Saturday, November 17, 2007

Weird Facts: Researchers Discover That Name Initials Predict Academic Performance

weird facts
Certain initials may look better than others as monograms but they can also have an impact on how well a person performs in a sport or at school, according to a new study.

Researchers who studied the impact of initials found that baseballs players whose first or last name starts with the letter K, which signifies a strikeout, tended to strike out more often than other players.

And students whose names start with the letters C or D, which denote mediocre marks in some grading systems, did not perform as well as other pupils with different initials.

"Just having the right initial doesn't spontaneously make you a better baseball player, but it can spontaneously make you a slightly worse baseball player," said Leif Nelson, of the University of California, San Diego.

Nelson and Joseph Simmons, of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, studied the effect of first or last-name initials in situations where letters corresponded to an undesirable outcome.

They found that people whose initial matched a negative label performed more poorly than others. The findings suggest that the unconscious mind finds one's own initials appealing even when it compromises success, according to the study that will be published in the journal Psychological Science.

The researchers examined the effect in baseball, in academia and in a lab setting where a reward-based test was performed.

"These are domains where people really, really focus on top performance and still this unconscious desire to match their initial seems to be undermining their performance," Nelson explained in an interview.

In baseball, players aim to avoid striking out. But after looking at 93 years of Major League baseball data and poring over more than 6,000 player names, the authors found that those whose names began with a K struck out more than others. Weird facts

The effect was the same in a study of the grade point averages of 15,000 graduate students over a 15-year period.

"Cs and Ds do reliably worse than everyone else," said Nelson.

"All the students are working very hard to succeed as much as possible, it just happens to be that if you find failure less aversive than someone else, you'll fail slightly more often," he added.

The researchers said their findings are in line with the name-letter effect, in which a person's favorite letter is often one of their initials. The favored initial may influence life outcomes, such the city a person lives in or the choice of occupation.

Nelson said the study demonstrates the power of the unconscious mind in controlling behavior in certain situations.

"Certainly, my wife made sure we didn't name our daughter with a C or a D after reading the paper," Nelson said.

[Via - Weird Odd News]

More Weird Facts:

Who Is Shawn Casey ? Is he for Real ?

Top 10 Facts About Top 10 Weird Facts


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Weird Facts: Hitler's Globe Sold For For $100,000

SAN FRANCISCO weird facts - A globe that once belonged to Adolf Hitler has sold at auction for $100,000 -- more than five times the expected amount.

American soldier John Barsamian found the globe in the ruins of Hitler's Eagle's Nest retreat in the Bavarian Alps in May 1945.

Barsamian, now 91, of Oakland, recently decided to sell it while he is alive so he can personally tell the story behind it, said his son, Barry Barsamian. Both Barsamians watched the bidding Tuesday at Greg Martin Auctions.

The winning bid came from San Francisco entrepreneur Bob Pritikin.

Experts had estimated the item would only bring $15,000 to $20,000.

Other globes presumed to have been owned by Hitler have been extensively researched for authenticity. But there is no uncertainty about the origins of Barsamian's wartime trophy, since he had all the military paperwork that allowed him to bring it back to the United States, including a certificate that reads "1 Global Map, German, Hitler's Eagle Nest."

"This is probably the most airtight documentation I've run across in some time," Greg Martin, proprietor of the auction house, said before the sale. "We have pictures of the guy there at the time, standing in the ruins holding the globe like a newborn baby."

[Via - The Weird World Of Economics]

More Weird Facts:

Free Ipod Touch From Apple ? Video Proof

Cliff-Diving Cow Hits Minivan

What If You Had A Gun To Your Head And Had To Make $1,000 In 48 Hours or...


Monday, November 12, 2007

Top 10 Facts About Top 10 Weird Facts

1. Most of the times at least one weird fact is made up to make sure there are really ten weird facts.

2. Regardless of how stupid these Top 10 are, those posts quickly rise to the top of Reddit, Digg, Mixx, StumpleUpon, Delicious and other social bookmarking sites. Just because it’s Top 10.

3. Most of the Top 10 articles are written when there is nothing else to write about or when a person has no clue about the subject he or she is writing about.

4. Only items 1 through 3 really matter. The other 7 can go in any order and nothing will change.

5. The more Top 10 is used, the more shallow and pseudointellectual that particular niche is. Don’t believe me? Try finding a Top 10 list in a nuclear physics textbook and then compare it with Cool Magazine or MTV.

6. You don’t actually have to know most of the weird facts that are listed in any article that is titled ‘Top 10 weird facts you need to know about …’

7. Google indexes over 35 400 different Top 10 weird Facts, scientific term for which is “a whole shitload”.

8. The most popular post on this very blog is 10 Million Dollar Ideas That Shouldn't Have Worked.

9. Nobody ever remembers what number 9 in the Top 10 was.

10. There has never been a Top 10 article called “Top 10 Ways To Rape A Donkey”.

[Via - NicheGeek.Com]

More Weird Facts:

10 Million Dollar Ideas That Shouldn't Have Worked.

Who Is Shawn Casey ? Is he for Real ?


Weird Facts: Seattle Company Starts Making Ham Flavored Soda

weird facts
SEATTLE -- Coming soon next to the Coke and Pepsi in a store near you: ham-and latke-flavored soda to make your holiday feast complete. It even will be kosher, the company making it says - including the ham.

Jones Soda Co., the Seattle-based purveyor of offbeat fizzy water, is selling holiday-themed limited-edition packs of flavored sodas.

The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas.

"As always, both packs are kosher and contain zero caffeine," Jones said in a statement.

The packs will go on sale Sunday, with a portion of the proceeds to be given to charity, the company said.

Jones' products feature original label art and frequently odd flavors. Last year's seasonal pack was Thanksgiving-themed, with Green Pea, Sweet Potato, Dinner Roll, Turkey and Gravy, and Antacid sodas.

For its contract to supply soda to Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, Jones came up with Perspiration, Dirt, Sports Cream and Natural Field Turf. The company - fortunately or unfortunately - prides itself on the accuracy of the taste.

Jones also makes more traditional flavors, including root beer, cherry and strawberry sodas.

[Via - SeattlePI]

More Weird Facts:

Free Ipod Touch From Apple ? Video Proof

Free Typing Games - Increase your typing speed while having fun

Zoltar Says on Your Mobile - What would you like Zoltar to tell you about your future ?