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Daily Defecation Outputs of Mountain Gorillas

January 19th, 2021

Output takes center stage in this new study of what some gorillas left behind:

Daily Defecation Outputs of Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda,” Elie Sinayitutse, David Modry, Jan Slapeta, Aisha Nyiramana, Antoine Mudakikwa, Richard Muvunyi, and Winnie Eckardt, Primates, epub 2020. (Thanks to Damien Caillaud for bringing this to our attention.)

The authors, at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International; the University of Rwanda, Butare; the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Czech Republic; the Czech Academy of Sciences; the University of Sydney, Australia; the University of Rwanda; and the Rwanda Development Board, report:.

“We weighed 399 wet fecal samples deposited at nest sites and on trails between nest sites by gorillas of varying age and sex, determined by lobe diameter, from five social groups (n = 58 gorillas) that range in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. We found increasing daily average defecation outputs with increasing age-sex class (infants, 435 g; juveniles, 1346 g; medium-sized gorillas, 2446 g; silverbacks, 3609 g). Gorillas deposited two– to threefold the amount of feces at nest sites compared to on trails, suggesting that nest sites may function as hotspots for enteric pathogen infections through direct contact or when gorillas ingest foods contaminated with infectious larvae during site revisits in intervals matching the maturation period of environmentally transmitted gastrointestinal parasites.”

PERSONAL (by Marc) NOTE: In my 9th grade biology class the teacher gave me an F on a book report, because she insisted I was concocting the details. The details were about observing gorilla droppings. The book, I’m pretty sure, was either by or about Dian Fossey. The teacher was so angry at me that, even after I retrieved the book from the library and showed her the things I had described she still insisted on giving me an F for that report. It’s the only F I ever got, and I am still proud of it.

Coffee shop restroom graffiti and their implications for management inquiries [study]

January 18th, 2021

“My intention is to explore what happens when an organization’s bathroom becomes the locus of heated debate and cynical resignation. In contrast to viewing this rarely studied space as irrelevant to culture and identity, I argue that addressing such a space as culturally important has strong implications for understanding how authorship is constituted in organizations.“

So explains Professor Gazi Islam (now at the Grenoble Ecole de Management, France) in an article entitled : Backstage Discourse and the Emergence of Organizational Voices: Exploring Graffiti and Organization. (Journal of Management Inquiry, Volume: 19 issue: 3, page(s): 246-260)

The professor examined the dense and polyphonic communicative acts – in the form of graffiti – that had been found in the bathroom (restroom) of a locally-owned coffee shop in a medium-sized US city.

Graffiti were recorded approximately bi-weekly over 3 years, resulting in 338 separate entries of graffiti texts. Which were subsequently incorporated into a working categorization scheme based on their discursive functions.

“The phenomena I attempt to examine exist in dark corners of the organization but contain novel and interesting information, novel because seldom studied, and interesting, because they have managed to flourish, even in secrecy. These phenomena are organizational in the sense that civil society is political, that is, as spaces where meanings are established that do not enter the formal organizational registers. It is my hope that such a choice of research site, with its unique attributes, will open a door for future research into the more private spheres of organizations.”


Research research by Martin Gardiner

Podcast Episode #1051: “Did His Orgasm Lead to Blindness”

January 17th, 2021

In Podcast Episode #1051, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to biomedical researcher Chris Cotsapas. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

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

Chris Cotsapas encounters:

Postcoital Visual Loss Due to Valsalva Retinopathy,” Michaels, Luke, Naing Latt Tint, and Philip Alexander, BMJ Case Reports, epub October 23, 2014. 

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

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

Psychotic Visitors to the White House [research study]

January 16th, 2021

The final performance in tonight’s Improbable Dramatic Readings session, at Arisia, was a two-minute-long reading from this research paper:

Psychotic Visitors to the White House,” Joseph A. Sebastiani and James L. Foy, American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 122, no. 6, December 1965, pp. 679-86.

The study authors, at the University of Cincinnati and Georgetown University, report: “This study describes an unusual group of hospitalized patients who, with few exceptions, insisted on seeking a personal interview with the President of the United States at his official residence, the White House. Secret Service agents and White House guards met with each visitor initially and weighed the possibility of serious mental illness because of the visitor’s unwillingness to leave or his reasons for trying to see the President.”

TONIGHT: Dramatic Improbable Readings Teledistantly

January 16th, 2021

Tonight we’ll do our first-ever-teledistant Improbable Dramatic Readings event, at Arisia, 6 pm US eastern time.

The dramatic readers —Sonya Taafe, Mason Porter, Robin Abrahams, Dean Grodzins, David Kessler— all are always-boffo performers, and the material is of course ace.

We (Improbable Research) plan to do lots more online Dramatic Readings events elsewhere, in adapting to the pandemic era.

The lotsa-people-gathered-in-a-performance-space Dramatic Readings events always worked well. This first re-engineered, teledistant event is, for me, especially fun and exciting, full of little how-will-we-manage-to-do-THAT-particular-aspect mysteries. 

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