Undergraduate Lesson #1

Everything is relative.

You know this one from Physics, of course, and from Economics. Velocity, for example, is relative, depending on the velocity and position of the measurer. My Econ professors constantly reminded me that time scale is everything when thinking about Macroeconomics.

I recently realized that relativity pertains to life as a recent graduate, too. Picking out a shampoo, I was caught by Garnier Fructis’s promise to make my hair 5x stronger (!). Ah, but everything is relative. The footnote on this promise reveals that if I use the complete Garnier system including shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner my hair will be 5x stronger in a brushing test in comparison to a competitor’s non-conditioning shampoo. Wow, Garnier. Thank you for that completely useless piece of promotion.

Picture 1
Who hasn’t seen the Subway napkins that compare the caloric content of their subs with that of a McDonalds or Burger King hamburger? Impressive, right? Actually, no. Because the footnote reveals that this caloric comparison pits a Subway sub (with no cheese or dressing) against a hamburger, fries and a soda. Um, yeah.

This undergraduate lesson is closely interrelated with another important college aphorism:

Read the footnotes.

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