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

September 2008, Issue number 2008-09. ISSN 1076-500X.

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A free newsletter of tidbits too tiny to fit in

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

      This issue at

      <http://www.improbable.com/airchives/miniair/2008/mini2008-09.htm>

      Archive at <http://improbable.com/airchives/miniair/>

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

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2008-09-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2008-09-02 Imminent Events

2008-09-03 What's New in the Magazine

2008-09-04 Most-Absurd-Drug-Name Compendium - Selection #1

2008-09-05 Ig Nobel Ceremony approaches

2008-09-06 More about the Ig

2008-09-07 And a bit more

2008-09-08 More Sex From A. Slob

2008-09-08 More Sex From A. Slob

2008-09-09 Regge Pole Poet

2008-09-10 Tongue Scraper Side-Effect Limerick Competition

2008-09-11 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Speed of Sound in Frozen Orange

Juice

2008-09-12 OTHER RECENT IMPROBABILITIES: Based, Mirandized

2008-09-13 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Math Weird, Face Mask Facing

2008-09-14 Improbable Research Events

2008-09-15 -- How to Subscribe to AIR (*)

2008-09-16 -- Our Address (*)

2008-09-17 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2008-09-18 -- 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

 

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2008-09-02 Imminent Events

 

      Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony & webcast        OCT 2

      Ig Informal Lectures                          OCT 4

 

      Dayton, OH                                       OCT 10

      Genoa Science Festival                       OCT 24

 

      Details below

 

 

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2008-09-03 What's New in the Magazine

 

The September/October 2008 issue (vol. 14, no. 5) is the special

Dots and Spots issue of the Annals of Improbable Research.

Highlights include:

 

<> "Dots and Spots Research Review"

 

<> "The Inventive Inventions of Dotts"

 

<> "Spots Where the Spotted Were Spotted"

 

The issue will emerge from the printers any day now, and will

appear both in paper and online.

Many back issues are online, too, at

<http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>

 

 

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2008-09-04 Most-Absurd-Drug-Name Compendium - Selection #1

 

Further submissions for the Most-Absurd-Drug-Name Compendium:

 

Basiliximab

<http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR600211>

Submitted by investigator Jolinda Smith

 

Vatalanib

<http://tinyurl.com/63dxyn>

Submitted by investigator Kurt Fried

 

Eltrombopag

<http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/357/22/2237>

Submitted by investigator Kurt Fried

 

 

COUNTER-PRODUCTIVELY NAMED DRUG:

 

Acitac

<http://www.nepalibazar.com/pharma/industries/gd.htm>

Submitted by investigator Elizabeth Palmberg, who says:

"I actually knew someone who was working for the consulting company

that named this drug, and he protested the idea, pointing out that, if

you say it out loud, it sounds like someone's derriere is being

attacked."

 

More next month.

 

 

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2008-09-05 Ig Nobel Ceremony approaches

 

On October 2, the ten 2008 Ig Nobel Prize winners - each having

done something that first makes people LAUGH, then makes them

THINK - will be revealed. Coming from four continents, the

winners will step forth at the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, collect

their Prizes, give one-minute acceptance speeches, and assume

their places (whatever those may be) in history.

 

The live webcast will begin at 7:15 pm Boston time with a pre-

ceremony mini-concert by Paul & Storm. There will also be a live

cablecast at MIT, Gustavus Adolphus College, University of

Wisconsin, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and elsewhere.

 

INFO: <http://improbable.com/ig/2008/>.

 

CEREMONY TICKETS:

<http://140.247.118.196/tickets/details.cfm?EVENT_ID=7995>

 

WEBCAST AND CABLECAST: <http://improbable.com/ig/2008/webcast/>

 

 

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2008-09-06 More about the Ig

 

More of what's on tap at the ceremony:

 

This year's 24/7 Lecturers (each explaining a subject first in 24

seconds, then in seven words) and their topics:

 

Benoit Mandelbrot: Fractals

Anna Lysyanskaya: Cryptography

Steven Pinker: The Human Mind

Dany Adams: Biology

William Lipscomb: Redundancy

 

The ceremony will include the Win-a-Date-With-Benoit-Mandelbrot

Contest, and the premiere, for the first time, of the mini-opera

"Redundancy, Again."

 

Also, several past winners are returning to take a bow.

 

 

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2008-09-07 And a bit more

 

The Ig Informal Lectures will happen at MIT on Saturday, Oct. 4,

at 1:00 pm. It's free, but seating is limited.

Details: <http://improbable.com/ig/2008/#informal-lectures>

 

 

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2008-09-08 More Sex From A. Slob

 

Investigator P.J. Finn complains that we have neglected the once-

popular feature called "Sex From A. Slob." Dr. Slob, investigator

Finn reminds us, is based at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

 

To lessen investigator Finn's unhappiness, the series resumes:

 

SEX FROM A. SLOB (1)

"Sexual Arousability and the Menstrual Cycle," A. Koos Slob, et

al., Psychoneuroendocrinology. vol. 21, no. 6, August 1996, pp.

545-58. <http://tinyurl.com/3mvuqp>

 

SEX FROM A. SLOB (2)

"Age, Libido, and Male Sexual Function," A. Koos Slob, Prostate,

vol. 10, 2000, pp. 9-13. <http://tinyurl.com/4pwv58>

 

 

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2008-09-09 Regge Pole Poet

 

The judges, their cheeks stuffed with crisp bread and tongue,

have chosen a winner for last month's Regge Pole Limerick

Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "What

Can One Do With Regge Poles?" D. Sokolovski, A.Z. Msezane, Z.

Felfli, S.Yu. Ovchinnikov and J.H. Macek, Nuclear Instruments and

Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with

Materials and Atoms, vol. 261, nos. 1-2, August 2007, pp. 133-7.

<http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nimb.2007.04.057>

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR R. BURPEE BOHAKER. His limerick:

 

With Regge poles, what can one do?

Six scientists wish that they knew.

They looked at some studies

By fun fuddy-duddies,

And wrote a nice five-page review.

 

And here's an offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

Electrons and atoms collide.

Pole analysis, thus, is applied.

What happens to matter?

Does it splatter or scatter?

The authors provide, here, a guide.

 

 

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2008-09-10 Tongue Scraper Side-Effect Limerick Competition

 

Tongue scraper side-effects are the subject of this month's

limerick competition. (Thanks to investigator Kristine Danowski

for bring it to our attention.) To enter, compose an original

limerick that illuminates the nature of this report:

 

                   * * *

 

"Endocarditis after Use of Tongue Scraper," A.M. Redmond, C.

Meiklejohn, T.J. Kidd, R. Horvath, and C. Coulter, Emerging

Infectious Diseases, vol. 13, no. 9, September 1, 2007, pp. 1440-

1. The authors, at The Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside,

Queensland, Australia and at Pathology Queensland, Herston,

Queensland, Australia, report:

 

"Tongue scraping is advocated as a therapy for managing halitosis

and as a technique for preventing dental caries by reducing

bacterial counts in the mouth.... We report the case of a woman

in whom infective endocarditis followed the use of a tongue

scraper."

 

                   * * *

 

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

poem is in classic, trips-off-the-tongue limerick form.

 

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

the correct address) a free, possibly scraped issue of the Annals

of Improbable Research. Send entries (one entry per entrant) to:

 

      TONGUE SCRAPER LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <marca AT chem2.harvard.edu>

 

 

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2008-09-11 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Speed of Sound in Frozen Orange

Juice

 

This month's specially selected study is:

 

"Ultrasonic Velocity Measurements in Frozen Model Food

Solutions," Ibrahim Gčlseren and John N. Coupland, Journal of

Food Engineering, vol. 79, no. 3, 2007, pp. 1071-18.

<http://tinyurl.com/48xk72> (Thanks to Bob O'Hara for bringing

this to our attention.) The authors, at Pennsylvania State

University, report:

 

"The speed of sound was measured in solutions of sucrose (0-70

wt/vol%), glycerol (0-30 wt/vol%) and orange juice (0-40 solids

wt/vol%) as a function of temperature (10 íC to -13 íC)."

 

 

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2008-09-12 OTHER RECENT IMPROBABILITIES: Based, Mirandized

 

Improbable Research TV episodes:

      <http://improbable.com/tv/>

<> Incompetence, claw, claw

<> Swallowing, storage

 

Blog items:

      <http://improbable.com/>

<> Forensic Adventures: Birthday Boy

<> Math Quiz: The Lt. Governor's base

<> Super-ultra-advanced technology update: Telepathy

<> Miss C's advice for new students

<> Brains of London taxi drivers, again

 

Newspaper columns:

      <http://tinyurl.com/6o348d>

<> Congestion and its comeuppance

<> Modern Post Scholarship

<> Being Carmen Miranda

 

New Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists Members:

      <http://tinyurl.com/25lmfb>

 

 

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2008-09-13 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Math Weird, Face Mask Facing

 

MATH: CONTINUOUSLY WEIRD

"Most Continuous Functions are Weird," J. Ceder and T.L. Pearson,

Periodica Mathematica Hungarica, vol. 12 no. 4, 1981, pp. 255-

60.

 

FACE MASK FACING

"If Wearing a Mask, Which Way Should You Face for a Sneeze?" J.K.

Schultz, AORN Journal, vol. 31, no. 7, June 1980, pp. 1190-92.

 

 

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2008-09-14 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

IG NOBEL PRIZE CEREMONY               -- OCT 2, 2008

 

IG INFORMAL LECTURES                   -- OCT 4, 2008

 

AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY, DAYTON, OHIO OCT 10, 2008

 

GENOA SCIENCE FESTIVAL, ITALY        -- OCT 24, 2008

 

CONGRESO NACIONAL DE DIVULGACION DE LA CIANCIA Y LA TECNICA

NAYARIT, TEPIC, MEXICO    -- NOV 12, 2008

 

 

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2008-09-15 -- How to Subscribe to AIR (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a 6-issues-per-year

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online version is at <http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>.

 

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2008-09-16 -- 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: subscriptions AT improbable.com

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

 

 

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2008-09-17 -- 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 2008, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2008-09-18 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

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