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Bugged Out Readers

Some comments about Friday's post concering the tethering and experimentation on flies by the scientific community.

"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It's a whisper campaign to replace Melvin the stock-picking monkey, who wants a new contract beyond the salary cap."
- Judy B., Oklahoma

"Of course fruit flys have free will!!!! - in fact, every morning I print out charts of active stocks and smear a little banana on the top of each page - I then open my fruit fly cage (where I keep my pet flies) and see which chart attracks the most flies - I then place my trade and watch the stock soar!!! Now if this doesn't beneift humanity, I don't know what does."
- Granny

"...had I used free will (and free range) fruit flies flying at the Wall Street Journal's Stock page to pick stocks, instead of throwing darts at it, I just l know I would have won the CNBC Stock Challenge. Now that I think of it, does Cramer look a little like a fruit fly?"
- Dick Busch

"I can state with some authority that maggots of fruit flies breed chiefly in decaying fruit and in crushed grapes in wineries." (--So they're drunk? Through free will?)
- Norm

"Put a bunch of fruit flies in a jar and put on the lid. The first few times they jump up they bash into the lid. After a while they will only go as high as to not bash themselves into the lid. Take the lid off and they stay in the jar because they have learned not to bash themselves. It is cheaper and more acceptable to study fruit flies than to do the same with people. However the results of the fruit fly studies are then applied directly to the American Consumers for the purposes of Marketing! As go the fruit flies, so go Americans!"
- Nigel, Montreal

"How will this benefit mankind? Simple, this will give fruit flies the confidence to challenge the Bumble Bees, who up to now have rested on the laurels of their fanciful 'Flight of the Bumble Bee.' As all capitalists know, competition is the key to innovation. The Bumble Bee will be forced to create new, innovative orchestral interludes, or likely branch out to other products and services. The Fruit Flies will then need to respond to maintain their market position, fostering further innovation. With all this competition in nature, hopefully these insects will ultimately be the ones to solve the greatest current crisis for mankind, global warming. In the end, the fruit flies may be mankind's salvation since global warming alarmist believe mankind is more interested in generating wealth than the melting of the polar ice caps."
- Jeff

"I suppose they had a control group and a pleacebo group and put the bait inside a smaller room, The control group didn't go into the room since they didn't want the bait."
- Ida

"Because life is a circus."
- Don

Then I heard from the main author!!!

Bjoern Brembs writes an email titled "You Asked for It," with his tongue somewhat planted in cheek. He notes that scientists are "bespectacled nerds with a weird sense of humor." But he goes on to say that that fly genes are surprisingly similar to ours (gross), and that studying fly spontaneity could help explain why certain human ailments affect "spontaneous behavior," like depression or ADHD.

In other words, learn what makes the fly tick, maybe we can learn what makes you tick. I'll just have to take his word on that one.

As for wasting money, Brembs says none of them got paid much of anything, it was more of a side job. Hey, better than going out drinking all night.

Important correction: he points out they did not tether the fruit flies' legs (my mistake) but kind of tethered the body. But the best part is the quote he has at the end of this email from Richard Feynman: "Science is a lot like sex. Sometimes something useful comes of it, but that's not the reason we're doing it."

Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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