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Stirring the Porridge with Albert E. [investigation]

November 30th, 2020

Can that act of stirring porridge provide insights into the puzzle of light’s quantum wave/particle duality?

Photographer / author David Gepp (pron. ‘jep’) explains how – citing :

1) An encounter with Professor Jacques Mandelbrojt (cousin of Benoit Mandelbrot, of fractals fame)

2) Various contemplations of Albert Einstein’s gedankenexperiments (thought experiments)

3) The experience of porridge-stirring (to stop it sticking to the saucepan)

See : Stirring the Porridge with Albert E  LEONARDO journal, Vol. 52, no. 5

BONUS: At the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, Professor Benoit Mandelbrot, who invented the concept of fractals, here spoke on the topic: FRACTALS. His seven-word summary has become a classic definition, against which all others are measured.

Here’s video of that historic moment:

Research research by Martin Gardiner

Podcast Episode #1044: “Boring Machines”

November 27th, 2020

In this Podcast Episode #1044, Marc Abrahams shares with Chris Cotsapas a number of boring machines. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

The patents mentioned in this episode of the Improbable Podcast are further elaborated upon in the special Boring Machines issue (Vol. 19, #3) the Annals of Improbable Research Magazine.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

Seth Gliksman, Production Assistant

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Ig Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Parliament Keeps on Punching

November 27th, 2020

BBC News reports (with action video!) today (November 27, 2020) about the ongoing peaceful activities of the Ig Nobel Peace Prize-winning Taiwan parliament:

Taiwan lawmakers throw pig guts and punches

Pig guts were thrown and scuffles broke out in Taiwan’s parliament over the easing of US pork imports.

The government have been criticised for a recent decision to allow pork containing ractopamine in to the country.

The additive ractopamine is currently banned for pig use in Taiwan, as well as in China and the European Union, due to concerns about safety for animals and humans.

The 1995 Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations.

Two-time Ig Nobel Prize Winner Lukashenko Might Give Up Presidency, Maybe

November 27th, 2020

Alexander Lukashenko, who has been awarded two Ig Nobel Prizes, announced that he might, perhaps, possibly stop being the president of Belarus, say many news reports.

Reuters reports (on November 27, 2020: “Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday that he would step down as president once a new constitution is adopted and proposed curbing presidential powers as part of the reforms, though he gave no timeline for those moves.”

Lukashenko was a co-winner of the 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for medical education. That prize was awarded to Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Narendra Modi of India, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, for using the Covid-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can.

This is the second Ig Nobel Prize awarded to Lukashenko. The 2013 Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Alexander Lukashenko, for making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding.

One of Lukashenko’s fellow 2020 Ig Nobel Medical Education Prize winners, Donald Trump, made a similar announcement.

Ig Nobel on Science Friday

November 27th, 2020

Today’s the day for this year’s day-after-Thanksgiving Ig Nobel special on the Science Friday radio program. This is the 29th year for the special. (It’s the 30th year for the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.)

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