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

February 2012, issue number 2012-02. 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/2012/mini2012-02.htm>

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

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2012-02-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2012-02-02 Imminent Events

2012-02-03 The Magazine: Body Parts Issue

2012-02-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Inaccurate Children

2012-02-05 Ig Nobel in Vancouver (and Beyond)

2012-02-06 Candy / Meal Competition

2012-02-07 Crawler Sandwich Damping Poet

2012-02-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Cows, Trays, Gasses

2012-02-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Fecal Pellet and Chopsticks

2012-02-10 Improbable Research Events

2012-02-11 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

2012-02-12 -- Our Address (*)

2012-02-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2012-02-14 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2012-02-02 Imminent Events

 

      AAAS, Vancouver         Feb 18, 2012

 

      UK Tour                 Mar 8-17, 2012

      BITS, Pilani, India     Mar 17-18, 2012

      Denmark/Sweden Tour     Mar 23-28, 2012

 

 

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2012-02-03 The Magazine: Body Parts Issue

 

The special Body Parts issue of the magazine is online at <http://bit.ly/A8iJAv>. It features lots and lots of body parts.

 

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

 

 

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2012-02-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Inaccurate Children

 

This month's research spotlight focuses on children and accuracy:

 

"Bias in Self-Reported Height and Weight in Preadolescents,"Jan Seghers and Albrecht L. Claessens, Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 157, no. 6, December 2010, pp. 911-16. <http://bit.ly/xdsv8t> (Thanks to R.B. Weitz for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, report:

 

"Self-reported height and weight was administered and then measured in 798 fourth graders age 8 to 11 years.... Children age 8 to 11 years were not able to accurately estimate their actual height and weight, leading to erroneous estimating rates of their weight status."

 

 

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2012-02-05 Ig Nobel in Vancouver (and Beyond)

 

Our annual show at the AAAS Annual Meeting will happen on SATURDAY NIGHT, FEB 18, in VANCOUVER. The show (unlike most of the meeting) is open to the public, free. It will feature:

 

<> JOHN SENDERS of the University of Toronto, 2011 Ig Nobel public safety prize winner, will do two brief talks — one about his driving-on-a-highway-with-eyes-covered experiment, the other about an unpublished gunslinger experiment he did in 1956

 

<> YORAM BAUMAN, performing economist.

 

<> IVAN ORANSKY, co-founder of Retraction Watch, will describe the yearÕs most memorable and provocative retractions

 

<> SYDNEY FELS of the University of British Columbia will demonstrate how computers can automatically turn a personÕs gestures into speech

and others to be announced.

 

And next month — March — will be a busy Ig Nobel month, with shows in ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, INDIA, DENMARK and SWEDEN. See the entire schedule at <http://www.improbable.com/improbable-research-shows/complete-schedule/>

 

 

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2012-02-06 Candy / Meal Competition

 

Candy inspires this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this report:

 

"Meal Order Reversal: Effects of Eating a Sweet Course First or Last," Barbara J. Rolls, Louise J. Laster, Ann Summerfelt, Appetite, vol. 16, no. 2, April 1991, pp. 141-8. <http://bit.ly/waNY0b> The authors, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, report:

 

"The aim of the experiment was to determine the effects of eating a sweet food either as a first course or as a third course on intake during a three-course lunch. Twenty normal weight, non-dieting male subjects were run twice in a counter-balanced design. The first and third courses were interchanged and consisted of either a sweet (candy bar) or savory (cheese or crackers) food... there was no indication that eating candy as a first course affected appetite and food intake differently from eating the same amount of a non-sweet food such as cheese on crackers, which was similar in energy density and palatability."

 

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

 

      MEAL ORDER REVERSAL / CANDY LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2012-02-07 Crawler Sandwich Damping Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in the Crawler Sandwich Damping Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "Optimization for Sandwich Damping Composite Structure: Used in Sprockets of Crawler Vehicles," Dagang Sun, Xin Zhang, Yong Song, and Bijuan Yan, Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials, epub December 11, 2011. <http://bit.ly/uuTToc>

 

Here's the winning limerick, by INVESTIGATOR DON DAVIS:

 

He said, "I will bet you a dollar,

I can damp the vibes deep in that crawler

   With a sandwich I'll show

   Of composites placed low

You can trust me for I am a scholar."

 

Here's the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

How to achieve mitigation,

In crawlers, of sprockets' vibration?

   Using x's and betas,

   Y's and some etas,

They show us the optimization.

 

 

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2012-02-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Cows, Trays, Gasses

 

Recent improbable bits you may or may not have missed:

 

      twitter: @ImprobResearch, @IgNobel

      facebook: "Improbable Research"

 

BLOG <http://improbable.com/>

<> Milking merry-go-round (you know, for cows)

<> Greenhouse gasses on about trays

<> FlegrÕs dominance/submissivity/sadomasochism/internet-trap test

<> "The finest piece of plastic-surgeon's porn"

And many more...

 

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

<> Pork, the surprise (yet traditional) remedy for a nosebleed

<> Almost-poisoning pigeons in the park

<> Cereals with that patented chameleon quality

And more...

 

HAIR CLUBS: Kathryn Devaney and Scott Hampton joined the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS):

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

 

 

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2012-02-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Fecal Pellet and Chopsticks

 

STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF A FECAL PELLET

"The Ultrastructure of a Doliolid and a Copepod Fecal Pellet," Marion Kšster, Rabea Sietmann, Annette Meuche and Gustav-Adolf Paffenhšfer, Journal of Plankton Research, vol. 33, no. 10, 2011, pp. 1538-1549. <http://bit.ly/zdpa6w> (Thanks to Mike Marshall for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-UniversitŠt Greifswald, Germany.

 

CHOPSTICKS, MOVING BEANS, PEGBOARD

"Effects Of Prior Use of Chopsticks on Two Different Types of Dexterity Tests: Moving Beans Test and Purdue Pegboard," Sohee Shin, Shinichi Demura, Hiroki Aoki, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 108, April 2009, pp. 392-8. <http://bit.ly/wcvf7S> The authors are at Kanazawa University.

 

 

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2012-02-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

AAAS, Vancouver, Canada                   - Feb 18, 2012

 

Ig Nobel UK Tour                          — Mar 8-17, 2012

 

BITS, Pilani, India                       — Mar 17-18, 2012

 

Ig Nobel Tour of Scandinavia              — Mar 23-28, 2012

 

Washington U, St. Louis                   — Apr 4, 2012

 

Cambridge (MA) Sci Fest                   — Apr 26, 2012

 

Korea                                     — May 2012

 

The Netherlands                           — Jun 2012

 

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony                   — Sep 20, 2012

 

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Sep 22, 2012

 

 

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2012-02-11 -- 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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2012-02-12 -- 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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2012-02-13 -- 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, Richard Roberts

 

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

(c) copyright 2012, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2012-02-14 -- 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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