#1 A total of $3 million has been granted to researchers at the University of California at Irvine so that they can play video games such as World of Warcraft. The goal of this “video game research” is reportedly to study how “emerging forms of communication, including multiplayer computer games and online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life can help organizations collaborate and compete more effectively in the global marketplace.”
#2 The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the University of New Hampshire $700,000 this year to study methane gas emissions from dairy cows.
#3 $615,000 was given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize photos, T-shirts and concert tickets belonging to the Grateful Dead.
#4 A professor at Stanford University received $239,100 to study how Americans use the Internet to find love. So far one of the key findings of this “research” is that the Internet is a safer and more discreet way to find same-sex partners.
#5 The National Science Foundation spent $216,000 to study whether or not politicians “gain or lose support by taking ambiguous positions.”
#6 The National Institutes of Health spent approximately $442,340 to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.
#7 Approximately $1 million of U.S. taxpayer money was used to create poetry for the Little Rock, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Chicago zoos. The goal of the “poetry” is to help raise awareness on environmental issues.
#8 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spent $175 million during 2010 to maintain hundreds of buildings that it does not even use. This includes a pink, octagonal monkey house in the city of Dayton, Ohio.
#9 $1.8 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars went for a “museum of neon signs” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
#10 $35 million was reportedly paid out by Medicare to 118 “phantom” medical clinics that never even existed. Apparently these “phantom” medical clinics were established by a network of criminal gangs as a way to defraud the U.S. government.
#11 The Conservation Commission of Monkton, Vermont got $150,000 from the federal government to construct a “critter crossing”. Thanks to U.S. government money, the lives of “thousands” of migrating salamanders are now being saved.
#12 In California, one park received $440,000 in federal funds to perform “green energy upgrades” on a building that has not been used for a decade.
#13 $440,955 was spent this past year on an office for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert that he rarely even visits.
#14 One Tennessee library was given $5,000 in federal funds to host a series of video game parties.
#15 The U.S. Census Bureau spent $2.5 million on a television commercial during the Super Bowl that was so poorly produced that virtually nobody understood what is was trying to say.
#16 A professor at Dartmouth University received $137,530 to create a “recession-themed” video game entitled “Layoff”.
#17 The National Science Foundation gave the Minnesota Zoo over $600,000 so that they could develop an online video game called “Wolfquest”.
#18 A pizzeria in Iowa was given $60,000 to renovate the pizzeria’s facade and give it a more “inviting feel”.
#19 The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave one enterprising group of farmers $30,000 to develop a tourist-friendly database of farms that host guests for overnight “haycations”. This one sounds like something that Dwight Schrute would have dreamed up.
#20 Almost unbelievably, the National Institutes of Health was given $800,000 in “stimulus funds” to study the impact of a “genital-washing program” on men in South Africa.