Monday, 19 January 2009

No, I'll stick with "dodgey".


Andy Green contacted me yesterday, via the comments to yesterday's post, and asked that I remove the dodgey designation to the Beat Blue Monday site.

While I am sure, or at least hope, the site means well, I do not think their 'beat the blues' equation is remotely scientific and promoting it as such is deceptive and, hence, dodgey.

The equation is described as "first defined by Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University". I hope this is not typical of his research methods. It calculates that Monday 19 January 2009 is the worst day of the year.

It is as follows:

The model was broken down using six immediately identifiable factors;
  • weather (W),
  • debt (d),
  • time since Christmas (T),
  • time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q),
  • low motivational levels (M) and
  • the feeling of a need to take action (Na).
A few points, just a few, I don't want to bore you.

The D in the equation is undefined; presumably it is the day of the year.

There is no second half to the equation: like x = y+z. So what does the equation equal?

Units are undefined. How do you subtract debt from days and then subtract the difference from weather?

It is really quite bizarre.

Now if they said it was a joke, and made it a joke rather than a university endorsed 'equation', they could still pursue the cause of depression but without the fake authority of scientific endorsement.

The emperor's new labcoat.

So I thought it dodgey. Still do.


  1. I agree... it makes no sense. Now, if they'd said, W + d + Q + M + Na = D, THAT would have made sense. I left out T, as I feel like you do and I'm happy to be far away from Christmas.

    Anyway, though I think it's stupid, I have to admit that I feel a bit on the melancholy side tonight. Dunny why, really. Go figure.

  2. Andy, you're a big boy now: any publicity is good publicity.

    And it is dodgy. Get over it :)

  3. I agree - dodgey it is. I can't think of a known set of units that would make the dimensional analysis come out correctly. Not to mention, the undefined variable and lack of an equals.

    Oh well - probably a psychologist or economist trying to do math. Not noted for high rates of success!

  4. It is funny, if you look at it in a purely humorous light. I never was any good at algebra. :P

  5. Dodgy. dodgy, dodgy. It brings to mind economic models and evolutionary psychology. (Although the latter doesn't attempt equations - just describes life as the author would like it to be.)

  6. it is silly. see if he likes that word better!

  7. It's all gobbledegook to me anyway whatever you say. It's 19th January and I'm still smiling:)

  8. You mean I am suposed to unstand that scribble. Well what ever it all means the weather is so bad here I think that its a very blue day.

  9. Guys - it's just a light-hearted equation with a great sense of humour!

  10. If that's the case, LadyFi, why is young Andy so upset? :)

  11. Mr Green knoweth not with whom he messeth ;-)

  12. Lee: dodgey 1, andy 0.

    Cup goes to Lee.

    The seagull is just messin' with our heads, I want one of those signs...

  13. That seems to sum it up quite nicely. This is why I never liked math.

    Love the photo.

  14. Hi Lee:

    I heard about this magical date before and didn't know where it came from, so thanks for clearing that up. Secondly, I thought much of any such equation would have to do with it being dark 18 hours a day (at least in the norther hemisphere), hence lower vitamin D levels, which influence mood and can be associated with depression. Also, what if you don't celebrate Christmas? Or use the orthodox calendar?

    - Bartek (the north pole - no pun intended)

  15. Oh shoot, I came to your site past the point of day when my brain is firing properly and the whole equation is just too much for me right now. But I believe you...dodgey sounds right.

  16. Well I don't live in the Northern Hemisphere so I don't have the winter blues, didn't use my credit card to pay for Christmas, got paid on Friday so it doesn't work for me; but now I think of it today I am a little down,but that has nothing to do with his equation. ♥

  17. I like the seagull, that shows defiance. ♥

  18. excellent artistry, here.
    The sillouette is the bird, feather for feather, knee knockers to knee knockers.

  19. A new (appreciative) reader of your blog (followed a link from Hayden) thought you might like to see this subject being pulled apart here


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