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Benefits of Tapping on an Un-Opened Beer Can?

February 21st, 2020

[NOTE: The researchers will describe and demonstrate their work at the Ig Nobel show, on Wednesday, April 15, at the University of Southern Denmark.]

Can you retrieve more beer from a can if you tap on the can before you open it? A Danish team ran some tests, and published a study about what they found:

To beer or not to beer: does tapping beer cans prevent beer loss? A randomised controlled trial,” Elizaveta Sopina, Irina E. Antonescu, Thomas Hansen, Torben Hoejland, Morten M. Jensen, Simon V. Pedersen, Wade Thompson, Philipp Weber, Jamie O Halloran, Melissa G. Beach, Ryan Pulleyblank, and Elliot J. Brown, arXiv:1912.01999, 2019.

The authors, at the University of Southern Denmark and the Technical University of Denmark, report:

Objective: Preventing or minimising beer loss when opening a can of beer is socially and economically desirable. One theoretically grounded approach is tapping the can prior to opening, although this has never been rigorously evaluated. We aimed to evaluate the effect of tapping a can of beer on beer loss….

Main outcome measure: The main outcome measure was beer loss (in grams). This was calculated as the difference in the mass of the beer after the can was opened compared to before the can was opened.

Results: For shaken cans, there was no statistically significant difference in the mass of beer lost when tapping compared to not tapping. For unshaken cans, there was also no statistically significant difference between tapping and not tapping.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that tapping shaken beer cans does not prevent beer loss when the container is opened. Thus, the practice of tapping a beer prior to opening is unsupported. The only apparent remedy to avoid liquid loss is to wait for bubbles to settle before opening the can.

The authors used locally produced beer. They specify that: “No funding was received for this study. The materials for the experiment (beer cans) were provided by Carlsberg Breweries A/S, who had no vested interest in the outcome of the study and were not involved in any part of the study conception, design, analysis or manuscript writing.”

Podcast Episode #204: “The Longest Oath”

February 19th, 2020

The Longest Oath, The Okajima/Fujinami Navel Lint Removal Invention, The Effect of Country Music on Suicide, Garlic in Men and Women, Artificial Fruit Processing, Improbable Medical Review, Clever Contraptions to Capture Crooks, and On What I Do Not Understand and Have Something to Say.

In episode #204, Marc Abrahams shows some unfamiliar research studies to Robin Abrahams, Chris Cotsapas, Jean Berko Gleason, Andrew Berry, Nicole Sharp, Corky White, Richard Baguley, and Melissa Franklin. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

1. Robin Abrahams encounters:

“Burmah and the Burmese,” Kenneth R.H. Mackenzie, Geo. Routledge & Co., London, 1853

2. Chris Cotsapas encounters:

“Body recessed portion cleaning agent,”patent application (US #2007/0041923) filed by Takao Okajima and Susumu Fujinami.

3. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

“The Effect of Country Music on Suicide,” Steven Stack and James Gundlach , Social Forces, volume 71, number 1, September 1992, on pp. 211-8.

“Comments on Stack and Gundlach’s “The Effect of Country Music on Suicide:” An “Achy Breaky Heart” May Not Kill You.” Gary W. Mauk, Matthew J. Taylor, Karl R. White, and T. Scott Allen, Social Forces, vol. 72, no. 4, 1994, pp. 1249-1255.

“Achy Breaky Makey Wakey Heart? A Randomised Crossover Trial of Musical Prompts,” Malcolm Woollard, , Jason Poposki, Brae McWhinnie, Lettie Rawlins, Graham Munro, and Peter O’Meara. Emergency Medicine Journal, 2011.

4. Andrew Berry encounters:

Hirsch, Alan R. (2000). ‘Effects of Garlic Bread on Family Interactions.’ Psychosomatic Medicine 62 (1): 103.

Kuettner, E. Bartholomeus, Rolf Hilgenfeld, and Manfred S. Weiss (2002). ‘The Active Principle of Garlic at Atomic Resolution.’ Journal of Biological Chemistry 277 (48): 46402–7.

Thomas, H. F., P. M. Sweetnam, and B. Janchawee (1998). ‘What Sort of Men Take Garlic Preparations?’ Complementary Therapies in Medicine 6: 195–97.

5. Nicole Sharp encounters:

“Imitative learning of artificial fruit processing in children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes),” A. Whiten, D.M. Custance, J.C. Gomez, P. Teixidor P, and K.A. Bard, Journal of Comparative Psychology, vol. 110, no. 1, March 1996, pp. 3-14.

6. Corky White encounters:

“Feet Rolled Over by Cars: Radiological and Histological Considerations from Experiments,” J. Falk, J. Michael, P. Eysel, M. A. Rothschild, International Journal of Legal Medicine, vol. 122, no. 2, March 2008, pp. 97–100.

“A Case Study of Gut Fermentation Syndrome (Auto-Brewery) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the Causative Organism.” Cordell, Barbara, and Justin McCarthy, International Journal of Clinical Medicine, vol. 4, 2013, pp. 309–12.

“Papaya (Carica papaya) Consumption is Unsafe in Pregnancy: Fact or Fable? Scientific Evaluation of a Common Belief in Some Parts of Asia Using a Rat Model,” Adebowale Adebiyi, P. Ganesan Adaikan, and R.N.V. Prasad, British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 88, no. 02, August 2002, pp 199–203.

7. Richard Baguley encounters:

Helene Adelaide Shelby’s “Apparatus for Obtaining Criminal Confessions and Photographically Recording Them” (U.S. patent 1749090, granted 1930)

Alphonse J. Thibault’s “Burglar Trap” (U.S. Patent 1807944, granted 1931)

Peter Boudreau’s “Crime Prevention System” (U.S. patent 3680499, granted 1972)

Jack Jensen’s “Airplane Hijacking Injector” (U.S. patent 3841328, granted 1974)

8. Melissa Franklin encounters:

“Gastric Disappearance of Dietary Fiber by Adolescent Boys,” S. Gramstorff Fetzer, C. Kies, and H.M. Fox, Cereal Chemistry, vol. 56, 1979, p. 34.

“A Tall Space With a Small Bottom,” István Juhász, Saharon Shelah, Lajos Soukup, and Zoltán Szentmikl Ossy, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 131, no. 6, 2003, pp. 1907-16.

“On What I Do Not Understand (and Have Something to Say), Part I,” Saharon Shelah, Fundamenta Mathematicae, vol. 166, nos. 1-2, 2000, pp. 1-82.

“Brussels Sprouts: An Exceptionally Rich Source of Ambiguity for Anticancer Strategies,” M. Paolini,Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, vol. 152, no. 2, October 1998, pp. 293-4.

Bruce Petschek, Audio Engineer
Jon Shedler, Audio Engineer
Seth Gliksman, Production Assistant
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Michael Milken, First Winner (in 1991) of the Ig Nobel Economics Prize, Pardoned

February 18th, 2020

Michael Milken, the very first winner of the Ig Nobel Economics Prize, was pardoned today by the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.

The 1991 Ig Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to “Michael Milken, titan of Wall Street and father of the junk bond, to whom the world is indebted”.

Fox Business reported, today:

Milken, ‘Junk Bond King,’ could return to Wall St. after Trump pardon

Now that Michael Milken has secured a pardon from President Trump for financial crimes he was convicted of three decades ago, can the man, once known as the “junk bond king,” rejoin the securities industry?

The answer is yes, but the outcome won’t be so simple. Milken, at least for now, is telling reporters he has no plans to get back into the business of Wall Street. It was there, during the finance boom of the 1980s, that he made tons of money on junk bonds and leveraged finance deals at the now-defunct Drexel Burnham Lambert. His plea and conviction in 1990 for securities fraud, landed him a 10-year prison sentence (commuted to two years), $1.1 billion in fines and restitution, and a permanent ban from the securities business. The king had been turned into a pariah.

Ig Nobel talk (and webcast) at NIH on Wednesday

February 18th, 2020

Marc Abrahams will give this week’s NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture talk, at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The topic will be “Improbable Research and the Ig Nobel Prizes.”

The event, at 3 pm (US eastern time), Wednesday, February 19, is open to the public, free. It will also be webcast.

The NIH web site says of the lecture series: “The NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the NIH.”

The NIH web site says of the lecturer: “Marc Abrahams founded the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, in 1991. He is editor of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, and former editor of the Journal of Irreproducible Research. He has written 24 mini-operas (about heart repair, bacterial space exploration, atomic/human romance, species mixing, coffee chemistry, the Atkins Diet, human/sheep cloning, cockroaches, incompetence, and much else). He invents ways to make people curious about things they might otherwise avoid.”

Mean Age of Death (MAD) of Russian academic researchers [study]

February 17th, 2020

Are you a professional researcher engaged in the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics, economics, medicine or biology? Are you Russian? Are you a man? Would you like to know your (likely) mean age of death (MAD)? If so, look no further than the journal Seriya 16. Biologiya. 2016;(4):12-18. (in Russian). Where you will find details of a research project by Anisimov V.N [pictured] and Zharinov G.M., who, between them, investigated the MAD of 54256 men engaged professionally in research work in various disciplines.

Finding that economists lived to 74.6 ± 0.26 years – about 4 years longer than mathematicians. Reasons for the differences are as yet unexplained.

See: Anisimov V.N., Zharinov G.M. MEAN AGE OF DEATH AND LONGEVITY OF MALE SCHOLARS OF DIFFERENT SPECIALTIES. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 16. Biologiya. 2016;(4):12-18. (In Russ.)

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