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

May 2018, issue number 2018-05. 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: Improbable Music

03 Effect of Beer on Survival of X-Zapped Mosquitoes

04 Beer Tax and STDs Challenge

05 Vomiting Larry Triumph

06 MORE IMPROBABLE: Clothesfall, Beats & Bites, Insert Nose

07 Why Does a Beer Bottle Then Foam Up Suddenly?

08 IMPROBABLE EVENTS

09 — Subscribe to the Actual Magazine! (*)

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

11 — Contact Info (*)

12 — Standard Gobbledegook (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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02 IN THE MAGAZINE ITSELF: Improbable Music

 

The special MUSIC issue of the magazine (vol. 24, no. 2) is now available: <https://is.gd/rMI9AO>

Inside it you'll find:

 

 <> Music for Spies, Penguins, and Dreams

 <> How or Why Musicians Raise Eyebrows

 <> Can Sopranos Be Understood?

 <> Music Research Review

 <> Dangerous Trends in Oboe Playing

 <> Are People Bad Singers?

 <> Unperformable, Damaging, and Stolen Music

 <> Medical: Depression? Addiction? Deafness?

 <> Insects and Music Research

 <> ...and much more

 

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 Effect of Beer on Survival of X-Zapped Mosquitoes

 

This month's research spotlight shines on beer and mosquitoes:

 

"The Effect of the Radio-Protective Agents Ethanol, Trimethylglycine, and Beer on Survival of X-Ray-Sterilized Male Aedes aegypti," Stacy D. Rodriguez, Ramaninder K. Brar, Lisa L. Drake, Hannah E. Drumm, David P. Price, John I. Hammond, Jacob Urquidi, and Immo A. Hansen, Parasites and Vectors, vol. 6, no. 211, 2013. <https://is.gd/iWm5IB> (Thanks to Tony Tweedale for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at New Mexico State University, write:

 

"Our results suggest that treatment with ethanol, beer, or trimethylglycine before irradiation can be used to enhance longevity in mosquitoes."

 

 

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04 Beer Tax and STDs Challenge

 

This month's RESEARCH LIMERICK challenge —

Devise a pleasing limerick that encapsulates this study:

 

"Sex Under the Influence: The Effect of Alcohol Policy on Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates in the United States," Harrell Chesson, Paul Harrison and William J. Kassler, The Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 43, no. 1, April 2000, pp. 215-238. <https://is.gd/pBILza> The authors, at Brandeis University and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, explain:

 

"This article presents evidence that sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates are responsive to increases in alcohol taxes and in the drinking age. The presumed relationship is that a more restrictive alcohol policy reduces alcohol consumption, which in turn decreases risky sexual activity. Reduced-form regressions of STD rates on state alcohol taxes for the years 1981–95 (with controls for state and year) indicate that a $1 increase in the per-gallon liquor tax reduces gonorrhea rates by 2.1 percent, and a beer tax increase of $.20 per six-pack reduces gonorrhea rates by 8.9 percent, with similar though more pronounced effects on syphilis rates."

 

Submit your perfectly formed, delightfully enlightening limerick to:

 

      BEERTAX-AND-SEX LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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05 Vomiting Larry Triumph

 

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

 

"Vomiting Larry: A Simulated Vomiting System for Assessing Environmental Contamination from Projectile Vomiting Related to Norovirus Infection," Catherine Makison Booth, Journal of Infection Prevention, vol. 15, no. 5, 2014, pp. 176-180. <https://is.gd/134lwW>

 

The co-winners are INVESTIGATOR DANIEL H. GILLIS, who writes:

 

Some colleagues were pondering emesis;

Could it contaminate the entire premises?

  So they constructed a man

  Who could barf on demand,

And discerned much about puke pathogenesis.

 

and INVESTIGATOR DAVID MARPLES, who writes:

 

When youŐre sick it can spread a good way:

Both the floor and the walls are in play.

  Using vomiting Harry,

  They measured its carry:

You should clean up to ten feet away!

 

This month's take from our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER:

 

Projectile vomit is scary.

Its spread, they imply, doesn't vary

  From barf that is true

  To water you spew

When using a system named Larry.

 

 

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06 MORE IMPROBABLE: Clothesfall, Beats & Bites, Insert Nose

 

Recent improbable research bits you may have missed...

 

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

 

 <> A physics discovery: Why Clothes Don't Fall Apart

 <> Beats Per Minute affects Bites Per Minute

 <> Treatment for Simulator-Sickness: Insert a Nose

 

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

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

 <> new member Daniel Rathbun

 <> new member Chantal Roggeman

 

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

  TWITTER: @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

 

 

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07 Why Does a Beer Bottle Then Foam Up Suddenly?

 

"Why Does a Beer Bottle Foam Up After a Sudden Impact on Its Mouth?" Javier Rodr’guez-Rodr’guez, Almudena Casado, Daniel Fuster, arXiv:1310.3747, 2013. <https://is.gd/bUbpDA> (Thanks to Phil Goldman for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain, and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, France, report:

 

"A sudden vertical impact on the mouth of a beer bottle generates a compression wave that propagates through the glass towards the bottom. When this wave reaches the base of the bottle, it is transmitted to the liquid as an expansion wave that travels to free surface, where it bounces back as a compression wave. This train of expansion-compression waves drives the forced cavitation of existing air pockets, leading to their violent collapse. A cloud of very small daughter bubbles are generated upon these collapses, that expand much faster than their mothers due to their smaller size. These rapidly growing bubble clusters effectively act as buoyancy sources, what leads to the formation of bubble-laden plumes whose void fraction increases quickly by several orders of magnitude, eventually turning most of the liquid into foam."

 

 

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08 IMPROBABLE EVENTS

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Ig Nobel tickets go on sale         — July, 2018

28th First Annual Ig Nobel Ceremony — Sep 13, 2018

Ig Informal Lectures                — Sep 15, 2018

Japan                               — Sep, 2018

Orland, FL                          — Oct 3, 2018

Hartford County Medical Assn, CT    — Oct 10, 2018

Ig Nobel Autumn EuroTour            — Nov, 2018

"Science Friday" Ig Nobel Broadcast — Nov, 2018

 

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09 — 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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10 — 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.

 

   To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE to mini-AIR:

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11 — 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

Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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12 — Standard Gobbledegook (*)

 

EDITOR: Marc Abrahams

CO-CONSPIRATORS: Kees Moeliker, Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Gary Dryfoos, Nan Swift, 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 2018, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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