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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Using science to fight pain and ease my "Pawn Stars" guilt

"Pawn Stars" employee Austin "Chumlee" Russell
Bucking the overall positive trend of the past six weeks, the pains from the accident over the last 10 days or so have revved up to a challenging degree. With the pains often come very long nights. Right now, I'm working on my third night without any sleep in the last 8 days.

After working up an article on Utah State Coach Gary Andersen's apparent move to Wisconsin, I've been watching Pawn Star reruns. I don't quite understand the addictive nature of the show, but it's a good show to watch if you need a combination of vegging and entertainment, with a dash of education.

But when you're watching several hours in a row to help push aside the pain, you start to feel guilty about wasting time (There's an interesting comment Max Weber would find interesting given my situation). So, I worked up a little Excel chart and am tracking some variables with each of the sales that I find interesting. It makes me feel a little less guilty about needing to use the television to get through some of the pains.

I think I'll keep it up for a few months and then post my findings for fun. I expect a degree of the show is scripted, and I've already come across at least three instances involving (1) restored items that weren't the same as the item being restored, (2) an item that appeared to be a prop which had changed from the beginning of the show to the end, and (3) a guitar apparently borrowed from another store. (I should note that these observations echo blog postings with accompanying videos allowing viewers to make up their own minds; I'll try to track down the links again and insert them later.) Another site demonstrated at least one of the "customers" appeared to be an actor who had been hired for the part.

Still, it's a maybe-scripted, maybe-not reality show that isn't the typical trash and is healthier than binging on M&M's. And strangely addictive.

My results will be pseudo-scientific, and have no validity for the reasons I just mentioned... but I think it might be a little bit of fun nonetheless.

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