Thursday, May 26, 2011
Government studies shrimp endurance on a treadmill
A scathing report from Senator Tom Coburn has identified $3 billion of mismanagement at the National Science Foundation. The report finds that the foundation has squandered billions on questionable studies, poor cost controls, duplicative research, and many other forms of mismanagement.
Some of the scientifically urgent projects include:
- $560,000 to have shrimp run on a treadmill to test their endurance. I know it's very important to me how my dinner performed on a treadmill during its living years.
- $1.5 million to create a robot that can fold laundry. This robot was able to fold one towel in 25 minutes. Come on, even I can fold 2 or 3 towels in the same time.
- $315,000 to study whether Farmville helps adults develop and maintain relationships.
- $80,000 to conclude that successful college basketball programs tend to recruit better players. Who knew?
- $2 million to determine that the same people who post photos at the same place at the same time are probably socially connected. Since I don't have a science degree I couldn't have guessed that.
This is only a fraction of the waste and mismanagement at this single agency. You would think that a government facing a $1.5 trillion deficit might take steps to spend its money wisely.