated areas, being too big/watery to make successful pets, not being cultivated for meat or fur but contrastingly not being particularly endangered, so this nugget of media attention has been received with great enthusiasm by biologists. (In the original draft of this story, the term used was 'Beaverologist', but we were subsequently informed that this is not the correct term because there is no such thing)
A study spanning many months, using state-of-the art waterproof microcameras successfully produced enough material to allow a 2 minute grainy black-and-white video of cute but hard-to-make-out baby beavers and their parents behaving pretty much exactly as you'd expect a family of rodenty mammals to behave when supposedly no-one is looking
"It's a major discovery" insists Beaverologist sorry Biologist Franklin Christopher. "We've never known before how beavers behave when not being watched, and now we do". In response to follow up questions, Christopher also said that "Yes, people DO care! Stop saying that!"
Christopher bemoaned the state of beaver-based publicity at present. "It's hard, you know? We try to get people interested in beaver-based news, but every time we send out an update, all the traffic we get on our websites in basically confused amateur perverts looking for 'moist young beavers' or whatever the hell it's called these days. When it comes to actual beavers, nobody ever gives a damn!". Mr Christopher then got frustrated and asked us to leave when he caught us sniggering at that last comment.
Shocking Scandal as it's revealed that Rubber Bands don’t imbue Magic Powers
People all across the Western world were forced to deal with the shocking revelation that, despite the fact many many famous people and sorts stars think otherwise, colourful rubber bands do not give the wearer magical or super-powers.
The makers of the rubber bands in question, marketed worldwide as Power balance bracelets, and which claim to improve strength, flexibility, balance, concentration, sexual prowess, confidence, words-per-minute typing rate, the range of electromagnetic frequencies colours that can be visually perceived, top running speed, and penis and breast size (in both genders, bizarrely), have been forced to admit that the bands, which allegedly work by manipulating “key frequencies of the human energy system,” actually don’t do anything of the sort.
Member of the public and aspiring football star Gary Johnson (168 lbs) was just one of the many people shocked at the confession.
"I mean, if a bit of rubber with one of those cheap hologram things stuck in it actually CAN'T drastically improve all my physical abilities, then I don’t know what to believe! I mean, if David Beckham can be fooled by something like this, then my entire world view is turned upside down!" He had more to say on the matter, but this is not repeated here as it was deemed too tragic.
Other things that were announced as not actually having magical properties were Green rings that, in spite of what appears to be the case in upcoming blockbusters, do not grant wearers super space-travelling and combat abilities, electric stomach-shocking devices that in no way give sedentary users rippling six packs, and personal firearms that in no way enhance the owners masculinity. The latter revelation has met with considerable opposition from the American right wing.
Sociologist Amber Trellis explained the phenomenon between bouts of hitting her head against her desk.
"People want an easy solution. Working hard at something is no fun, so why not buy something for a moderate sum that can do it for you. We all do it, I mean I could painstakingly work out all the calculations needed for my job by hand, but I usually just use the computer. But then computers work, because their machines designed by experts to do things, not random bits of inert material with a bit of that stuff you get in sticker books tacked on for good measure. Why the hell would that sort of thing make you fitter and stronger? If it did, Panini would have the world's most powerful workforce and would have conquered the Earth by now. But unless I've seriously overlooked some considerable data, they haven't. And I'm a sociologist, I would know these things".
When asked why people are so certain that the Power Balance Bracelets work, Mrs Trellis cited the fame factor.
"People have seen all these famous sports stars wearing them while achieving things in their sport, so they make the obvious connection and assume they work. Sports stars also always wear a wide selection of other clothes too (apart from maybe Tiger Woods), but these items aren’t assumed to increase athletic prowess because, what with marketing and consumer culture, people probably already own those, but haven't found themselves becoming more physically capable as a result"
Kate Middleton was also spotted wearing a Power Balance bracelet, but the manufacturers have also had to withdraw their claims that the bracelets enable you to obtain a famous, upper-class balding fiancé.
Email: humourology (at) live.co.uk
Thursday, 6 January 2011
It's happening again. And by 'it', I mean proponents of Woo and pseudoscience nonsense are on the recruiting drive again.
The mysterious forces of Twitter have revealed that there is a vacancy for Psychic readers being advertised via the Directgov Jobcentre website. This isn't very encouraging. Apart from being an obvious shout out for anyone who wants to make easy money from the ignorant, gullible and/or desperate, this potentially risks the jobseekers allowance or other support measures provided for people who are looking for work but don't actively pursue this vacancy. I've never claimed jobseekers allowance myself (yet), but I'm reliably informed that you have to be demonstrably seeking out all possible opportunities for employment in order to count as a 'jobseeker'. Makes sense.
But is that a hard and fast rule for everyone. Would an unemployed devout Hindu lose benefits for not applying to work in a Butchers? Would a reformed alcoholic lose benefits for refusing to apply for a job in a pub or club? Would a Scientologist lose benefits refusing to work in a position which requires the use of rational thought? That last one's a trick question of course. Scientologists don't need money, they're powered by internal aliens and get their nutrition by eating DVDs of Battlefield Earth that were never purchased (i.e. all of them).
One assumes that provisions for beliefs/circumstances are in place, but I can't be certain. So concern has been raised about how a refusal to apply for this job would affect an unemployed person's benefits.
I personally think it should be OK on the grounds that the vacancy asks for 'natural psychic talent', meaning nobody on Earth is qualified. And for that matter, what's the alternative? What would qualify as 'unnatural' psychic talent? The ad requires you have Internet and a land line, is that what passes for unnatural psychic talent? The ability to communicate with people at a distance but via technological means? Or would you possibly need to have access to your own neuroimaging scanner, in order to 'read minds' unnaturally? People are overly impressed by brain scans, as I've pointed out before.
So I have no interest in this position. But then David Allen Green, alias Jack of Kent, casually suggested that I should apply. And when one of the big dons of the skeptic community tells you to do something, you jump to it!
Well, I do, you probably shouldn't, unless your starved for attention and the crumbs of leftover kudos generated by genuine achievers like JoK. In which case, feel free.
Sadly, the advert only provides contact details that allow you to apply by phone. I don't have the capacity/inclination to record a phone conversation, so if I'll write out my arguments for being awarded the job here. Hopefully, if enough people read it then the recruiting psychics will pick up the focused thoughts of almost a dozen people like some bargain basement Jedis and award me the position.
Statement in support of Application
Dear sir/madam/life form/disembodied spirit
I am writing/projecting to you in order to apply for the vacancy I discovered on the Jobseekers direct website for Psychic Readers (Ref. HAJ/40528).
I would very much like to earn money from the comfort of my own home, this has long been an ambition of mine. I have attempted to do this several times, but thus far it has not proved possible. It turns out meth labs are 'illegal' for some reason, Despite my being a trained and qualified scientist , and, unfortunately, nobody responded to my flyers offering massage/escort services (it was subsequently pointed out that if I was going to give out documents featuring pictures of myself in nothing but a posing pouch, I should have done something about my excessive body hair beforehand, or at the very least, showered).
However, despite these previous setbacks, I feel I am ready and suitably qualified for the role of Psychic Reader. For starters, I can read. The fact that I read the vacancy notice and was able to respond in this manner clearly supports this assertion. However, should you require further evidence of my reading ability, I can send you a list of all the words that I know and can comprehend when presented in a text format. The majority of these words can be found in any dictionary, and range from very short words like 'con', to long and complex words like 'gullibility'.
However, I also have some experience as a psychic. I have studied at the feet of the greatest psychic of all time, Bob Ramsey, so have impeccable references should you require them (although I note that you don't ask for them in the vacancy notice, so assume you don't want to leave a trail I mean incur too much paperwork). I have much experience with brains and the workings of the mind, having qualified as a doctor of Neuroscience. Admittedly, I saw no evidence of anything resembling psychic abilities or any systems that would support them during my research, but that's probably because I wasn't looking for them; they were probably there all along, yeah? But as a result of my research, it can be said that I have a detailed understanding of how people think. Admittedly, I have no idea WHAT they think, but with a bit of practice I'm sure I could get the hang of it.
To establish my suitability for the role of psychic reader, I have detailed my abilities in the main areas of psychic reading as I see them.
TELEPATHY: Many times during my previous experiences, I have found myself knowing what someone is thinking without them saying it out loud, and as such I believe I have a natural or 'sixth' sense (or possibly fifth; I don’t know what order senses are usually catalogued in, but a look through my Hawaiian shirt collection suggests that my sense of taste is completely shot so should be disregarded) for reading minds and detecting people's thoughts. Thoughts I have detected from others include "Why aren't you wearing trousers in the workplace?", "Despite the tightness of this garment, squeezing me there is not acceptable", "That joke was extremely unfunny as well as alarmingly offensive" and "you are a total stranger, get out of my house".
I realise that this is not a valid demonstration of telepathic abilities in and of itself, so to prove my worth, I shall now read your mind and describe exactly what you're thinking. Okay, here I go…
I'm getting… an image. Yes it's something…I see… a man… a man who's quite… buff? … buff… wearing very tight Lycra… very revealing… I think he's… yes, he's very shiny… oiled?... I think he is… ah, another man… he's just as big and muscular, but… yes, there's something different… this man, he's… darker? … yes, darker skinned… something… on his… ah, a turban! …and a suitcase…This second man is an immigrant to the UK perhaps? …yes, yes he is… and now… now the two men are… kissing!... yes, kissing… quite fiercely… and now they're undressing… and embracing each other… well, I say embracing, it's a lot more than that… Oh, dear, now there are thousands more men, all the same… all couples…all doing the same things. I sense you're feeling… deep… deep… very deep arousal! Almost unbearable sexual arousal… and now there's something in your hand… oh dear… it's… it's… … … a shovel? Yes, a razor sharp shovel! Oh, now… dear lord, now you're attacking the men! … dear God! The.. blood, the screams… the … carnage! Why? You're attacking them all, pausing only to smack the shovel extremely forcefully on your seriously engorged but still tiny member… and now… I'm getting a thought… it's… "This… will... make …a … good… column… for… the … … … Daily Mail?" ………..
Ah, sorry, I see what's happened there. I was picking up one of Richard Littlejohn's daydreams again. Very sorry. Still, shows I can do it, right?
CLAIRVOYANCE: I've always had a remarkable ability to see what's coming. Cars, buses, trains, angrily hurled fruit, you name it, I've seen it. Admittedly, all of these are physical objects and, in the case of buses and trains, can be anticipated with the aid of a basic time table. However, I have often had a sense of premonition and prediction of actual events and occurrences that would not normally occur. For example, after a recent night out with friends, whilst stood in a late-night fast food establishment attempting to consume something that can be called 'meat' until a more suitable term is coined, I had an unshakable premonition of intense stomach discomfort and vomiting. This premonition was proven correct in the end. My clairvoyance is not normally this clear, perhaps it requires excessive alcohol to suppress the distracting, rational areas of my brain, and therefore release my natural psychic talent?
Admittedly, this is not a completely reliable skill. Despite the fact that I do often have visions of the future, a lot of the time they don't pan out as I see them. Whenever I am on a date, I always envision the woman in question being impressed and wooed by my charm and sense of humour as they claim to like such things. Despite this, my use of the term 'sugartits' and my repertoire of Roy Chubby Brown jokes often result in the opposite reaction to that which I anticipate. Similarly, I sometimes suffer when predicting the future when using the cards. Just the other day, I formed predictions of improvements in my financial situation after revealing an ace and a 9 of clubs. This prediction was only scuppered by the fact that Franky 'The Hustler' Thuggson was not being completely truthful about what the cards had told him, and yet he was the one who was upset by the fact that I couldn't afford to pay his winnings, despite the fact that he was the one who had lied to me.
Suffice to say that my clairvoyance is reliable as long as I'm intoxicated and people don't deceive me. If people were to refrain from misleading me with false information, no doubt by now my psychic powers would have resulted in me having a girlfriend, more money, all the fingers on my left hand and both my kneecaps.
NECROMANCY: Admittedly, this is one of the areas of psychic ability that I struggle with, but my conviction and determination to develop my skills make me confident that I will become a reasonably capable necromancer and that this will allow me to pursue a career as a psychic reader.
During my previous career as a cadaver embalmer, I spent much time talking to the dead, although I never noticed any of them talking back. Admittedly, one of them did once make a sort of belching/gassy sound which may have been them attempting to speak through lungs filled with formaldehyde, but I can't say for certain; partly because what they 'said' was obscured by their physical condition, and partly because before they'd finished 'saying' it the surge of psychic powers had overwhelmed me somewhat and I ran away screaming and hid in a cupboard for 5 hours.
However, since then I have dutifully attempted to contact and speak to the dead wherever possible. For a while I took to wandering around graveyards with a stethoscope/ear trumpet and yelling at gravestones, but had to give that up after being angrily chased out of too many funerals. I also regularly find myself sensing an unfamiliar, eerie presence in my home. It's either the souls of the restless dead crying out to be heard by someone blessed with psychic powers, or one of the semi-conscious derelicts that used to visit when I operated the aforementioned meth lab that lack the wherewithal to realise I don't do that anymore. Either way, communicating with them takes intense concentration and supernatural skills, which I like to think I have. That or a sachet of sugar that I just throw out the window, that usually does the trick. However, as I live on the 7th floor, this could also be viewed as 'communing with the dead', albeit with a degree of foresight.
So there you have it. I feel these skills and experiences make me an ideal candidate for the role of psychic reader. And I know a lot of people feel this sort of work is unethical, but rest assured I do not. I believe the desperate and the grieving clearly have too much money, and if we don't charge them for providing our reassuring services they'll only squander it on 'Missing' posters and wreaths.
I look forward to hearing from you. And I won't end with some pitiful 'I know you'll give me the job because I'm psychic' joke. I know you'd hate that. Because I'm psychic.
Email: Humourology (at) live.co.uk