Puzzle Corner #2

This is a fill in the missing word or phrase puzzle, and yes, being a deeply cynical sort of person will help. Put your ideas for what’s missing from the second paragraph in the comments, and no naughty googling for the answer or you’ll be ruled ineligible to win my normal prize of two weeks unpaid holiday with Julia Gillard (TBC). The answer and source to come after someone gets it or gets close.

Clue: follow the money.

A new study suggests you might want to wear gloves the next time you fill up your car – and not just because you might get some stinky petrol or diesel on your hands.

Research by ————————————————- has found that 71 per cent of fuel pump handles are “highest on the list of breeding grounds for illness-causing germs”.

The research was conducted in six major cities across the US, with scientists swabbing hundreds of surfaces that people interact with on a day-to-day basis to determine which were the most bacteria-ridden.

The findings showed fuel-pump handles were considered a high health risk, followed by public mailboxes (68 per cent were found to be breeding grounds for germs), escalator rails (43 per cent) and the buttons on ATMs (41 per cent).

Other surfaces that ranked high on the germ-o-meter included parking meters (40 per cent), pedestrian crossing buttons (35 per cent) and vending machines.

The report was headed by professor of microbiology Dr Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, who says that ignorance over the number of things people touch on a day to day basis is one of the main factors in germs spreading.

“People do not realize the amount of contamination they are exposed to going to work each day and doing everyday things like filling their gas tank or riding on an escalator,” Dr Gerba was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Washing and drying your hands frequently throughout the day can help prevent your risk of getting sick or spreading illness around the office,” he said.

16 comments for “Puzzle Corner #2

  1. November 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

    It’s from a leaflet by OCD Pride – 23rd edition.

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      That’s getting kind of warm.

  2. Michael
    November 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

    So it’s not really a problem because we’re exposed to those germs all the time, and our immune systems adapt to it. Or did I miss something at secondary school?

    ‘Are you about to press that traffic crossing button? STOP! Pressing buttons is a step towards COMMUNISM!’

  3. james Higham
    November 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Out out damned spot!

  4. November 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I’m not answering, I won’t risk even a tiny chance of winning the prize.

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      Well, to be honest her office hasn’t got back to me… again. :mrgreen:

      • November 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

        Well, you don’t want to win second prize – THREE weeks with Julia Gillard!

  5. Paul Harrison
    November 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I’m guessing someone like Dettol – weren’t they the geniuses that came up with the touch free soap dispenser, a dispenser that prevents you receiving germs exactly five seconds before you wash your hands in anti-bacterial soap. They were also responsible for the “Toilet seat has less germs then a chopping board” i think, a campaign that got them into trouble so this kind of article with phrases such as “germ-o-meter” could well be them.

    I do like this bit though “or spreading illness around the office” – call me old fashioned by i prefer the route of staying at home when ill to avoid spreading illness rather then obsessively washing my hands whilst coughing and sneezing over my work colleagues.

    • November 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      We have a winner. Not actually Dettol but yes, someone very much like them indeed. The second para reads in full:

      Research by US healthcare company Kimberly-Clark Professional has found that 71 per cent of fuel pump handles are “highest on the list of breeding grounds for illness-causing germs”.

      Yes, that would be Kimberley-Clark Professional, manufacturers of such things as Kimcare Antibacterial Luxury Foam Skin Cleanser and Kimberley-Clark Antibacterial Wipes, which are exactly what you’d want after handling one of those icky petrol pumps, natch. Demand them from *your* local filling station. 😉

      Sorry about your prize, Paul. The PM’s office remains strangely silent and I think you’ll have to settle for bragging rights. Anyone would think she’s got more important things to do than be my puzzle prize. Hey ho, maybe I’ll ask Gordon Brown next time. He can’t be too busy.

      • November 9, 2011 at 5:45 am

        “… which are exactly what you’d want after handling one of those icky petrol pumps, natch.”

        They are right there, but it’s because of the icky leaky diesel, not any germs!

      • Paul Harrison
        November 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm

        I’m happy with bragging rights although i’m afraid i cannot even except that, as i have a confession to make – i actually work for a company that makes and anti-bacterial hand wash (admittedly it is for surgeons who are about to stick there hands inside people rather then for people who touch things like door handles, and lift buttons). Clearly this is a conflict of interest so i feel it only fair to hand my prize back 🙁 .

        • November 10, 2011 at 1:57 am

          😀 Probably should have been declared but at least its a product for where there’s a need for sterile work environments rather than encouraging OCD. No, I think you keep the bragging rights.

          • Paul Harrison
            November 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

            I’m glad to hear that – right i’m off to wash my hands – keyboards are covered in germs apparently :mrgreen:

  6. nemesis
    November 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    ….research by ‘tax-payer funded, pseudo scientists with pre-determined agendas’ has found …

  7. nisakiman
    November 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Damn! Beaten to it!

    And there was I thinking that I could win a couple of weeks of luxury – all paid for by those nice Australians (who are going to be paying lots of extra money just so we don’t have to breathe that nasty carbon dioxide – isn’t that nice of them! :mrgreen: ).

    And with Julia “carbon tax” Gillard, no less. Oh joy! Oh you lucky, lucky man Paul Harrison. You are going to have fun!

    • November 9, 2011 at 2:35 am

      You are going to have fun!

      Only by not going. :mrgreen:

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