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

July 2011, issue number 2011-07. 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/mini2011-07.htm>

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

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2011-07-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2011-07-02 Imminent Events

2011-07-03 The Magazine: Professor Lipscomb Issue Soon

2011-07-04 Ig Nobel Tickets Go On Sale August 2

2011-07-05 Icky Notes on a Chainsaw Massacre

2011-07-06 A Curious Night in Doha

2011-07-07 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Thrill of Canadian Cloth Towel Dispensers

2011-07-08 Mapping Microwaved Chicken Fingers Limerick Competition

2011-07-09 Random Balinese-German Poet

2011-07-10 MORE IMPROBABLE: Hair Club Members, Suicidology, Jesus

2011-07-11 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Integrated Happiness Accounting / Postmen

2011-07-12 Improbable Research Events

2011-07-13 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

2011-07-14 -- Our Address (*)

2011-07-15 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2011-07-16 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2011-07-02 Imminent Events

 

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony tickets go on sale —— TUESDAY, AUG 2

Details below, and at < http://bit.ly/pHl1ea>

 

American Chemical Society, Denver, Colorado —— SUNDAY, AUG 28

 

Switzerland (Geneva and Basel) —— SEP 4 & 7

 

      EVENT DETAILS: <http://bit.ly/8m4zLa>

 

 

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2011-07-03 The Magazine: Professor Lipscomb Issue Soon

 

The special Professor Lipscomb issue of the magazine has just gone to the printer, and will soon be adventuring through the postal system to subscribers.

 

Read back issues online (including the special Bears & Mathematicians issue) and/or subscribe to the fully tangible paper version, at: <http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>.

 

 

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2011-07-04 Ig Nobel Tickets Go On Sale August 2

 

Tickets for the Twenty-First 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony

will go on sale TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2011, at noon.

 

Unlike previous years, ALL the tickets will go on sale at once. We expect that this year's tickets will (as usual) get snapped up very quickly.

 

The Harvard Box Office handles all ticket sales.

 

In Person: The physical ticket office, in Holyoke Center, is open some (but not all!) days from noon to 6 pm.

 

Online: <https://www.boxoffice.harvard.edu/Online/>

 

Telephone: (+1) 617-496-2222.

 

TICKET DETAILS: <http://bit.ly/pHl1ea>

 

The Ceremony will happen on THURSDAY NIGHT, SEPTEMBER 29, at Sanders Theater. CEREMONY DETAILS: <http://improbable.com/ig/2011/>

 

 

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2011-07-05 Icky Notes on a Chainsaw Massacre

 

It's been a while since we mentioned chainsaw massacres. Here's a mention. It will probably be a while before we do it again. Behold:

 

"Blood and Tissue Spatter Associated with Chainsaw Dismemberment," Brad Randall, Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 54, no. 6, 2009, pp. 1310-4. <http://bit.ly/mQh6q1>  The author, at University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, explains:

 

"[The Royal] we dismembered two large pig carcasses with a small electric chainsaw in a controlled environment.... These experiments have shown that a human body may be easily dismembered with a chainsaw, even a smaller electric-powered modelÉ.Despite popular beliefs fueled by crime scene shows on television and recent Chainsaw Massacre movies, postmortem dismemberment does not necessarily produce a large amount of blood spatter at a dismemberment scene...."

 

 

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2011-07-06 A Curious Night in Doha

 

Recently several hundred science journalists gathered in Doha, Qatar, for what turned out to be a strange meeting. Strangest of all were the events of a particular evening. Here's our eyewitness account:

<http://bit.ly/mW4OKF>

 

 

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2011-07-07 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Thrill of Canadian Cloth Towel Dispensers

 

This month's spotlighted study is more gruesome than most. It tells of... the thrill of Canadian cloth towel dispensers:

 

"Self Strangulation by Hanging from Cloth Towel Dispensers in Canadian Schools," D. Le and A.J. Macnab, Injury Prevention, vol. 7, 2001, pp. 231-3. <http://1.usa.gov/qAKS8j> The authors, who are at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, report that:

 

"Five cases of hanging from continuous cloth towels in Canadian schools were identified and reviewed. ... Thrill seeking from partial asphyxiation appears to underlie these incidents. Awareness of such cases should prompt appropriate education strategies to highlight the serious consequences of this form of risk taking behavior in young males."

 

 

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2011-07-08 Mapping Microwaved Chicken Fingers Limerick Competition

 

Maps and microwaved chicken fingers inspire this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this report:

 

"Magnetic Resonance Temperature Mapping of Microwave-Fried Chicken Fingers," I. Barutcu, M.J. McCarthy, Y.S. Seo and S. Sahin, Journal of Food Science, vol. 74, no. 5, June 2009, pp. E234-40. <http://bit.ly/oM7E23> (Thanks to Alec Wysoker for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey, report:

 

"The main objective of this study was to compare the heating patterns of chicken fingers deep-fried conventionally and using a microwave. Two dimensional internal temperature maps of fried chicken fingers with rectangular geometry were measured post frying using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)."

 

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

 

      MAPPING MICROWAVED CHICKEN FINGERS LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2011-07-09 Random Balinese-German Poet

 

The judges, themselves obsessed with random numbers in numerous languages, have chosen a winner in the Random Balinese-German Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "Random number generation in bilingual Balinese and German students: preliminary findings from an exploratory cross-cultural study," Hans Strenge, Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana and Luh Ketut Suryani, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 109, no. 1, August 2009, pp. 61-75. <http://bit.ly/omkDE6>

 

Here's the winning limerick, by INVESTIGATOR ERIK JENSEN [who also triumphed in last month's event]:

 

There used to be near perfect order

Inside the Germanian border,

   But Hans randomly talked,

   And neun came before acht

(Less so in the Balinese quarter).

 

Here's the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

Some subjects, the ones Balinese,

Often counted.  They skipped twos and threes.

   But those who are German,

   Researchers determine,

Aren't prone to behaviors like these.

 

 

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2011-07-10 MORE IMPROBABLE: Hair Club Members, Suicidology, Jesus

 

Recent improbable bits you may or may not have missed:

 

      twitter: @ImprobResearch

      facebook: "Improbable Research"

 

New Hair Clubs members Katrin Kania, Karyn Bischoff and Richard Rae: <http://improbable.com/category/lfhcfs-hair-club/>

 

BLOG <http://improbable.com/>

<> The Stephen King of suicidology is now president

<> Forensic Analyses of Jesus: shock, awe, whatever

<> Kickboxing spit content irrelevancy

And many more...

 

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

<> Postcoital Penis Cleaning in Budongo Chimps

<> Slovakian Shepherds, and Hunters & Butchers

<> Association football on Mars

And more...

 

 

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2011-07-11 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Integrated Happiness Accounting / Postmen

 

VISION OF INTEGRATED HAPPINESS ACCOUNTING SYSTEM

"Vision of Integrated Happiness Accounting System in China," G. Cheng, Z. Xuand J. Xu, Acta Geographica Sinica, 2005, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 893-901. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) <http://bit.ly/oDbrAN>

 

GREEK POSTAL CANCELLATIONS

Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, Hellenic Philatelic Society of Great Britain, 1994. <http://bit.ly/nJx1ru>

 

 

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2011-07-12 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Ig Nobel Tickets go on sale               — Aug 2, 2011

 

ACS, Denver, Colorado                     — Aug 28, 2011

 

HUPO, Geneva, Switzerland                 — Sep 4, 2011

 

Life Science Network Basel, Switzerland   — Sep 7, 2011

 

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony                   — Sep 29, 2011

 

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Oct 1, 2011

 

AAAS, Vancouver, Canada                   - Feb 2012

 

Ig Nobel UK Tour                          — Mar/Apr 2012

 

The Netherlands                           — Jun 2012

 

 

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2011-07-13 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

 

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

 

To subscribe to the paper-and-ink version, go to <http://improbable.com/subscribe/> or send in this form:

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2011-07-14 -- Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

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

 

EDITORIAL: [email protected]

SUBSCRIPTIONS: [email protected]

Web Site: <http://www.improbable.com>

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

Twitter: ImprobResearch

 

 

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2011-07-15 -- 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

 

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

(c) copyright 2011, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2011-07-16 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

Mini-AIR is a (free!) tiny monthly *supplement* to the bi-monthly print magazine AIR.

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To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit <http://chem.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/mini-air>

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