31 July 2008

Racing to Save the Planet, one goofy hypothesis at a time

If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed I’ve been complaining about school quite a bit. I normally find pleasure in the process of learning, but for a laundry list of reasons I’m not enjoying myself this time through. Maybe if I were in a classroom where I could interact with others I might feel differently. According to my Magic 8-Ball, it's doubtful. I'm not exactly finished with school, but dude, I am so over it. I've even written one or two smart-ass remarks in emails to my teachers.

To quote myself (the quote is from further down this page, ha ha):
What on earth does any of this have to do with saving the planet? I have no idea. I even emailed my teacher and asked if there was a different way I could demonstrate my understanding of the scientific process, the motion was denied.

When my teacher said I couldn't alter the dumb assignment I'm about to describe in this blog, I emailed her back with:
Oh well, it never hurts to ask. This isn't my first goofy assignment, but at least I know it'll be my last.

I'm lucky she didn't get pissed. For that, she's a good woman.

Day 050: Abnormal Psychology
Studying for one of my other telecourses.

This is the first time I've taken a semester of telecourses and it kinda sucks. One at a time, no big deal; taking all of my classes on my own, not so much fun. At least I have Meryl Streep, circa 1990, to keep me company throughout my Race to Save the Planet videos.

For one assignment, I am required to develop four different hypotheses, but I need help. I’ve been stumped for two reasons:

1. I have writer’s block. I’d like to develop interesting hypotheses, but right now I’ve only generated boring ideas. This assignment will yield several pages of writing, so I’d like to make it as interesting as possible.

2. Data collection. I don’t really come into personal contact with a lot of people and when I do, I hate to say, “Hey dad, I know you’re recovering from surgery, but would you mind sticking your finger in this beaker of water so I can measure the volume of liquid that is displaced? It’s for an environmental science class....” And when is there a good time to ask for someone’s height, weight, and arm length?


Now would be a good time to ask for such information.

If you’d like to help with my school assignment, you can email me or submit an anonymous comment. Please.

Info I need:
Arm Length:

Bonus info:
The temperature of your hand:
and / or
the volume of your index finger:

What on earth does any of this have to do with saving the planet? I have no idea. I even emailed my teacher and asked if there was a different way I could demonstrate my understanding of the scientific process, the motion was denied. 

Carry on.

Below are the constraints for the four parts to this experiment, please let me know if any of them spark a creative idea.

1. Construct a hypothesis of the relationship between height and weight. Measure and weigh a variety of people, then test the hypothesis.

2. You’ve probably noticed tall people have long arms, short people have short arms. State a hypothesis, measure arm length and height in a variety of people, then test the hypothesis.

3. Some people have warm hands, others have cold hands. State a hypothesis, measure hand temperature in a variety of people, test the hypothesis.

4. State a hypothesis about the relationship between the index finger and it’s volume. Measure finger volume (water displacement or calculate via length x width x height) and length for a variety of people, then test the hypothesis.

Can you think of a good hypothesis for even one of these?

Also, don’t forget to send me an email or leave a comment (anonymous is fine) with at least your height and weight, possibly arm length, and if you’re feeling froggy, your hand temperature, or the volume of your index finger. Not only will you be helping me with a school assignment, you’ll be saving the planet, too.

Listening to: NIL8 - don’t call me corky (kung-fu pt. II)


  1. Female: 5' 3.5", 160 pounds, Shoulder to wrist: 21"
    Shoulder to tip of middle finger: 29"

    Sorry that I don't have any way of taking my hand temperature while at work. :)

  2. I have always heard that the span of your arms middle finger to middle finger is proportionate to your height...Maybe that could be a hypothisis?

  3. female.
    height: 5'5"
    weight: a ridiculous 185
    arm length: 28" shoulder to tip of fingers; 21" shoulder to wrist

    temperature of hand: 94 degrees

    volume of index finger: WTF? don't know if i did this at all corrently, but i put some water in a measuring cup, measured it. put my index finger in the water, measured it. then calculated the difference, which was approx. 20ml. is that right??? i also did the length times height times width, which equaled .75 inches.

    1. i would hypothesize that height and weight don't really have much of a correlation, and height doesn't affect weight as much as we might think. only because i think most women (men could be different) weigh pretty much the same as one another (except me; i'm more) regardless of height. it's jus that the tall ones have the appearance of weighing less because it's distributed out further; and vice versa for short people.

    2. i'd say the majority of people (women compared to women, men compared to men) have roughly the same arm length, and once once you go to really short (for women) (say 5'2" and under) and really tall (for women) (say 5'8" and over) do you notice a correlation between height and arm length.

    3. i'd say that the less someone weighs, the colder their hands; the more weight, the warmer the hands.

    4. i'm at a loss here. the longer the finger, the greater the volume? the shorter the finger, the greater the volume (because it's probably a chunkier finger)? who the hell knows.

    ask jaelithe, that's what i say. she's got a scientific mind.

    AND i'd like to point out that i'm NOT going anonymous, and no one reading this can make fun of me. i'm TRYING.

  4. ooooh! i've heard that too! so, measuring one shoulder to middle finger tip should be just LESS than half a person's height (since you're not measuring from shoulder to shoulder)----

    great one, anon!

  5. I just wanted to say how awesome it is that you are quoting yourself from later in the post.

    I got to the "original" part of the quote (later in the post) and said to myself, "self, I've heard this before!"

    This could be a brilliant way to convince people that your way is right...even if it isn't. You first quote yourself and then much later make the original statement. People will remember the quote as hearing it once, then your statement as FACT (since you just verified the quote).

    Utterly brilliant!

  6. 1. Hypothesis: short people tend to be overweight more often than tall people.

    Avg American male is 5'9.5"
    Woman is 5'4"

    Then just gather subjects and their data.

    Hardest part is getting individuals to participate, even with the anonymity of the internet.

    Just a suggestion on a hypothesis that can be proven pretty easily. If people don't have to give their ht and wt, they may be more likely to participate.

  7. Female 5'6". Somewhere about 145-148 lbs. (Depending on the day)

    All I have to measure with was a yardstick, but I'd estimate arm length is 22".

    I put my hand on the cat's belly and it was the same temperature - no warmer or cooler. Sorry, but that's the best I can do without a thermometer.

  8. Male - 1.8 meters tall, 86.2kg, shoulder to tip of middle finger - 76cm. LxWxH for my left index finger is 24.5cm, 7cm long, 2cm wide and 1.75(average)cm tall. Dunno temp. 31 years old if that is something to know as well.

  9. I love your hair here.
    You have a pretty face too.
    I have no idea, really.

  10. Male; 5'11''; 174 pounds; I think my arm is 32 inches, but I'm not sure where the arm ends and the shoulder begins; hand temp 96.2F; Index finger volume, I'm going with 25mL.

  11. Sorry about that, didn't mean to submit the same comment like 5 times, I dumb.

  12. Hypothesis: Wingspan (measured middle fingertip to middlefingertip with arms held out perpendicular to body) is equal to height, except for people with one or more missing arms or two missing legs, or one missing head, or missing any portion of torso.

    Hypothesis: Cold hands, warm heart (Caution: heart tends to cool upon removal from body for temperature measurement.)

    um, this is all speculation

  13. Haha, this is hysterical. I was "so over" school for about two semester. Out of four. Yeeow.

    And that picture is a hoot!

    [I would have totally helped if I had seen it sooner. I mean, knowing the volume of my index finger could make a great quip about my flipping someone off having greater weight (Har!) that someone else doing the same.]



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