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September 28, 2015

Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science | Volume 2 | SCI-NEWS 19

California’s innovation plummets as drought cuts length of scientists’ showers

PALO ALTO – The number of scientific discoveries and technological innovations reported out of California has hit record lows thus far in 2015, and scientists from the University of British Columbia have identified the culprit: a significant shortening of showers caused by the state’s historic drought.

In a study published by the journal Acta Douchen, scientists reported that the current drought in California has shortened the length of showers of the state’s researchers to its lowest levels since 1927. This decrease, suggest the scientists, has subsequently led to a severe decline in what scientists do most in the shower: think deeply about scientific concepts and alternative solutions to problems.

“Ever since the days of Archimedes, top scientists have had their most profound thoughts while taking a bath or a shower,” says Janice Levine, lead author on the study. “Currently, California is just unable to produce the amount of water needed to promote vigorous and substantive thought in the shower.”

A mathematical model provided in Levine’s paper suggests that a minimum of 10 uninterrupted shower-minutes is needed to produce significant scientific thought. “California is at about 7 uninterrupted shower-minutes right now,” said Levine. “That might provide enough scientific thought for a regional or internal grant proposal. But that’s nowhere near the levels needed for a national grant.”

And scientists are using increasingly desperate methods to try to get those 10 shower-minutes. “We had a report of one scientists purposely spilling toxic chemical on his lab coat so that he would be able to use the lab’s safety shower station,” said Levine. “He ended up with 2nd degree chemical burns, but also a funded NIH grant proposal.”


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