Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Man pisses in bath

Sometimes I like to rename headlines to more accurately convey the true nature of a story. The original headline from the Sydney Morning Herald is:
How does he live? Starving yogi 'blessed by goddess' astounds doctors
An 83 year old Indian holy man by the name of Prahlad Jani who claims to have lived without food and water for the past 74 years...
...spent a fortnight in a hospital in the western India state of Gujarat under constant surveillance from a team of 30 medics equipped with cameras and closed circuit television.

During the period, he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet.

"We still do not know how he survives," neurologist Sudhir Shah told reporters after the end of the experiment.

It is still a mystery what kind of phenomenon this is.

The long-haired and bearded yogi was sealed in a hospital in the city of Ahmedabad in a study initiated by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the state defence and military research institute.
To analyse this claim, we need to break it into two parts. Firstly, pretty much anybody can go 15 days without food, so even if that part was true, it is fairly unremarkable. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to go without water for more than a few days, even under the best of conditions, so that is the claim that needs to be analysed.
"(Jani's) only contact with any kind of fluid was during gargling and bathing periodically during the period," G. Ilavazahagan, director of India's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), said in a statement.
Uh, A bath? They conducted a scientifically rigourous study into a man who claims to drink no water, and they allowed him to gargle and take baths?

Still, I guess if there was a reasonable physiological explanation for this man’s gift, I might give it a bit more credence.
If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one," said Shah.
Makes sense. Trees use sunlight as an energy source. Hmmm, but trees also require all kinds of nutrients, and copious amounts of, you guessed it, water.

Alternate headline:
Scientists confuse tree for man; tree enjoys bath
The researchers say that they will publish the full results in a few months. I’ll hold my breath until then, just because I can.

1 comment:

bathroom fixtures said...

The claim needs to be investigated. It's not possible for anyone's health.