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

January 2016, issue number 2016-01. ISSN 1076-500X.

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      Research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.

      A tiny supplement to the Annals of Improbable Research.

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

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01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

02 Imminent Events: Arisia, AAAS, and EuroTour

03 In the Magazine: The Special Ig Nobel Issue, and The Future

04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Dog Ate the Sun

05 Hair Clubs Woman and Man of the Year 2016

06 Who Ate Whom Limerick Contest

07 Footstep Sounds Poet

08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Disgusting sound of someone eating a softboiled egg

09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Prairie Dog Eat Prairie Dog

10 — Improbable Research Events

11 — The Magazine (AIR) — How to Subscribe; How to Get Back Issues (*)

12 — Our Address (*)

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

14 — How to start or stop receiving mini-AIR (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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02 Imminent Events: Arisia, AAAS, and EuroTour

 

Arisia, Boston, MA                  — Jan 15, 2016

AAAS, Washington, DC                — Feb 13, 2016

Ig Nobel EuroTour                   — March, 2016

 

      Does your institution want to host

      a show on the March Ig Nobel EuroTour?

      Then get in touch ASAP, please!

 

 

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03 In the Magazine: The Special Ig Nobel Issue, and The Future

 

The special IG NOBEL issue of the magazine (vol. 21, no. 6) is now available: <http://goo.gl/7V7beJ>

Two of its articles are online at

 

      The 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony <http://goo.gl/VK90p0>

 

      Improbable Sex <http://goo.gl/lDq1b3>

 

THE FUTURE: Beginning with the Jan/Feb 2016 issue (vol. 22, no. 1 — now in prep!), the magazine will be published exclusively in PDF form, with a special twist that makes it easy to read on both tiny screens (phones) and big screens. And of course you can print it out, if that suits your fancy.

 

      SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES: <https://gumroad.com/improbable>

 

      Tables of Contents: <http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>

 

 

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04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Dog Ate the Sun

 

This month's spotlight shines on a dog who ate a sun:

 

"The Lab Who Ate the Sun: A Case Presentation on Acute Hypernatremia Due to Salt," Erika Loftin, On The Floor @ Dove, 2012. <https://goo.gl/1Gmi0b> The author writes:

 

"A 9-year-old male neutered retriever presented to DoveLewis with a primary complaint of tremors. His owners reported that he had ingested the sun from a homemade play dough (50% salt and 50% flour) solar system earlier in the day."

 

 

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05 Hair Clubs Woman and Man of the Year 2016

 

The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) proudly announces its Woman and Man Of The Year for 2016. The two scientists are, respectively, a Danish researcher who studies polymer micro and nano engineering, and a Scottish researcher for NASA who studies airborne particles in earths atmosphere.

 

WOMAN OF THE YEAR:

Nastasia Okulova, LFHCfS Woman of the Year 2016, is a Ph.D student working on micro and nano technology and engineering methods based on a polymer materials platform, at the Technical University of Denmark.

 

MAN OF THE YEAR:

Andrew Sayer, Ph.D, LFHCfS, is a physicist working on Atmospheric Remote Sensing at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, USA, studying atmospheric aerosols around the world.

 

PHOTOS & DETAILS: <http://goo.gl/teKFf1>

 

 

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06 Who Ate Whom Limerick Contest

 

Dogs, Meat and Douglas Mawson fortify this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that clarifies the nature of this study:

 

"Dogs, Meat and Douglas Mawson," Elizabeth Leane and Helen Tiffin, Australian Humanities Review, no. 51, November 2011. <http://goo.gl/BRskBI> The author, at the University of Tasmania, writes:

 

"we examine the relationship between dogs and men during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, and in particular on the Far Eastern sledging journey, looking at who ate whom on the journey"

 

Submit your perfectly formed, delightful limerick to:

 

      WHO ATE WHOM LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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07 Footstep Sounds Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Footstep-Sounds Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"Expressive Sonification of Footstep Sounds," Roberto Bresin, Anna de Witt, Stefano Papetti, Marco Civolani, and Federico Fontana, Interaction Sonification workshop (ISon) 2010, Stockholm, April 7, 2010, pp. 51-54. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2010.

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR DON HOMUTH, who wrote:

 

It occurred to me that, while out walking,

Muddy ground can result in my balking.

  Noisy surfaces, though

  (e.g. packed icy snow)

Speed my pace, leaving researchers gawking.

 

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

 

Through experiments, researchers found

What we sense when we walk on the ground.

  On fake ground and real,

  Test subjects can feel.

In addition, they recognize sound.

 

 

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08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Disgusting sound of someone eating a softboiled egg

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed.

 

The weekly podcast — in which scientists, journalists, actors, and all sorts of people do dramatic readings from bizarre-seeming genuine research studies:

 

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

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

 

      #44 Stool pigeons, and clothes-shopping clothes, and tanning beds

      #45 Sneezing, mustache wax, and a full stomach

      #46 Neurological damage from praying

 

And we are making a series of tiny promos for the podcast. Here's the first promo. Please feel free to tweet and Facebook it around:

 

      "The disgusting sound of someone eating a softboiled egg"

      <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i62vInLhV0Y>

 

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

 

      What is stupid(ity)?

      Mathematical Model of the Strength of Interleaved Phonebooks

      Using an MRI scanner as a guitar amp and speakers

      ...and lots more

 

MORE MORE MORE, at

      [twitter]   @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

 

 

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09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Prairie Dog Eat Prairie Dog

 

"Dog Eat Dog," Kirsten Weir, Current Science, vol. 89, no. 12, 2004, p. 4. <http://goo.gl/4tIRh3> The author writes:

 

"Prairie Dogs have good reason for eating their own kind..."

 

 

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10 — Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Arisia, Boston, MA                  — Jan 15, 2016

AAAS, Washington, DC                — Feb 13, 2016

Ig Nobel EuroTour                   — March, 2016

ESOF, Manchester, UK                — Jul TBA, 2016

IG NOBEL TICKETS GO ON SALE         — Jul TBA, 2016

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony             — Sep 22, 2016

Ig Informal Lectures                — Sep 24, 2016

 

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11 — The Magazine (AIR) — How to Subscribe; How to Get Back Issues (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a 6-issues-per-year magazine, published in PDF form. It's packed with research that makes people laugh, then think. (mini-AIR, the thing you are reading at this moment, is but a tiny, free-floating appendix to AIR.)

 

      SUBSCRIPTIONS (just $25)

      BACK-ISSUES (just $5 each)

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

 

 

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12 — 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

 

 

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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 2016, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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14 — How to start or stop receiving mini-AIR (*)

 

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

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

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   To subscribe or unsubscribe to mini-AIR, please visit

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

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