mini-Annals of Improbable Research ("mini-AIR")

April 2013, issue number 2013-04. ISSN 1076-500X.

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Monthly mini update/alert from the Annals of Improbable Research

      This issue is at

      <http://www.improbable.com/airchives/miniair/2013/mini2013-04.htm>

      Archive at <http://improbable.com/airchives/miniair/>

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2013-04-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2013-04-02 Imminent Events

2013-04-03 In the Magazine: Blushing

2013-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Bogus Butter Question

2013-04-05 Ig Nobel Events in Geneva

2013-04-06 Putrid Defect of Butter Limerick Competition

2013-04-07 Bass-Described Singing Fish Poet

2013-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Luak Demand, Inbreeding, Weather

2013-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: From Putrid Bunny Urine, for Flavor

2013-04-10 Improbable Research Events

2013-04-11 -- How to Get the Magazine (*)

2013-04-12 -- Our Address (*)

2013-04-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2013-04-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2013-04-02 Imminent Events

 

      Geneva, Switzerland                 May 3 and 7

 

      Cambridge, MA, USA                  June 4

 

      Full schedule at <http://goo.gl/tzwJt>

 

 

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2013-04-03 In the Magazine: Blushing

 

The special Blushing issue of the Annals of Improbable Research has just emerged from the printer in traditional paper-and-ink form. The e-book version will be available soon:

 

      Download a FREE E-BOOK ISSUE <http://goo.gl/BMzMw>

      All issues of the magazine <http://www.improbable.com/magazine>

 

 

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2013-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Bogus Butter Question

 

This month's research spotlights a — nay, the — question about bogus butter:

 

The Bogus Butter Question: Review of a Document (evidently) Prepared by Paid Attorneys, in the Special Interest of the Manufacturers of Bogus Butter, Robert Macdonald Charles Littler, 1887.

<http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006910662>

 

 

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2013-04-05 Ig Nobel Events in Geneva

 

Geneva, Switzerland will host lots of improbability in May.

 

I will do a TEDx CERN talk on the topic: "All Real Research is Improbable":

 

      TEDx CERN: Friday, May 3, 2013

      <http://tedxcern.web.cern.ch/>

 

Four nights later, there's a big Ig Nobel show at the University of Geneva:

 

      UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA, Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 pm.

      Uni Dufour, Rue Gnral-Dufour 24.

      Admission is FREE.

      <http://www.unige.ch/communication/archives/2013/ignobel.html>

 

The University of Geneva show features these Ig Nobel Prize winners, who will explain, as best they can, what they did and why they did it:

 

<> STEPHAN BOLLIGER and STEFFEN ROSS (is it better to be smashed on the head with a full bottle of be, or to be smashed on the head with an empty bottle of beer?)

 

<> BART KNOLS (malaria mosquitoes are strongly attracted to the smells of Limburger cheese and human feet)

 

<> KEES MOELIKER (homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck)

 

      * * *

 

Soprano MARIA FERRANTE and pianist ALICE MARTELLI will perform songs from Ig Nobel operas, at both events.

 

Both events will be webcast.

 

 

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2013-04-06 Putrid Defect of Butter Limerick Competition

 

Putrid defects and butter inspire this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this study:

 

"Bacteriology of Butter. VIII. Relationship of Achromobacter putrefaciens to the Putrid Defect of Butter," T.J. Claydon and B. W. Hammer, Iowa Agr. Expt. Sta., Research Bulletin, 267 (1939).

<http://goo.gl/ks7mR>

 

PRIZE: The winning poet will receive (if we manage to send it to the correct address) a free (and conceivably buttery), e-book issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. Send your limerick to:

 

      PUTRID DEFECT OF BUTTER LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <marca@improbable.com>

 

 

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2013-04-07 Bass-Described Singing Fish Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner for last month's Bass-Described Singing Fish Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study:

 

"Seasonal plasticity of auditory hair cell frequency sensitivity correlates with plasma steroid levels in a vocal fish," K.N. Rohmann and Andrew H. Bass, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 214, 2011, pp. 1931-1942.

<http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/11/1931.abstract >

 

The winner is RUTH R. GREENWOOD, who write:

 

I would certainly be out of place

To mention it right to his face

   Only the crass

  Would pair Dr. Bass

With the fish or, in music, the bass.

 

From LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

What it takes to make hair cells go swish

Has an impact on whether a fish,

   Through a process complex,

   Is apt to have sex.

But can this be leveraged? I wish!

 

 

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2013-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Luak Demand, Inbreeding, Weather

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

<> Demand for luak coffee drives demand for the animal that excretes it

      <http://goo.gl/2p9aZ>

<> Inbreeding, the Habsburgs, and Texas

      <http://goo.gl/9ki0a>

<> Phantosmia as and in a weather forecaster, reportedly

      <http://goo.gl/jEvpG>

... and more at <http://improbable.com>

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

facebook:   <http://www.facebook.com/improbableresearch>

NEW BOOK, "This Is Improbable": <http://goo.gl/brcd8>

 

 

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2013-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: From Putrid Bunny Urine, for Flavor

 

MALTOL FROM THE PUTRID URINE OF RABBIT

"On the Isolation of Maltol from the Putrid Urine of Rabbit" [article in Japanese], K. Kubota and T. Kaku, Yakugaku zasshi: Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan 82 (1962): 1456.

<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13927260>

 

MALTOL TO ENHANCE THE FLAVOR OF FOOD

"Use of maltol-2-methyl pentenoates for augmenting or enhancing the flavor or aroma of a foodstuff." U.S. Patent 4,169,900, issued October 2, 1979 to Cynthia J. Mussinan, Braja D. Mookherjee, Alfred E. Goossens, and Manfred H. Vock.

<http://goo.gl/pnFHP>

 

 

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2013-04-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

<http://improbable.com/improbable-research-shows/complete-schedule>

 

TEDx CERN, Geneva, Switzerland            — May 3, 2013

University of Geneva                      — May 7, 2013

Story Collider, Cambridge, MA, USA        — Jun 4, 2013

  *** Ig Nobel Ceremony Tickets will go on sale in mid-summer ***

2013 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, Harvard     — Sep 12, 2013

Ig Informal Lectures, MIT                 — Sep 14, 2013

Ig Nobel Tour of Scandinavia             — Mar, 2014

Ig Nobel Tour of the UK, USA              — Mar, 2014

USA Sci & Eng Fest, Washington, DC        — Apr, 2014

Imperial College London Festival, UK      — May, 2014

Science Friday (NPR)                      — almost every month

 

 

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2013-04-11 -- How to Get the Magazine (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a 6-issues-per-year magazine. (It's much bigger and better than the little bits in this newsletter.)

We produce each issue as an e-book, as well as on traditional paper.

 

E-BOOKS:

      <http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>

      DOWNLOAD A FREE E-BOOK ISSUE: <http://goo.gl/BMzMw>

 

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2013-04-12 -- Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

(+1) 617-491-4437, FAX: (+1) 617-661-0927

 

EDITORIAL: <marca@improbable.com>

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2013-04-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

 

Please distribute copies of mini-AIR (or excerpts!) wherever appropriate. The only limitations are: A) Please indicate that the material comes from mini-AIR. B) You may NOT distribute mini-AIR for commercial purposes.

 

      ------------- mini-AIRheads -------------

EDITOR: Marc Abrahams

MINI-PROOFREADER AND PICKER OF NITS (before we introduce the last

few at the last moment): Wendy Mattson

CO-CONSPIRATORS: Kees Moeliker, Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Gary Dryfoos, Ernest Ersatz, Stephen Drew

MAITRE DE COMPUTATION: Jerry Lotto

AUTHORITY FIGURES: Nobel Laureates Dudley Herschbach, Sheldon Glashow, Richard Roberts

 

Key words: improbable research, science humor, Ig Nobel, AIR, the

(c) copyright 2013, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2013-04-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

Mini-AIR is a (free!) teeny-tiny monthly *supplement* to the actual six-times-a-year magazine AIR.

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