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

September 2014, issue number 2014-09. ISSN 1076-500X.

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The monthly wee little tiny mini update/alert from Improbable Research

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

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2014-09-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2014-09-02 Imminent Events

2014-09-03 In the Magazine: Secret Issue, Sort Of

2014-09-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Jackson on Safety-Pins In The Stomach

2014-09-05 The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

2014-09-06 Jackson on Tenaculum Retraction Limerick Competition

2014-09-07 Screw When Where Poet

2014-09-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Leg of Lamp, Head whack, Guestimates

2014-09-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Jackson on the 'Asthmatoid Wheeze'

2014-09-10 Improbable Research Events

2014-09-11 — How to Get the Magazine (*)

2014-09-12 — Our Address (*)

2014-09-13 — Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2014-09-14 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2014-09-02 Imminent Events

 

Š Porter Sq Books, Cambridge, MA, USA     — Fri, Sept 26

            <http://goo.gl/O4RWST>

Š Rotterdam, The Netherlands              — Fri, Sept 26

            <http://goo.gl/dAfDL3>

Š Google, NYC                             — Wed, Oct 1

Š Google, Boston                          — Thu, Oct 2

 

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

 

 

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2014-09-03 In the Magazine: Secret Issue, Sort Of

 

The next issue of the magazine is a special issue on a topic that is secret (but not very). We will trundle it off to the printer soon.

 

You can see bits of the current issue — the special CHEWING issue — at <http://goo.gl/KlG0hH>:

 

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

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

 

 

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2014-09-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Jackson on Safety-Pins In The Stomach

 

This month the focus arrives at:

 

"Safety-Pins In The Stomach," Chevalier Jackson, Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 76, no. 9, 1921, pp. 577-579.

LINK: <http://goo.gl/5EbDiR>

 

 

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2014-09-05 The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

 

The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize winners were introduced at the 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Each has done something that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.

 

Ceremony details and video: <http://improbable.com/ig/2014/>

 

Some of the subsequent press reports: <http://goo.gl/Q4aKOA>

 

Full list of winners, with references and links: <http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2014>

 

Here are the winners:

 

PHYSICS PRIZE [JAPAN]: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that's on the floor.

 

NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE [CHINA, CANADA]: Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee, for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.

 

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [AUSTRALIA, UK, USA]: Peter K. Jonason, Amy Jones, and Minna Lyons, for amassing evidence that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE [CZECH REPUBLIC, JAPAN, USA, INDIA]: Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlíček and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and to David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat.

 

BIOLOGY PRIZE [CZECH REPUBLIC, GERMANY, ZAMBIA]: Vlastimil Hart, Petra Nováková, Erich Pascal Malkemper, Sabine Begall, Vladimír Hanzal, Miloš Ježek, Tomáš Kušta, Veronika Němcová, Jana Adámková, Kateřina Benediktová, Jaroslav Červený and Hynek Burda, for carefully documenting that when dogs defecate and urinate, they prefer to align their body axis with Earth's north-south geomagnetic field lines.

 

ART PRIZE [ITALY]: Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro, and Paolo Livrea, for measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam.

 

ECONOMICS PRIZE [ITALY]: ISTAT — the Italian government's National Institute of Statistics, for proudly taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions between willing participants.

 

MEDICINE PRIZE [USA, INDIA]: Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, for treating "uncontrollable" nosebleeds, using the method of nasal-packing-with-strips-of-cured-pork.

 

ARCTIC SCIENCE PRIZE [NORWAY, GERMANY, USA, CANADA]: Eigil Reimers and Sindre EftestŅl, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.

 

NUTRITION PRIZE [SPAIN]: Raquel Rubio, Anna Jofré, Belén Martín, Teresa Aymerich, and Margarita Garriga, for their study titled "Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Infant Faeces as Potential Probiotic Starter Cultures for Fermented Sausages."

 

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The ceremony also celebrated the publication of two books:

 

Š "THIS IS IMPROBABLE TOO" <http://goo.gl/Ag7jUC>

Š "THE IG NOBEL COOKBOOK, volume 1" <http://goo.gl/h6080v>

 

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Want a chance to win two tickets to next year's (2015) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony? There are complications, but not strings attached. See <http://goo.gl/LxIE4u>

 

 

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2014-09-06 Jackson on Tenaculum Retraction Limerick Competition

 

Tenaculum retraction inspire this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that clarifies the nature of this invention:

 

"Tenaculum Retraction in Laryngofissure," Chevalier Jackson, Journal of Laryngology & Otology, vol. 51, no. 8, 1936, pp. 530-531. <http://goo.gl/5MkmKJ> Jackson writes:

 

"...co-ordinated control of the thyroid wing during the use of the perichondrial elevator that is not unlike the co-ordinate use of knife and fork in eating."

 

Submit your perfectly formed limerick to:

 

      JACKSON ON TENACULUM RETRACTION LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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2014-09-07 Screw When Where Poet

 

The judges have chosen co-winners for last month's Screw When Where Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"The Helical Tantalum Screw, When and Where To Use It," B. Heinrich, Implantologist, vol. 2, no. 2, 1981, p. 50. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6955275>

 

The winners are INVESTIGATOR DANUTA ORLOWSKA, who wrote:

 

If you don't have a clue what to do

With a helical tantalum screw

 Read Heinrich's brief guide

 To how it's applied.

And it's biocompatible, too!

 

...and INVESTIGATOR JAMES H. MORRISSEY, who wrote:

 

The Helical Tantalum Screw?

Alas, it is no longer new.

   But back in the day,

   As Heinrich might say,

No other metal would do!

 

...and INVESTIGATOR ALLISON BROWN, who wrote:

 

When implanting a hip that is new

We need something that's better than glue.

  Just take my advice,

  And try this device:

Use the helical tantalum screw.

 

...and INVESTIGATOR CHAZZ BROADHURST, who wrote:

 

A tantalic robot called Ned

Took a robot called Nelly to bed,

   But her helical snatch

   Just didn't quite match -

She was Whitworth, not Metrical thread.

 

And here is the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

If you had one, then what would you do

With a helical tantalum screw?

   Just knock out a few teeth.

   In the space underneath,

The screw could be perfect for you!

 

 

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2014-09-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Leg of Lamp, Head whack, Guestimates

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

 

Š "An ethics discussion of the 'leg of lamp' medical case" <http://goo.gl/m5E2LH>

 

Š "Hitting-yourself-in-the-head for profit" <http://goo.gl/mQWKjd>

 

Š "Guestimates: Microbes, humans, and ants" <http://goo.gl/jGCpQP>

 

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

 

NEWSPAPER COLUMN (in The Guardian):

<http://www.theguardian.com/education/series/improbableresearch>

 

IMPROBABLE INNOVATION BLOG (on BetaBoston.com):

<http://betaboston.com/improbable-innovation/>

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

books:      <http://goo.gl/rHMb3t>

 

 

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2014-09-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Jackson on the 'Asthmatoid Wheeze'

 

"A New Diagnostic Sign of Foreign Body in the Trachea or Bronchi, the 'Asthmatoid Wheeze'", Chevalier Jackson, American Journal of the Medical Sciences, vol. 156, no. 5, 1918, pp. 625-635.

LINK: <http://goo.gl/1elcTJ>

 

 

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2014-09-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Porter Sq Books, Cambridge, MA, USA       — Sept 26

Rotterdam, The Netherlands                — Sept 26

Google, NYC                               — Oct 1

Google, Boston                            — Oct 2

Santiago, Chile                           — Oct 20-22

Northampton, MA, USA                      — Oct 24

AAAS Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA, USA    — Feb, 2015

Ig Nobel Tour of Scandinavia              — Mar, 2015

Ig Nobel Tour of the UK                   — Mar, 2015

 

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2014-09-11 — 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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2014-09-12 — Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

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

 

EDITORIAL: <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS: <subscriptions AT improbable.com>

Web Site and blog: <http://www.improbable.com>

Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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2014-09-13 — 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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2014-09-14 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

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