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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Not the Onion: Study Finds that Those with Hammers Own More Nails

Not the Onion: Study Finds that Those with Hammers Own More Nails 

In a recent Stanford study, researches have found that those people who typically own hammers, tend to more often own nails. This results verifies what many have believed for a long time, but science has been unable to finally nail down until now. In an elusive series of double blind experiments, researchers were able to pinpoint a direct correlation between the owning of hammers and the subsequent possession of nails.

Sue Brighton, lead researcher for the project explained, "We've been trying to expose this trickle down effect for years, and finally we were able to pin it down recently by introducing the double blind aspect. We never had any idea how much the experimenters were affecting the outcomes, so we extracted them from the direct knowledge stream in order to get a clear indication of the hammer-nail process flow & correlation. Needless to say we're smitten with the results."

Previous projects tended to suggest that not only was there no correlation, but there may have been a negative correlation, in that those with hammers often denied owning any nails at all. "We're not sure why that was the case, but very often people would flat out lie. Even when presented with their toolbox that contained both hammer AND nails, they would claim their kids put them there or the neighbor had borrowed the toolbox."

At the local Home Depot, Aisle 8 expert Mack Brown was able to shed some light on the subject.

"What kind of stupid question is that?" he angrily retorted, when questioned about the correlation between the 2. "Of course they do. I hope they hell you're not wasting my tax dollars on this gibberish. Do you people get paid for this?" After several minutes the visibly irate Brown calmed down and explained, "Look, people don't come in here and just buy nails, only to come back 20 minutes later to get a hammer. It's the other way around. Usually they buy a hammer, then some time after that, they sheepishly return and buy a box of nails. I'd say 9 times out of 10 they'll pay for the nails at a different register than they bought the hammer."

Brighton suggested that the "9 of 10" phenomenon might be her group's next research project.

But the correlation isn't always a hammer-to-nails cause & effect. Researchers found several cases where the nails preceded the hammers. Scientists believe that an overabundance of nails typically beg the question of where they go. And the answer almost always leads to the purchasing of hammers.

"Some people who only own nails and not a hammer can sometimes improvise, like using a rock or even a coffee cup," Brighton said. "But have you ever tried to build a deck with a Starbucks mug? That's just bananas."

A specific case was cited by Brighton of a pair of granddaughters who were left with just 1 hammer and several boxes of nails. The older, who refuses interview requests, got the hammer. Her younger sister Sylvia got the nails. Says Sylvia, "Well I had all these nails laying around from pappy's inheritance, and I really had no idea what to do with them. My boyfriend suggested I throw them out but this is a piece of my heritage. I couldn't do that to pappy."

"So I went and bought a hammer," she continued. "[sister's name removed] suggested we split the nails and time-share the hammer. But I know how she is. She would have gotten half the nails then refused to lend me the hammer. Because she's always been like that. Selfish. So I told her to enjoy the hammer."

When asked if her older sister later purchased nails, Sylvia did not know. "I have no idea. There are a lot of things you can do with a hammer other than pound nails in all day."


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