(S+C) x (B+F) / (T-V).
Well, what does that formula calculate…
Hitting break-even for a Bussard fusion reactor?
The fundamentals of a scramjet?
Or buttock loveliness?
Click to know.
Yes, Dr David Holmes of Manchester Metropolitan University four years ago discovered the callipygian formula.
He came to some remarkable conclusions… After exhaustive research he discovered that Kylie Minogue has a nice bottom. Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert here unlike the good Doctor but the vast majority of the population of the planet came to pretty much the same conclusion just watching MTV. In particular this.
This whole “tale” of “scientific” research hitting “rock bottom” [quit now Nick - Ed] reminds me of something a mate of mine studying biology said once. He defined zoology as the, “systematic study of the bleeding obvious”. He was disconsolate when he said, “I’ve been in lectures all day and all I learned was that gibbons have long arms because they swing in trees”.
It also reminds me of something Einstein said. I paraphrase from memory here… “It is possible to analyse a Beethoven symphony in terms of air-pressure waves but what’s the point of that?”.
Yeah, and he shagged Marilyn Monroe who also had a nice bottom. Undoubtedly the great man could have written reams on it’s gorgeous topological qualities [If you now mention "naked singularities" you're off the team - Ed] but what is the point? He undoubtedly could have used complex analysis and mentioned poles of various orders as well [Enough - Ed].
I keep on saying this is all pointless but I actually have a point and a very important one. There is a limit to the usefulness of science. Many things are meaningless to try and understand scientifically and in fact are sometimes dangerous to do so. Defining the perfect set of female buttocks is certainly playing in the arena of the eugenicist. Moreover if you get a date and take a tape measure and a Casio you will be slapped. But [you're starting again - Ed] there is a happy ending [hmmm... - Ed] and it is very simple but difficult to put in words. Peter Medawar put it like this (again paraphrased from memory), “There is no limit to the capacity of science to answer the sort of questions science can answer”. That is a tautology of course but at a semantic level it is struggling towards truth. Some things just aren’t scientific questions. This does not mean they are not important questions and sometimes they aren’t even questions with obvious answers like the beauty of the buttocks of a certain Australian singer but they are questions for which using the apparatus of “science” is literally hitting a posidrive screw with a mallet.
There are questions which exist eternally off the agenda of science. I think that is what Medawar was getting at. He wasn’t so much trying to define the limits of what science can do as much as say what is and isn’t a suitable subject for it. The scientific method (or something that looks like it) can be applied to anything. The question is whether it should be. There is a reason I have that picture by Diego Velázquez here. The subject of the female form is rightly the subject for artists and (obviously) lovers but every attempt to “science it up” results in something that is both farcical and potentially quite sinister. The Nazis were more interested in measuring heads than bums but does it not amount to the same thing?
I love science. I love a nicely pert bum as well but I know they aren’t the same thing. Not only is a Unified Field Theory of Beauty completely missing the point but it is fundamentally [watch it! - Ed] dehumanising. It is essentially saying we are replaceable parts. I bought a camera yesterday and it is insured. This means if I drop it I get a camera of equal or greater value. Fine. Good deal. When I stuck my card in the slot [really! - Ed] I struck that deal. A very different deal from getting married. The marriage registrar (and yes this was in Manchester around the time Dr Holmes, just down the road, was publishing his epically counter-intuitive study that nice-looking girl’s bottoms are attractive to men) didn’t offer me the same sort of additional cover. She didn’t say, “If you drop your wife we can supply one with an equivalent or higher ‘booty-index’ and yes we do take Mastercard”.
I am aware of the irony that I have posted on philosophy of science riffing off taking the mickey out of the “science” of pretty girls’s buttocks.