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

December 2014, issue number 2014-12. 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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2014-12-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2014-12-02 Imminent Events

2014-12-03 In the Magazine: The Ig Nobel Issue Cometh

2014-12-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Kleptoparasitism Strategies at Dung Pats

2014-12-05 Impressing the Improbable on Someone You Love

2014-12-06 de Snoo's in-Pat Abundance Analysis Limerick Competition

2014-12-07 Phytophagous Scarab Chafers Morphospace Poet

2014-12-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Boredom, Laughter, What's Going On

2014-12-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: When to Enter and When to Leave a Dung Pat

2014-12-10 Improbable Research Events

2014-12-11 — How to Get the Magazine (*)

2014-12-12 — Our Address (*)

2014-12-13 — Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2014-12-14 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2014-12-02 Imminent Events

 

1st Annual Vienna Ball of Sciences, Austria         — Jan 31, 2015

 

      Marc Abrahams will be a guest of honor.

      DETAILS: <http://www.wissenschaftsball.at/ball/programm>

 

 

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2014-12-03 In the Magazine: The Ig Nobel Issue Cometh

 

The next issue of the magazine — the special IG NOBEL issue, will soon be on its way to the printer, and from there to subscribers.

 

Read three articles, online, from the current issue — the special FEATHERS issue <http://goo.gl/eYbYkU>:

 

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

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

 

 

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2014-12-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Kleptoparasitism Strategies at Dung Pats

 

This month's spotlight focuses on strategic theft:

 

"A Game Theoretic Model of Kleptoparasitism with Strategic Arrivals and Departures of Beetles at Dung Pats," Heather A. Barker, Mark Broom, and Jan Rychtř, Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 300, 2012, pp. 292-298. <http://goo.gl/LwMU8W>

 

 

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2014-12-05 Impressing the Improbable on Someone You Love

 

Give yourself or, if you love someone else, them, a gift subscription to the Annals of Improbable Research. The magazine has six new issues (six improbable gifts!) every year.

 

How to get/give a subscription:

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

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

 

 

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2014-12-06 de Snoo's in-Pat Abundance Analysis Limerick Competition

 

de Snoo inspires this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that clarifies the nature of this study:

 

"Insect Abundance in Cow Dung Pats of Different Farming Systems," Flavia Geiger, Sophie CTM van der Lubbe, Arend MH Brunsting and Geert R. de Snoo, Entomologische Berichten, vol. 70, no. 4, 2010, pp. 106-110. <http://goo.gl/06KrFh> (Thanks to Benjamin Mayer for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Wageningen University, report:

 

"We investigated the differences in insect abundance in cowpats between three different farming systems... Furthermore, we compared the different grazing and mowing regimes of the farming systems to examine the availability and longevity of cowpats on the pastures. Cowpats in nature areas and at organic farms supported 50% more insects than those at conventional farms."

 

Submit your perfectly formed limerick to:

 

      DE SNOO'S IN-PAT ABUNDANCE ANALYSIS LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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2014-12-07 Phytophagous Scarab Chafers Morphospace Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Phytophagous Scarab Chafers Morphospace Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"The Evolution of Morphospace in Phytophagous Scarab Chafers: No Competition - No Divergence?" Jonas Eberle, Renier Myburgh, Dirk Ahrens, PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 5, epub May 29, 2014, e98536. <http://goo.gl/ScguH1>

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR SHEILA BLUME, who wrote:

 

This beetle, whatever his mood,

Dines on plants, as does all of his brood,

  But their diet adherence

  Won't change their appearance,

'Cause shape's not contingent on food.

 

Here's the offering from our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER:

 

What happened, they're hoping to show,

As chafers evolved, long ago?

   Do the plants that they ate

   And their size correlate?

Available data say no.

 

 

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2014-12-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Boredom, Laughter, What's Going On

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

 

"A Theoretically Interesting Opinion About Boredom" <http://goo.gl/PBVsj8>

 

"Study: Top (male) comedians die earlier?" <http://goo.gl/a5uryJ>

 

"Feynman on the difference between names and whats going on" <http://goo.gl/5aKqiL>

 

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

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

books:      <http://goo.gl/rHMb3t>

 

 

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2014-12-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: When to Enter and When to Leave a Dung Pat

 

"Model of Kleptoparasitism in the Onthophagus taurus: When to Enter and Leave a Dung Pat," Heather Ann Allmond, PhD dissertation, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2010.

<http://goo.gl/4zqg2B>

 

 

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2014-12-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Vienna Ball of Sciences, Austria          — Jan 31, 2015

AAAS Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA, USA    — Feb 14, 2015

Ig Nobel Tour of the UK                   — Mar, 2015

Ig Nobel Tour of Scandinavia              — Mar, 2015

Ig Nobel Events in Japan                  — Jun, 2015

25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony — Sep 17, 2015

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Sep 19, 2015

 

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2014-12-11 — 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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2014-12-12 — 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>

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Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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2014-12-13 — 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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2014-12-14 — 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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