Monday December 22, 2014
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I just read the goofiest study I've seen in a long time. Someone spent time and money trying to find out whether hurricanes with male names scare people more than hurricanes with female names.
Don't ask me how they did the study. The only valid way you could do it would be to go out in the middle of a hurricane that had a female name, knock on doors, and ask people how scared they were because of the name of the hurricane.
And then you'd have to go out in the middle of a hurricane with the same winds, noise, and rain, but with a male name, knock on the same doors, and ask the same people how scared they were because of the name of the hurricane.
Anything else would be, fudge, smudge, and by-guess-and-by-gosh, but then I suppose we get a lot of those these days.
And I suppose we spend a lot of federal money asking silly questions about silly matters.
Frankly, do you care whether male or female hurricanes names scare people worse?
I see that the study "did not involve any experts in meteorology or disaster science."
Anyway, what do you think the results were?
In six different experiments, more than 1,000 test subjects told behavioral scientists at the University of Illinois in Champaign that they would be slightly more likely to evacuate from an oncoming storm named Christopher than Christina, Victor than Victoria, Alexander than Alexandra and Danny than Kate.
My comment? So what? I've heard a lot of people say they would do something if such-and-such happened— but they didn't do it when push cane to shove. Scientifically, asking that kind of what-if question is nonsense.
But here's the best part: Purely by chance actual hurricanes with feminine names turn out to have been deadlier here in the United States than ones with male names.
Remember Katrina, for example?
Of course, male names have only been used since 1979 when some Washington bureaucrat had yet another boneheaded idea.
So what can we get out of all this?
Someone suggested that maybe because people don't take cover soon enough because they weren't as scared by female names.
And, of course, someone else laughed in his face and said maybe we should start using names like hurricane Jack-the-Ripper or hurricane King Kong.
Okay, things have been too tense around here lately enyway. Let's have some fun. Let's see what kind of really scary hurricane names we can come up with.
I'll start the ball rolling.
They started naming hurricanes with male names because they were being discriminated against with all women names.
Right, Pat. Another genuinely stupid idea. Equality does not mean everything has to be the same. If that were so we'd be naming girls Fred and boys Janice.
How about it, folks? No scary hurricane names?
Try this one: Hurricane BhoThirdTerm
Doesn't it boggle the mind the things that they send money on? Read an article about the particle physicists pursuit of the Higgens Boson. The whole time I was reading about the $$$$$ spent on this effort to simply satisfy some scientific groups curiosity, I kept thinking of all the other needs we have on this planet that such $$$$ would be better used for.
Anyway, I'll play. How about since we're in the PC age and live in dire fear of offending anyone or everyone, we just name all future hurricanes "Grim Reaper 1, 2,3,4", and so on. That way we are not stepping on any gender, ethnic, cultural, or other currently designated categories of the various groups "they" have chosen to place everyone in? Works for me!
Thanks, Pam. I'm with you on that one.
Works for me too, but....
Wanta bet that if we named hurricanes Grim Reaper 1, 2 — and so on — there would be such an outcry from one side of the aisle that it would FEEL like a hurricane. :-)
Along that line, how about this? Ga-14-3, 2-14-4, c-14-4... and Aa... and Pa....
It would have the advantage of providing useful information: The G, A, or P tell where it was (Gulf, Atlantic, or Pacific), the a, b, c tells the order, the 14 tells the year of the century, and the 1 through 5 tells the strength. No more having to look them up to find out something about them. If some says, "I was caught at sea in Ag-14-4," you know where he was, what year it happened, and how strong the storm was.
And you know he was in deep doodoo. :-)
How about this for another scary one, ladies? Hurricane Makeover
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