Effects of Red Wine on Pre-Hotdogs

December 10th, 2016

Initial progress is reported on understanding what can happen if you add red wine to hot dogs before the hot dogs are fully hot dogs. This study explains:

xifengEffects of adding red wine on the physicochemical properties and sensory characteristics of uncured frankfurter-type sausage,” Xi Feng [pictured here], Joseph G. Sebranek, Hyun Yong Lee, Dong Uk Ahn, Meat Science, vol. 121, November 2016, pp. 285–291. The authors, at Iowa State University, report:

“The aim of this work was to evaluate the quality and sensory characteristics of RTE frankfurter-type sausage cured with celery juice powder and including red wine…. Results showed that adding 5% red wine increased the a*-value, and the textural resilience, cohesiveness and springiness of the frankfurters, as well as decreased lipid/protein oxidation of the final products. Added wine also introduced new volatiles (alcohol and ester compounds) to the frankfurters…. However, the addition of excess amounts of red wine (10%) to the meat batter decreased the pH of meat batter and accelerated lipid oxidation.”

Some video reports about the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize winners

December 9th, 2016

Here’s a smattering of TV news reports about the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize winners and the ceremony. If you look down your nose at television, perhaps begin by reading some wire service reports: Associated Press, Reuters (and a trove of Reuters photos), AFP. LiveScience took many photos.

NHK [Japan]:


CTV Winnipeg [Canada]:

CIS [Russia]:

Magellan SuperTV2 [Hungary]:

Teleitalia [Italy]:

News TV:

CCTV America [China]:

CCTV News [China]:

Otago Daily Times [New Zealand]:

Chuyển Động | Đề Cử Giải Ig Nobel Tại Việt Nam | Tin Hot:

CNN News:

World News Russia Ukraine:

For additional reports, see the Improbable Research press clips page.

NEXT POST: Red wine on pre-hotdogs?



The cause of 85% of homosexuality, according to the SSRF

December 8th, 2016

spirit-org-logoThe vast majority — approximately 85% — of cases of homosexuality in humans are caused by ghosts, says a report by the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (also known as “the SSRF”). The organization does not say what percentage of its reports are written or otherwise caused by ghosts. Their homosexuality/ghosts report says:

Spiritual research has shown that the cause for homosexual preferences lie predominantly in the spiritual realm.

  • Physical causes (5%): Due to hormonal changes.
  • Psychological causes (10%): Having an experience with a person of the same sex as a teenager or young adult that was pleasurable and therefore wanting to experience it again.
  • Spiritual causes (85%): Mainly ghosts.

This finding is interesting if true.

The organization produced a lengthy video about many of their other discoveries, all of which may have as much merit as their discovery that the vast majority — approximately 85% — of cases of homosexuality in humans are caused by ghosts:

The LGBTQ Nation web site offers an informed appreciation of the study.

(Thanks to Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.)

Correct measurement of the wing-length of waders (recommendation)

December 8th, 2016

Those involved in research projects often need to take measurements of some kind, and usually, the more accurate the better – leading to the question ‘Can any measurement ever be taken without some margin of error?’ As an example, see the work of Professor P R Evans, writing in the Wader Study Group Bulletin, (69, Special Issue):97-98, 1993. Correct measurement of the wing-length of waders

“It has been drawn to my attention that there is some confusion as to the most reliable method of measuring the wing-length of waders, i.e. the method that minimizes differences in measurements obtained from the same bird by different workers on the same occasion, or by the same worker on different occasions.”


Also see: Curiosity: “ZERO margin of error”?

NEXT POST: Do the winners show up on TV?

Did His Orgasm Lead to Blindness? (podcast #93)

December 7th, 2016

Can a man’s orgasm cause him to go blind, at least temporarily? A medical report explores that very question, and we explore that medical report, in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free.

This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a published orgasm/blindess study, with dramatic readings from Yale/MIT/Harvard biomedical researcher Chris Cotsapas.

For more info about what we discuss this week, go explore:


The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).

NEXT POST: Is every measurement wrong?