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

March 2012, issue number 2012-03. 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/mini2012-03.htm>

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

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2012-03-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2012-03-02 Imminent Events

2012-03-03 The Magazine: Body Parts Issue

2012-03-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Dilemma of Lumps in Surfers' Chins

2012-03-05 Ig Nobel This Month in Europe and India

2012-03-06 Crumpled-Paper Limerick Competition

2012-03-07 Meal Order Reversal Poet

2012-03-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Slimeball, Exploding Ichthyosaur

2012-03-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Geek Speak Peck Port Geeks Peak

2012-03-10 Improbable Research Events

2012-03-11 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

2012-03-12 -- Our Address (*)

2012-03-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2012-03-14 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2012-03-02 Imminent Events

 

      UK Tour                       Mar 8-17, 2012

      APOGEE, Pilani, India         Mar 17-18, 2012

      Denmark/Sweden Tour           Mar 23-28, 2012

 

 

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2012-03-03 The Magazine: Body Parts Issue

 

The special Body Parts issue of the magazine is online at <http://bit.ly/A8iJAv>.

 

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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2012-03-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: The Dilemma of Lumps in Surfers' Chins

 

This month's research spotlight focuses on surfers' chin lumps:

 

"The Treatment Dilemma Caused by Lumps in Surfers' Chins," Jun Fujimura, et al., Annals of Plastic Surgery, vol. 59, no. 4, October 2007, pp. 441-4. (Thanks to Nils Dement for bringing this to our attention.)  http://bit.ly/x8IJL3> The authors, at Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, report:

 

"This is an account of 2 male surfing enthusiasts who recently sought care at our hospital after developing tumorous masses on their chins. Although the lesions appeared grossly benign, establishing a definitive treatment plan was perplexing because of the insidious nature of the protuberances... The histologic findings for the lesion removed from the first patient consisted of primarily parenchymal fibrosis without concomitant structural abnormalities in overlying epidermis, suggesting that repetitive blunt trauma to the chin area while paddling the surfboard was probably the factor responsible for the pathogenesis of tumor formation."

 

 

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2012-03-05 Ig Nobel This Month in Europe and India

 

This is a busy, busy, busy month for Ig Nobel winners. In various combinations, bunches of them will perform in shows in England (Bristol, London, Teddington), Scotland (Dundee), India (Pilani), Denmark (Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense) and Sweden (Stockholm).

 

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

 

UK TOUR DETAILS: <http://www.improbable.com/improbable-research-shows/ig-uk-tour>

 

A few of what we expect to be many highlights:

 

BRISTOL: First British appearance by the inventor of the wasabi-fume fire alarm.

 

DUNDEE: St. Patrick's Day Special: (A) The modern public debut of a long-mostly-lost poem —about Ireland — by Scotland's greatest bad poet, William McGonagal; PLUS (B) evidence for the scandalous possibility that McGonagal was born in Ireland. And (C) Scottish herring farts.

 

LONDON: First academic discussion, in public, of the Prime Minister's full-bladder technique for dominating at meetings.

 

PILANI: First Indian simultaneous appearance of sword-swallowing, Clocky, the emergency bra, and homosexual necrophliac mallard ducks.

 

STOCKHOLM: First major public telling of a true story of international intrigue, which could and should be called "The Swedish herring farts, the Russian submarines, and the Swedish Foreign Minister."

See background at: <http://bit.ly/zCktzE>

 

 

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2012-03-06 Crumpled-Paper Limerick Competition

 

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

 

"Three-Dimensional Structure of a Sheet Crumpled into a Ball," Anne Dominique Cambou and Narayanan Menon, PNAS, vol. 108 no. 36, September 6, 2011, pp. 14741-5. <http://bit.ly/zHB4bO> The authors, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, report:

 

"Our X-ray microtomography experiments reveal that the internal three-dimensional geometry of a crumpled ball is in many respects isotropic and homogeneous.... However, we find local nematic ordering of the sheet into parallel stacks. The layering proceeds radially inward from the outer surface. The extent of this layering increases with the volume fraction, or degree of compression."

 

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

 

      CRUMPLED-PAPER LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2012-03-07 Meal Order Reversal Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in the Meal Order Reversal Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "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>

 

Here's the winning limerick, by INVESTIGATOR JOHN McCOOL:

 

Dietitians in fear of starvation

Cry out now, in pure desperation:

   "Bring a nuts-to-soup platter —

   The order won't matter —

I'll eat any-old permutation."

 

Here's the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

Which is former, and which one is latter?

The sequence, we learn, doesn't matter.

   When you eat something sweet

   And a savory treat,

Either way, you are going to get fatter.

 

 

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2012-03-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Slimeball, Exploding Ichthyosaur

 

Recent improbable bits you may or may not have missed:

 

      twitter: @ImprobResearch, @IgNobel

      facebook: "Improbable Research"

 

HAIR CLUBS: Roland Pfister, Bryan Boling, and Eiko Fried joined the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS):

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

 

BLOG <http://improbable.com/>

<> Sudden population increase in Wilmington, Delaware <http://bit.ly/yRitb8>

<> Kids' brain response to ice cream and a milkshake <http://bit.ly/y7JxPj>

<> Professor Clancy on lime juice <http://bit.ly/zg3ANS>

<> Professor Moriarty's Blunt, Sharp treatise on coercion <http://bit.ly/znJ7V8 >

And many more...

 

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

<> The exploding ichthyosaur theory <http://bit.ly/ydvvxF>

<> Slimeball — A sticky weapon to immobilize large ships <http://bit.ly/zBgn2S>

<> Experiments with inflatable & other life-size dolls <http://bit.ly/wAtmHy>

And more...

 

 

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2012-03-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Geek Speak Peck Port Geeks Peak

 

"Geek Speak on 'Peek Port' – Hybridizing a Hybrid Technique Not Geeks Peak," Brij B. Agarwal and Shruti Sharma, Surgical Endoscopy, vol. 24, no. 1, January 2010, pp. 232-3. <http://bit.ly/w6mRt3>

 

 

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2012-03-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Ig Nobel Tour of the UK                   — Mar 8-17, 2012

 

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

 

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

 

Texas A&M University                      — Mar 30, 2012

 

Washington U, St. Louis                   — Apr 4, 2012

 

Cambridge (MA) Sci Fest                   — Apr 26, 2012

 

Seoul, Korea                              — May 2012

 

The Netherlands                           — Jun 2012

 

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony                   — Sep 20, 2012

 

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Sep 22, 2012

 

 

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2012-03-11 -- 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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2012-03-12 -- 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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2012-03-13 -- 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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2012-03-14 -- 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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