Posted by: itstails | December 11, 2008

Looking to Expand Your Brain?

Climbers (ascending the snowy left side the mountain) from the ...

Everybody sets goals.  Some of them loftier than others.  For example, one of my goals has always been to eat at a Taco Bell without getting a severe stomach ache.  So far I’m 0 for 138.  Other people, like Sir Edmund Hillary, chose a goal that takes a little more effort as he set out and became the first person to successfully climb Mt Everest.

Since then, many others have attempted this feat.  Some successfully, other not so successfully (especially the not successful ones who died).  212 people have died climbing Everest, which researchers now say is attributed to, “A brain swelling condition related to low oxygen levels in the air.”  Actually, the exact quote to start the article is, “A brain swelling condition related to low oxygen levels in the air may have caused many of the deaths of people climbing Mount Everest, researchers said on Tuesday.”  The italics is mine, because how can you publish a study where the final result involves the word may?  Do you even have to do research to publish something and use the word may?  I could do studies like this all day long, ”Eating pizza three times a week may lead to urine tract infections”, “Using doorbells may incite riots”.  What?  Science proved both these wrong?  No big deal, I said may.  Why don’t these researchers just wait until they have something a little more definitive for us.

The article goes on to say, “Hazards awaiting those who dare to climb the 29,000-foot (8,850 meter) Himalayan mountain include extreme cold, whipping winds, changing weather, treacherous climbs and avalanches”.  Now that’s what I call a good time.  Forget going to an island to relax on the beach or taking a cruise along the Mediterranean.  I know how I want to spend my vacation, going straight up 29,000 feet in mind numbing coldness fighting my way through avalanches.  Don’t forget the beer!

This story is Good News for:

1. Families of the Deceased – I’m sure the families of those who died trying to scale Everest have been on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what researchers determined was the cause of their death.  I’m sure they’re thrilled that it may have been brain swelling.

2. Lazy Researchers – Hey, now you don’t have to finish a study to get it written up in major news outlets.  Toss a may in there and you’re good to go.  Accountability be damned.

3. Psychos – Or those who plan on climbing Mt. Everest because of the challenge because now not only do they know they are up against avalanches and extreme temperatures, but also brain anuerisms!  But don’t worry, you play in a Rec basketball league, I’m sure you’ll be fine!

Anyone else this is Good News for?  Throw it in the ‘other’ section of the Poll and say why in the comments.



  1. Hilarious! I’ve always aspired to climb Kilamanjaro and I don’t even play in a Rec basketball league! Guess I better start. 🙂

  2. […] If you liked this post, check out Looking to Expand Your Brain? […]

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