Monday, January 21, 2013

The "Blue Monday" hoax

A strange phenomenon seems to be gaining people's attention - the idea that a day in the middle of January is the gloomiest day of the year. Here is an example of a newspaper article about this. The identification of this date is purportedly based on a calculation - which on the surface seems completely bogus. The parameter includes equations such as "weather" and "need for action" and "debt" - things that are not directly measurable and certainly things that one suspects cannot be added or multiplied together to identify a date. There appears to be no discussion anywhere about whatever units would factor into these calculations, nor any theoretical or empirical validation of this equation. As has been pointed out by others (e.g. click here), this appears to be a pseudoscientific hoax that has really taken off. A summary of silly press releases is even available.

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