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

April 2014, issue number 2013-04. ISSN 1076-500X.

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The monthly mini update/alert from Improbable Research

      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: Cloning & Evolution Issue Aborning

2013-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: How Many Joints?

2013-04-05 Ig Nobel Eurotour Thanks, and Next Year

2013-04-06 Green: Thumb Injury Limerick Competition

2013-04-07 Pitted Pebbles Poet

2013-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Worst Paper, Dropped Drop

2013-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Salamander 5th Toe Loss

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

 

      X-STEM, Washington, DC                  — Apr 24

      NIST, Gaithersburg, MD                  — Apr 25

      Lost Lectures, New York City            — Apr 25

 

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

 

 

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2013-04-03 In the Magazine: Cloning & Evolution Issue Aborning

 

The special Cloning & Evolution issue (vol. 20, no. 2) of the Annals of Improbable Research is at the printer, and will be escaping soon, on its journey to the homes of subscribers and to e-bookstores.

 

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

      Links to all issues: <http://www.improbable.com/magazine>

 

 

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2013-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: How Many Joints?

 

This month's research spotlights a number of joints:

 

"How Many Joints Does the 5th Toe Have? A Review of 606 Patients of 655 Foot Radiographs," Lawrence Stephen Moulton, Seema Prasad, Robert G. Lamb, Siva P. Sirikonda, Foot and Ankle Surgery, vol. 18, 2012, pp. 263–5. (Thanks to Kwan Hoong Ng for bringing this to our attention.) <http://goo.gl/gdm2T4> The authors, at Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Wirral University Hospitals, Tameside Hospital NHS Trust, and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK, report:

 

"It is a common understanding that the fth toe has three bones with two interphalangeal joints. However, our experience shows that a signicant number have only two phalanges with one interphalangeal joint."

 

 

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2013-04-05 Ig Nobel Eurotour Thanks, and Next Year

 

A big thank you to everyone who helped organize this year's multi-part Ig Nobel tour of the UK, Denmark, and Sweden, and to the Iggy performers, and especially to the improbably delightful people who came to the shows. Very extra special supercalifragilistithanks to Rebecca Mckone, Dan Gillingwater, Robin Ball, Sid Rodrigues, Ruth Holland, Jon Barber, Maricar Jagger, Jens Holbech, Ole John Nielsen, The Carlsberg Foundation, and Gustav ("best-dressed scientist on the planet") Nielsonne.

 

We are beginning to organize next spring's Eurotour, which looks like it will also have many shows in the UK, Denmark, and Sweden, and also in Paris and perhaps other research culture cauldrons.

 

If your institution would like to host an Ig Nobel show next March, please get in touch with us.

 

 

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2013-04-06 Green: Thumb Injury Limerick Competition

 

A thumb injury inspires this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this ancient study:

 

"The danger in a handshake — An unusual case of ulnar collateral ligament rupture," Ramita Dey and A.D Green, Injury, vol. 34, no. 7, July 2003, pp. 535–536. <http://goo.gl/w9u7wI> The authors, at Nobles Hospital, Douglas, Isle of Man, UK, report:

 

"Originally described in Scottish gamekeepers, who sustained the injury by breaking the necks of injured hares, ulnar collateral ligament injury now most often and with increasing frequency occurs in skiers who fall holding onto ski poles, resulting in the term 'skiers thumb' It is also very common among basketball players and in grappling sports like wrestling and the martial arts. We describe a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament [in a 47-year-old previously fit jeweller] caused by a trivial force and occurring in the unusual and unique situation of a simple handshake."

 

Submit your perfectly formed limerick to:

 

      GREEN: THUMB LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <marca@improbable.com>

 

 

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2013-04-07 Pitted Pebbles Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner for last month's Pitted Pebbles Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"Pitted Pebbles in the Bunter Conglomerate of Cannock Chase," T. Mellard Reade, Geological Magazine, vol. 2, no. 8, August 1895, pp. 341-5. <http://goo.gl/5wtdgi>

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR JOANNE LEARY, who writes:

 

Geologist Gresley wrote down

That T. Mellard Reade was a clown.

   "His theories on pitting

   Are truly side-splitting —

Unworthy of fame and renown!"

 

And here is the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

People should read, it's decreed,

The writings of T. Mellard Reade.

   What to read, though, I fear,

   Is a little unclear.

His original paper or screed?

 

 

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2013-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Worst Paper, Dropped Drop

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

 

"This is quite possibly the worst paper I've read all year" <http://goo.gl/RGcVHf>

 

Robots Ring the Doorbell <http://goo.gl/8rS5pS>

 

The drop dropped in the Ig Nobel-winning pitch drop experiment <http://goo.gl/LbR1Lw>

 

...and MORE, MORe, MOre, More, more at <http://improbable.com>

 

LFHCfS (Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists) new members:

Alex Dyson

Stewart Walker

Admire them at <http://goo.gl/8AZawf>

 

Newspaper column:

"Hydraulic invention: No need to clamber for theater seating <http://goo.gl/9ghSf4>

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

books:      <http://goo.gl/rHMb3t>

 

 

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2013-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Salamander 5th Toe Loss

 

"On the Loss of the Fifth Toe in Certain Salamanders," E.R. Dunn, Science, vol. 66, no. 1717, November 25, 1927, p. 509. <http://www.sciencemag.org/content/66/1717/509.1.extract>

 

 

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2013-04-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

X-STEM, Washington, DC                    — Apr 24, 2014

NIST, Gaithersburg, MD, USA               — Apr 25, 2014 [AM]

Lost Lectures, New York, NY, USA          — Apr 25, 2014 [PM]

ESOF, Copenhagen, Denmark                 — Jun, 2014

Ig Nobel TICKETS go on sale               — Jul, 2014

Readercon, MA, USA                        — Jul 10, 2014

NEW BOOK — Publication day USA            — Aug 12, 2014

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony                   — Sep 18, 2014

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Sep 20, 2014

 

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

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

PROOFREADER: Ambient Happenstance

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

 

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

(c) copyright 2014, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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

 

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