Researchers, not surprisingly, seem to bristle when people who merely skim the abstracts of their studies poke fun at their hard work. After all, sometimes years of observation or clinical analysis go into these projects before they're published in rigorous, field-specific journals.
That said, once in a while it's healthy to call out some of the less-inspired creations spawned in academia. In a spot-on and humorously illustrated slide show for Popular Science, the staff surveys some recent findings that laboriously confirm what's already obvious. These discoveries run the gamut, offering such observations as Blowing Up Mountains Is Bad for the Environment, Old People Prefer Happy Memories and Siblings Who Fight Don't Get Along. But the magazine is also careful to clarify the significance of each finding in a section called, "Why Bother?"