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

May 2016, issue number 2016-05. ISSN 1076-500X.

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      Research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.

      A tiny supplement to the magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

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

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01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

02 Imminent Events

03 The Magazine Itself: The Smelly, and Soon the Time, Issues

04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Ant That Came From the Atoll Drill Holes

05 In July, Ig Nobel Tickets Will Go on Sale

06 Stuff From a Thief Ant Limerick Contest

07 Optical Properties of a Scorpion Poet

08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Strapless Dress Engineering, Painful Sting Readings

09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: List of the Stuff from the Atoll of Ant

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

 

  IBM THINKLab Celebration, NY                  — May 26, 2016

  Dead Duck Day, Rotterdam                      — June 5, 2016

  Homosexual Necrophiliac Duck Opera, London    — June 24, 1016

 

DETAILS at

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

 

 

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03 The Magazine Itself: The Smelly, and Soon the Time, Issues

 

The special SMELLY issue of the magazine is out — full of research about smelly everything. Soon the special TIME & BOREDOM issue will be out, too.

 

If you're a subscriber, you should have received email notifying how to download your copy of the SMELLY issue.

 

The table-of-contents: <http://is.gd/KSXbH5>

 

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

 

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

 

 

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04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Ant That Came From the Atoll Drill Holes

 

This month's spotlight finds ants:

 

"Larger Foraminifera From Eniwetok Atoll Drill Holes," W. Storrs Cole, No. 260-V. US Government Printing Office, 1957. <https://is.gd/5OzZ0K>

 

 

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05 In July, Ig Nobel Tickets Will Go on Sale

 

Tickets for the 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will go on sale on Thursday, July 7, 2016, at noon (US eastern time).

 

The ceremony itself will happen on Thursday, September 22. Preliminary details are at <http://www.improbable.com/ig/2016/>

 

 

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06 Stuff From a Thief Ant Limerick Contest

 

This month's challenge: Devise a limerick about this study:

 

"(5Z, 8E)-3-Heptyl-5-Methylpyrrolizidine From a Thief Ant," Tappey H. Jones, Murray S. Blum, Henry M. Fales, and Catherine R. Thompson, The Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 45, no. 23, 1980, pp. 4778-4780.

<https://is.gd/Ttbau0> The authors, at the University of Georgia, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the University of Florida, report:

 

"In this note, we describe the occurrence, identification, and synthesis of (52,8E)-3-heptyl-5-methylpyrrolizidine from the cryptic thief ant Solenopsis sp. near tennesseensis."

 

Submit your perfectly formed, delightfully enlightening limerick to:

 

      STUFF FROM A THIEF ANT LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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07 Optical Properties of a Scorpion Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Optical Properties of a Scorpion Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"Optical properties of a scorpion (Centruroides limpidus)," Bruno Ullrich, Robyn M. Duckworth, Akhilesh K. Singh, Puspendu Barik, Vicente O. Meja-Villanueva, and Alberto C. Garcia-Prez, Physica Scripta, vol. 91, no. 4, 2016, pp. 045802. <http://is.gd/9dRTNv>

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR DAVID WEINBERGER, who wrote:

 

The scorpion's skel'ton is exo,

Which is why its tail can flex so.

  Reactive to light,

  It's got 360 sight

without having to twist its neck so.

 

Here's the take by our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER:

 

Scorpions run to and fro.

Exoskeletons, my, how they glow!

  How do they fluoresce?

  I only can guess.

After reading this paper, I'll know.

 

 

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08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Strapless Dress Engineering, Painful Sting Readings

 

Recent improbable research bits you may have missed...

 

The podcast:

 

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

 

      #62 Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Dress

      #63 The physics of skulking and falling cats

      #64 Happy words from painful insect stings

      #65 The M-through-Z of Social Dilemmas

 

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

 

An illuminated removable nipple cover (new patent)

The parachuting rag-doll experiment

Norwegian live-reading of immensely long consumer terms-and-conditions agreements

      ...and lots more

 

New members of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists, etc (LFHCfS) <http://www.improbable.com/category/lfhcfs-hair-club/>:

 

      Robert Eklund (Linkping University)

      Jake Eccles (University of Virginia)

 

More, at

      [twitter]   @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

 

 

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09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: List of the Stuff from the Atoll of Ant

 

"A List of the Marine Algae from the Atoll of Ant," Y. Yamada, Scientific papers of the Institute of Algological Research, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido Imperial University, vol. 3, no. 1, 1944, pp. 31-45. <https://is.gd/5ubPMV>

 

 

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10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

IBM, Yorktown Heights, NY           — May 26, 2016

Dead Duck Day, Rotterdam            — June 5, 2016

Homosexual Necro Duck Opera, London — June 24, 1016

IG NOBEL TICKETS GO ON SALE         — Jul 7, 2016

Reykjavik, Iceland                  — Jul 2016

Blue Dot Festival, UK               — Jul 23, 2016

ESOF, Manchester, UK                — Jul 25, 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.)

 

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

      SUBSCRIPTIONS     (just $25)

      BACK-ISSUES       (just $5 each)

 

 

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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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