Uh… umm….

From news.com.au: NEWS.com.au | Research at Oxford really is torture (January 13, 2005)

“PEOPLE are to be tortured in laboratories at Oxford University in a US-funded experiment to determine if belief in God is effective in relieving pain.”

Though the opening paragraph makes it sound like the gov is financing this, the US-based entity supplying $2 million is the John Templeton Foundation.

Okay. I admit it. I canNOT wrap my head around this one.

Wait, here’s a slightly more detailed story from AFP via Yahoo:

Volunteers will be either have a gel made from chilli peppers applied to their skin, or have a small box which heats up to temperatures of 60 degrees Centigrade (140 Fahrenheit) placed on the back of their hands.

The scientists will then study their brain as they are showed a religious image, or perform other distractions such as saying a list of numbers backwards.”

On the other hand, I understand this story from Wired Online, “Real World Doesn’t Use a Joystick“:

(After a three-day binge of playing Katamari Damacy) “I was driving down Venice Boulevard,” recalled her husband, Dan Kitchens, “and Kozy reached over and grabbed the steering wheel and for a moment was trying to yank it to the right…. (Then) she let go, but kept staring out her window, and then looked back at me kind of stunned and said, ‘Sorry. I thought we could pick up that mailbox we just passed.'”

There is no need for expensive research into this (and other incidents reported in the story); the principle here is obvious: “Do not play video games if you are a dumbass.”