What the hell is going on. It's 70 degrees outside. It was 80 earlier today. It was approximately twenty below absolute zero two weeks ago. By my calculations, Lake Michigan will be boiling within the hour. I would care, but I just bought some CDs (Willie Nelson and Bad Religion) and will be enjoying those without actually looking at the melting sidewalks.
I was polled yesterday. First, a bit of background. Our phone line sort of comes with the fact that we pay for an internet connection through AT&T. There are like three people that know the number and if those people want to get in touch with us, there are better ways. Cell phones, primarily, though I tend to forget to charge mine for months on end. It happens. The only calls we get on this thing are from telemarketers, wrong numbers, lost food delivery and creditors for some guy named "Raymond", though they've stopped calling for the most part after we started informing them that Raymond has apparently died (we were informed by a creditor looking for the family of "the Late Raymond X". Hm.) Anyway, someone from Gallup called yesterday and because blogging is essentially an enormously verbose way to have one's views out there, I agreed. Thinking back on it, it would have been more hilarious to give completely ridiculous answers that in no way even approximated my politics and which weren't even internally consistent, but alas, I answered pretty honestly. Mostly, the survey addressed the War, the 2008 elections and, oddly, baseball. I told them I was "as excited" for the upcoming season.
Everyone else in the world has already commented on this study (the driver of the #22 bus handed me his thoughts in a three page pamphlet entitled "Staring at your Crotch: A Primer"), but what the hell. I might as well. Something that goes by the name "Digital Storytelling Effects Lab", whose last job was to come up with a way to simulate a cage-match between Old Mother Hubbard and the Little Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe* has developed a technology for tracking eyemovement across a monitor. The technology would allow people to design articles more effectively, so that information can be conveyed such that the user remembers it. Apparently, people respond pretty well to bullets, sub-headlines and more tightly written articles. All well and good. The study also presented subjects with photographs to gauge where individuals tend to focus their attention. Which leads to this picture.
That, if you couldn't tell because there's a big red blotch over his face and his jersey's a bit obscured, is George Brett. As you can see, there is a bit of a difference between where men look and where women look. Apparently, the effect holds true with pictuers of dogs from the American Kennel Club site, which is pretty freaking scary. But let's think about this. Perhaps it's some sort of competition reaction, attempting to size up threats by staring at their package. Maybe a "preparation for fight" mechanism, along the lines of "Ok, if I have to take down this guy with the baseball bat, I should probably go for his face. If that fails, kick him in the nuts." Perhaps because male genitalia is hilarious. Perhaps the topic of airport security has been made to impact, fundamentally, the functioning of the male brain.
Harry Shearer is creeped out.
The implications could be immense. Like George Brett's package.
I would like to see a repetition of the study with a picture of a woman to see where both men and women tend to look. It would be interesting to see if a similar trend exists in women looking at women and where men would tend to concentrate.
This picture isn't notable because guys are staring at Jose Lima's crotch. Just a guess.
Anyway, enough of that. You know what I'd like right now? Some salt-and-vinegar chips. Man those things are good.