Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Meal Rant

OK, I’m not usually running to the keyboard to defend McDonalds’ Happy Meals but my disdain for pseudo-science drove me here.  That disdain is why I can’t watch the popular “reality” show Mythbusters. Stunts for the masses with a veil of science. Ugh.

But on to the Happy Meal Project:  Here and here

Admittedly this is an entertaining story, with the emphasis on entertainment.  Yet I’m sure 95% of good Americas who were exposed to this story will take it to their graves as science-based fact: McDonald’s food will not decompose.  Well, to get mold growth and bacterial decomposition you need Mr. Moisture.  How much water do you think there is in potatoes cooked by French frying?  And that hamburger in the story: Hmmm, no lettuce, tomato or sauce in sight.  Just a fried patty and a dry bun.  Hmmm again.  Dry food left out to dry in a dry apartment.   “Amazing, hey this thing is DRY!”

Even human and animal bodies will dry and mummify in low humidity (think Mohave or Death Valley). Why did the Dead Sea scrolls survive 2000 years?  Our old friend again, yep dryness.


Anonymous said...

I find this to be a very dry topic, can't you discuss a juicier topic for the beginning of your blog?

Tim Byrd

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Check out my Hoover Dam post - it's ALL wet.

Unknown said...

You think that's something!
On Wisconsin Public Radio this AM, a talk show hosted an "expert" that said "nothing breaks down inlandfills"...wha?

Dubbahdee said...

I find Mythbusters to be a convenient and not unpleasant way for my kids to enter into the idea of scientific method. In every show they form a question, hypothesis, design an experiment to test the hypothesis, conduct the experiment and observe the results. They will draw conclusion, at times identifying variables not considered and retest based on a new experiment. They will even use controls at times.

Their protocols may be loose and full of holes, but the questions they are kind of full of air in the first place. And it is very entertaining to watch stuff blow up.

Moreover, if those boys weren't gainfully employed doing this sort of thing for cable TV, imagine what trouble they would be getting into.

All in all, warts and all, I would defend mythbusters for providing a valuable service to mankind.