Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

An analysis of CEO shirking (at the golf course)

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

GolfersCEOs of high-profile (e.g. S&P 1500) corporations are sometimes tempted to shirk their duties. One quite well-tried method of shirking is to leave the office for the day and play golf instead. Thus, as an observer, if you take the position that shirking might in general hamper business performance, an extrapolated question can be asked – ‘Is golf bad for business?’ Researchers Biggerstaff, Cicero and Puckett have investigated such things, and present their findings in a forthcoming paper for the journal Management Science entitled FORE! An analysis of CEO shirking They find that :-

“CEOs that golf frequently (i.e., those in the top quartile of golf play, who play at least 22 rounds per year) are associated with firms that have lower operating performance and firm values.”

And also :

”Numerous tests accounting for the possible endogenous nature of these relations support a conclusion that CEO shirking causes lower firm performance.”

A full copy of the paper can be found here.

Also see:Optimal shirking’
Bonus: ‘2012 Yearly Golfball Patents: A look back’

Optional assignment Although not investigated in the paper, some take the view that golf is actually good for business – in the sense that high-profile CEOs often encounter other high-profile CEOs at the golf course. Discuss

Note: The picture is ‘The MacDonald boys playing golf ‘ by Jeremiah Davison (1695?–1750?)

Removal of a 9-Ring Personal Testicle Device, Medically, in Detail

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

This newly published medical report, which tells how doctors removed a nine-ring personal testicle device from the testicles of the person who had too-successfully used that device, demonstrates how to almost gracefully write (1) a clear headline and also (2) a clear summary:

Scrotum Incarceration with Nine Galvanized Iron Rings: An Unusual Case Report,” Ying-Chen Chou, Chi-Wen Juan, Tsung-Hsing Lin, Chih-Wei Tsai, and Choon-Hoon Hii, Journal of Acute Medicine, epub September 19, 2016. The authors, at Kuang Tien General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, report:

“In this case report we describe the case of a 36-year-old male who presented to the emergency department with a grossly swollen scrotum. Nine galvanized iron rings were placed around his scrotum for the enhancement of his sexual performance. Attempts to remove them with lubricants, ring cutters, pliers, and orthopedic bone cutters were unsuccessful. Finally, they were removed with a hydraulic bolt cutter borrowed from the fire department. Genital incarceration or strangulation represents a true urological emergency. Removal of such devices can be challenging for emergency physicians and often requires resourcefulness and a multidisciplinary approach.”

The paper goes on to give full details. Here are before-removal and after-removal views of the nine rings:

Microsoft Word - jacme_150_JACME_150_author_V2

Microsoft Word - jacme_150_JACME_150_author_V2

(Thanks to Frank Swain for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS (possibly unrelated): Here’s video of Barry Biggs performing the song “Three Ring Circus”:

Dung beetles aloft, heisted by animal-seeking detectives

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Detectives who want to detect whether and which exotic animals are in the neighborhood can use flying dung beetles as tools. That’s the story Elizabeth Pennisi tells in an article in Science magazine called “Can’t find that rare leopard anywhere? Ask a dung beetle“. Here’s part of that true tale:

“the researchers rationalized that mammal poop should contain blood and other cells with DNA inside, and that some of this genetic material should survive intact when eaten. So they trapped airborne dung beetles in a Swaziland savanna by hanging up a transparent sheet and selected one individual from each of 10 species to dissect. Then they removed the insects’ pooped-filled guts and sequenced all the DNA they could find there. Finally, they matched those sequences to those in existing DNA databases to learn where the DNA came from. With just 10 beetles, they showed there were blue wildebeest, zebras, mice, cattle, goats, and even humans living nearby, they report this week on bioRxiv, a preprint archive.”


(Thanks to Dorge Lerma for bringing this to our attention.)

Napoleon’s Sex Life (a look back)

Monday, September 19th, 2016

NapoleonIt was back in 1962 that Major-General F M Richardson CB DSO OBE Md (Retired) penned his (now classic) article for the Journal of The Royal Army Medical Corps – entitled : Napoleon’s Sex Life. According to the Major-General, Napoleon exhibited some ‘symptoms’ and had ‘leanings’ which considerably fuzzied his placement on the Kinsey Scale. He observed, for example, that the Empress Josephine, his wife, wasn’t always entirely happy with their marriage :

“She spread the mot that ‘Bon-a-parte est bon-a-rien’ and described his incapacity in crude and indecent terms.”

On top of that, said the Major-General :

“It is very well known that he liked to have physical contact with his soldiers. He used to embrace them, to grasp the buttons on their tunics, pull their ears and hold on to their noses. The latter gesture may be significant.”

And, probing further :

“He himself saw in his body a resemblance to a young female beauty, and made an often-quoted remark to Antommarchi, differently translated in different books, but on these lines “See Doctor, what lovely arms, what smooth white skin without a single hair! What rounded breasts – any beauty would be proud of a bosom like mine.” A great military leader could hardly have liked looking like that, and there is something pathetic in his drawing attention to it, and even boasting about it.”

The Major-Gen. did note though, in more broad terms, possible mitigating circumstances for what he called the “pathetic” condition of the Emperor  :

“It has been said that if all males were exclusively heterosexual (Kinsey rating 0) normal social life in clubs and messes would be impossible, since we would all behave like stags, rounding up as big a share as our strength allowed of the available hinds.”

Unfortunately (as you will have noticed if you clicked on the link) the paper isn’t available for download via its citation above, but fortunately it can be perused in its entirety as an accompaniment to a later comment article by Major JP Garner (RAMC) entitled : Froelich, Fertility And A French Emperor (J R Army Med Corps 2003; 149: 344-358)

Major Garner leant more towards the possible medical aspects of Napoleon’s predicament. Noting that he may (though we cannot be sure) have been suffering from Froelich’s Syndrome, Bardet-Biedl Syndrome, Borjeson Syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, or even Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Bonus: According to the Liverpool Herald, 06 Apr, 1901, [that’s Liverpool Australia, not Liverpool UK] Napoleon was once ‘attacked’ by a phalanx of rabbits.

Another, post-Ig-Nobel-Prize, multi-self-donational fertility doctor, reportedly

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Fertility doctor impregnated several patients, affidavit says” says the headline on an Associated Press report. If reported affidavit is correct, this case reepeats, on a smaller scale, the achievement that won an Ig Nobel Prize for Dr. Cecil Jacobson.

The 1992 Ig Nobel Prize for biology was awarded to Dr. Cecil Jacobson, relentlessly generous sperm donor, and prolific patriarch of sperm banking, for devising a simple, single-handed method of quality control. Dr. Jacobson reportedly used his own sperm — he perhaps modestly did not inform anyone as to the source of that sperm — to impregnate many of his patients, resulting in an estimated 75 Jacobson-fathered kids. For details of Dr. Jacobson’s activities, read the book The Babymaker: Fertility Fraud and the Fall of Dr. Cecil Jacobson, by Rick Nelson]


clineThe AP report about the more recent, post-Jacobsonian case includes this passage: “A retired Indianapolis fertility doctor used his own sperm at least 50 times instead of donated sperm that his patients were expecting, impregnating at least eight women decades ago, court documents say. Dr. Donald Cline [pictured here, at right], 77, pleaded not guilty Monday to two felony obstruction of justice charges for misleading authorities who were investigating complaints from two of the now-adult children against him. Cline is accused of being the biological father of at least eight people, the youngest of which would be about 30. The accusations against him were first reported by WXIN-TV in May.”

Further details are reported by the Indianapolis Star: “According to the probable cause affidavit, Cline told one of his biological daughters that he felt pressured to use his own sperm when he did not have access to donor sperm. In one discussion, he said he donated sperm nine or 10 times. In another discussion, he said it was more like 50 times. He told the siblings he was just trying to help people have babies and that now that he has found God, he recognizes that what he did was wrong because he hurt people.”