Spectroscopic Discrimination of Shit from Shinola

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research; by Thomas H. Painter, National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Center for the Study of Earth from Space (CSES), University of Colorado at Boulder, USA Michael E Schaepman, Centre for Geo-Information, Wagenigen University, The Netherlands Wolf Schweizer, Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland Jason Brazile, Remote Sensing Laboratories, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland

We conducted an experiment to determine whether people can tell shit from Shinola.

Shinola is a brand of shoe polish once manufactured in the United States. Today we care about Shinola only because it is part of the slang expression doesn’t know shit from Shinola, meaning is completely ignorant. Shinola is posited for comparison with shit because the two substances have a similar dark brown color and smeary consistency.

The expression now has a special degree of irony. Most people truly do not know shit from Shinola — because they have never heard of Shinola — via

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