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"(A cell of) rice appears to contain about 50,000 genes, compared with about 35,000 for humans." — The Wall Street Journal, April, 2002

HUMANS INSIST THEY ARE NOT DUMBER THAN RICE
Many Believed to Be Correct

San Diego, Calif. (SatireWire.com) — Word that genetic researchers have discovered a cell of rice contains more genes than a human cell has caused widespread outrage as people across the globe attempt to prove that humans are easily as smart as a grain of rice.

Conduct your own test

In Edmonton, Canada, 34-year-old Alan Snigget was one of many average humans who devised intelligence tests to discredit the implication that rice is more evolved. The postal worker began by taping a grain of rice to a brick wall — "but lightly, so it could move if it had to" — then hopping behind the wheel of his 1994 Dodge pickup truck. After honking several times to give fair warning, Snigget drove at high speed directly into the rice. According to eyewitnesses, however, the rice never moved.

Said one Edmonton police officer who observed the scene: "Stupid rice."

As in Snigget's case, humans have managed to prevail in almost every test. In Montgomery, Ala., state employee Rodney Lopat said he took "two out of three" in a geography quiz against the allegedly brainy grain. And in Aberdeen, Scotland, lorry driver Duncan McCann is confident he will win a chess match that began three days ago. Asked why the game was taking so long, McCann explained that the rice is using the white pieces. "I'm still waiting for it to make the first move," he said.

RICE RIOTS

While most man vs. grain confrontations have been peaceful, a few have devolved into violence. Most notably, rice riots erupted yesterday in Germany after an angry crowd of National Front youths spotted a man who, they decided, looked like a piece of rice. After chasing the man for two blocks, the throng grew bored, but managed to salvage an otherwise disappointing afternoon by ransacking a Japanese restaurant.

In response, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for a boycott of any food product companies that differentiate between white and brown rice.

The press, meanwhile, has generally denounced the findings. In a front-page editorial, the Straits Times of Singapore questioned whether researchers had taken cells from a representative cross-section of humans, or just actor Robert Blake. Expressing its anger, USA Today called the report "as useless as studies insisting there is a widespread dumbing down of America," and included a series of colorful graphs and charts to illustrate its point.

If any one sentiment prevails, however, it is the belief in human superiority. To that end, CNN.com released the results of a poll asking "Are humans dumber than rice?" A full 51 percent of respondents voted no, while only 15 percent clicked yes. The remaining 34 percent accidentally clicked the wrong button, panicked, and deleted their browsers.

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Copyright © 2002, SatireWire

Editor's Note: SatireWire's Andrew Marlatt originally wrote a version of this story for The Washington Post.

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