Man, I love the fact that when The Onion does an article about pretend research, they don't skimp on the details. This story includes the journal (NEJM), n-size (85,000), research design (longitudinal), a lead author, covariates (race, nationality, etc.) as well as a replication study. I like to think that the person who writes these articles paid really close attention in a statistics class or a research methods class and remembers just enough to be a smart ass about the research process. From the article:
I used this just last week as a review example of correlation =/= causation. The students liked it. Mission accomplished.