A brief dissertation on a subject of utmost importance


Science truly is a many faceted discipline; spanning the entirety of everything, it can be argued that even the seemingly most illogical arts fall within its voluptuous wings. It can tell us the chemical reactions behind the movement of an eye; it can condense the complexities of the universe into a set of numbers on a piece of paper.

Britney Spears does five hundred sit-ups a day. My hypothesis is this: if I do five hundred sit-ups a day, I will look like Britney Spears.


Britney Jean Spears was born in 1981. She was a co-host on Disney's asinine Mickey Mouse Club before "making it" (conceivably in more ways than one) as a hit recording artist. Her initial release, ... Baby One More Time was widely described as a paedophile's wet dream but led to an immensely popular solo career. Her latter-day success is partially down to her famous midriff, which she achieves by doing five hundred sit-ups a day. (Her breasts also play a small role; some years ago there was a rumour that she had implants to boost her size. This was hotly denied, although so were her sexual relations with Justin Timberlake.)

Benjamin was born in 1979. He went to school and led a relatively unremarkable life. He is 6'4", moderately hairy, and has never resembled Britney Spears. He does do a certain number of sit-ups a day as a matter of health; that number has never, ever reached five hundred. Doing five hundred sit ups makes him want to give up and eat cake.

Benjamin wears glasses, has prominent earlobes and does not have significant breasts, not even man ones. His weight fluctuates, but in recent years has settled around the 200lb mark; as he is relatively tall, this does not make him look like Danny De Vito, although he could not be described as entirely happy with his girth. Ms. Spears, on the other hand, is likely to weigh less than 200lb, unless she is made of some sort of metal alloy. (If she is, research should be conducted to see if she can turn into a car.)

It should be noted and reiterated that Benjamin is me, and Ms. Spears is not.


There are two stages to the experiment:

Stage One - I do not do five hundred sit-ups a day. This is the control stage.
Stage Two - I do five hundred sit-ups a day. This is the other stage.

The definition of a sit-up is A physical exercise in which one uses the abdominal muscles to raise the torso from a supine to a sitting position and then lies back down again without moving the legs.1 Note that this does not mention what one does with one's arms, although this greatly affects how many sit-ups one can do. Placing them in front of you allows you to use them for momentum; however, strictly speaking, you're supposed to be using your abdominal muscles. Placing hands behind your neck can damage your back, so my preferred method is to place my arms across my chest. Until I get tired, at which point I put my arms out in front of me and use them for momentum.


Stage One

I have not been doing five hundred sit-ups a day for a total of 8,755 days. So far I do not look like Britney Spears. However, this does not mean that I will never look like Britney Spears; if there are an infinite number of universes, there must be one where I magically transform tomorrow. How can I be sure that it isn't this one?

I can offer no proof.

Stage Two

Over a period of five days, I have been doing five hundred sit-ups a day. I shall attempt to quantify the extent to which I am Britney Spears in the following categories:

  • Singing: I could not sing prior to commencing the experiment; or, rather, my attempts were described as being akin to "a gormless fifteen year old trying his very hardest". In an effort to determine whether this has improved, I visited five malls in five separate localities and began to sing at the top of my voice.

    In every instance, I was arrested.

  • Physicality: I cannot turn into a car, no matter how hard I try. I also continue to not have breasts.
  • Psychology: I have never been to Louisiana, so cannot comment on how good or bad it is. Nor can I reference the food in any way, or open a restaurant in New York City that makes it.

    I do not believe in abstaining from having sex before marriage, but then neither does Ms. Spears. I rarely reveal my midriff, however, and have not been on stage for many years. Therefore, it is conceivable that I am more shy and less famous.

In summation, I'm not a girl, not yet a woman.


The conjecture that five hundred sit-ups a day alone transform one into Britney Spears is false and misleading. Indeed, I retain a certain amount of excess fat around the stomach area; perhaps if I continue doing this number of sit-ups, it will diminish. However, I sincerely doubt I will ever look like Ms. Spears; an educated guess would place the outcome at Dean Cain at most.

This makes me want to cry like a puppy in the rain.

1The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition; Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
2From Breadsticks to Braggadocio, Ghaj K; Penguin Puttnam, 1976.

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