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

February 2011, issue number 2011-02. ISSN 1076-500X.

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Monthly mini update/alert from the Annals of Improbable Research

      This issue is at

      <http://www.improbable.com/airchives/miniair/2011/mini2011-02.htm>

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

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

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2011-02-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2011-02-02 Imminent Events

2011-02-03 The Magazine: Missing Pieces 4U

2011-02-04 Calling All Bearded Scientists Near Washington!

2011-02-05 Transportation Hero in re Bearded Men

2011-02-06 More Best of Dr. Sealand

2011-02-07 Dr. Waterland on Water on Land

2011-02-08 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Chew on Cats, C.A.T. on Cats

2011-02-09 UK Tour: Details Emerging for March

2011-02-10 Teasing Hint About a Revelation of No Importance

2011-02-11 Head-Loss-in-Crumb-Rubber-Filters Competition

2011-02-12 Tetralogy of Fallot Poet

2011-02-13 MORE IMPROBABLE: Beard Legend, Genius, Zoooology

2011-02-14 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Why Cat Urine Stinks

2011-02-15 Improbable Research Events

2011-02-16 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

2011-02-17 -- Our Address (*)

2011-02-18 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2011-02-19 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

      mini-AIR is

      but a wee monthly *supplement*

      to the bi-monthly magazine Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2011-02-02 Imminent Events

 

      AAAS, Washington, DC          — Feb 19, 2011

 

      UK Tour                       — Mar 13-19, 2011

 

Details below.

 

 

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2011-02-03 The Magazine: Missing Pieces 4U

 

The special Missing Pieces issue of the magazine is at the printers, from where it will fairly soon emerge and wend its way through the perilous mail system to subscribers.

 

Read back issues online, and/or subscribe to the fully tangible paper version, at: <http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>.

 

 

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2011-02-04 Calling All Bearded Scientists Near Washington!

 

Bearded scientists! You are invited to convene in Washington, DC this Saturday night to meet the lead author of the study "Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men" [Applied Microbiology, vol. 15, no. 4, July 1967, pp. 899–906].

 

Manuel Barbeito was awarded the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize in public health, but he was unable, for health reasons, to attend the ceremony.

 

Please bring your camera to help document this historic occasion — historic because:

 

      This will be Manuel Barbeito's first public presentation — ever —

      about the research, which was performed at Fort Detrick

      in the 1960s.

 

      We will present to him his Ig Nobel Prize certificate,

      signed by three Nobel Laureates.

 

      All bearded scientists in the room will be invited

      to shake his hand and swap bacteria.

 

This will be the highlight of highlights of the Improbable Research show, at the AAAS's Annual Meeting. It's one of the few parts of that AAAS meeting for which the general public is welcome, free.

 

WHEN: Saturday night, February 19, 2010. 7:00 pm.

WHERE: Renaissance Downtown Hotel (999 Ninth Street NW, Washington DC), in the Renaissance West AB room.

DETAILS: <http://bit.ly/h916dK>

 

BONUS: Download <http://bit.ly/7Zi4Fv> and print a free copy of the study, and bring it with you for Manuel Barbeito to sign!

 

 

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2011-02-05 Transportation Hero in re Bearded Men

 

Special thanks to investigator Mark Keiser for coming to the rescue, answering last month's call for someone to drive Manuel Barbeito to and from the show in DC!

 

 

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2011-02-06 More Best of Dr. Sealand

 

After last month's appreciation of Dr. Landsea and Dr. Sealand, there's been a clamoring for more, more, more of Dr. Sealand. Here's simply more:

 

"Solid Waste Management Practices: An Annotated Bibliography and Permuted-Title and Key-Word Index," W.J. Boegly, Jr., W.L. Griffith, O.M. SEALAND and W.E. Baldry, Oak Ridge National Lab report #ORNL-HUD--12, January 1, 1070, 363 pages. <http://bit.ly/dSs0SK>

 

No, we do not know why there's been no equivalent clamoring for Dr. Landsea.

 

 

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2011-02-07 Dr. Waterland on Water on Land

 

"Oil Production and Water Management in Oman," D.H. Parker, C.A.T. Kuijvenhoven, R.D. WATERLAND and M. Smies. paper presented at the SPE Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Conference, 11-14 November 1991, The Hague, Netherlands. <http://bit.ly/eB8cKm>

 

 

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2011-02-08 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Chew on Cats, C.A.T. on Cats

 

This month's spotlighted study features a curious conjunction of author names and subject, of special interest to people interested in cats and of ordinary or lesser or even no interest to people with little or no interest in cats:

 

"Feeding the Aging Cat With Chronic Renal Failure," Dennis J. Chew, Patricia A. Schenck and C.A.T. Buffington, "Compendium On Continuing Education for the Practising Veterinarian — North American Edition, 2003, vol. 26; part 2; supplement/A, 2003, pp. 24-28. <http://bit.ly/gDxsZ1>.

 

Dr. Chew and his bowtie and mustache can be seen at <http://bit.ly/hUeUzi>

Dr. Schenk's web page is <http://bit.ly/hR7WHR>

Dr. Buffington is interviewed at <http://bit.ly/gfcru9>

 

 

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2011-02-09 UK Tour: Details Emerging for March

 

We now know many of the details of the 9th annual Ig Nobel Tour of the UK, for National Science & Engineering Week, in March. The Ig Nobel Prize winners and other performers will touch on or delve into: slime mold, fruit bats; swearing and pain; photography and blinking; D'Arcy Thompson; old books; sculptural testicles; homosexual necrophiliac ducks; convertible emergency brassieres, kilts, Feedback, and more.

 

Events will transpire in:

 

      Liverpool (including 2 shows at the Cavern Club) [March 13 & 16]

      Bristol [March 15]

      London [March 17] TICKETS: <http://bit.ly/hsVtsx>

      Dundee [March 19] TICKETS: <http://bit.ly/eTgfLb>

 

A list of places, people, times and other info is taking form at <http://improbable.com/improbable-research-shows/ig-uk-tour>, with further details to be added.

 

If your organization would like to host or sponsor an additional event on the tour, please get in touch with Katherine Meusey <[email protected]>

 

 

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2011-02-10 Teasing Hint About a Revelation of No Importance

 

The show at the University of Dundee, on March 19, will include a MAJOR MINOR REVELATION about A DISCOVERY of NO IMPORTANCE but GREAT INTEREST, the general nature of which we will disclose a week or two before the tour begins.

 

 

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2011-02-11 Head-Loss-in-Crumb-Rubber-Filters Competition

 

Clean-Bed Head Loss in Crumb Rubber Filters inspire this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this report:

 

"Prediction of Clean-Bed Head Loss in Crumb Rubber Filters," Hao L. Tang, John M. Regan, Shirley E. Clark, and Yuefeng F. Xie, J. Envir. Engrg. vol. 137, no. 1, January 2011, pp. 55-62. <http://bit.ly/gd59Jr> (Thanks to investigator Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) The researchers, at Penn State University, report:

 

"Crumb rubber media have been beneficially invented for ballast water and tertiary wastewater treatment.... Pilot crumb rubber filters were tested to study their clean-bed head loss under the influences of three design and operational parameters (media size, media depth, and filtration rate). Data from the filtration tests were used to evaluate the application of the Kozeny and Ergun equations... The statistical model developed by the multiplicative power-law relationship was proved to be valid, and it could be used to predict clean-bed head loss in crumb rubber filters."

 

RULES: Please make sure that: (1) your rhymes actually do; and (2) your poem is in classic, trills-off-the-tongue limerick form.

PRIZE: The winning poet will receive (if we manage to send it to the correct address) a free, possibly crummy or crumby, hi-res PDF issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. Send your limerick to:

 

      HEAD-LOSS-IN-CRUMB-RUBBER-FILTERS LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2011-02-12 Tetralogy of Fallot Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in the Tetralogy of Fallot Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "Tetralogy of Fallot," Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 175, no. 11, 1961, p. 944. <http://bit.ly/g8O9w7>.

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR WARD SILVER, who wrote:

 

Fallot was fit to be tied

'Twas a hole to the ventricle side!

   Defective pathology,

   Made him say, "Golly gee,

Gosh, it's a septal divide!"

 

Here's the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

Fallot, who researched cardiology,

Had bequeathed unto us a tetralogy.

   It had elements four,

   But now there are more.

It's a complex, a new polyology.

 

BONUS: Investigator Richard Rae writes:

This doesn't summarize the paragraph from the study per se. It speaks more to symptoms of the anomaly than the elements of it (tetralogy of Fallot being a cause of "blue baby" syndrome!):

 

A Tetralogy child I once knew

Said, "Hey, Doc, I don't know what to do!

   I try to feel glad

   When playing with Dad,

But no matter what happens, I'm Blue!"

 

 

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2011-02-13 MORE IMPROBABLE: Beard Legend, Genius, Zoooology

 

Recent improbable bits you may or may not have missed:

 

NEW HAIR CLUB MEMBERS

Stefan Carmien joined the Luxuriant Former Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS)> See him and other members of the three sibling LFHCfS organizations, at <http://improbable.com/category/lfhcfs-hair-club/>.

 

BLOG <http://improbable.com/>

<> Legend of Chrystallographers' Beards

<> Woodpeckers, too, can be confused

<> New Book: “Geniuses Without Glory”

<> The Turing Test and “Bill O'Reilly”

<> Comprehension, not spelling: ZOOOOLOGY and CHEMSTRY

And many more...

 

NEWSPAPER <http://improbable.com/category/newspaper-column>

<> Lion-roaring contests, and scholars

<> Read Brain on Head in Brain

<> Domestic cats, when/why they roll

 

      twitter: ImprobResearch

      facebook: "Improbable Research"

 

 

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2011-02-14 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Why Cat Urine Stinks

 

"Molecular Cloning and Characterization of a Novel Carboxylesterase-Like Protein That Is Physiologically Present at High Concentrations in the Urine of Domestic Cats (Felis catus)," Masao Miyazaki, Katsuyoshi Kamiie, Satoshi Soeta, Hideharu Taira and Tetsuro Yamashita, Biochemical Journal, vol. 370, 2003, pp. 101–10. <http://bit.ly/earAf4> (Thanks to Mark Schreiber for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are variously at Iwate University, Aomori University, and Nippon Veterinary and Animal Science University.

 

 

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2011-02-15 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

AAAS, Washington, DC                      — Feb 19, 2011

 

UK Tour                                   — Mar 13-19, 2011

 

Edinburgh Science Festival                — April 2011

 

GEL Conference, New York City             — Apr 28-9, 2011

 

Cambridge (MA) Science Festival           — May 2011

(3 events!)

 

NIH NICHD Retreat, Warrenton, VA          — May 17, 2011

 

Cairo, Egypt                              — Jun 2011

 

HUPO, Geneva, Switzerland                 — Sep 4, 2011

 

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony                   — Sept 29, 2011

 

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Oct 1, 2011

 

Scandinavia Tour                          — Oct/Nov 2011

 

 

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2011-02-16 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a 6-issues-per-year magazine. (It's bigger and better than the little bits of overflow material you've been reading in this newsletter.)

 

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2011-02-17 -- 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>

Blog: www.improbable.com

Twitter: ImprobResearch

 

 

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2011-02-18 -- 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

CO-CONSPIRATORS: Kees Moeliker, Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Gary Dryfoos, Ernest Ersatz, Stephen Drew

MAITRE DE COMPUTATION: Jerry Lotto

AUTHORITY FIGURES: Nobel Laureates Dudley Herschbach, Sheldon Glashow, William Lipscomb, Richard Roberts

 

(c) copyright 2011, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2011-02-19 -- 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.

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