I have been mesmerized, as I have been before, by plastic painted cows. There are a bunch of cow statues parked in strategic places on the UNC campus waiting for a charity auction. I am not sure what it is about the cows that are so interesting: the bright colors, the poses, the overall clean design. Perhaps I feel guilty because I have enjoyed many a burger and sirloin and prime rib. But I think not. The bright colors are always a welcome juxtaposition to their environment (whether Manhattan or Chicago or Chapel Hill) and the “wild” designs capture surreal perceptions of the location. I could over analyze this one to death (a problem for my profession) or just say I LIKE PAINTED PLASTIC COWS. I will choose the latter.
What happens when someone over-thinks a scientific study? Sometimes, the study gets too complex because the investigative team gets hung up in the twigs on the branches instead of the tree. Sometimes, the methods take over and become the primary focus of the study. Sometimes, only four specialists in the world will be able to understand (and use) the resulting masterpiece of trivia and big words. Usually, the investigators lose sight of the desirable outcome of the study — that a clear decision can be made from the results answering a question of great importance.
There are a half dozen close up pictures of two of the cows at this page on my web site: http://www.hubaisms.com/about/stuuuff-pics/.
I hope there are no examples of over-thinking on the web site. I have been trying hard to keep them from sneaking into the pasture.