Psst! Hey! Over here! Look, I know you’re a college freshman, and you’re probably trying to figure out how schedule all those classes you’re taking. Seriously, it’s a tough business having to navigate from your Intro to English Composition course on the north side of campus to your Survey of Women’s Erotica (it’s really not what you think) over there in the basement of the old gymnasium. Ten minutes really isn’t enough time to walk over there and get a latte and spend a few minutes centering before embarking on another academic endeavor.
But, I have some ideas that might make this college thing a little less academic and a lot more fun, AND you’ll get credit and contribute to expanding human knowledge at the same time!
I’m talking about government-funded research. That’s right! The government gives a lot of money to professors to study lots of different things. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, and its mission is to “enhance health, lengthen life and reduce illness and disability.” And they have funded some studies that you might be interested in.
Are you concerned that your social life might be lacking now that you are only a tiny minnow in the big sea of college? Sign up to help with the latest $3 million study on Electronic Dance Music (EDM)! The NIH is doling out large chunks of cash to study excessive alcohol use, drug use, physical and/or sexual aggression, and unsafe behaviors upon exiting from clubs that feature EDM. It’s believed that large groups of young people, writhing in unison on a dance floor, can get up to no good—drugs, getting drunk, having sex. You know, pretty typical stuff.
The goal behind the study is to develop a “nanny” app that can intervene before things get out of hand.
Yep, the feds want to know if going to a club where there is EDM being played encourages risky behaviors. And they’re willing to spend $3 million to find out. So, enterprising little freshman, get your fake ID ready, you can go party!
If you want to bring a little extra something to that EDM club, you might want to work with another group that is studying the effects cocaine has on Japanese quail. In fact, the NIH has already spent over $350,000 to determine that quail on blow become more sexually promiscuous.
Hmmm. Imagine that! Giving quail cocaine causes them to behave just like humans on cocaine.
If you’re interested in studying (and maybe borrowing some of that cocaine) the quail, you better hurry. Senator Rand Paul has some choice words about this:
“Common sense would have told us one that cocaine is probably not good for you and that cocaine might make you do things that you wouldn’t have done otherwise had you not been on cocaine,”
So, there’s a lot of opportunity for an enterprising freshman to improve his chances at meeting people and having fun. But, if EDM and quails on cocaine aren’t your thing, and you are looking for a shorter-term study, then the NIH might have just the thing. They are looking for people to examine the music volume at bars along the US-Mexico border.
The study, "Mexican American Drinking Contexts On and Away From the U.S.-Mexico Border," involves researchers going into bars for "unobtrusive systematic observations." One of the aims is to examine whether bars in border towns like Mexicali have "more dancing" and "louder music."
Imagine that! Bars in border towns like Mexicali, Tiajuana, or Laredo might play loud music to encourage drinking!! And other risky behaviors like fighting or engaging in sexually aggressive behavior might result from drinking too much tequila. Shocker!
But, maybe you should put this study off until Spring Break.
You don’t want to cause your parents to worry too much, they might not send you back next year.