PLEASE FORWARD/POST AS APPROPRIATE

=========================================================

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

Issue number 2007-04

April 2007

ISSN 1076-500X

Key words: improbable research, science humor, Ig Nobel, AIR, the

----------------------------------------------------------

A free newsletter of tidbits too tiny to fit in

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

=========================================================

 

-----------------------------

2007-04-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2007-04-02 Imminent Event

2007-04-03 What's New in the Magazine

2007-04-04 What's Up with Macaques?

2007-04-05 What's This Activity?

2007-04-06 Lu Lu

2007-04-07 Sorry, Sorry, Theoharis Theoharis

2007-04-08 New Head Hypothesis Poet Deficit

2007-04-09 Orienteer-Trampling Competition

2007-04-10 New Hair Club Member Profusion

2007-04-11 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The General's Kisses

2007-04-12 BLOGLIGHTS: Ovary Syndrome in Men

2007-04-13 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Vaporize, Coin Odor, Minute Men

2007-04-14 Improbable Research Events

 

2007-04-15 How to Subscribe to AIR (*)

2007-04-16 Our Address (*)

2007-04-17 Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2007-04-18 How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

     Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

     mini-AIR is

     a free monthly *e-supplement* to the print magazine

     Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-02 Imminent Event

 

     Perimeter Institute, Waterloo, Ontario -- May 2, 2007

 

     Improbable Research Netherlands Tour -- Late May 2007

 

     For details see the web site.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-03 What's New in the Magazine

 

The Mar/Apr issue (vol. 13, no. 2) of the Annals of Improbable

Research is the special Theoretical Figures issue. Highlights, I

addition to those listed here last month, include:

 

<> "Clean Drunk," by Alice Shirell Kaswell. ABSTRACT: As alcohol-

based hand sanitizers become more popular, they inspire curiosity

and experiments. Here are four recent studies.

 

<> "Cost of a Child," by Wendy Cooper. ABSTRACT: You can now buy

a child under 10 years of age for only $14.00 at The Marketplace

at Gungahlin (near where I live). I did this the other day (see

receipt)."

 

<> "The Chemical and Physical Properties of Vampires in the

Gaseous State," by Scott Sandford, Jason Dworkin and Max

Bernstein. ABSTRACT: We discuss a number of questions associated

with the nature of vampires in the gaseous state, and attempt to

estimate some of the chemical and physical properties of vampires

while in this state.

 

The table of contents is at <http://tinyurl.com/2bmflt>

 

To subscribe (6 paper issues per year) go to

<http://improbable.com/subscribe/>

or see info at bottom of this newsletter.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-04 What's Up with Macaques?

 

Macaques have appeared -- twice -- in the rich pageant that is

science in the year 2007.

 

One study got the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus)'s share of

the attention.

 

"Evolutionary and Biomedical Insights from the Rhesus Macaque

Genome" enlivened the April 13 issue of the journal Science.

It's a corker of a read. The whole thing is online at

<http://tinyurl.com/yvh63z>.

 

But news of an earlier, unusually uplifting study got washed over

by all the world's genome joy. Like many scientific reports, this

one makes a lovely gift for that hard-to-buy-for certain someone

in your life. It's:

 

     "Vomiting in Wild Bonnet Macaques,"

     Elizabeth C. Johnson Eric Hill and Matthew A. Cooper,

     International Journal of Primatology, vol. 28, no. 1,

     February 2007. (Thanks to Eduardo B. Ottoni for

     bringing this to our attention.)

 

The researchers are at Oglethorpe University, Arizona State, and

Georgia State. Their study concludes with a modest statement:

 

     "Our data offer insight into a normal, but largely ignored,

     behavior of cercopithecines."

 

The paper itself is at

<http://tinyurl.com/32ng7p>

 

An appreciation can be found at:

<http://tinyurl.com/2nel97>

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-05 What's This Activity?

 

QUESTION: What activity does this describe?

 

THE DESCRIPTION: "In this paper we have combined high-level

electronic structure calculations and canonical variational

transition state theory including semiclassical multidimensional

small-curvature tunneling corrections to study the mechanism and

to calculate the reaction rate constants of the hydrogen

abstraction reaction from (-)-epicatechin by methylperoxyl

radical, taken as a peroxolipidic radical model."

 

ANSWER: Tunneling in tea.

 

REFERENCE (in case you'd like more details):

"Tunneling in Green Tea: Understanding the Antioxidant Activity

of Catechol-Containing Compounds. A Variational Transition-State

Theory Study," Ismael Tejero, Nuria Gonzalez-Garc§a, Angels

Gonzalez-Lafont and Jose M. Lluch, Journal of the American

Chemical Society, 2007, DOI 10.1021/ja063766t. The authors are at

the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. (Thanks to Duncan

Casey for bringing this to our attention.)

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-06 Lu Lu

 

There's a new addition to the roster of Professor-Professors:

 

LU LU

Assistant Professor

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

The University of Tennessee College of Medicine

<http://www.utmem.edu/neuroscience/faculty/L_Lu.php>

(Thanks to investigator Wim E. Crusio for bringing this to our

attention.)

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-07 Sorry, Sorry, Theoharis Theoharis

 

Well, we've gotten ourselves into a mess of our own making with

the now-tangled Professor-Professor case of Theoharis Theoharis.

Last month investigator Ben Stulp correctly pointed out our typo

in listing the gentleman's name. Now we have heard from the

investigator who first brought Theoharis Theoharis to our

attention. Investigator Joanne Spetz writes:

 

     * * *

I was rather dismayed that you posted Theoharis Theoharides as my

Professor Professor contribution - the person I referred you to

is Theoharis Theoharis, who isn't a full-blown professor but has

some sort of instructor title at present. Of course Theoharis

Theoharides is not a Professor Professor -- he's a Professor

Professidor! See these links:

 

<http://tinyurl.com/277s4s>

<http://tinyurl.com/ywnrm3>

 

Apologies, apologies to all concerned. We will do our best to

avoid mention, especially mangling mention, of Theoharis

Theoharis.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-08 New Head Hypothesis Poet Deficit

 

The judges have concluded that there is no winner for last

month's New Head Hypothesis Limerick Competition, which asked for

a limerick to honor the following study:

 

     "The New Head Hypothesis Revisited," R. Glenn Northcutt,

     Journal of Experimental Zoology B,

     2005, vol. 304B, no. 4, pp. 274–97.

 

But here is the latest from Limerick Laureate Martin Eiger:

 

In this paper that I have just read,

Of chordates -- like me! -- it is said

   That embryos grow

   Exactly just so.

I won't let it go to my head.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-09 Orienteer-Trampling Competition

 

Orienteer-trampling is the subject of this month's limerick

competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that

illuminates the nature of this report:

 

     "Trampling by Orienteers on Downed Spruce Logs

     in a Woodland Key Habitat in Northern Sweden,"

     P. Bader, C. Fries, and B.-G. Jonsson,

     Scientific Journal of Orienteering,

     vol. 14, 1998, pp. 4-12.

 

RULES: Please make sure your rhymes actually do, and that your

poem adheres to classic limerick form.

 

PRIZE: The winning poet will receive a (if we manage to send it

to the correct address) a free, possibly orienteer-trampled issue

of the Annals of Improbable Research. Send entries (one entry per

entrant) to:

 

     ORIENTEER-TRAMPLING COMPETITION

     c/o <marca AT chem2.harvard.edu>

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-10 New Hair Club Member Profusion

 

The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) has a

bumper crop of new members. View them and their hair at

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

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-11 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The General's Kisses

 

Each month we select for your special attention a research report

that seems particularly worth a close read. This month's pick:

 

"Travel Experiences in Central and Eastern Europe: Romania: The

General's Kisses" [Article in Dutch] L. Offerhaus, Nederlands

Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde, vol. 144, no. 39, Sept. 23, 2000,

pp. 1882-3. The author explains his observation that:

 

"The public face of Rumania is characterized by extreme

contrasts... The country sometimes resembles a disorganized

beehive. Rumanians try to steer a middle course between bouts of

self-pity and their intense wish to become full members of the

European Union. They are not averse to play-acting and one should

not be surprised to receive a cordial accolade from a medical

professor who chairs government committee meetings in full

general's attire."

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-12 BLOGLIGHTS: Ovary Syndrome in Men

 

Here are some recent topics in our blog:

 

<> An ovary syndrome in men

<> Ig winner acquitted on 23 of 42 charges

<> Egg peeling in a trice

<> Why science dominates the headlines

<> Bureaucracy Club: Too good at ethics

<> Duckling feeding fish? Nope.

 

and some from the newspaper column in The Guardian:

 

<> Icky, picky (tasty tarantula)

<> Professor Doughnut

<> The thickening bureaucracy

<> His tiny aspirations

 

     ... and many others

 

     Read the blog

     every day at <http://www.improbable.com>

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-13 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Vaporize, Coin Odor, Minute Men

 

VAPORIZED

"Decreased Respiratory Symptoms in Cannabis Users Who Vaporize,"

Mitch Earleywine and Sara Smucker Barnwell, Harm Reduction

Journal vol. 4, no. 11, 2007.

 

SMELLY COINS: WHY

"The Two Odors of Iron when Touched or Pickled: (Skin) Carbonyl

Compounds and Organophosphines" (article in German), Dietmar

Glindemann, Andrea Dietrich, Hans-Joachim Staerk and Peter

Kuschk, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2006, vol. 118,

no. 42, pp. 7006–9.

 

MINUTE MEN EXPLAINED

"Gendered Time in the Age of Deconstruction," P. Odih, Time and

Society, 1999, vol. 8, pp. 9–38.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-14 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

PERIMETER INSTITUTE, WATERLOO            -- MAY 2, 2007

 

2007 IMPROBABLE RESEARCH NETHERLANDS TOUR     -- MAY/JUN 2007

 

ARES SYSTEMS USER GROUP, BOSTON          -- JUN 28, 2007

 

IG NOBEL PRIZE CEREMONY                  -- OCT 4, 2007

 

IG INFORMAL LECTURES                -- OCT 6, 2007

 

FESTIVAL DELLA SCIENZA, GENOA, ITALY     -- OCT 2007

 

NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS - GET INSIDE EVENT

               LONDON, UK           -- NOV 23, 2007

 

DFG ANNUAL ASSEMBLY, BERLIN, GERMANY     -- JUL 1, 2008

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------

2007-04-15 How to Subscribe to AIR (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a paper magazine. (It's not

just the little bits of overflow material you've been reading in

this newsletter). Subscribe at <http://improbable.com/subscribe/>

or send in this form:

................................................................

Name:

Address:

Address:

City and State:               

Zip or postal code:

Country

Phone:         FAX:           E-mail:

.........................................................

SUBSCRIPTIONS (6 issues per year):

USA            1 yr/$35       2 yrs/$63

Canada/Mexico  1 yr/$42 US    2 yrs/$72 US

Overseas       1 yr/$53 US    2 yrs/$97 US

.........................................................

BACK ISSUES are available, too:

<http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/stale.htm>

.........................................................

Send payment (US bank check, or international money order, or

Visa, Mastercard or Discover info) to:

     Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

     PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

     617-491-4437 FAX:617-661-0927 <air AT improbable.com>

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------

2007-04-16 Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

617-491-4437 FAX:617-661-0927

 

EDITORIAL: marca AT chem2.harvard.edu

SUBSCRIPTIONS: air AT improbable.com

WEB SITE: <http://www.improbable.com>

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------

2007-04-17 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

MINI-PROOFREADER AND PICKER OF NITS (before we introduce the last

few at the last moment): Wendy Mattson

COMMUTATIVE EDITOR: Stanley Eigen

ASSOCIATIVE EDITOR: Mark Dionne

PSYCHOLOGY EDITOR: Robin Abrahams

CO-CONSPIRATORS: Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Gary Dryfoos, Ernest

Ersatz, S. Drew

MAITRE DE COMPUTATION: Jerry Lotto

AUTHORITY FIGURES: Nobel Laureates Dudley Herschbach, Sheldon

Glashow, William Lipscomb, Richard Roberts

 

(c) copyright 2007, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------

2007-04-18 How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

What you are reading right now is mini-AIR. Mini-AIR is a (free!)

tiny monthly *supplement* to the bi-monthly print magazine.

          ----------------------------

To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit

<http://chem.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/mini-air>

======================================================