A million-dollar National Science Foundation grant was given to Cornell University so a researcher could force bees to sting him on his penis to find out how much it hurts.
Let that sink in.
The idea was inspired by an unfortunate situation when a honeybee flew up Michael Smith’s shorts and stung him. “I was really surprised that it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would,” he said. The experience got him thinking: where is the most painful place on the body to get stung by a bee?
Oddly, it didn’t get him thinking about his choice of shorts when bike riding, or his strange proclivity for rubbing flower pollen on his inner thighs before he goes bike riding.
Note: the bee found the whole experience to be horrifying. “I was just buzzing along, very busy as we’re known to be, when suddenly I was all up in this dude’s junk,” the bee said.
With the financial support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship grant to Cornell University, Smith forced honeybees to sting more than 25 locations on his body from the face to the genitals. He then rated the pain caused by each of the stings on a scale of “Ouch” to “Holy Crap, What Have I Done.”
To compel a bee to sting, it was grabbed by the wings and pressed against the desired sting location.
Note: the million-dollar research grant pales in comparison to the multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by the bees who were “compelled” to sting Michael Smith in the penis.
The least painful locations to be stung by a bee for Michael Smith were the skull, middle toe tip, the upper arm, and in the face of some guy who happened to walk into the room at the wrong time.
The most painful places to be stung for Michael Smith were the nostril, upper lip, and the genitals.
Note: shockingly, being stung in the genitals does hurt.
Also painful for Michael Smith was the broken nose that resulted when the guy who got stung when he happened to walk into the room at the wrong time, punched him in the face.
Michael originally had his eyeball on the list of body parts to be stung but was talked out of it by his advisor Tom Seeley.
Note: I think it’s safe to say, despite the advice about the eyeball, as an advisor, Tom Seeley has failed Michael Smith miserably.
Michael concedes this study is limited by its low sample size: one person, himself.
“It is possible that if other people were tested, they would not rank the painfulness of the stings in the same way or perceive pain similarly by location. It is also possible a female researcher may rate being stung in her penis or scrotum very differently,” Michael stated.
Did I mention how miserably Michael Smith’s advisor failed him?
In case you’re wondering, these methods do not conflict with the Helsinki Declaration, which is a set of ethical principles for research involving human subjects developed by the World Medical Association.
In an “unrelated” experiment, researchers from Brown University set out to see if they could convince some moron from Cornell to compel bees to repeatedly sting him in the penis.
Helsinki is looking into it.
The assertion that Michael Smith rubs flower pollen on his inner thighs before he goes bike riding is purely speculation on my part…but he probably does.