Superb claret quiz : the winner

The effects of Latvian folk music on the growth of radish plants and The influence of sequential orgasm on the garden spider were only two of the many wrong answers we received to our mix 'n' match thesis titles competition. The correct entries alone, however, were enough to fill a large hole in any research budget. For those still longing to know the truth, it was, of course, holy water that effected radishes, and a tuning fork that influenced the spider.

The other answers were The position of homosexuals in Holland, Looking at upside-down faces, Obscene joking across cultures, Hemodynamics of sequential orgasm, The problem of classifying Latvian folk music and Hedonic responses, variety-seeking tendency and expressed variety in sandwich choices.

Entrants were also asked to provide the titles of papers they would most like to read sometime in the future. An analysis of responses revealed a small, but significant negative correlation between plausibility of suggested titles and correctness of answers to the original quiz. We feel there could be an opportunity for some interesting research in this area.

Of the suggestions accompanying correct answers, we very much liked Kevin Thompson's The Epistemology of the Internet and its socio-cultural influence on the analysis of discourse structures of Charlotte Bronte but could not be absolutely certain that it has not already been written. We were strongly tempted to support Nigel Yeatman's research into The effects of holy water and superb claret on sequential orgasm: a comparative study, but a preliminary cost-benefit analysis and feasibility study revealed that the holy water would prove to be prohibitively expensive.

The prize of a case of claret, therefore, goes to V Morris of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, for: The use of chicken entrails in the determination of research assessment rating, a topic for which we feel serious research is long overduen

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