Americans Got Only 8 Out of 12 Answers Right on This Very Basic Science Quiz

I am sure that Reason readers will do much better



The New York Times reported yesterday that "Americans Don't Flunk, but Don't Ace Survey's Science Quiz." From the Times:

When put to the test, Americans rate a solid if unspectacular C in science, a survey shows.

In a basic quiz of a dozen random science questions, Americans got eight correct, according to an online survey of more than 3,200 adults by the Pew Research Center released Thursday. The questions ranged from what kind of waves are used in cell phones to interpreting a scatterplot graph. …

Men in general got one more right answer than did women, while people with college degrees got two more correct answers than did those with a high school education or less. Whites did better than blacks and Hispanics. People between 30 and 49 scored the most correct answers. Those over 65 scored the lowest.

Westerners scored the highest on average, while those in the South did the worst. Republicans scored half a correct answer more than Democrats, but [the researcher] said that may be more a racial and ethnic issue, because white Democrats and Republicans had nearly identical scores.

Frankly, I have my doubts that any of our presidential candidates would do as well as the average American on this survey.

Take the quiz here.

For what it's worth, I got 100 percent. Just saying.

Note: Element 115 is actually Ununpentium.

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  1. I missed the index of refraction of magnifying glasses question

    1. A) The tide question is wrong – tides are caused by the interaction with the gravity fields of *both* the Sun and Moon and the rotation of the Earth.

      ‘D’ should have been ‘All of the above’.

      B) Cell phones – ‘light waves’ and ‘radio waves’ are they SAME TYPE OF WAVE. Just different frequencies.

      C) Uranium os only one of *several* elements that can be used to make nuclear weapons and energy and is not ‘needed’ for either.

      D) How is knowing what ‘Astrology’ is a basic science question?

      So, I got a 100%

      But the quiz itself failed 4 questions.

      1. I didn’t get whether or not someone’s able to identify Jonas Salk as the polio vaccine guy was science either.

        1. Maybe not “science” except that knowing the discoverer of such a monumental scientific achievement is basic cultural literacy.

          1. It’s not science, it is history. History is important, but it shouldn’t be on a science test.

            Unless you think writing an essay on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the middle of your calculus exam is okay because it is “basic cultural literacy.”

            1. Exactly. It’s like back in 7th grade I had a math teacher who would give us spelling tests on mathematical concepts. I was in danger of failing that class because I could never spell circumference. Now I have a degree in mathematics and a spell checker to spell that crap for me.

          2. It’s more knowing who the other three people were.

        2. None of these questions really test one’s knowledge of science. Only a test to see if you can design and run a simple experiment would do that.

          1. Exactly. And that is where 80% would probably fail.

          2. Exactly. And that is where 80% would probably fail.

            1. Twice, apparently.

        3. Icon,

          As a proud 100%’er, I can assure you that all answers were vital! Study harder, my boy!

      2. I got 100%, but I agree with your quibbles.

        1. Ditto. Also, “sound waves” are needed to use your cell phone if you are making phone calls as opposed to texting. So that would have been a mostly-correct answer as well.

          The liberals who yammer about “cultural assumptions” being all wrapped up in our testing, are actually correct.

      3. Uranium os only one of *several* elements that can be used to make nuclear weapons and energy and is not ‘needed’ for either.

        From what I understand, the only radioactive element that can be used in a nuclear reactor that is not produced from uranium is thorium. Plutonium and all others are harvested from uranium reactors. So uranium is required first for all nuclear reactors except those using thorium.

        1. And you’re not going to be able to make a nuclear weapon with thorium.

          1. But you’re presuming “nuclear weapon” requires a reaction. Any material sufficiently radioactive to make someone sick is “nuclear” and if scattered by a conventional explosion or introduced in a water supply (for instance) it would be a “weapon.”

            Of course the other answers were obviously false.

        2. Ah! but I forgot all about fusion. So, whatever…

        3. Aaaaaand – since you can make a reactor from Thorium, you *dont’ need* Uranium.

          In any case – depending on what you’re trying for, there are lots of radioactive elements that you can make a reactor out of – all you need is to get K=1.

          There are fewer elements that will let you build an *economically viable electrical power generation system*.

          But that’s a lot more than just a reactor.

      4. I came here to make the exact same complaints.

        But it’s so much easier to just laugh at stupid Americans lol amirite?

      5. Yeah. I stopped at the tides question to come in here and bitch about it. What idiot wrote this damn quiz?

      6. I was going to say the same thing. Several of the questions were wrong. They were good enough that I could know which answer they wanted and get 100%, but they were not correct.

        The tide question was the most egregious, but the light wave / radio wave was also off-putting. Like it was written by an elementary school science teacher who doesn’t really understand the subject.

        Still, I was shocked at how many people missed the questions. I would expect that any high school student should be able to easily answer most of the questions, with a few tripping on the boiling point question because they got confused, not for a lack of knowledge. These questions are stupid simple.

  2. 12 of 12.

    What surprised me is no one reads the Rice-A-Roni box anymore. I learned about water boiling at a lower temp at higher altitudes from food packaging, not science class. Come to think of it, I didn’t learn any of the answers in any kind of science class.

    1. There are only 10 questions.

      1. +1 Cardassian interrogator.

      2. Americans Got Only 8 Out of 12 Answers Right on This Very Basic Science Quiz

        I guess you got 10 of 12

        1. there really are only 10 questions.

          maybe they randomly juggle an extra 2 question in at random… but if you take the quiz, there are only 10 in the actual quiz. You can’t actually get a 12-for-12 score.

          So what you’re saying is, you cheated on a self-test. (shakes head in disappointment)

          1. You’re not taking the quiz when you follow Ron’s link. You’re reading the AP’s spoilers for the PEW quiz the news story is about.

            1. Well aren’t you just the special one who got private tutoring or something

              1. RTF Rice-A-Roni box.

          2. I got 10 for 10, this was not the 12 question quiz.

            1. You miss out on the shitty ray trace sketch for a single convex lens.

            2. Crap……0 for 10……!

              Which way to register to vote?

              1. A community activist will arrive at your home shortly to guide you through the process.


    2. I actually learned about that from some sci-fi book I read. It took place in an undersea habitat that was maintained at ambient pressure of however many atmospheres, and there was a blurb about how much longer it took the water to boil.

      1. I read the Rice-A-Roni box. You have to cook it longer in Denver than you do in its home city of San Francisco.

        1. I read it when I was a kid, in a book about mountain climbing. I don’t especially like Rice-A-Roni.

          1. I learned it from the fudge recipe in Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. My fourth grade teacher was reading the book to the class, and she encouraged us all to try the fudge recipe, but warned us that the cooking times weren’t right because the recipe *didn’t* take into account that we were living in Denver.

      2. But why would you want to boil water down there?

        1. But why would you want to boil water down there?

          In the story, the characters were important science people doing important science-y stuff. They had to live down there for a long time.

          I think it was The Sphere by Michael Crichton . . .

          1. I’m just wondering why you’d want to boil water at about 600 degrees. It wouldn’t make sense for cooking

            1. Yeah, I’d opt for the microwave too. So at what depth would you need to heat water to 600 degrees in order to reach boiling?

              1. I was just entering numbers until I found something, but according to 100 bars=551 degree boiling point F
                Another site says that’s 3600 feet.

                I do not remember at all where Sphere was set.

      3. I learned it from my mother, as a youngster, learning to cook. It fucking astonishes me that there are people in the country who don’t. Now, I might accept somebody that never left his location of birth his whole life never knowing, since he might never need to, but I find that even people who are relatively immobile can tell me the boiling point at sea level, but they foolishly believe it to be universal. This blows my mind. How many times a day do they boil water, but they never noticed it’s at a very different temperature than that of the official boiling point they “know”?

        1. I’ve also known people who’ve been “seasoning” their cast iron with vegetable oil for years, and rather than ever considering their knowledge of the chemistry is at fault they go on about how worthless cast iron is.

          1. [citation needed]
            Cooks Illustrated, which is staffed in part by scientists, recommends (and gives instructions on) seasoning cast iron and carbon steel pans. What’s the story?

          2. As far as I know one is supposed to use lard or vegetable shortening. Old fashioned hog lard seems to work best – both for the seasoning and for frying eggs. Bacon drippings work okay, too, for frying eggs anyway.

          3. If they’ve been seasoning it for years, they’ve obviously been using it for years.

            So, on what basis is anyone claiming that cast iron cookware is worthless?

            1. I have been seasoning my cast iron pan with vegetable oil for years and I think it works great. Love my cast iron.

        2. Realize that most kitchen stoves don’t give you a temperature. So they boil at “Medium-High.” And “Medium-High” works everywhere!

    3. This one tripped me up, but only because I inadvertently tapped the wrong answer as I was scrolling down the page. Otherwise, perfect score.

    4. If only I’d eaten Rice-A-Roni I’d have gotten a perfect score.

      You’d think I’d know about boiling water given the way I prefer to cook.

      But to be fair, one of the remaining questions was about astrology and another was about recognizing who Salk was. I don’t think either of these questions is really about science. One is sociology and the other is biography.

      1. Growing up in Denver, this was basically drummed into my school in every elementary class that I had.

        1. Having lived in the front range for about a decade, I can’t rightly fist pump for getting it right. As a side note, there is no need to let the kettle cool after boiling water to make coffee in a french press here, since water boils within the optimal extraction temp (between 195-205 degrees.)

      2. You’ve never used a pressure cooker?

        1. I didn’t say I was *good* at boiling water.

          1. Soviet judges say no style points.

          2. Damn stuff is so easy to burn.

            1. And then it’s nigh impossible to scrape it off the pan.

              1. It’s easier if you soak it in…. never mind.

      3. They used to run a lot of tests “about politics” that were largely about identifying politicians by their pictures. Yeah, so I scored badly because I’m autistic and my facial recognition sucks,

        1. Maybe it’s the politicians who suck. Maybe.

      4. yeah knowing who jonas salk was isnt (rocket) science

      5. The correct word is pseudoscience. Astrology does affect people who believe in it. I don’t, but I use it when dealing with people who do.

        1. Astrology affects everybody, because those who don’t believe have to cope with the consequences of the belief of others.

          1. The same as all religions.

            1. And all belief of a non-religious nature, as well.

    5. 13 out of 10.

      And I object. Astrology has nothing to do with science.

      1. Neither does your gender! It’s just a social construct!

      2. Is this where we file objections?

        Because I got 110% right but; ‘The tides are caused by a) the moon or b) the rotation of the Earth. Pick one.’ is pretty anti-scientific as well. Light years measure distance, speed, and time (as opposed to say, the meter, that just measures distance) and I defy anyone to make nuclear energy or nuclear weapons while completely lacking any of the elements/molecules (N, CO2, NaCl) listed.

        1. Light years measure distance. Speed of light (distance/time) multiplied by years (time) = distance.

        2. Light years measure distance only.

          Time and speed are used to define the light year.

          Also, the meter is currently defined by time and speed.

          1. Knowledgeable, but a horrible teacher.

          2. I’m well aware of the definition of a light year. My point being is that it’s explicitly defined as a rate per unit time, emphasizing the rate and time in an (a)relativistic manner, unlike the meter (no matter how it’s currently composed). Kinda (somewhat inversely analogous) to the acre. Where, it can be reduced to linear dimensions and even tracks it’s origins to a time component but generally is misapplied when so done. Light years only matter when the distance is so large that the rate has to be high to *make time relevant*. If I travel ~6 trillion km in a year everyone agrees I’m approaching a light year. If I travel ~6 trillion miles in ~6 trillion years everyone agrees that measuring my speed/distance relative to the rate of light is retarded.

            Just struck me, like the others, where it was a little more like Apu’s citizenship test. More some sort of purity test than any sort of actual question to actually gauge truth, knowledge, or understanding.

            1. Fine, what was the cause of the civil war?

              1. Looking at my ‘Death of African Americans per million population’ graph before, during, and after the war, it appears to be a conflict over how best to conduct the war on African Americans. πŸ™‚

                1. So you haven’t seen that episode of the Simpsons.

              2. Convictions make convicts.

              3. Lack of orphans in the South. The war straightened that out very quickly.

            2. No, light year is not a rate. Just stop.

        3. The light year only defines distance because the speed of light is assumed to be a fixed value, and a year is a given amount of time.

    6. That is the one I got wrong. I have never lived at a high-altitude* so no, I don’t read the box. I do remember this being discussed in a science class but oh well I flipped a coin and lost.

      *kultchur biazz!!1!

    7. That was the only question I missed because I don’t like Rice-A-Roni…

  3. 100% with only a high school diploma. Just imagine what I could have accomplished if I’d been able to go to college.

    1. Ron’s AP link is spoilers, not the actual quiz.


      Ron Bailey gets an “F” in electronic journalism.

      1. Journalism is more art than science.

      2. Well, it definitely made this thread more fun.

      3. I’m happy with my 100%. I don’t want to risk it.

    2. Well 100% is the highest possible score so, nothing more.


  4. Anyone who gets less than 100% on that should have their arms and legs cut off and be thrown in the ocean. That was sad. And what was that fucking astrology question doing on there?

    1. That question, the Salk question, and maybe another didn’t even belong in a “science” quiz. I mean, the quiz was easy, but I don’t really think it tells you a lot. There are plenty of “smart” people who wouldn’t know at least half that shit, and I wouldn’t think particularly less of them. Science just doesn’t interest some people, at least beyond the core basics they need to function in the modern world.

      1. That’s true, but, like, anyone who doesn’t know that air pressure changes boiling points isn’t quite fully human. They should be kept apart from the rest of us. Perhaps underground.

        1. So that’s what you do with your more disappointing lab assistants. I was wondering why they kept disappearing.

        2. To be fair, I can see where some people might confuse the asteroid and comet question.

          1. Asteroids ain’t icy. They’re fucking rocks.

            1. They can have ice on them. 24 Themis, for instance, is covered in it.

              The main difference between a comet and an asteroid is the presence of an gravitationally unbound atmosphere surrounding the nucleus caused by out-gassing, which really only happens if the comet gets close enough to the sun.

              Main-belt comets and the centaurs are good examples of objects that could fit in both categories.

              1. That’s ONE rock with a little frost on it.

                1. …maybe you should have read my comment on the way through, instead of just the first sentence. Might make you look a little less dumb.

              2. So all comets are asteroids…just a special kind of asteroid that has enough ice to form a tail and an eccentric elliptical orbit that puts it in periodic relatively close proximity to the sun….

                So asteroids with low or zero ice so don’t form tails but do have an orbit similar to comets are not comets?

                Also if an icy object that is just passing by the solar system and close to the sun to form a tail…is that a comet? Does it have to be in orbit with the sun to be a comet?

                Also all extra solar objects asteroids? Again if an object is just passing through the solar system is it an asteroid? What if it is planet sized? If an an object as large as the Earth passed through the solar system would it be a planet or does it have to orbit a star to be a planet? Would a moon sized object orbiting that same planet sized object be a moon or would that be a planet of that planet sized object? Would the planet sized object be considered a dark really small star?

                1. No, asteroids and comets have different origins. Asteroids originate in inner solar system, primarily the belt between Mars and Jupiter. Comets originate in the Kuiper belt or the oort cloud. They have different compositions due to their different origins.

                  Some asteroids do outgas and create tails, as we have recently learned.

                  Asteroid literally means “star-like” – because they were initially imaged as point sources of light like stars but moving through the sky. The origin of the term is no longer the definition, however. They are defined by their composition, origin and orbit.

                  An object passing through would not be a planet or an asteroid. Well, they might call it a rouge planet or somesuch, but the interstellar wanderer would be recognized as such for it’s path through the solar system.

                  No it would not be a small star, rogue planets exist. A star is defined by the nuclear fusion taking place inside. A rogue planet could easily have satellites. They would be called moons.

        3. Yeah…BUT…what does air pressure do to PATRIOT FOOTBALLS?!

        4. Whatever for? Most of those answers have so little to do with daily life that they don’t mean squat. Comets? Interesting to some, meaningless to most. Tides caused by the moon? Well, yes, but the Earth’s rotation relative to the moon matters too; if the Moon was geosynchronous, tides would not exist. On and on it goes. I have no disrespect for people who utterly fail this test, and in some ways, more respect, because they don’t fill their brains with meaningless drivel.

          (Full disclosure: I got 100% on all three tests. IOW, I have filled my brain with drivel, I likes it, and it means squat.)

          1. +1 Cliff Claven.

        5. That’s true, but, like, anyone who doesn’t know that air pressure changes boiling points isn’t quite fully human.

          This is exactly how I felt when I discovered that a grown man learned aluminum isn’t magnetic for the first time.

          Human species, maybe, but only extra-terrestrial origins is the only valid excuse for not knowing that.

          1. When I taught science in college, I was shocked that hardly any of my students knew what the cracks in sidewalks are for.

            1. For jumping over so you don’t have bad luck.

            2. Duh, breaking your mother’s back!

              1. They help you skin your knees.

          2. Ouch. It hurt even worse when I found out who the grown man was.

            This is why I am a libertarian. “You” (generally applied) are not smart enough to make decisions for me.

          3. I’ve seen several TV shows which portrayed a strong magnet as drawing all metals, regardless of ferromagnetism.

            1. Why the fuck can Magneto manipulate Wolverine’s adamantium claws and bones?!?!?

              1. Because that’s how the writer wrote the scene.

          4. I’m frequently amazed that so many people can’t identify metals by colour. Apparently, to most people, silver, aluminium, and steel are all “silver” in colour, with no perceptible difference, for instance. It also strikes me that to most people all white flowers are the same colour, despite some being quite clearly, sometimes even quite strikingly, a different colour. The flowers one is a bit harder, however, as I don’t know the words whereby one might discriminate between the different classes of whites. I must have missed that episode of Sesame Street. I must have been drunk that day.

            1. If you are female you might have extra color cones in your eyes. Kind of like how color blindness is inherited by some men, some women inherit more cones and can see more colors than the average human. Most of the time the women never realize that they posses this special trait.

              1. This is also the origin of the “those don’t match” thing many of us men are subjected to. There are many times that I look at two identically shaded blue articles of clothing as my wife ridicules me for how completely they don’t match. If I didn’t know about this sexual dimorphism I’d be tempted to have her committed.

      2. Well the quiz does measure knowledge not intelligence. I rent to grown adults who don’t know what a toilet shut off valve is.

        1. Why would I want to shut off my toilet?

          1. That’s what landlords are for.

            1. I still don’t follow. I use my toilet all the time.

              1. If it gets clogged it can start to overflow. So if you want to stem the tide of shitty water flowing into your house, you shut it off.

                1. But then I’d have no toilet.

                  1. Especially if it drips through the floor and into a light fixture over the dinner table that held recently served dinner, with extended family. True story. I was the only one that laughed, but I was only about twelve at the time.

                  2. Jesus, you’re one of my tenants, aren’t you?

    2. Ron didn’t link the actualquiz. The AP put there own thing together

    3. And what was that fucking astrology question doing on there?

      I know, right? We all know its chemtrails and not wobbly planets that control our behavior. That and lizards.

    4. 60%! How about you come and take my arms and legs, Warty? Huh? How about you do it!

      1. Crusty fails at science! Crusty fails at science! Crusty fails at science!

        1. I am slightly better than that (I should have had 8 out of 10) but there was no way I was getting them all right.


            1. “There are two lights!”

              1. Wrong! The answer is Fear, Loathing, Convertible and Samoan Attorney.

        2. Crusty fails at science! Crusty fails at science! Crusty fails at science life!

            1. +1 dunce cap

            2. Don’t fret over it, Crusty. Yahtzee is more fun, anyway.

    5. I think Reason did a column on the astrology/astronomy confusion a few weeks back (or maybe I read it somewhere else). Basically a lot of people who got it wrong were just getting terms wrong. They didn’t actually think astronomy studied the effects of stars.

      1. They didn’t actually think astronomy studied the effects of stars.

        I think astronomy studies the effects of stars (on other celestial bodies around them), among other things.

        1. That’s fucking astrophysics, moron.

          1. It takes a considerable moron to ignore the considerable overlap between the disciplines just for the opportunity to call someone a moron on the internet.

    6. I don’t have an issue with the “astrology question”?they’re not asking you anything about astrology, just to identify the term. IMO it’s just a test of “which of these fields isn’t science” as much as anything else.

      1. Yup. And nothing screams science like an ideological purity test.

        Full disclosure; I *am* bitter because I always get the “Do you weigh more or less than a duck?” question wrong.

        1. Don’t feel bad – its a trick question so the witchsmeller has an excuse to dunk you.

      2. The problem is the answer is not related to science.. When I first took the test, it was pretty much “which term … blah blah blah, yeah, this is an astronomy/astrology question, they want astronomy… WHAT!!!??”..
        In my opinion, you should not be rewarded for knowing what astrology is.

        1. But apparently you *are* rewarded for actually PAYING ATTENTION AND READING THE QUESTIONSHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        2. Are you trying to say that Yahoo can’t predict my future?

  5. Ughhhhhh I selected “moon” for the thing that creates tides, even though it’s both the sun and the moon that do it, because I knew that’s what an idiot who made a poorly-written “gotcha” quiz for popular consumption would choose.

    And the fact that Jonas Salk is credited with the invention of the polio vaccine is a history question, not a science question.

    Fuck you, AP. Take my 100% and shove it up your ass.

    1. Yeah, the tide question pissed me off. It’s an n-body problem, you fucks.

      1. You have to think about the dumbass who wrote the questions. What would (s)he think is correct? What is the *best* answer?

        1. This is why I was an excellent test-taker in school.

          1. Yeah this was basically my experience from age 5-18. College wasn’t so bad because I got my undergrad degree in physics and therefore took tests that weren’t written by morons.

      2. The entire quiz pissed me off. Radio waves are light waves you dumb shits!

        I want to take the person who wrote this and pile drive them into a fire ant hill while they read an 8th grade science textbook.

    2. I noticed that as well. 100%, by the way.

    3. Same here. Idiots

    4. There’s also the fact that the Earth’s rotation is mighty important. If the moon was geosynchronous with the Earth, moon tides would be staic or non-existent, depending on how you wanted to think of them. If the Earth kept one side facing the sun, ditto for sun tides.

      I think πŸ™‚

      1. You are almost correct.

        Ignoring the effects of the sun:
        If the moon was geosynchronous there would still be some variation in tides because the moon’s orbit has an eccentricity 0. Its also inclined to the equator which would cause changes as well.

        1. eccentricity greater than 0.

          The greater than symbol got eaten by the interwebs.

        2. He means ‘geostationary’.

      2. You’re all forgetting about the tremendous role the elasticity and cohesive properties of liquid water play and the distinct contrast the other ~30% of the Earth’s surface provides. The differences in the regions where the tidal change is the largest and the places where is it nearly imperceptible have nothing to do with the moon, rotation, or sun.

  6. I got 100% right. But I have to admit that I guessed on a couple of them. Like the boiling water question. I knew it wouldn’t be the same, but I couldn’t remember if it would be higher or lower. But I guessed right!

    1. Yep, boiling point decreases as ambient pressure decreases. That’s why spy plane pilots wear pressure suits; if they were to lose cabin pressure at the extreme altitudes they fly at, their blood would boil in their veins, which seems like it would be a shitty way to die.

      1. their blood would boil in their veins

        This is actually a myth. Blood in your body would still be under pressure (your circulation system is essentially a pressurized system), and not boil.

        However, there are a lot of bad effects from your body not remaining pressurized. There are lots of parts to your body that are sensitive to low pressure, including capillaries at the skin. And obviously, if you are not breathing pressurized air, your lungs vent of air (and oxygen) and then the blood dumps oxygen into the empty lungs, and within seconds you pass out as that blood reaches the brain.

        1. The effect wouldn’t be as profound as a pot of boiling water, but the gases in the pilot’s tissues would still come out of solution, which is the same principle. Same thing with a scuba diver who surfaces too quickly after havintg spent a length of time at the bottom, accumulating nitrogen in his blood. How dramatic the offgassing is depends on how much gas has been forced into solution and how quickly the ambient pressure is dropped.

          Here’s an interesting case of what happens when saturation divers go from 9 atm of pressure to 1atm in a fraction of a second:

        2. Okay, I read your comment too quickly; I looked it up, and you’re right: a person thus exposed would die of anoxia before their blood had the chance to boil. More external fluids, like tears, saliva, and fluids on the pilot’s alveoli would boil off, though. One survivor of a sudden depressurization at altitude recounted that his last memory before passing out was the sensation of the saliva on his tongue boiling.

          1. Yeah, definitely anything exposed to ambient pressure (eyes, lips, mouth, lungs) would suffer the effects of rapid vaporization of liquids.

            The interesting question to explore this fuller: Imagine a person who has a pressurized mask only. What would be the effect on the rest of their body? Physiological injuries to the rest of the body seem well known, but would you injure your lungs because the bloody stuff around the lungs is no longer being contained by an atmosphere of pressure?

            My initial reaction is “no”. As a scuba diver, I am familiar with depressurization sickness. However, it is noteworthy that this is really a concern when you spend a decent amount of time at 3 atmospheres or so, then come up to 1 atmosphere. My completely unfounded assumption is that going from 1 atmosphere to 0 wouldn’t be as traumatic.

            1. The interesting question to explore this fuller: Imagine a person who has a pressurized mask only. What would be the effect on the rest of their body? Physiological injuries to the rest of the body seem well known, but would you injure your lungs because the bloody stuff around the lungs is no longer being contained by an atmosphere of pressure?

              Above a certain altitude, even pure oxygen through a mask would be insufficient to keep the body properly oxygenated, as the partial pressure would be too low. So like you noted before, a person in that scenario would be rendered unconscious then dead from hypoxia before further effects could be observed.

              However, it is noteworthy that this is really a concern when you spend a decent amount of time at 3 atmospheres or so, then come up to 1 atmosphere. My completely unfounded assumption is that going from 1 atmosphere to 0 wouldn’t be as traumatic.

              I have heard of scuba instructors getting bent in as little as 10 feet of water after spending an entire day teaching basic scuba classes in a pool. Logically, it would seem to me that it’s possible anytime you’re breathing regular air under pressure, but you’d really have to work at it (i.e. extended bottom times at depth) before it becomes a real hazard.

              1. Karl,

                When Joe Kittinger went up in his balloon in 1960 for Project Excelsior, he had a bit of a problem with the pressurization system for his pressure suit. The seal for his right hand failed at around 50,000 feet, causing his hand to swell to about twice its normal size as his balloon climbed to 102,800 feet. Despite the discomfort, and temporarily losing function in his hand, he then parachuted out of the capsule.

                IIRC, he didn’t suffer any lasting effects from the pressure excursion.

                Re, barotrauma in scuba diving, isn’t it true that your lungs’ll collapse with an under one bar pressure difference, and that’s why you can’t use a snorkel longer than, say, a few feet?

                1. Re, barotrauma in scuba diving, isn’t it true that your lungs’ll collapse with an under one bar pressure difference, and that’s why you can’t use a snorkel longer than, say, a few feet?

                  I don’t know about collapse, but it’s true that as the ambient pressure increased around you, you wouldn’t be able to draw breath from a 1 atm supply of air.

                  The real risk of barotrauma, of course, occurs during an ascent during which the diver fails to breathe normally. At 2 atms, which is 33 feet of seawater, it takes twice the amount of air to fill your lungs to their normal volume (and three times the amount at 66 feet, four times the amount at 99 feet, and so on). So take a deep breath from your regulator at 33 feet, hold your breath and ascend , , , and POP. A pneumothoracic injury like this sometimes manifests itself in the form of “subcutaneous emphysema.” This is where air from a ruptured lung leaves the thoracic cavity and settles under the skin around the victim’s neck and shoulders. It’s known informally as “rice krispies” because of the crackling sound that occurs when the victim moves his neck and shoulders πŸ™‚

                2. When Joe Kittinger went up in his balloon in 1960 for Project Excelsior, he had a bit of a problem with the pressurization system for his pressure suit.

                  Joe Kittinger is the man. I remember now reading about the problems he had with his suit during his ascent. So maybe that is an example of gases coming out of solution during exposure to low atmospheric pressure. Had a similar breah occurred in a more critical part of his suit – say, where his helmet was connected – he’d have died in a matter of seconds. Scary shit happens to the human body once it leaves the confines of the atmosphere it evolved to thrive in.

                3. As far as I know, it’s because you keep on breathing back in the breath that you just exhaled.

                  1. The bends were first appreciated when they built the pylons for the Brooklyn Bridge.

                    1. The bends were first appreciated when they built the pylons for the Brooklyn Bridge.

                      Yep, they called it “caisson disease” back then, as it occurred in mine workers and bridge builders working in pressurized caissons. It was pretty common for a while, I think, before the mechanism of DCS was understood.

              2. Probably not truly “bent,” as their residual nitrogen would still be silly low.

                The real danger of shallow water diving is that the percentage change in pressure going from 10 feet depth to zero depth is substantial, and – if you are not super careful about your breathing – can easily induce micro air emboli from the lungs into the blood stream. Small enough (size or number) emboli and you’ll never notice them, until you get enough that they start to coalesce.

                The proper term for this phenomenon is shallow water blackout.

                1. The proper term for this phenomenon is shallow water blackout.

                  Shallow water blackout is actually a different phenomenon altogether, and occurs in breath-hold divers who, through hyperventilation prior to their dive (in the mistaken belief that they’re increasing their oxygen stores), have actually suppressed the CO2 levels in their blood. High CO2 levels – not low O2 levels – are what the body uses to determine when it’s time to breathe again, so a diver who’s hyperventilated prior to his dive is at the risk of becoming hypoxic underwater and passing out, simply because his body doesn’t realize it’s time to breathe again.

                2. The real danger of shallow water diving is that the percentage change in pressure going from 10 feet depth to zero depth is substantial

                  It is. Ten feet of seawater would add, ballpark, about 30 percent more pressure to the diver’s body that he would experience if standing on a boat at the surface. Definitely enough to induce an overexpansion injury if you’re not careful about your breathing when you surface. Divers have been stricken with such injuries, in fact, in heavy seas, as a large swell passes overhead, causing the water depth to change from, say, 10 feet to 1 foot in the space of a second or two.

        1. I watched a documentary about him on Netflix just the other day. He never got to make his jump, but his record for highest balloon flight stood till 2012, when Felix Baumgartner broke it.

    2. One of the very few equations I remember from high school is PV = nRT

  7. Got me a score of 100 percent.

  8. Speaking of science…

    A few of us were talking about my new genetic testing service a few days ago. Welp, I launched the Fundable campaign today.

    Please share and contribute if you can.

    1. Interesting. Can you say more about how this is different from 23andMe? Which, as you probably know, got into trouble with the FDA for “offering medical advice” or whatever.

      1. Unlike 23andMe, I accept the sad fact that I cannot perform testing without a doctor’s signature on the order.

        Mine will be a properly licensed laboratory, just like any other CLIA laboratory. The tests will be validated, the lab inspected, and so on. The only difference is that I won’t be collecting insurance information or have any need for your medical history, diagnosis codes, etc. If you *are* taking medications and are interested in your genomic compatibility, then you can send that information with your order and it will be addressed in your report.

        Instead of billing insurance $750+ for the test, you’ll pay a flat fee of $150.

        Regulations require I keep test reports indefinitely, but the information will never be used without your permission and absolutely never sold to anyone.

        1. I invested in a lab in Ocala, Fl.

          Does that count?

          1. You can’t invest. But you can donate.

            What does your Florida lab do? Meth?

            1. I’m not sure I’m ready to take on investors yet. Once I have a year or two under my belt and some solid value to hang onto, I’ll happily entertain the idea.

            2. Of course I can.

              I just did!

              Through my American partner that is.

              1. Tiny shares 4.9% I had to keep it under 5% to keep the IRS off my back.

                But the numbers are big so I’m happy.

                1. Do tell. Don’t be a holdout.

            3. Tweak the cocaine molecule?

    2. Are you hiring?

      1. Actually, I will be. I need at least one, better two people.

        1. I am a Master of Science with years of experience in research and strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills. I want to transition from academia to the private sector and a start-up such as yours would be an exciting way to do just that.

          While I do not have direct experience in sequencing I am highly experienced in a bevy of molecular biology techniques particularly recombinant protein expression/purification and mammalian cell culture. I have carried out PCR, qRT-PCR, molecular cloning, and DNA extraction from sera and bacteria countless times in the past. I have developed excellent writing skills from writing my two theses and various reports. My oral presentation skills have also been honed by giving many presentations. I am most proud of my excellent problem-solving skills, which used to be lousy but have been sharpened and strengthened by my years of laboratory research experience.

          You know that I, as an Objectivist, will ignore the minimum wage and not report you for breaching it, or any other immoral government law.

          Whenever you start hiring, please let me know and give me a link to send me an application. I hope you will respect my online anonymity and not attempt to dox me. I think a position at Phoenix Laboratory Consulting could be the step I need to the career in private sector research that I desire.

          Best Regards,


          1. Are you legally permitted to work in the US?

            1. To that point, the lab will be located in Louisville.

            2. 1) I can probably get in by NAFTA or with a work Visa.

              2) ” I, as an Objectivist, will ignore the minimum wage and not report you for breaching it, or any other immoral government law.

              Employee Incognito. Invisible and tax-free.

              1. THIS is why we need that fence on the Northern border!

          2. We’ll be doing real-time PCR and I’m developing a high-throughput PCR-RFLP assay. The instrumentation takes nearly all the hands-on effort away, so our focus can be on data interpretation and consulting.

            You can reach me directly at

            Also, I had to look up “dox”, so yeah. I won’t do that.

            1. That is very exciting and I would love to be a part of that. When I contact you this weekend I will probably deny any association with my Reason handle.

              1. I will probably deny any association with my Reason handle.

                Must be some other Canadian.

                1. Canadian Objectivists? i thought they banished all two of them years ago…

          3. But you are also Canadian. Admit it, shitty poutine-derived gravy in EVERY petri dish you process.

          4. strong interpersonal […] skills


    3. Sorry I only deal with people who have 16 years of experience.

      1. Sixteen years of what kind of experience? I might could accommodate… Otherwise, your loss πŸ™‚

    4. I’m glad to hear you’re headed out on your own. I did that a long time ago, and it was wonderful.

      1. This solo endeavor has been amazing so far.

    5. I’m really impressed with the number of Creators on Reason. Good on you Bronwyn. I hope it works out.


    I clicked the “right” answer anyway but it would help if the AP’s science test writer knew WTF they were on about

    1. “Which of these elements is needed to make Nuclear energy and nuclear weapons?”

      pretty sure fusion is still ‘nuclear energy”, dipstick

      1. Not to mention that you can fuse or break (fiss?) any elements if you really want to.

      2. Yeah, I’m one of those dickheads that will quibble over the ‘right’ answer and that one and the tides one jumped right out at me. ‘Nuclear energy’ covers a lot of ground.

        1. Decades of taking multiple-choice quizzes has taught me more about how to ace a multiple-choice quiz than about anything concrete.


      They are both electromagnetic waves, but they are of different frequencies, so we categorize the arbitrarily, but categorize them nonetheless.

      Do you say ice and steam are the same?

      1. There are objective differences in the structure of ice and steam – there is not an arbitrary division between the two. The only difference between ‘light’ and ‘radio’ is our own arbitrary (and often flexible) wavelength distinctions

        1. The only difference between ‘light’ and ‘radio’ is our own arbitrary (and often flexible) wavelength distinctions

          Well, that and the fact that we can see only one of them. So light waves are used for flashlights, and not cell phones.

      2. Radio waves are just one part of the spectrum of light waves. All radio waves are light waves.

        1. I know what that is without even clicking.

      3. Same matter? Yes. Matter in the same phase? No.

        Light and radio are both waves, but they are not of the same frequency.

      4. If you’re writing a quiz designed to prove that its takers are stupid, then yeah you’d better be precise.

      5. The categorization is not arbitrary. EM waves are categorized by how they interact with matter. Radio waves only cause disturbances in the electrons of conducting materials like metal. Microwaves do the same but more intensely while also exciting the rotational states of gas molecules. Infrared excites the vibrational states of molecules in all phases of matter and atoms in most solids. Visible and UV excites valence electron states in molecules and atoms in solids. UV can cause fluorescence and phosphorescence, which is really the decay process of the valence electron excitation. Shorter wavelength UV can cause such dramatic excitation as to cause electrons to be ejected, bonds to break, and reactions to occur, which can damage living tissue. X-Rays are even more energetic, exciting core electrons, ejecting electrons, etc. Gamma rays can do all that plus excite atomic nuclear states as well as do various weird things with electrons.

        1. Winner. Find me a gamma ray refractory lens and I’ll admit they’re the same as (visible, which is what is implied/meant) light waves.

    3. “Who invented the polio vaccine?”

      is a history question…

    4. Yeah. Radio wave ARE LIGHT WAVES.

  10. So the science is settled, then. Good to know.

    1. Can’t believe there wasn’t a climate change question.

      “How certain are we that Climate Change will murder all the polar bears?”
      A. 100% B. 97%
      C. 90% D. 75%

  11. One-hundred-percent here as well.

    And yeah, the question about tides was stupid, since it really is both the Sun and the Moon that influence tides enough to be detectable (if you live anywhere near an ocean, you know about king tides or supertides). The Moon’s the biggest influence, but not the only one.

    I’m not surprised most people didn’t do very well on this. The ignorance of basic science amongst most of the people I’ve met in my life is nothing short of appalling, unless you add in the fact that most of them aren’t even the slightest bit interested in learning more. Then it’s just fucking criminal.

    1. Yes, but the tide question asked what the main cause was. The Moon’s influence is by far the greater of the two.

      Oh, 100% too.

    2. It is noteworthy that the ACTUAL quiz, linked above is worded differently “The MAIN cause of tides”

      1. That’s what happens when you filter knowledge through reporters.

    1. Are you 100%ers taking the 12 question test at PEW? That AP 10 question thing isn’t the test.

      1. Got 100% on both tests. The tide question at PEW was better-stated, though.

      2. Both.

        And thanks for the heads up on that.

  12. I got 100%, but I don’t agree that a lot of those were scientific questions. Specifically, “Who invented the polio vaccine.” That’s history. (I didn’t know the answer, but I knew that the other three choices weren’t the inventors.)

    Also: the question about Astrology wasn’t really a science question either.

    Finally, the question about tides is not correct. The Sun and the Earth’s rotation do have an effect on our tides. The Sun’s tidal effect is about 40% of the Moon’s, so it is dominated by the moon. Additionally, what we experience as high and low tide would be completely different if the earth didn’t rotate (the tide would move as the moon orbited the earth) or if the earth and moon were tidally locked- as the moon is tidally locked to the earth- so one part of the earth always faced the moon (there would be a higher level of the ocean on the facing and opposite side of the earth). So that question is a bit misleading.

    1. (I didn’t know the answer, but I knew that the other three choices weren’t the inventors.)

      As much as I’d like to point and laugh at you…

      When there are 4 answers in a multiple choice test and you are certain 3 of them are wrong you know the answer.

      1. But there is a difference between actually knowing the answer and getting it through hints and process of elimination. Had it not been multiple choice, I wouldn’t have gotten it.

        1. This. I knew Salk more because of my interest in history than because of my interest in science.

          1. “My interest in science”

            Zero. Zero is a percent.

    2. Bloody, fucking hell. Poliio is not ancient history. My father had polio. Certainly everyone knew somebody with it. It’s like not remembering which president ordered the atomic bombings of Japan or something. Maybe it’s history, but in the same sense as remembering what happened yesterday is history. I don’t question that it is or isn’t science. it’s just absurd anybody wouldn’t remember.

      1. This. I knew it was Salk because I remember taking the first vaccine, and my father taking us out to dinner to celebrate. Jonas Salk was why little kids wouldn’t have to live in iron lungs.

        Norman Borlaug is a modern equivalent, and too damn many people don’t know who he is or what he accomplished.

  13. The tide question was poorly worded. Both sun and moon affect tides, it’s just that the sun doesn’t affect it as much. So the question should be “What is the major cause of tides” rather than “what is the cause of tides.”

    1. I was thinking the same thing. The author of the question gets a fail for that one.

    2. As I noted above, the rotation of the Earth also affects tides. The fact that tides “go in and out” is a result of the earth rotating in relation to the moon. If they had said “The dominant force in tides…” it would have been a better question.

      1. Yeah. Just a shitty question all around.

      2. It turns out that the actual quiz is worded correctly. It asks for the MAIN cause of tides.

        1. I was typing my comment as you were posting yours. I didn’t mean to be redundant.

    3. I believe the original Pew version did ask the question as “What is the major cause of tides”.

      I may be misremembering though.

  14. I can’t believe there wasn’t a question about whether buildings can collapse at free fall speed.

      1. What’s hilariously ironic about today’s Mecca crane collapse is that it’s the bin Laden family construction company….

        1. Not so much ironic as inevitable – there simply are no government construction in Saudi Arabia that do not involve the bin Laden group.

    1. Well with the proper application of explosives, I’m confident they can best free fall speed by a fair margin.

      1. Can jet fuel melt steel beams?


      1. I have a feeling that Pirate Truther is never going to get old.


        2. No, it absolutely won’t. We don’t bury our treasure here; we keep it out where we can look at it.


  15. Without sodium chloride there would be no nuclear weapons.

  16. I got one wrong. I forgot the difference between an asteroid and a comet. Sue me
    /joins the special class

    1. +1 Victim mentality

      1. #speciallivesmatter

        1. +1 delicious booger

  17. Frankly, I have my doubts that any of our presidential candidates would do as well as the average American on this survey.

    I think that Ted Cruz is a moron, but do you seriously doubt that he, who graduated cum laude from Princeton and summa cum laude from Harvard Law School, and whom Alan Dershowitz described as “off-the-charts brilliant,” lacks the book larnin’ to ace this test?

    1. I’m sure your average Salon reader knows far more than Ted Cruz. Just ask them.

  18. I meant to say “do you seriously *think* that” etc.

    (When the hell is Hit and Run going to get an edit feature?)

    1. Skwerrelz said no can do.

  19. I missed the astrology question because I assumed astrology couldn’t possibly be the correct answer on an actual science quiz.

    Two lessons:
    1, the usual thing about “assume”
    2. read the question and answers carefully before answering.

    1. That almost counted as a trick question: a “science quiz” with a question illustrated by a photo of Saturn, and have the correct answer be “astrology.”

      1. Heh that’s the same bullshit those pub video-trivia games pull.

    2. This. I also missed the astrology question because I answered too quickly. (In fact, I was in the very act of clicking the “astronomy” box when I realized that the question was about claims to influence human action and could only yell out helplessly, “Oh, shit,” as my wrong answer was recorded.)

      1. I got it right, but, you know, if a nearby star unexpectedly went supernova and killed us all, that would influence human action and be astronomy!

        Your horoscope for today, Capricorn: Today you will be killed by cosmic radiation! So indulge yourself with a shopping spree!

  20. “Republicans scored half a correct answer more than Democrats”

    The test was biased against people who fucking love science

    1. ++like

    2. no, no. ” but [the researcher] said that may be more a racial and ethnic issue, because white Democrats and Republicans had nearly identical scores.”

      IOW the “researchers” just know that republicans are either whiteys, or if they are not then they simply must be dumb as a stump for not voting their race.

  21. Astrology isn’t science.

    1. It *must* be. Just look at all the calculations it requires!

    2. Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! episode on Astrology was great.

      I tried finding the whole episode on youtube, but all I could find was this clip.

      1. They had a similar one on Feng Shui- basically the same thing. Advocates claim that it is a science, but when they invited 5 different “Scientists” to feng shui a house, they got 5 totally different layouts of the house, which would be completely incompatible if any sort of scientific consistency existed.

        1. Yes. Remember the one Feng Shui “scientist”‘s remark when he thought the mic was off?

          “It still looks like shit.”

    3. The thing I found interesting is the results at the end of the real test, where it gives you breakdowns of how well men did vs. women and for ethnic breakdowns.

      Of particular interest: the only question that women scored within statistically meaningful proximity of men was the astrology question.

      1. The test was sexist. There should have been more questions along these lines:

        The spectrum of visible light something something something

        (a) Speaking of visible light, did you see Janet’s dress? Someone should tell her how ugly it is!
        (b) Wait, where are my keys?
        (c) Anyway, I was watching Love Actually for the eighth time and I still think it was great!
        (d) Why can’t people stop worrying about the spectrum of visible light and just be nice to each other for a change?

        OW OW OW OW OW

        That was the sound of Marie Curie giving me the wedgie of my life for being a sexist.

        I guess I was asking for it.

  22. It would have been interesting to learn how many AGW cultists blinded them with their “science” on so elementary of a test.

  23. The last question was wrong. At one point maybe Earth’s inner core was the hottest layer, but not today, thanks to fossil fuels.

    1. Professor Gore discovered the existence of “real hot rocks, like millions of degrees” just a few thousand feet below the Earths surface, and all you teabagging science deniers laughed at him.

  24. I am a Master of Science. I will not deign to partake in a peasant’s exercise such as this ‘test’.

    1. If you vote NDP I will beat you to death with a large zucchini.

      1. I will not vote NDP. If you vote Conservative I will harangue you like a really annoying passive-aggressive jerk.

        1. Dude. THERE ARE NO OPTIONS other than the Conservatives. That’s the problem.

          I will not vote Liberal.

          I will look at the other candidates from the other parties but I doubt they’ll be in my riding.

          1. 1) Yes there are. LIBERTARIAN. Also, ‘not voting’.

            2) Voting Con because the Liberals and NDP are bad is like choosing dick cancer over brain or lung cancer because lung and brain cancer are bad.

            3) If you live in Joy Smith’s riding or Harper’s riding, you need to vote for whomever is most able to get rid of them regardless of party affiliation. Their removal is that high of a priority.

    2. Star Trek what?

      1. The quiz has infinitely more science in it than Star Trek I’ll give it that.

        1. uhm, well, uh, if it were an infinity more you couldn’t measure your score so obviously you need to refresh your Zeno’s Paradox and also take a course in film appreciation

          1. Gilmore needs to refresh his html knowledge.

            1. There were infinite links there. But not here

              1. Hmm, thank you. *bookmarks for future reading*

          2. It’s infinity because dividing by zero gives an indeterminate value of 0.

            1. By which I mean infinity.

        2. Shatner is a field of study all by himself.

          1. How many Shatners are there in a Stewart?

            1. Just one, but he’s spanking Stewart and screaming “Who’s the Captain?” while Stewart sobs.

    3. Scared? You can lie. (I’ll know. I just will)

  25. Who the fuck wrote that quiz, a journalist major? It reads like the last science class they took was in fucking Junior High.

    1. There’s a junior HS for that?!

  26. ‘For what it’s worth, I got 100 percent’

    And I would not expect anything less from a…science writer!

    I like science and find it fascinating but have little talent for it. I’ve been known to buy the odd science book but for some reason had a hard time reading through them despite its importance.

    /pulls out Archie comics.

    1. I fail to see how 8 out of 10 is bad.

      I missed a couple and still think I’m awesome.

      1. “You are a special snowflake.” — Rufus’ kindergarten teacher

        1. He got 100 on the self-esteem test

  27. Isn’t element 115 what Bob Lazar said powers UFO’s?

      1. Americans’ science knowledge is so poor. *shakes head sadly*

    1. It’s commonly used as the key element in dilithium crystals.

  28. Tony’s back there trying figure out they loaded the test against master climate hysteriologists like himself.

  29. I stopped after the moon question, since it was obvious the quiz was written poorly.

  30. G*d da*n it! I can’t believe just got jury duty again.

    1. Well, you run around calling yourself John Galt and you’re pretty much asking for trouble.

    2. If you respond once, you get on the list. It’s true. Once you reply to the first one, the county knows they got a live one.

      1. I responded by telling them I did a year of Law School back in the Eighties. Their response was “you are excused for the remainder of your natural life.”

        For that reason alone, I think everyone should do a year of Law School.

    3. I had mine deferred until winter break. Interestingly the James Boyd shooting case is coming to trial at some point, so there’s an infinitesimally small chance I’ll end up on an interesting case.

    4. Don’t bitch! You’re very lucky I envy you.

      1. no shit. $8 bucks a day and only $20 to park.

        1. But you have all that power. Jury nullification.

    5. What’s up with all of these people who can’t figure out how to get out of jury duty????

      1. With libertarians, the question would be how to persuade them to let you serve on a jury ever.

        I know a guy who ended up not being called for a case, but while in the waiting room, there was a computer, so he whiled away the time looking at Lysander Spooner’s treatise on juries.

        1. I was a jury foreman last year.

          I knew I was doomed when the voir dire was all about domestic violence.

          1. You know why they shouldn’t let women on juries? Same reason they have black eyes. They just won’t listen!

            1. 3 men, 9 women, I was easdily the youngest. No women under ~60.

        2. I’m exempt, but still. Fuck.

          Throw it away. Nothing will happen.

      2. Round filing the summons always works for me.

    6. Tell ’em about jury nullification. That’ll get you kicked off!

      1. And maybe arrested for jury tampering.

    7. I got called for jury duty onced. During voir dire, I was singled out and arsked, “What are some assumptions we are making right now?”

      Bloody fucking hell, I had no idea where to start, but made a go of it. I remember one of them was the assumption that the motion of atoms in the room would follow the rule of large numbers and so all the oxygen molecules, for instance, wouldn’t end up stuck at one end. I got excused. They never called me forth again.

      My wife, meanwhile, has been called for jury duty a dozen times and actually put on a jury three of them.

    8. I don’t think I’ll ever get called for jury duty in my current location. I live in an unincorporated part of a county right on the border with another county and an actual incorporated city. My address says I live in that city, but technically I don’t. “You’re address says you live in X. That’s in Y county.” “But, I actually live in Z county. I just need to use that city as my address.” “No, you live in Y county.” “No, I live in Z county.” “City X is in Y county.” “I know, but although my address says city X, I live in Z county.” “Look, you live in Y county.” “Fine, put whatever you want. It’s your document.”

      So my driver’s license says I live in Y county. I get a jury duty notice a few weeks later from Y county. I call the help number and tell them I don’t live in Y county. I live in Z County. “I’ll take you off the list, but you need to tell the DMV to change it on your license.” “Yes, ma’am.”

      I’ll never get called for jury duty.

  31. Today I learned science is racist. Also 12/12, therefore I’m guilty by association. It would be shameful for me to miss a single question though.

  32. They say I got 12/12 questions right which is partially luck. I guessed on the ‘male or female’ question.

    1. There are only 10 questions!!!

      1. Maybe people didn’t answer the sex and age question!

      2. Just in case you’re being serious:

        You answered 12 of 12 questions correctly.

        Maybe there are two quizzes?

      3. Hazel,

        The version that Ron linked to was from AP and had only ten of the twelve questions from the original Pew test.

        SIV provided the right link somewhere above.


    1. That’s question 13.

      *cue spooky music*

    2. Because everyone would know that as a bldg. it would fall at heavy speed, duh.

  34. I am so fucking science that I wrote my own much harder test and i got 277% plus a fucking gold star

    1. But do you FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE?!?


    2. True story: A teacher gave me a Strawberry Shortcake sticker in Grade 3.

      What the fuck was she thinking? Or trying to tell me?

      1. My 6th grade teacher put duct tape over my mouth. I think she was trying to tell me something.

        1. Praising the way you stick to your work?

      2. There’s no way I can make a joke about that without being put on all sorts of lists.

  35. I only got 9/10 but only because of the scientifically illiterate “light waves” vs. “radio waves” question.


    2. The waves for cell phones are basically microwaves. That’s why some many idiots are worried about cell phone radiation. They don’t know the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

      1. Whoever decided to use the same term for both should have his grave exhumed, his body quartered, and be reburied at the four corners of the earth.

    3. Radio waves are technically light waves

  36. The tide question is completely bullshit.
    “Jesus” wasn’t even an option.

    1. Technically, Jesus is correct since he’s the son of God. And God is the Great Mover.


      1. I was listening to Jebus radio the other day, and a call asked a question about how the trinity works, because the Bible says when Jesus got baptized, the holy spirit was there in the form of a dove and god’s voice came from the heavens and said “this is my son who please me.”

        They made homina-homina noises and cut to commercial.

        1. Praise the Lord!

        2. Damn. You’d think God knew about third-person singular.

  37. I got -4 out of ? purple.

    1. Agile Cyborg, volunteering at the school board, approves. A pencil is licked.

      1. Suggestively

  38. Fucking magnets: How do they work?
    a) Gravity Waves
    b) opposites attract
    c) Jesus
    d) imagination

  39. Westerners scored the highest on average, while those in the South did the worst. Republicans scored half a correct answer more than Democrats, but Funk said that may be more a racial and ethnic issue, because white Democrats and Republicans had nearly identical scores.

    Apparently there’s no “racial and ethnic issue” with comparing the South and the West.

    Studies show that as early as sixth grade, girls have shown more interest in biological science and boys in physical science, according to Joshua Rosenau, a biologist and policy director of the National Center for Science Education. It may be that children are encouraged one way or another, he said.

    “There’s a lot of work being done to overcome that bias,” that certain people should be interested in certain subjects, Rosenau said.

    Teachers were mostly reactionary sexists before the Lightworker was elected.

    1. Biology involves looking at pictures of flowers. Physics involves hitting things.

      1. Flowers huh?

      2. “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”

        -Nobel prize-winning physicist, jerk Ernest Rutherford

        “…anyone who looked for a source of power in the transformation of the atoms was talking moonshine. ”

        Oopsy, Mr. Smart Guy,


      3. Biology involves my shaft pounding the missus and making babies. Or not. That’s also biology.

        1. That’s both physics and biology. Shaft. Pounding.

  40. I missed the lens question. That’s what I get for going to clown college* instead of a real school. Oh well. At least the Army thinks I’m S-M-R-T.

    I noticed on the results page that college grads only did a little bit better than high school grads. Diminishing returns, exhibit 10,561.

    The test is also clearly racist and sexist since black people did a lot worse than white people and men did better than women. It was probably written by some asshole with scantily-clad babes on his shirt.

    *The clown college thing is based from a flame war I had on another forum a few years ago. My opponent was trying to put me down for not going to a top university like he did and getting a first class honors degree with a gold star and smiley face. I said I also got into UCLA but went to Bovine University because I got a full scholarship there and graduated debt-free. That was one of the better decisions I made.

    1. Clown college? You can’t eat that.

      1. Yeah, but I did learn how fucking magnets work.

        In the words of an Insane Clown Posse parody:

        So open your mind
        And release your brain
        The mysteries of life can’t be explained
        So fuck you, books, we don’t need your tricks
        And all you scientists can suck our dicks

        1. “I did learn how fucking magnets work.”

          uhm. Gravity? no, witches.

          1. Elementary particles are horny, duh.

          2. You fool! Gravity is the result of the elements of earth and water desiring to return to their origin. Jeez, Aristotle must be rolling in his grave.

            Terrestrial objects rise or fall, to a greater or lesser extent, according to the ratio of the four elements of which they are composed. For example, earth, the heaviest element, and water, fall toward the center of the cosmos; hence the Earth and for the most part its oceans, will have already come to rest there. At the opposite extreme, the lightest elements, air and especially fire, rise up and away from the center.


            1. Galileo lifts up his cassock, reveals a “Thug Life” tattoo.

          3. No one knows how gravity works. Or would it be why?

        2. “And all you scientists can suck our dicks”

          They misspelled “Salk”

        3. Yeah, but I did learn how fucking magnets work.

          First you start with a round magnet that has a hole inside of it. Then you get some bubbly and Marvin Gaye….

    2. “At least the Army thinks I’m S-M-R-T.”

      Smrt is a Serb term for “death.”

      1. It was a Simpsons reference.

        fun fact: words related to death in Indo-you’re-a-peein’ languages often have the letters m-r-t or m-r-d in a row: murder, muerte, mort, mortal, smert,…

  41. OK, fine, I didn’t get the boiling water question, but the AP’s results still said I was “Perfect.” So I’m rounding up to 10/10.

    1. If you drop a potato and similar looking Matt Welch’s head from the same height which will hit the ground first?

  42. Isn’t it Friday night where most of you are? Taking online line science quizzes and posting your scores. SMH. This is why libertarian demographics suck.

    1. I’ve already been to a movie and had dinner at a nice restaurant.

    2. Being cool is hard. Can’t I just be lame? It’s way easier.

      1. It’s all good. As long as you’re doing what you want to:)

      2. I spent my Friday night braiding the mane of a pink my little pony. Cool is not for parents.

        1. If you’re doing that with your kid it doesn’t get any cooler than that. If not well…

          1. If the pink my little pony were actually real that would be sort of cool in a ‘what has science done!?!’ way.

    3. It’s only 6:30 here. I’m going to eat Dominos, fuck, go swimming, drink beer, fuck, drink beer, and then fuck again if I’m not too tired.

      1. You eat Dominos, but you look down upon Chipotle?

        You’re throwing a lot of stones from that glass house of yours…

        1. It’s the meth diet.

        2. I learned my lesson tonight. The pizza was 40 minutes late, and the one with beef that I ordered for my non-pork eating wife smelled like a dead raccoon.

          That phone call was very angering.

          1. Well, look on the bright side. At least you didn’t eat that awful Chipotle.

            /not letting it go

    4. I’m busy at work because I am so passionate about science and so very hardworking. I am sure this will be appreciated by certain others in the comment section.

    5. I just got back from driving up north with my son and husband to buy 40 pounds of top sirloin cut to order from a specialty butcher (at $3.99/lb bitches!) . Am now trying to kill myself via meat poisoning.

    6. I’m in Taiwan, relaxing on a Saturday afternoon. It’s still too hot to go out.

  43. so Warty got 10 out 10. Big deal. A guy who voluntarily lived in Cleveland (or anywhere in Ohio for that matter (‘ceppt Cedar Point, It Rocks)) is going to lecture me? Pffft.

    *goes back to World of Tanks.

    1. Columbus, OH says blow me…..ud-expect/

      1. Well are you going to stand there looking all googly eyed or are you going to drop you pants?

        1. We don’t wear pants. That’s how we roll.

          1. Fine!

            *Gargle Gargle Garlge

    2. There’s some good edumacation in Cleveland if you’re in the right place.

  44. I didn’t have any problem with any of them. I actually didn’t remember who invented the polio vaccine but I knew for sure the three that didn’t invent it.

    1. “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb”?

      “Who invented the Salk vaccine” ?

      “How many 3 cent postage stamps are in a dozen”?

      1. I’ll always remember it now:)

      2. Usually, around this point some jerk ruins things by asking, “What animal were the Canary Islands named for?”

    2. Process of elimination. That’s science.

    3. Same, but I’m pretty sure that’s the intention. People are complaining that it’s history, but it’s testing whether you have an idea of what Einstein, Newton and Curie accomplished, and that none of them are known for the polio vaccine.

      1. Older people mostly got the question right because Salk used to be a household name. The polio vaccine is even called “the Salk vaccine”. That Salk is now being forgotten is the result of the success in eradicating a once widely feared terrible disease with. I’m a bit surprised Salk isn’t better known by libertarians. His discovery was funded by private donations, not the government. This is the way almost all great science and invention was done .

      2. That’s what I just said Mikey. But in fewer words.

  45. That test is wrong

    Tides are caused by both the Moon and the Sun. Mostly the Moon, but the Sun does contribute.

    Also astrology, really? One of the most depressing things about OKCupid is how many people who profess to be atheists also believe in astrology…

    1. “OKCupid is how many people who profess to be atheists also believe in astrology”

      Interesting. It appears that atheists, agnostics, and believers believe in astrology at similar rates:…

      1. Yeah, but you’d think atheists would know better.

        1. The older I get, the less surprised I am when I see truth and bullshit occupying the same head.

          I know there are plenty of people who believe the earth is billions of years old, but also think raising the minimum wage will somehow cure poverty.

        2. Not necessarily.

      2. That guy managed to get himself fired from the NYT a few hours after he was hired. Truly an inspiration.

        1. Yeah, but he got fired for associating with the unpersons at Taki:


          Beloved scoundrel Gavin McInnes also writes for Taki.

          Taki is a hive of horrible racists according to Gawker, who broke the story.

    2. This should tell you something.

      The fall of Christendom isn’t the result of the long methodical progress of science! (seriously, look at how scientifically inept so many professed atheists are), but rather because it is tre passe because of its notions of morality and judgement of sin. It’s lack of libertine permissiveness is why it is abandoned in the West. We are a hedonistic and carnal people adrift in a world without a purpose or direction.

      1. Karen Straughan had a good video where she said that finding the idea of god distasteful is not a good reason not to believe. A lot of non-religious people are like that.

        1. It is entirely spot on analysis. And it causes me great disturbance because it is the complete opposite of where I am personally. I cannot make the leap towards faith as much as I covet the certitude and peace of mind it provides its adherents and generally ascribe to its moral precepts.

        2. Watching an intelligent women talk logic and rationality over emoting gives me chubby.

        3. Wow. Just Wow. SO SEXIST

        4. If god exists he is malevolent.

          1. “If god exists he is malevolent.”

            watched the video and it has nothing to do with what I wrote…

            Good video though.

      2. The Jerk(1979)
        My dear family, guess what? Today I found out what my special purpose is for. Gosh, what a great time I had. I wish the whole family could’ve been here with me. Maybe some other time as I intend to do this a lot. Every chance I get. I think next week I’ll be able to send more money as I may have extra work. My friend Patty has promised me a blow job. Your loving son

      3. Although the lack of critical thinking is notable in progressives, I’ve long thought it’s the lack of morals that is their key characteristic. The bad thinking is what comes when they need to rationalize the lying, selfishness, etc.

      4. So are you telling be that we aren’t going to do some blow and then team up on your dog???

        1. Bestiality is a bridge too far for me. We’re still about two decades away from that becoming the new SJW cause du jour.

          1. History will judge you a monster.

          2. 30 years from now:

            Next on PBS: Eyes on the Ewes- The Story of The Animal Love Acceptance Movement, narrated by an android of Ken Burns

          3. Luckily, a donkey can live up to 50 years.

      5. Nope it’s The Enlightenment and its inevitable outcome. Just because you suck at science doesn’t mean you aren’t enlightened enough to not believe in Sky Daddy.

        This notion that we are a ‘libertine carnal hedonistic’ people is so much dopey SoCon histrionics and it’s totally unsupported by evidence. Murder and rape and other acts of evil are down from several decades ago. Hard Racism-the Jim Crow kind-is getting wiped out although it still lives on in some corners where the term ‘cuckservative’ is used non-ironically. Godless proggies can also be some of the most puritanical people out there. They have ‘morals’ up the wazoo, they just don’t make any sense and are evil.

        1. I’ll not deny that the Enlightenment is what brought about the initial rise of atheism. But it is an idea and as such has to be validated in each individual mind. No one alive today was around for the Enlightenment. But there are ample people who come to an atheistic worldview through a distaste for religion and religious types and a belief that is has been solely an agent of great evil in this world while only having a superficial understanding of either religions themselves or the intricacies of the sciences and how they interact with notions of deism.

          1. God didn’t build that.

          2. Most non christians in America have reverted to more primitive forms of spiritulism or animism and that includes all flavors of socialists that have elevated the people to the level of mystical deity.

            Those people are definitely not children of the enlightenment or rational atheists.

            1. more like animalism than animism.

      6. It’s lack of libertine permissiveness is why it is abandoned in the West.

        Or it could be that renouncing it back then could make you an outcast at best, or end in torture and death at worst.

    3. Pew asked the “main way.” The AP retardified it.

  46. OK, you *could* say sound waves for a cell phone, but that’s not very sciency.
    (am I late again?)

    1. I got all of them right except my gender.

      1. That question was totally somethingcist because I don’t identify as either male or female.

      2. I am an under 18 year old female college graduate who scored 100%

      3. They didn’t have the hermaphrodite option

  47. Some of those questions are a little odd. For example carbon dioxide and sodium chloride are not elements. Also, as some have noted, the sun does have an effect on the tides, small but not insignificant.

    1. For example carbon dioxide and sodium chloride are not elements.

      They are chemicals!!1!!

  48. This Patriots hysteria is getting funnier by the minute. The whining and moaning and bitching by the losers is hilarious at this point.

    New England is in everyone’s head looks like – and I’m beginning to think this is by design.…..itten-rule

    Here’s the thing. Is it possible the Patriots know the rules better than any team and know how to push the laws of the game?

    1. I think that is true for a whole lot of competitors in all sports.

      1. Half of soccer is about conning the ref. And I am a soccer fan.

  49. You may have scored 100% on the Science Quiz but I solved the case of the Dead Illinois Policeman last week.See links 1 and 2 for timestamps.

    Still awaiting final confirmation. The cops won’t give the coroner enough information to rule it a suicide or accident yet. They’re fucking pissed M.E. won’t call it a homicide and leaked info.

    1. Interesting. So the War on Cops is so brutal that even cops are killing cops?!

      Btw, Stay classy, Virginia.

      When asked if something like this might happen again in the future, Jackson quickly responded ‘no’, but her boyfriend said: ‘I don’t know.’

      Talk about a “glass half-full” type of guy.

      1. Interesting. So the War on Cops is so brutal that even cops are killing cops?!

        It happens all of the time when they’re all unloading their weapons in an unhinged pig circle jerk and one of them accidentally shoots one of their dumbfuck comrades.

        1. Lol, my friend is actually in the law enforcement profession and the piddling amount of range time required for a police officer or a sheriff’s deputy in his area is absurd. I wouldn’t trust anyone with a firearm with that small amount of training. Granted, many may go practice on their own time and dime or be reasonably proficient from a lifetime of hunting (this is a rural county) but I suspect more is needed. Many don’t seem to understand the importance: when that adrenaline dumps into your bloodstream, fine motor skills go way off, tunnel vision, etc, these are things that will occur in almost every human due to involuntary nervous system response and is why certain military specialties shoot so much.

          1. That’s why when I trained my wife to shoot, I lit a frying pan of fireworks next to her.

        2. This is looking like a suicide (as I speculated here last week). Cops kill themselves way more often than they die “in the line of duty” (which includes accidents, on the job medical events etc as well as homicides).


        3. They’re not all bad. (Not saying you subscribe to that type of binary thinking)

          There was that one Virginia State Police officer who totally could’ve ruined a young PH2050’s life over a quarter ounce of cannabis yet offered me a choice to call my parents and have them come pick me up, upon which he would dump out the dried plant matter in the highway median and make no mention of it to anyone. Granted, I disagree with the fact that laws even exist that tell me what I can put into my body but considering the fact that he totally could’ve taken me to jail I choose to acknowledge his kindness in showing an ounce of humanity and having compassion for a dumb kid who had just turned 18.

  50. The question of who invented the Polio Vaccine is a history question not a science question.

    Note: I got it right but only because I knew the other 3 people were famous for studying things other then vaccines.

    1. Also good thing there was no questions about the big bang….cuz the big bang is bullshit.

      1. How can you be sure? Were you there, bro?

        1. If the universe is a holograph then yes I was.

          1. I myself, also really do not accept the theory of a single point of nothing that then suddenly decided to explode into all we now know, with nothing at all existing before it, and with no known origin. Not plausible, it’s just that they have nothing else.

            1. Oh, ok, let me elaborate on that. Maybe for THIS universe that happened because there was something like a super, super, super massive blackhole that had eaten another universe and THEN exploded into a new universe. But they aren’t theorizing that.

              1. See Vilenkin’s ?ternal inflation. Or take it a step further with LEM’s supposably satirical “new cosmogony”. It takes the thinking in a direction that actually makes some fucking sense and avoids the contradictions and paradoxes of the reductionist single-point ovum universe idea. Similarly, there’s a theory which reverses the reductionist thinking of quantum physics and provides a framework in which all the paradoxes and problems evanesce. I forget the name of the theory or of the originator, and it wasn’t as hatched out as it needed to be when I read a paper about it years ago, but it’s definitely a way of thinking about it that is a vast improvement over slavish reductionism. It’s like how European philosophy got stuck in a series of narrower and narrower avenues of thought, as it progressively accepted Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel, resulting in a choke on subsequent thought, so that nobody would even seriously consider any approach that started outside the narrow rules defined by the great philosophers.

            2. So… Jesus died for your sins?

              1. Pl?ya Manhattan.|9.11.15 @ 10:59PM|#

                So… Jesus died for your sins?

                Two multi-billion universe massed black holes passing within a few million light years of each other and the “universe” being the detritus pulled out of the quantum vacuum in their gravitational wake….

                So yeah Jesus.

                or this:


            3. Hyperion|9.11.15 @ 10:22PM|#
              “I myself, also really do not accept the theory of a single point of nothing that then suddenly decided to explode into all we now know, with nothing at all existing before it, and with no known origin.”

              Who said it was “nothing”?

          2. If the universe is a holograph

            Interesting. Wouldn’t have pegged you as someone who supports that hypothesis.

            1. Reminds me of this great moment in philosophical debates:


              1. I believe there is a misunderstanding here. I assumed that what Corning was referring to is the “Simulation Hypothesis”, aka The Holographic Universe, not necessarily solipsism.

                It’s funny as I view the “Self” as that which is actually unknowable. Is there a term for being an “anti-solipsist”?

                1. I am a solipsist….only you are not a figment of my imagination but I am a figment of yours telling you to wake up and to take your rightful place as creator and ruler of the universe.

                  But yeah I was referring to the holographic universe. I don’t support or deny it or at least no more so then the Big Bang. Honestly I don’t understand it much and just imagine it as a crazy needle on a record bouncing around on random data playing a tune that “makes sense”.

                  That and what I read about it in Greg Egan SF novels.

                  1. wake up and to take your rightful place as creator and ruler of the universe

                    Daily reminders of this are good. Thank you.

                2. fuck and I thought you meant that the universe was structured such that all information present in the universe in its entirety is present also in any subdivision of it that one should like to make.

  51. Holy fuckin bejeebus. An adult in the USA actually missed more than one of these questions? Our education system has completely failed us. This is a test for 4th graders, at best.

    But I bet at least more than 80% of them got it right that we need to repeal the Bill of Rights?

  52. If it’s the same quiz I saw linked earlier today from Usenet group, it’s a shitty one?the sort of test that gives a bad impression because many people know more than the test designers.

    1 of the Qs had no good answer, asking which of 3 factors is the main cause of tides, when there’s no reasonable way to distinguish them. The gravity of Moon & Sun are factors, but there’s no tide w/o the rotation of the Earth. The best you could do would be to eliminate the gravity of the Sun as having a smaller pull than that of the Moon.

    The optics Q has no right answer, because the illustrations are of a convex lens, not the magnifying glass the Q asked about. One of the choices does illustrate the proper direction of rays thru it, but the correct answer to the text would be “none of these” if that were given.

    The polio vaccine Q is about hx of science, not a test of sci. knowledge.

    1. The moon being by far the major contributor of tides on earth is the obvious correct answer.

      Are there any planets that don’t rotate? Links please.

      1. What’s the difference whether other planets rotate or not? Earth does, and that’s the chief phenomenon producing & timing the tides.

      2. They used to think Mercury didn’t rotate. It was a plot point in several Asimov stories. Later, when it was discovered that Mercury rotated very slowly, he joked that the scientists should have gotten it right to begin with, and he didn’t see why he should have to change his work because of their mistakes.

        “Isaac Asimov had writer’s block once. It was the worst ten minutes of his life.”
        ? Harlan Ellison

  53. I only missed the astrology one, simply because I didn’t read the question correctly. But as others have stated, understanding concepts is more important than knowing pointless trivia, such as who invented the polio vaccine or what astrology is.

    Better questions would be something like “which falls to the Earth faster, a bowling ball or a golf ball?”

    1. The polio vaccine is the only one that made me pause for a moment, because that’s really just a trivia type question, so you’re relying solely on memory for the answer. That’s the only question that I thought some American adults might miss. Oh, who am I kidding, I’m surprised that more than 50% of American adults could even read the questions.

      1. The question about Salk has no business in a ‘science’ quiz; that’s ‘recent US history’.

        1. And, cone to think of it, ditto the astrology question; as much ‘science’ as Big Foot.

          1. I think they put the question there to see how many people know the difference between astrology and astronomy.

            1. “I think they put the question there to see how many people know the difference between astrology and astronomy.”
              Had to look at the question again, and I could see that. I can also see if someone was breezing through it, they could click on ‘astronomy’ and look for the “edit” button (are you listening H&R?)

    2. “Better questions would be something like “which falls to the Earth faster, a bowling ball or a golf ball?”

      Whenever I find a tall enough building to perform that experiment, there’s always so many people milling around below that I chicken out.

    3. Which one is it? I’m pretty sure the bowling ball is denser, but the golf ball has the aerodynamic dimples.

      1. In a vacuum they would fall at the same speed.

        In our atmosphere the lower mass to surface area of the golf ball result in it fall at a slower speed because of drag. Also, it would be more susceptible to having it’s trajectory altered by wind which results in a longer path.

  54. Make of this what you will:

    When FOX did the show “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?”, the female participants required that the millionaire man’s fortune could come from any business except computers.

    1. Yeah, like any of the gold digging legal prostitutes would refuse it if did. I laurgh.

      1. Or maybe to say it better: First.World.Problem.

        1. I mean, like, what if the business money came from the animal torture company and their latest big money maker and greatest hit ever was torturing Flipper, Free Willy, and Cecil the Lion, all at the same fucking time! What about that, bitches! You want that blood money!?

          1. *** falsetto ***

            “Michael? Michael VICK?!”

          2. Hyperion:

            His fortune came from computers.

    2. That’s not a *science* question!

      Is it?

      1. It’s the science of first world stupidity social science studies.

        1. Ah. A *fledgling* science!

    3. Derpotologist does more background checking for fun than the Times does for new hires.

      1. That should go on my testimonial page.

        1. Are you doing one stint or going career? Just wondering, not going to offer unsolicited advice or anything. Either way, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and best wishes.

          Keep your head on a swivel, we lost 2 terps. Fuckers don’t care if you’re not carrying an M16.

          1. Lol, claims he won’t offer unsolicited advice, then proceeds to offer it. In my defense, I’ve been drinking heavily!

          2. Thanks. I’m in for 6 years active and 2 more in the IRR. If I like it, I’ll stay in. Haven’t thought much about what I’ll do when I’m done.

            I give you bonus points for not telling me to stay safe. I know people mean well when they say that, but it just strikes me as a silly thing to say. It’s like telling a bull rider to be careful.

            I figure one way to improve my odds is to learn the sounds of weapons.

            M-16 has a somewhat higher pitch on auto/burst.

            1. If you meet anyone shooting an M16 on full auto, get the fuck away from them. Even the 3 round burst is shit, imo.

        2. Derp, check out the first paragraph under GNXP AD


          1. So the founder of Gawker used to work with Razib. Man, this rabbit hole goes DEEP.

            I’ll make a bet Razib pissed off Spiers at some point and she vowed revenge.

            1. Ha, nah they’re still friendly.

    4. That’s because the men in my industry who get rich aren’t dumb enough to marry a gold-digging whore.


  55. Utter nonsense. You mammals need to stick to Artisinal mayo and deep dish pizza

    1. Hey, I had some tasty Alligator not long ago! Breaded, deep fried; mmmmmmmmmmm, good!

      1. I went to a bar in Florida that served gator fritters. It was in the middle of the Everglades and there were no walls. It was just a canopy with a bunch of tables and chairs under it. The dartboard was nailed to palm tree.

        Florida is weird. It’s so flat.

        1. There are places in Holland where you’re walking down a street and looking smack into the bow of a freighter in the canal with a water level 2′ below the sidewalk you’re on.
          You wonder if the damn thing has to stop for pedestrians.

  56. Extra Credit:

    In the movie Gravity, Sandra Bullock was floating around:

    a) naked
    b) in your kitchen
    c) in her underwear
    d} in Warty’s dungeon

    1. e) no where, because if you don’t go and see Hollywood’s ‘scientifically accurate’ movies they’ll eventually stop trying to sell the same fantasy bullshit with that label.

    2. I’ll say c. I’m pretty sure she was wearing underwear the whole time.

      I, however…

    3. I float around in my underwear, but that’s the benefit of wearing silk boxers.

      1. Or living in a hot tub.

        Bonus – no bathing required! Just like the dorks in chemical engineering.

    4. It makes no sound!
      Ooops! Wrong test.
      Uh, 14.7PSIG at STP!
      Nuts; gimme a minute…

  57. 10/10 would bang

  58. 10/10 would bang

  59. A country of pig-ignorant bumpkin yeomen, artisans, and mechanics is infinitely preferable to the current crop of expensively-educated, utterly unedified narcissists who think they glorify science but really are just enamored of technocrats.

    1. Move to Cuba.

      1. I guess I meant all else being equal.

  60. nice one.
    Your resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. If it does what the fantasy resume did, it works. If it doesn’t, it isn’t an effective resume. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less. A great resume doesn’t just tell them what you have done but makes the same assertion that all good ads do: If you buy this professional resume writing service , you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. This professional resume is so pleasing to the eye that the reader is enticed to pick it up and read it. It stimulates interest in meeting you and learning more about you. It inspires the prospective employer to pick up the phone and ask you to come in for an interview.

    1. Your spam fails as a resume’.

  61. The quiz is idiotic.

    Question number 2: WRONG! A, B, AND C are all responsible for tides. The timing of flood and neap tides, for example, depend on the alignment of the sun, moon and earth.

    Question number 7: WRONG! Of the given choices, only Uranium can be used in nuclear weapons and reactors, but the wording of the question 1) falsely states that all of the choices are elements (salt and carbon dioxide are compounds, not elements), and 2) states that once of these is NEEDED for nuclear energy. Uranium is not the only choice for fissionable material.

    Question number nine: UNMITIGATED BULLSHIT! Astrology is not “the study of how the positions of the stars and planets can influence human behavior”. Astrology is not a STUDY at all. It’s a pastime, indulged in by idiots affecting a pretense of studying.

    I want to find the idiot who wrote up this pile of tripe and slap him upside the head with a shoe.


    1. That might be even worse, since it gives answers that should only trip up informed people. Anyone even peripherally informed about things should cotton to the right answer right away, even if only for the wrong reason, so the fact that people in any significant number failed it… well.

    2. I disagree. You can study the relationship between the “position” of celestial bodies and human behavior using scientific principles and practices. It’s when you claim positive correlation, or predictive value that your science gets questionable.

      Which is, sort of, the unspoken heart of the question – you have to have some knowledge of what astrology claims to be in order to know whether it qualifies as science or not.

      1. Well weather and certain seasons impact human behavior but that’s about as close as you can get and is not the focus of astrology.

  62. I had a class onced where there were regular multiple choice quizzes taken through the textbook’s webpage. These were automaticly graded by some script once one finished the test. Turned out that at least a quarter of the questions on any given test were graded wrong by the script, which treated some random choice other than the correct one as the correct choice. I answered every question correctly, but couldn’t get better than 75% score. It wasn’t a matter of the test designer being ignorant and making some stupid mistake about what was true, but rather that he’d probably not been paying attention when he wrote the script and just entered the wrong letter now and then (though, one in four is pretty fucking frequent to make this error). The correct answer was always in the list, but chusing it only got marked right about three quarters the time.

    1. Every time this happened, I turned in the printout with a note pointing out where the script was wrong each time. Then at some point I looked up at my grade and noticed it was ridiculously low. I confronted the professor, asking what the blazes was going on. She said it was because I was doing so badly on these quizzes. I reminded her of my notes, of the fact that the quizz grader script was fucked. She said it was done by the textbook company, she had no control. I said maybe so, but certainly you control what grades you give, and since I’ve shown clearly where it was wrong in each case, you can fix it. She says no she can’t, because if she fixed it for me, she’d have to fix it for anybody else who asked.

      1. Was this a class you were paying for? Because I think you would have strong case to get your money back. Also, a letter in the metro newspaper might have prompted a response by the school who would not want to lose business over it.

      2. She said it was done by the textbook company, she had no control.

        Then what the fuck was she getting paid for?


      3. if she fixed it for me, she’d have to fix it for anybody else who asked.

        That unless turd should have fixed it just because it was WRONG, whether anyone objected or not.


        1. seems like she should fix it for everyone. For that matter, she ought to have fixed it once and for all by doing regular tests graded normally.

  63. I am not surprised. Americans are dumb by nature.

    1. You misspelled humans.

  64. For all of you nitpicking the test, consider: It is a grade school level test. It is along the lines of the tv show “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”.

    I noticed all of the things y’all are pointing out when I took the test but I knew which answers would keep Sister Davis’s ruler off of my damn knuckles.

  65. I got a 100%. But then again, I’m Asian. Also, a woman.

    1. [I had a hilarious joke here, but I decided against telling it]

  66. In my opinion, doing poorly on the quiz is only a problem if one refuses to learn from the quiz. In my case, I often learn better from my failures than my successes.

    And that, in a way, is the essence of science: discovering what is incorrect rather than validating what is correct.

    1. When I took the truncated, 10-question quiz, I answered the question about the loudness of sound incorrectly, because I didn’t actually know the answer (it was amplitude). When I subsequently took the 12 question quiz, I got the right answer.

      If I had guessed correctly the first time, I probably would have been less able to remember that little factoid whenever it became again necessary ti do so.

      But, I would have had bragging rights on an Internet Forum full of snarkmongers. There are trade-offs to everything, I guess.

  67. 500+ comments on how a test any 5th grader could ace ISN’T FAIR. You people are dumber than I thought, and that’s pretty fucking dumb.

    1. Awww, someone’s butt-hurt over what happened on the 911 thread. There there. *Pats head.*

    2. I rather thing it’s over how the test was wrong. Fairness didn’t enter into it.

      1. I rather think, I should say.

  68. Roll that beautiful bean footage.

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