The brilliant British humorist, Craig Brown, does a classic Malcolm Gladwell parody:

Why baby Jesus? Research confirms there were upwards of 157 hotel-cum-stables in Bethlehem that night, with estimated 97 percent occupancy levels. So why did that star shine so brightly over his?

Imagine that I were to ask you to dress up as a baby and lie in a manger. Would you attract a comparable crowd of shepherds plus livestock and anything upwards of three kings from the East?

In a hugely influential 2004 experiment at the University of Colorado at Bollocks Falls, Professor Sanjiv Sanjive and his team asked 323 volunteers to wrap themselves in swaddling clothes and spend the night in a stable, lying in a manger. Logic would dictate that at least one of them would be visited by shepherds, wise men, or kings from the East, right?

The answer - which I'm sure will shock and alarm us and make millions of dollars for Malcolm - here.

(Hat tip: Clive.)

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