The Exciting Conclusion of Science Week
Try Getting THESE Guys to Breed

Killing Four Birds with One Stone, and Michelle with Poison

March plays host to three lovely weeklong observations: Chocolate Week, Inhalants and Poison Awareness Week, and Poison Prevention Week.  They were actually all last week, but by celebrating them today, I am also able to celebrate Procrastination Week, also observed in March.  Nice!

Michelle, who is also working on some other fantastic (and also multi-pronged) features for later this month, came up with the fantastic idea of doing a post in which she identified various things as chocolate or poison.  I suggested we doubleteam this sucker, and proceeded to challenge her with three pairs of photos and some accompanying scenarios.  What follows are the scenarios I gave her, her responses, and my analysis.


Instructions: In each of the following scenarios, you will be given a pair of pictures and an accompanying scenario asking you to guess which of the paired items is chocolate, and which is poison.  You may only choose one item, and you must justify your answer.

SCENARIO 1: Warm-Up (Low Difficulty)


In order to win the heart of your current boyfriend, a scientist, you lied and said you were a world-renowned chemist.  This lie backfires when you visit him at his lab and he says, "Suprise!  I got you some chocolates!!  They are over there by the pile of deadly arsenic.  Eat one!  Now!"   
You have two choices:
a) admit to your boyfriend that you aren't sure which item is arsenic, thus ending the relationship and saving your life; or,
b) make your best educated guess of which object to eat--you have a 50-50 chance of survival!
Obviously, you go with b.  Which item do you choose, and why?
Michelle's Answer: Despite being labeled as "low difficulty" I had quite a tough time with this one. Though I was 90% sure that the white powder was probably arsenic and not chocolate, I could not be sure at all as to what I'd be biting into out of that Whitman Sampler assortment. What if one is a really gross nougat?! After much deliberation, however, I decided to choose to eat what's pictured on the left--after all, I wouldn't want to die and miss out on a scientist boyfriend!

Lauren's Analysis: Great job, Michelle, you're still alive!  While you were correct to be wary of accidentally choosing a gross Vermont-maple-syrup-nougat-filled chocolate or some other atrocity, your skill and decisiveness has bought you some more time with your cool scientist boyfriend.  Good luck keeping up the facade!

SCENARIO 2: Traveling through Africa


On a trip to Africa, you get separated from your tour group and must fend for yourself.  Pretty soon, you have exhausted your food supply and know that you are near death.  You put your ear to the ground and are able to determine that a rescue convoy is about two days away.  You have a few drops of water left in your jug, but you know you will die if you don't eat anything before then.  Rummaging through your knapsack for something--anything--to eat, you come across two small bags of similar-looking pods that you bought earlier that week in the tourism district.  One contains cacao pods; the other, poison hemlock shells. Though you aren't sure which bag contains which, you have nothing to lose by guessing, as you face certain death if you eat nothing.  Which bag more likely contains the cacao beans?

Michelle's Answer: I forget whether or not Socrates died quickly or painfully by eating hemlock--oh how I wish I had had the foresight to take an intro philosophy class in college to help me with this exact situation! I'm just going to go with the brown mexican-jumping lookalikes on the right because at the very least I could probably swallow those pretty easily. That thing on the left looks like some sort of wasp egg sac, so I want no part of that.

Lauren's Analysis: Well, Michelle, I have some good news and bad news.  The bad news is that you have selected the poison hemlock.  The good news is that, like Socrates, you will die rather peacefully and painlessly from it.

SCENARIO 3: "Always Wear Your Contacts"


One day, you forget to wear your contacts and, through a series of crazy events, find yourself with a gun to your head.  Your captor is forcing you to choose between two items.  One is a piece of white chocolate cheesecake, and the other is a block of sulfur.  Whichever one you pick, you must immediately consume.  Unfortunately, you are nearly blind without your contacts and can only see the blurred outline of the objects. 
Your captor cocks the gun and screams at you to choose immediately, or he will blow your head off.  You take a deep breath, open your mouth, and pop in . . . ?

Michelle's Answer: Okay, so this is a bit more plausible than the last scenario for me because I am very blind without my glasses and because I have a tendency to be taken hostage. This is another tough one, though I'm going to have to go with the white blur on the right because I vaguely recall that sulfur is yellow and though that makes that blur look like a delicious block of cheese, the name of this quiz is chocolate or poison not cheese or poison.

Chocolate3 Lauren's Analysis: Good choice!  Although the poison hemlock from Scenario 2 will be kicking in soon and you will be dying nevertheless, at least you got to have some delicious cheesecake first.  And don't ask me how you went from stranded alone in Africa to being held hostage.  Maybe it had something to do with the delirium?

I hope that this has been a thought-provoking and informative exercise for all LMNOP readers, especially since someone had to die to bring it to you.  I suggest you avoid a similar fate by living by this motto: Eat chocolate, not poison.


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Oh Man! I can't believe I died. In my obituary, make sure that people note that of my innumerable accomplishments in life, the one of which I am most proud is that one time in 9th grade David Sensenig called me "lovely."

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