Weird Science Winner #1: You'll shoot your eye out


Reader (and frequent commenter) "n2y2" wins our prize for the most harebrained research proposal -- although, as you'll see, it's not so harebrained that someone hasn't already done it:

I would like to study the leading cause of diminished ocular functionality in the users of toy projectile launchers.

Translation: Do kids shoot their eye out when using BB guns?

Now, since we couldn't actually fund this research, we thought we'd better at least Google it -- and in addition to this horrifying story, we found the CDC's investigation into this very question. In the agency's report, we learn that:

  • Each year in the U.S., about 30,000 persons with BB and pellet gun-related injuries are treated in hospital ERs.
  • 81 percent of those are kids and teenagers.
  • Surprisingly, only a little more than half (53 percent) are boys. (Is this a sign of gender equality? Should we be happy about it, or not?)
  • "Although most (66%) resulted from unintentional shootings, approximately 10% were assaults; suicide attempts were rare (0.1%)." If we're doing our math right, that means that about 30 people every year try to kill themselves with BB guns?!

So, n2y2, the answer is basically yes. Send us your contact info and, heck, we'll include a copy of the CDC report with your book.