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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monkeys: Now With 50% More Cocaine

Posted by Alex Falcone on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Science is amazing. Last week I read this New York Times article about an exciting new treatment for dementia and brain damage. Let me explain the experiment:

1.) Scientists teach a monkey to play the game of Memory. Apparently they're pretty good at it.
2.) Scientists give the monkey some cocaine so it'll be less good at the game Memory.
3.) Scientists implant a computer chip in the monkey's brain that gives back some of the Memory playing ability that the cocaine so cruelly snatched.

On Friday, I was pleased about scientific progress. Humans can do almost anything.

Three days later I was sipping coffee when a thought struck me. HOLY SHIT SCIENTISTS ARE GIVING MONKEYS COCAINE!!?!

I readily admit these monkeys got what they deserved. No doubt they were getting a little too big for their monkey britches about being able to find two cards with apples on them. But cocaine? Really? That's so dangerous. I've seen, first hand, the way cocaine can ruin lives. Okay, in this instance, I'm referring to watching Boogie Nights as "first hand."

Surely, I thought, these must be rogue scientists, going against the establishment with their sinister monkey/coke experiments.

Nope.

In 2008, scientists put monkeys in stressful social situations. Then they gave the monkeys the choice between tasty delicious snacks and tasty delicious COCAINE! The cool monkeys ate the snacks. The sad, unpopular monkeys were way more likely to do the coke. Maybe that helped us learn about human behavior, or maybe not. But what we can't deny is that coke-fueled monkey parties took place and you can't take that away from me.

Even better, two years ago, several republican senators were attacking the "wasteful spending" in the president's stimulus bill. Some of them were especially upset about funding a monkey-cocaine study. Uh, hello? It is called the "stimulus" bill for a reason.

What is everybody angry about? So $.03 of my tax money goes up a monkey's nose? Is there a check box on my 1040 where I can double that? Hell, I'd go as high as $.25 if the scientists studied the effect on glutamates of monkeys... that did coke off the back of monkey hookers.

Okay, we've had a lot of fun here today. Remember when I used the phrase "monkey hookers"? Good times. But in truth, a monkey getting high as balls on cocaine is no joke. It makes the monkey very sad when he comes down. And it makes his chubby roommate, who has to listen to all his crazy coke stories, even sadder.

lab-monkey.jpg
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