Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm probably smarter than a fifth grader

I rarely watch these sorts of shows, but every time I turn on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader," it sucks me in. I have trouble believing the questions contestants can't figure out. A contestant tonight couldn't figure out whether burning wood causes a chemical change (it does), and she decided the river along the Texas-Mexico border was the Colorado River (it's the Rio Grande). She then figured that, because the sun is really hot, her best guess as to its temperature was 35 million degrees Fahrenheit (actually 10,000--and her other choice was 1 million).

This wasn't quite as bad as the guy in another episode who arrived at the proper conclusion through ridiculously faulty logic--"True or False: Chickens are warm-blooded animals." Rather than basing anything on their status as birds or the fact that they don't heat themselves on flat rocks on a sunny day, he based it on the fact that they live on land.

Tonight's other contestant announced that he knew the answer and would answer the question. He proceeded to claim with certainty that the Rocky Mountains are located entirely within the US. He was, of course, wrong, proving that traveling the world requires little to no knowledge of geography. Shortly after that, I managed to turn off the television.

I understand that television and the annoying children would make it a stressful situation, but they fail some hilariously easy questions sometimes and make the ones they do get look a lot harder than they are. Once in awhile, there's a question I don't know the answer to, but not often enough to end up on the show (after all, they need someone who'd do a lot of hand-wringing and use up all the "cheats" if they're going to win). I can't stand how they try to convince us that the contestants are really smart people--it makes me wonder if they're supposed to take a dive so the saps at home feel smarter.

Meh. I should really just avoid watching this crap.

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