Friday, October 24, 2008

Unemployed Scientists Prove Dog Likes Beer

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A team of three out-of-work stem cell biologists announced Monday that, after four weeks of rigorous observation and field testing, the evidence conclusively shows that chief researcher Dr. Henry Rogers' dog Franklin likes beer.

Rogers and McCarthy measured the preferences of test subject Franklin.

"We're extremely pleased with the results of the experiment," Rogers said. "It exceeded our highest expectations, and we're confident that our findings will have far-reaching implications for the coming weekend."

According to the team's report, Rogers, along with colleagues Dr. Tom McCarthy and Dr. Simon Huang, formulated a hypothesis that Franklin, a purebred boxer, would drink beer poured into his water dish.

After scouring through couch cushions to secure funding for an initial test, the first round of experiments began in late February. Franklin was administered a sampling of six economy-priced beer brands in 12-ounce increments at the rate of one unit every 1.5 hours over several successive Saturdays. His tail-wagging, equilibrium, speed of consumption, and general playfulness were monitored throughout for variations from baseline norms.

While the scientists said the neutered 5-year-old subject showed no clear preference for any one brand, Franklin tended to lap up Presidente beer at the fastest rate, followed by Rolling Rock, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Milwaukee's Best, and lastly, Icehouse.
Enlarge Image Unemployed Scientists Jump

Franklin proved receptive to a variety of liquid-intake methods.

"Due to our limited resources, we were only able to obtain cases of the most inexpensive test materials," Huang said.

The team recently managed to secure a New Jersey state research subsidy of $2.55 by returning the empties.

McCarthy provided his Shar-Pei, Wrinkles, to serve as a control. Wrinkles was only given water to drink, though the team had to scrap one set of data due to confounding variables introduced when the control subject consumed 7.35 ounces of beer when the scientists' backs were turned.

Despite this setback, Rogers said that the team's data revealed a consistent correlation between increased quantity of beer intake and erratic behavior, though the intensity seemed to decrease with each subsequent day of testing. read more form The Onion

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Army Blocks Soldier From Bringing Puppy Back

WASHINGTON - (Yahoo News, AP) More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Army to let an Iraqi puppy come home with a Minnesota soldier, who fears that "Ratchet" could be killed if left behind.

"I just want my puppy home," Sgt. Gwen Beberg of Minneapolis wrote to her mother in an e-mail Sunday from Iraq, soon after she was separated from the dog following a transfer. "I miss my dog horribly." Beberg, 28, is scheduled to return to the U.S. next month.

Ratchet's defenders are ratcheting up their efforts to save him. On Monday, the program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups, which is run by Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International, left for a trip to the Middle East to try to get the puppy to the U.S.

And last week, Beberg's congressman, Democrat Keith Ellison, wrote to the Army urging it to review the case.

Beberg and another soldier rescued the puppy from a burning pile of trash back in May. Defense Department rules prohibit soldiers in the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq, from adopting pets, but exceptions have been made. Operation Baghdad Pups says it has gotten 50 dogs and six cats transferred to the U.S. in the last eight months.

"I'm coping reasonably well because I refuse to believe that Ratchet has been hurt," Beberg wrote in the e-mail to her mother, Patricia Beberg. "If I find out that he was killed though — well, we just won't entertain that possibility."

The mother said her daughter sent another e-mail saying that she confirmed that the dog was still alive and doing OK.

Operation Baghdad Pups' program coordinator, Terry Crisp, is scheduled to arrive in Baghdad on Wednesday. Crisp said the adopted dogs left behind face death on Iraqi streets.

She said Iraqis view dogs and cats as nuisances and carriers of disease, and U.S. soldiers have rescued many of them from abuse. sign the petition