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

December 2017, issue number 2017-12. ISSN 1076-500X.

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  Research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.

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01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

02 IN THE MAGAZINE ITSELF: Strange Now, Ig Nobel Soon

03 Men With Unrolled Sleeves

04 A Good, Cheap Improbable Gift

05 Czech Managers' Buttons/Shoes Flaws

06 Winking Test Poets

07 MORE IMPROBABLE: Exploding Eggs, Wet String, Ping Pong

08 Wikipedia-ize, Why Don'tcha, Please

09 Effects of Professionals' Undone and Done Buttons

10 IMPROBABLE EVENTS

11 — Subscribe to the Actual Magazine! (*)

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

13 — Contact Info (*)

14 — Standard Gobbledegook (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

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02 IN THE MAGAZINE ITSELF: Strange Now, Ig Nobel Soon

 

The special IG NOBEL issue of the magazine (vol 23, no. 6) will be available any day now. The special STRANGE QUESTIONS issue, along with many others, is at <https://is.gd/anp3O0>

 

Gorge yourself on improbable research:

 

      MAGAZINE SINGLE ISSUES & SUBSCRIPTIONS:

      <https://gumroad.com/improbable>

 

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

 

 

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03 Men With Unrolled Sleeves

 

This month's research spotlight shines on sleeves:

 

"The 'Costoclavicular Syndrome', " R. Slater, British Medical Journal, March 29, 1947, p. 422. <https://is.gd/fp8JrC> The author explains:

 

"The instructive article by Prof. E. D. Telford and Mr. S. Mottershead (March 15, p. 325) on the 'costoclavicular syndrome' prompts me to mention a cause of paraesthesia in the arms and hands of middle-aged men to which I have not seen any reference. Two cases have come to my notice in the last few years. The paraesthesia is caused by wearing a shirt of thick material with the sleeves rolled up to the axilla.... The mechanism is similar to that of the fakir's trick of stuffing a handkerchief into his armpit and stopping his radial pulse at will by pressing his arm closely to his side. An interesting point in my two cases is that neither man would wear his shirt sleeves unrolled. When seen a year or so later they were free from symptoms, but each informed me that he could not bear long shirt sleeves and had cut them off."

 

 

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04 A Good, Cheap Improbable Gift

 

Maybe nobody is going to give you a really good gift for the holidays. Maybe you can do something about that. Maybe you can give yourself a subscription to the magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

 

Maybe there's no maybe about it.

 

You can.

 

Yes, you can!

 

Here's how: <https://gumroad.com/improbable>

 

 

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05 Czech Managers' Buttons/Shoes Flaws

 

This month's RESEARCH LIMERICK challenge —

Devise a pleasing limerick that encapsulates this study:

 

"Flaws in the Social Manners of Czech Managers," Soňa Gullová, Central European Business Review, vol. 1, no. 1, July 2012. <https://is.gd/9wCdKv> The author explains:

 

"Some of the most frequent 'faux pas' in the area of attire committed by Czech manages are, for example, wearing of slippers at the workplace, wearing of men’s sandals without socks with a suit, unbuttoned top buttons of a shirt together with a loosened tie etc. The hands are not to be placed in the pockets. Chewing gum is inadmissible during meetings. The most criticized issue is the blowing of one’s nose, in which case it is necessary to leave the room."

 

Submit your perfectly formed, delightfully enlightening limerick to:

 

      BUTTON/SHOE-FLAWS LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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06 Winking Test Poets

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Competition, which asked for a limerick to explain this study:

 

"The Winking Test," Charles E. Rider, Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society, vol. 5, 1890, pp. 551-559. <https://is.gd/OxCPIT>

 

The winners are INVESTIGATOR DAVID WEINBERGER, who wrote:

 

Closing your eyes is easy, we think.

But not so for closing them async.

  If you can’t do the latter

  it just might matter:

Your eyesight may be on the blink.

 

and INVESTIGATOR DAVE SANTO, who wrote:

 

I suppose there could be a link

‘Twixt my sight and facility to wink.

    I’ll test in a bar,

    “Swiping right” from afar,

Where it all can be blamed on the drink.

 

The word from our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER:

 

This paper asserts a relation

Between how we see and nictation.

  Its thinking is linking,

  Not blinking, but winking,

The first with this keen observation.

 

 

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07 MORE IMPROBABLE: Exploding Eggs, Wet String, Ping Pong

 

Recent improbable research bits you may have missed...

 

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

 

 <> Sound Pressures Generated by Exploding Eggs

 <> Data Communications via Wet String, or via Hungry Snail

 <> Traumatic Accidents with Table Tennis Balls

 

Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) and its sibling clubs:

<https://www.improbable.com/category/lfhcfs-hair-club/>

 

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

  TWITTER: @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

 

 

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08 Wikipedia-ize, Why Don'tcha, Please

 

Several readers have advised/complained that Wikipedia's entries about us are "skimpy," "inadequate," "skeletal," and other frightful adjectives. Especially, they say, there is ultra-minimization in the entry about the occasionally-humble editor.

 

So... we invite you (and thank you, if you take up the invitation), dear readers, to help add facts and links to the skeletons:

 

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annals_of_Improbable_Research>

 

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ig_Nobel_Prize>

 

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Abrahams>

 

 

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09 Effects of Professionals' Undone and Done Buttons

 

"Power and Provocativeness: The Effects of Subtle Changes in Clothing on Perceptions of Working Women," Regan A.R. Gurung, Elizabeth Punke, Michaella Brickner, and Vincenzio Badalamenti, Journal of Social Psychology, epub 2017. <https://is.gd/PB2xc7> (Thanks to Charles Oppenheim for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, explain:

 

"The current study investigates the effects of subtle changes in professional women's dress on women's perceptions of power and competence.... We found main effects of buttons (undone/done) and camisoles (on/off) for participants perceptions of intelligence, competence, powerfulness, and on a global rating score. Results also showed significant interaction effects between buttons and camisoles on ratings of powerfulness. The results have many implications for how women dress professionally."

 

 

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10 IMPROBABLE EVENTS

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

ARISIA, Boston, MA                  — Jan 12, 2018

Princeton U, USA                    — Jan 21, 2018

SLAS Conference, San Diego          — Feb 7, 2018

Salk Institute, La Jolla            — Feb 9, 2018

AAAS Annual Meeting, Austin, TX     — Feb 17, 2018

Atlanta, GA                         — Feb 28, 2018

Ig Nobel EuroTour                   — Mar-Apr 2018

Northwest Rheumatism Society,

      Portland, OR                  — Apr 26, 2018

28th First Annual Ig Nobel Ceremony — Sep, 2018

Ig Informal Lectures                — Sep, 2018

Japan                               — Oct, 2018

 

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11 — Subscribe to the Actual Magazine! (*)

 

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 the actual magazine.)

 

      <www.improbable.com/magazine/>

      SUBSCRIPTIONS     ($25, for six issues)

      SINGLE ISSUES     ($5 each)

 

 

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

 

This newsletter, Mini-AIR, is just a (free!) tiny monthly *supplement* to the big, bold six-times-a-year magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

 

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13— CONTACT INFO (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

<www.improbable.com>

EDITORIAL: <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS: <subscriptions AT improbable.com>

Cambridge, MA 02138 USA, (+1) 617-491-4437

Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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14 — Standard Gobbledegook (*)

 

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 2017, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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