Unscientific Experiments on Popularity

May 13, 2007 at 3:15 pm 5 comments

Popularity by Quacks

When Carolyn, Jay and I were young we had pet ducks.  We noted one day, that when a duck got seperated from the group he would let out some urgent quacks and the other ducks would quack back to help him navigate home. 

Ducks swimming in the duck fence.  The Sawyer driveway is below.

We used that observation as a basis of a duck popularity contest.  The duck fence was about three feet higher than our driveway.  One by one we took a duck and placed him in the driveway.  With the white cinderblock walls that surrounded the driveway, the duck couldn’t see the other ducks and they couldn’t see him.  The seperated duck would instantly start his worried quacking.  Us young Sawyer scientists then observed the reaction of the other ducks with great interest.  We believed the intensity of the other ducks’ quacks was directly related to how fond they were of the missing duck. 

Interestingly enough, there was one duck named Hornet who was quite the bully.  He was fond of raping other ducks, regardless of gender.  When we placed him in the driveway, he quacked fervently and to no avail.  Not a single duck quacked back!!!

Popularity by Candy 

Halloween of 1992, a number of friends and I dressed up as the three Presidential candidates (and their secret service protection, their wives and in the case of Bill Clinton, alledged lovers).  We then went around and tricked or treated.  There was a catch.  Instead of us each having our own bounty, we only gave the three candidates a bag for candy.  At each house, we instructed the homeowners to give the candy for all of us to the candidate they intended to vote for.  We split the candy up equally after we tallied the final results (which I can’t remember).  Of course, the candy given by each household was not necessarily proportional to the number voters that resided there.  Our poll was far from scientific, but I bet it was more fun (and yummy) than traditional polls!

Gennifer Flowers (Greg Z), Secret Service Man (Jay), Secret Service Man (?), Barbara Bush (Aaron Evans), Secret Service Man (Christian Geyer), George Bush (Me), Hilary Clinton (Wendy D), Ross Perot (Brian Nenninger), Bill Clinton (Christina Geyer)

Popularity by Blog Views

And now even though I’m grown and established, I’m starting another popularity experiment, this one just as unscientific as the other two.  I’ve placed a Father’s Day Card on my blog.  I’m going to watch how many people search for it and compare to how many people searched for Mother’s Day Cards.

Dad’s have their work cut out for them  

This will be far from conclusive.  I have no guarantee the Father’s Day Card will get as highly ranked in the search engines.  I did try to help it out by storing the picture on my personal website and naming it “FathersDayCard.JPG” to mimick the storage and naming scheme of the Mother’s Day Card.  BUT even with that, the content of the blog post is different AND there is no way that the Father’s Day Card is anywhere near as cool as the Mother’s Day Card that uses the phrase “dog crap” twice (How could anything top that?).  Nonetheless, it will be interesting to watch what happens over the course of the next month.

Good Luck, Dads.  Hopefully you’ll prove to be a little more popular that Hornet the Duck Rapist.  🙂

Entry filed under: Barbara Bush, Bill Clinton, ducks, experiments, Father's Day, George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Mother's Day, Ross Perot, search engine.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ryan Somma  |  May 13, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Great Post! Very entertaining. Be sure to post the results to PLoS.org. : )

  • 2. Sheer  |  May 14, 2007 at 4:00 am

    Remember when we had six ducklings or so that me and my sister raised for your duck entourage?

  • 3. tgaw  |  May 14, 2007 at 6:16 am

    @Sheer– of course! Those little guys were adoreable. 🙂

  • […] to the words.  The whole song was about a rooster going around a farm and raping everything.  Hornet the duck would approve, but it’s not quite The Wiggles or […]

  • 5. Not Looking Good For the Dads « TGAW  |  June 13, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    […] 13th, 2007 As a quick followup to my unscientific Father’s Day experiment, it is not looking good for you fathers out there.  I hadn’t seen a single hit from people […]


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