The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:17 AM
Heart of Dorkness Heart of Dorkness is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Soleless Atheists vs. the USPS

Atheist, a German shoe company, was getting complaints from some of their U.S. customers about lengthy delivery times. So they did a little experiment...
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPR
For each recipient, one package featured the Atheist-branded packing tape and one used generic packing tape. All packages were shipped the same day. Yet the Atheist-branded packages took an average of three days longer to reach their destinations. And while only one package from the generic-tape set went missing, nine of the Atheist-branded packages went missing. These (statistically significant) results were recently released on their website.
This is why atheists have no soles. The post office is stealing them!
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:35 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
That's...not good. Not surprising, unfortunately.

I'm sure someone will be along shortly to defend the USPS and point out the obvious flaws in this pilot study.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:43 AM
Heart of Dorkness Heart of Dorkness is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Oh, damn. I meant to include the link to the NPR story, in which the author does indeed point out the obvious flaws (or at least, the fact that there are obvious flaws). She applauds it as a great example of "citizen science", but also expresses concern about "pre-publication science gone wild". And she notes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPR
To their credit, the folks at Atheist have teamed up with an (unnamed) university professor and plan to pursue their research with the aim of publishing in a peer-reviewed journal.
A lot of interesting things to consider there.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-09-2013, 09:03 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
It makes you wonder what would happen to packages labeled Agnostic.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-09-2013, 09:12 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
While the disparity in delivery times is troubling, I couldn't help but wonder about what their shoes were like, so I went and took a look at their product line and I gotta say: those are the shittiest looking and seemingly cheap to make shoes that I think I've ever seen selling for US$170.

I mean, seriously, I'm an atheist and I'd never support this company because their product looks like overpriced shite.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-09-2013, 09:18 AM
Tollhouse Tollhouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
It makes you wonder what would happen to packages labeled Agnostic.
. Most likely an obscure warehouse somewhere with no defined purpose
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-09-2013, 09:20 AM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: KS, US
Posts: 4,322
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
It makes you wonder what would happen to packages labeled Agnostic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tollhouse View Post
. Most likely an obscure warehouse somewhere with no defined purpose
They really want to be delivered, but they're afraid of what people will think so they never actually arrive.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:00 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
It makes you wonder what would happen to packages labeled Agnostic.
Nobody knows. Nor can they.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:02 AM
Heart of Dorkness Heart of Dorkness is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I gotta say: those are the shittiest looking and seemingly cheap to make shoes that I think I've ever seen selling for US$170.
You really think so? I agree they're expensive, but they don't look badly made to me, and I think they're pretty cool. And I'll admit, I want a pair in "Kitten Testicle Grey", just so I can mention the name of the color whenever possible.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:14 AM
zoid zoid is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago Il
Posts: 8,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
It makes you wonder what would happen to packages labeled Agnostic.
Maybe the package gets delivered, maybe it doesn't, no one can say.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:37 AM
tdn tdn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I mean, seriously, I'm an atheist and I'd never support this company because their product looks like overpriced shite.
I know. And I was so looking forward to wearing a pair of Candy Testicles.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:47 AM
digs digs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I mean, seriously, I'm an atheist...
So... you believe that when you die you'll get thrown down a quarry?

Now it all makes sense.


As does your "cheap shoes" comment. Even though I'd love to tell people I'm wearing a "KITTEN TESTICLE GREY" shoe, it looks like something thrown together... for €129.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-09-2013, 10:50 AM
Aizle Aizle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart of Dorkness View Post
You really think so? I agree they're expensive, but they don't look badly made to me, and I think they're pretty cool. And I'll admit, I want a pair in "Kitten Testicle Grey", just so I can mention the name of the color whenever possible.
They look pretty well made to me. Stitching is very tight and the style is unique. Really the only downside for me is that they are all appear suede which means I'll destroy them in minutes.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:10 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Soleless atheists?


Shoo!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:21 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
While the disparity in delivery times is troubling, I couldn't help but wonder about what their shoes were like, so I went and took a look at their product line and I gotta say: those are the shittiest looking and seemingly cheap to make shoes that I think I've ever seen selling for US$170.

I mean, seriously, I'm an atheist and I'd never support this company because their product looks like overpriced shite.
They're shoes that make you say "There is no God!"
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:34 AM
digs digs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
They're shoes that make you say "There is no God!"
You sort of do... they have "Ich Bin Atheist" debossed into the bottom of the sole, so you'll leave that message in the sand (unless Jesus is carrying you...).
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:49 AM
tdn tdn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
You sort of do... they have "Ich Bin Atheist" debossed into the bottom of the sole, so you'll leave that message in the sand (unless Jesus is carrying you...).
Or Darwin Love.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-09-2013, 01:53 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Kitten Testicle Grey?
Naughty Schnitzel Pilz?
Nabokov Cream?

What
the
hell

Are we sure this isn't a joke?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-09-2013, 01:56 PM
Leaper Leaper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: In my own little world...
Posts: 9,354
I didn't know the USPS had time to do "godless heathen" sorting.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-09-2013, 02:03 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
Are we sure this isn't a joke?
The names are supposed to be funny, yes.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-09-2013, 02:07 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
You sort of do... they have "Ich Bin Atheist" debossed into the bottom of the sole, so you'll leave that message in the sand (unless Jesus is carrying you...).
That'll solve that debate, at least.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-09-2013, 02:27 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
I could only put those on if I was meeting Walter, Donny and the Dude at the Hollywood Star Lanes.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:03 PM
zoid zoid is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago Il
Posts: 8,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
Nabokov Cream?
Someone wanna throw me a bone? I don't get this one.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:14 PM
Hershele Ostropoler Hershele Ostropoler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
I didn't know the USPS had time to do "godless heathen" sorting.
One hears occasionally of carriers refusing to deliver porn, or left-wing rags like Time, or TV Guide when you can see that the person on the cover has breasts, or things like that.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:22 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: 847 mi. from Cecil
Posts: 28,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoid View Post
Someone wanna throw me a bone? I don't get this one.
Nabokov wrote Lolita, a novel about a man who becomes sexually involved with a 12 year old girl.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:56 PM
zoid zoid is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago Il
Posts: 8,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Nabokov wrote Lolita, a novel about a man who becomes sexually involved with a 12 year old girl.
Ah, thank you.

And - ewww!
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 04-09-2013, 06:22 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart of Dorkness View Post
You really think so? I agree they're expensive, but they don't look badly made to me, and I think they're pretty cool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
As does your "cheap shoes" comment. Even though I'd love to tell people I'm wearing a "KITTEN TESTICLE GREY" shoe, it looks like something thrown together... for €129.
I didn't call them "cheap shoes" nor did I say they looked poorly constructed.

I said they look cheap to make: they all have the same thin rubber sole made from the same last and the same patterned upper which is 3 or 4 cuts of what looks like suede. There aren't even eyelets for the laces, just holes punched in the fabric. Profit margin must be huge per pair.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-09-2013, 07:17 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Near the GT eeehhhh...
Posts: 26,631
They need a proper set of controls to cover the possibility space.

One group of packages goes out with unmarked packing tape. One with "Atheist" tape. One with "In God We Trust" tape. One with "Jesus loves you!" tape. One with "The Mighty Thor" tape. One with "Blessed be" tape...

Although I might be a little careful with the "Iä! Iä! Cthulhu Fhtagn!" tape...

Last edited by Sunspace; 04-09-2013 at 07:17 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-09-2013, 07:35 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
The control element for this experiment would be, of course, to ship some Watterson books in a shoe box with tape labelled 'Calvinist'.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:12 AM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoid View Post
Ah, thank you.

And - ewww!
Egg zack lee

Why exactly would they use names like this?

"Oh wow, those shoes are great! Where did you get them?"
"At this web site here."
"I want some in that color, what is it?"
"Um, kitten testicle grey."
"..." 0_o
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:16 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 39,708
Come on-Can you think of anything more soft and tender than kitten testicles?
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 04-10-2013, 12:55 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Come on-Can you think of anything more soft and tender than kitten testicles?
How exactly do you know what kitten testicles feel like?

The back of a kitten's ear is the softest thing I can think of.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 04-10-2013, 01:47 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: KS, US
Posts: 4,322
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
How exactly do you know what kitten testicles feel like?

The back of a kitten's ear is the softest thing I can think of.
Then your mission is to hunt down some kittyballs. After that, the back of the ear will be the second softest thing you can think of.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 04-10-2013 at 01:48 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 04-10-2013, 02:10 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Then your mission is to hunt down some kittyballs. After that, the back of the ear will be the second softest thing you can think of.
I would think that kitten's balls would be soft in a mushy sort of way that would be less than pleasant to walk on/in.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 04-10-2013, 02:25 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
I think those shoes look great! Yes, it's basically one style, but they are a small start-up company, and they look well made. I could easily imagine Nike or Adidas has much higher markups just based on economies of scale. I'd buy some, but I'm broke and I don't have the wardrobe to go with them.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 04-10-2013, 02:42 PM
swampspruce swampspruce is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Not being a biologist, but is it still a kitten if it's testes have dropped or are cats different than other mammals? Technically, it would be Tom Scrotum Grey,wouldn't it?

Now if someone can direct me where I might purchase some Lovecraftian packing tape, my day will be compleat!

Last edited by swampspruce; 04-10-2013 at 02:43 PM.. Reason: Add-on
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 04-10-2013, 03:08 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
Then your mission is to hunt down some kittyballs. After that, the back of the ear will be the second softest thing you can think of.
I think I'm going to pass. My cats are both tutored, and I don't want to get banned from the humane society I volunteer at for molesting kittens. 'I just wanted to see how soft there were, really!'
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 04-10-2013, 03:12 PM
Doug K. Doug K. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
I think I'm going to pass. My cats are both tutored,
I've always thought public schools were good enough for cats.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 04-10-2013, 03:57 PM
tdn tdn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
I think I'm going to pass. My cats are both tutored, and I don't want to get banned from the humane society I volunteer at for molesting kittens. 'I just wanted to see how soft there were, really!'
"Excuse me, I'm trying to see if I'd like a new pair of shoes!"
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 04-10-2013, 04:47 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdn View Post
"Excuse me, I'm trying to see if I'd like a new pair of shoes!"
"Hey, cmere for a second. Yeah you. Touch my shoes. Go ahead touch them. Soft right? Now here, touch my cat's balls. Go on, give em a stroke. What? I just want to know which one is softer!"
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 04-10-2013, 09:36 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
I think I'm going to pass. My cats are both tutored, and I don't want to get banned from the humane society I volunteer at for molesting kittens. 'I just wanted to see how soft there were, really!'
Both my male cats are neutered and orange. You owe it to science to start feeling kitten testicles, and report on the softness, and especially grade the softness according to age and color of kitten.

I'll chip in for your Betadine and bandage fund, because if you start feeling up kittens, at least one of them is going to think it's playtime.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 04-11-2013, 12:14 AM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,577
For the next experiment I also recommend some packing tape that says "USPS Sucks!" or "USPS employees are government leeches!" or "FUCK THE USPS" just to see how lucky the Atheist brand tape has it
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:26 AM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
Both my male cats are neutered and orange. You owe it to science to start feeling kitten testicles, and report on the softness, and especially grade the softness according to age and color of kitten.
Well, as long as it's for science. I'm going to need some grant money and a few grad students. Also lots of untutored kittens.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:28 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
So All God's Children Got Shoes faster?
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:29 AM
Doug K. Doug K. is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
Well, as long as it's for science. I'm going to need some grant money and a few grad students. Also lots of untutored kittens.
I still want to know where to find a tutor for kittens.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 04-11-2013, 09:47 AM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I didn't call them "cheap shoes" nor did I say they looked poorly constructed.

I said they look cheap to make: they all have the same thin rubber sole made from the same last and the same patterned upper which is 3 or 4 cuts of what looks like suede. There aren't even eyelets for the laces, just holes punched in the fabric. Profit margin must be huge per pair.
Considering that they're a tiny company making the shoes themselves and raised capital via Kickstarter just last year, I'd be surprised if they DO have a huge profit margin. They also donate 10% of "any money [they] make" to secular charities to help combat the belief that atheists have no moral code since they don't believe in god.

Generally huge profit margins come with economies of scale and I don't think this company is established enough or large enough to really be there (and I doubt they want to be there, since the goal was to hand-make shoes).
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 04-17-2013, 04:56 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 11,509
Another thing they should try is putting shock stickers in the boxes. Who would take my bet that more of the atheist labelled boxes would get thrown around?

Having said that, this whole thing screams "publicity stunt" to me.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:11 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atheist shoes
After having run a series of control in Germany and Europe, which demonstrate no such bias, the problem appears to lie in the USA, and is likely explained by the differential handling of packages by the employees of the US Postal Service.
Sounds like they did a number of experiments, not just one, and eliminated other sources of interference.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:17 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atheist shoes
After having run a series of control in Germany and Europe, which demonstrate no such bias, the problem appears to lie in the USA, and is likely explained by the differential handling of packages by the employees of the US Postal Service.
Sounds like they did a number of experiments, not just one, and eliminated other sources of interference.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 04-18-2013, 07:39 PM
Waenara Waenara is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zebra View Post
Sounds like they did a number of experiments, not just one, and eliminated other sources of interference.
I wonder if there's some way if they could figure out if the problem is actually with the USPS, or maybe it's being held up in Customs? Maybe tag the boxes with GPS and see where the delays occur?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.