Where to report the results of mundane, silly experiments?

For fun, I ran an experiment on my niece. She said that she liked coke, but not pepsi. If a restaurant only served pepsi, she’d order iced tea or something else.

So I designed a simple double-blind experiment. I got a can of coke and a can of pepsi. I put either coke or pepsi in 6 glasses without her or the test monitor present. I then left the room and she and the test monitor came in. She tasted the 6 glasses and reported whether it contained coke or pepsi. The test monitor recorded her choices. Once they were done, I came back into the room and we compared her results with the real results.

Now, this is very mundane and has no real benefit other than as something fun to try.

My question: is there any place or forum to write up and report mundane experiments like this? I think it would be fun to write up the test design, testing method, and results. (I’m not sure it really fits on the SDMB.)

Any ideas?


When my kids were little I did a little helmet testing with them and their friends. It was all a little unscientific. I would strap a helmet onto their heads and ram them head first into a wall. The wall did very well. I wasn’t quite at hurricane force before they decided that the pay wasn’t enough and quit on me.

Can you post what the results were?

2 glasses had coke. 3 glasses had pepsi. 1 glass contained both coke and pepsi.

She correctly identified all 6 glasses. (The mixed glass she said "there’s something wrong with that one.)


I recently concocted an experiment of tracking histerias present in wood bows durring the shot sequence. My theory was that the losses were very time sensitive and would be much greater the faster the shot was due to lower arrow weights. I feel like I developed a fairly accurate method of tracking this even though my tests could have been conducted under more rigorous guidelines.

A blog.

You’ll probably get a lot of volunteer contributors if you solicit for them.

I appreciate the simple efficiency of the E. E. Cummings style, but in the particular case of, “My niece likes Coke,” you probably should capitalize the brand name to avoid misunderstandings.

Also, good for your niece and her sensitive palate. Try throwing in some diet, no caffeine, or real sugar options next time. I bet she nails those too.

Yeah, I got lazy.

Good idea, but it wouldn’t work. She doesn’t drink those other ones.


A blog is about the best you can do. If written well, you will get more readers that way than most published scientists do. Some people still believe that no one can reliably tell Coke and Pepsi apart in blind taste tests or that people can tell a difference but still can’t identify which is which. That is crap. I can tell them apart very easily and have called people on it when they tried to slip my a tall glass of the Devil’s swill (aka Pepsi) over Coke. I am glad your niece can too.

Just write up a blog entitled “Even a child can easily tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi” and write it up in an entertaining way. Google will learn to love you for it.

You could make it a series as well. Maybe she is just an unusually gifted taste tester. You could up the ante and have her do blind taste tests of premium vodkas to see if she can pick out those. Ok, maybe that isn’t a great idea. Start with wine and coffee but you get the point.

We did a similar experiment with a group of people over lunch at work the other day. All four of us could tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi by taste, or by smell. They’re really quite different.

As a potential extension to this question, what are the lowest-prestige peer reviewed journals that would be considered technically legit peer reviewed journals? E.g. is there some obscure Ruritanian Journal of Sciences of Interesting Results that is run out of an old barn by a few PhD’s who couldn’t get tenure? E.g. sort of like the journal equivalent of attending DeVry?

Maybe set up your own web site (there are still ISP’s that offer “free” web hosting, aren’t there?) and publish there to your heart’s content.

Surely you’ve heard of the T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project, have you not? A series of silly experiments with Hostess Twinkies (Tests With Inorganic Noxious Kakes In Extreme Situations), all documented and published on-line.

My mother did a taste test like that on me.

When I was quite young, we got milk from an actual nearby dairy farm. It came in dark brown glass bottles. Then, at some point, we started getting milk from the grocery store, which came in cardboard cartons. I said it didn’t taste as good. My mother said she couldn’t tell any difference.

One day, she served milk from a dark brown glass bottle. I thought it didn’t quite taste right, and said so. Sure enough, she had fill a dark brown glass bottle with milk from a cardboard carton just to prove that I couldn’t tell the difference. And I proved that I could!

I got an early childhood lesson in blind scientific experiment technique! Yay!

YouTube. and The Journal of Unpublished Results, but I’ve found nothing.

My first thought was “of course”. But there are registers, and web journals for Null results in Medicine and the Sciences, and from the dawning of the time of the professional scientist, discussion of amateur science, and suggestions, and … nothing.

It is such an obvious idea that many people have thought of it before, but for all I can tell, “thinking about it” is as far as it has gone.

Journal of Irreproducible Results.

Fun experiment! We did a similar one many years ago with Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max. Everyone was able to correctly identify them, but we didn’t try mixing the drinks like you did.

One way of measuring prestige is to calculate a citation index: journals which are frequently cited are more prestigious… There are other methods, but I can’t remember any of them. Some people I know work for institutions where the cumulative inpact of all their recent publications is calculated as a number and used as a score to, ultimately, decide if they will get fired or not.

One common characteristic of low-impact peer-reviewed journals is that you often have to pay to get your work published. There are also “local journals”, publishing results that wouldn’t get published any other way, from “our people”, reviewed by “our other people” .

Kind of a hijack, but:

Rob Cockerham has a fun website where one of the things he does is “How Much Is Inside…” articles at cockeyed.com.

It’s SFW, unless the name would trigger something.

The Fella and I did a double blind taste test of Diet Coke, Caffeine-free Diet Coke, and Caffieine-free store brand diet cola. Used three identical mugs, each with a letter written on the bottom. (I did that part, poured the sodas and wrote down which was which and put that slip of paper away.) They were each set on a piece of paper with a number. I left the room and he walked in and moved around the cups without looking at the undersides. I walked in and moved them once again.

Then we taste tested. We could definitely taste differences between all three and agreed that what turned out to be the store brand was nasty when compared to the other two. We disagreed on which tasted better on the Coke brand stuff.

It was fun!

As suggested upthread, maybe The Journal of Irreproducable Results: http://www.jir.com/ might actually publish it.

I used to subscribe to this journal. It actually publishes “real” scientific research, including all of the parts of a research paper: description of past research done in this area, testing methods, often very complicated math, and footnotes / citations. It is just that the subject of the study sounds funny. The motto of the journal is something like “research that makes you laugh, then makes you think”.

This is entirely too much work, for what I was asking. I don’t want to do a bunch of library research for a paper. I just want to report the results of a fun experiment I did at home.

Thanks for the reply, however.