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

September 2015, issue number 2015-09. ISSN 1076-500X.

----------

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

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

—————————

 

2015-09-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2015-09-02 Imminent Events

2015-09-03 In the Magazine: Dogs Now, Clever Inventions Soon

2015-09-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Is the Moon Made of Green Cheese?

2015-09-05 The Great Improbable Paper-to-PDF Era Begins

2015-09-06 The 2015 The Ig Nobel Prize winners

2015-09-07 Boiling Green Cheese Limerick Contest

2015-09-08 Small / Giant Component Poet

2015-09-09 MORE IMPROBABLE: Dsicomfotting Hair, Jurassic Pork

2015-09-10 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Psychology of Green Cheese

2015-09-11 — Improbable Research Events

2015-09-12 — How to Get the Magazine (*)

2015-09-13 — Our Address (*)

2015-09-14 — Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2015-09-15 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

—————————

2015-09-02 Imminent Events

      Š European Ig Nobel Show, Amsterdam       — Oct 3, 2015

      Š Vienna, Austria                         — Oct 6 & 8, 2015

      Š Cambridge, MA                           — Oct 10, 2015

      Š Memphis, TN                             — Oct 14, 2015

 

For details and additional events, see

<http://goo.gl/QJTBnO>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-03 In the Magazine: Dogs Now, Clever Inventions Soon

 

The special CLEVER INVENTIONS issue of the magazine is almost ready. In the meantime, the DOGS (AND CATS) issue of the magazine remains out and about <http://goo.gl/fXejuU>.

 

Links to every issue: <http://www.improbable.com/magazine>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Is the Moon Made of Green Cheese?

 

This month's spotlight shines, as do so many things these days, on the moon:

 

"Properties and Composition of Lunar Materials: Earth Analogies," Edward Schreiber and Orson L. Anderson, Science, vol. 168, June 26,1970, p. 1579-1580. <http://goo.gl/3krNjI>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-05 The Great Improbable Paper-to-PDF Era Begins

 

The Great From-Paper-to-PDF Transformation is happening!

 

All issues of the magazine — the Annals of Improbable Research — henceforth will be published in PDF form.

 

 

 

      INTRODUCTORY NEW SUBSCRIPTION price:    $15/year

      [Special price available, worldwide, only UNTIL OCTOBER 31, 2015]

      [Starting November 1, 2015, new subscriptions will be $25/year.]

 

      SUBSCRIPTIONS and BACK ISSUES:

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

 

 

 

All issues stretching back a few years are already available in PDF, and we plan to produce PDF versions of the earlier issues, too.

 

The November/December 2015 issue (vol. 21, no. 6) will be the final issue we also publish on paper.

 

CURRENT SUBSCRIBERS to the paper issue: We will have a special offer for you, about converting your subscription to PDFs. You should be receiveing e-mail from us in October or November, with details.

 

 

—————————

2015-09-06 The 2015 The Ig Nobel Prize winners

 

The 2015 Ig Nobel Prize winners were introduced at the Twenty-Fifth 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony:

 

CHEMISTRY PRIZE — Callum Ormonde and Colin Raston [AUSTRALIA], and Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Gregory Weiss [USA], for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.

 

PHYSICS PRIZE — Patricia Yang [USA and TAIWAN], David Hu [USA and TAIWAN], and Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo [USA], for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).

 

LITERATURE PRIZE — Mark Dingemanse [THE NETHERLANDS, USA], Francisco Torreira [THE NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM, USA], and Nick J. Enfield [AUSTRALIA, THE NETHERLANDS], for discovering that the word "huh?" (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language — and for not being quite sure why.

 

MANAGEMENT PRIZE — Gennaro Bernile [ITALY, SINGAPORE, USA], Vineet Bhagwat [USA, INDIA], and P. Raghavendra Rau [UK, INDIA, FRANCE, LUXEMBOURG, GERMANY, JAPAN], for discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences.

 

ECONOMICS PRIZE — The Bangkok Metropolitan Police [THAILAND], for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes.

REFERENCE: Numerous news reports.

 

MEDICINE PRIZE — Awarded jointly to two groups: Hajime Kimata [JAPAN, CHINA]; and to Jaroslava Durdiaková [SLOVAKIA, US, UK], Peter Celec [SLOVAKIA, GERMANY], Natália Kamodyová, Tatiana Sedláčková, Gabriela Repiská, Barbara Sviežená, and Gabriel Minárik [SLOVAKIA], for experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).

 

MATHEMATICS PRIZE — Elisabeth Oberzaucher [AUSTRIA, GERMANY, UK] and Karl Grammer [AUSTRIA, GERMANY], for trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.

 

BIOLOGY PRIZE — Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez [CHILE], José Iriarte-Díaz [CHILE, USA], for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.

 

DIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE PRIZE — Diallah Karim [CANADA, UK], Anthony Harnden [NEW ZEALAND, UK, US], Nigel D'Souza [BAHRAIN, BELGIUM, DUBAI, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA, US, UK], Andrew Huang [CHINA, UK], Abdel Kader Allouni [SYRIA, UK], Helen Ashdown [UK], Richard J. Stevens [UK], and Simon Kreckler [UK], for determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps.

 

PHYSIOLOGY and ENTOMOLOGY PRIZE — Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt [USA, CANADA], for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith [USA, UK, THE NETHERLANDS], for carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).

 

THE NEW WINNERS, in more detail: <http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/>

 

VIDEO of the ceremony: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqVCl2VoZqU>

 

* * *

 

Coming this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3:

      The European Ig Nobel Show

      Science Center NEMO, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

      THIS EVENT WILL BE IN ENGLISH.

      Yet here are DETAILS in Dutch!: <http://www.ignobelshow.nl/>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-07 Boiling Green Cheese Limerick Contest

 

Green cheese and boiling inspire this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that clarifies the nature of this study:

 

"Studies Regarding the Effect of Temperature on the Quality of Green Cheese During a Constant Boiling Period," Leonte Mihai, Pircu Nicoleta, Aruş Vasilica Alisa, MOCM, Number 13, Volume 1, 2007. <http://goo.gl/zoT6H6> The authors, at the University of Bacău, report:

 

"As a result of the latest research in the field, one noticed that the most rational way of making good use of whey is the food industry. In this respect, one took interest in the whey, in the by-products resulted from the making of fresh cheese, aiming at the obtaining of green cheese, a highly nutritious aliment. The optimum results regarding the efficiency of green cheese were obtained keeping in mind certain parameters such as: boiling temperature: 80 ?C and boiling time one hour."

 

Submit your perfectly formed limerick to:

 

      BOILING GREEN CHEESE LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-08 Small / Giant Component Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Small / Giant Component Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"Critical thresholds for co-citation clusters and emergence of the giant component," Henry Small, Journal of Informetrics, vol. 3, no. 4, 2009, pp. 332-340. <http://goo.gl/qEGe2J>

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR PAUL BARNETT, who wrote:

 

You sayin' my citation cluster

Ain't giant, is poor and lackluster?

  Lemme tell you: Like Small's,

  It's got guts, it's got balls,

And could whop your dad any day, buster.

 

 

Here's the offering from our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER (whose  Erdos number is 3):

 

Do I work in the same field as you?

Let's map science and see if we do.

  According to Small,

  Large clusters tell all,

In a graph showing who's citing who.

 

 

—————————

2015-09-09 MORE IMPROBABLE: Dsicomfotting Hair, Jurassic Pork

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed.

 

The weekly podcast:

 

      LISTEN / DOWNLOAD: <http://goo.gl/sxh7DX>

            (It's also on Play.it, iTunes, and Spotify)

 

      #27 A look back at the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize winners (PART 2)

      #28 A look back at the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize winners (PART 1)

      #29 Eat a shrew, and an epidemic of penile amputations

      #30 Head on Brain in Brain

      #31 Tilted Eiffel Tower, Green-haired Swedish Blondes

 

Newspaper column (in The Guardian): <http://goo.gl/uaZH9Q>

 

New members of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) and related clubs:

 

      Š Richard Rees (special case)

      Š Oliver Vikbladh

 

The blog: <http://www.improbable.com/>

 

      Š Three cases of discomforting hair in funny places

      Š New Ig Nobel winner uses discovery to produce needed drugs

      Š Controlling our bladders makes us better liars

      Š Jurassic Pork: Were dinosaurs and their colleagues kosher?

      Š Pizza’s rat-sex study, and pizza rat

      ...and lots, lots more

 

AND LOTS MORE MORE, at

      [blog]      <www.IMPROBABLE.com>

      [twitter]   @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

      [podcast]   <http://goo.gl/GqUW6i>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-10 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Psychology of Green Cheese

 

"Psychology: The Study of Green Cheese," Kenneth R. Burstein, Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, vol. 17, no. 1, 1981, pp. 1-4. <http://goo.gl/r67xym>

 

 

—————————

2015-09-11 — Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

European Ig Nobel Show, Amsterdam         — Oct 3, 2015

Vienna Natural History Museum             — Oct 6, 2015

IMB and IMBA retreat, Vienna, Austria     — Oct 8, 2015

NASW, Cambridge, MA                       — Oct 10, 2015

St. Jude Hosp, Memphis, TN                — Oct 14, 2015

U Rhode Island                            — Dec 8, 2015

SIBC, Portland, OR                        — Jan 5, 2016

AAAS, Washington, DC                      — Feb TBA, 2016

Ig Nobel EuroTour                         — Mar TBA, 2016

ESOF, Manchester, UK                      — Jul TBA, 2016

 

 

—————————

—————————

2015-09-12 — How to Get the Magazine (*)

 

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

 

      SUBSCRIPTIONS and BACK-ISSUES:

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

 

 

—————————

2015-09-13 — Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

(+1) 617-491-4437

 

EDITORIAL: <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

SUBSCRIPTIONS: <subscriptions AT improbable.com>

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

Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

—————————

2015-09-14 — 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 2015, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

—————————

2015-09-15 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

Mini-AIR is a (free!) teeny-tiny monthly *supplement*

to the big, bold six-times-a-year magazine AIR.

   ...................................................

   To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit

   <http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/mini-air>

   ...................................................

—————————