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

APRIL 2012, issue number 2012-04. 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/mini2012-04.htm>

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

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2012-04-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2012-04-02 Imminent Events

2012-04-03 The Magazine: And More Body Parts Issue

2012-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Wine, With or Without Women, and Song

2012-04-05 Improbable Research Readings at Cambridge Science Festival

2012-04-06 Wine Swirling Limerick Competition

2012-04-07 Crumpled-Paper Poets

2012-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Cow Explosion, German Beer Bellies

2012-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Mousy Smell in Wine

2012-04-10 Improbable Research Events

2012-04-11 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

2012-04-12 -- Our Address (*)

2012-04-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2012-04-14 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2012-04-02 Imminent Events

 

 

      Cambridge (MA) Science Festival     — Apr 26, 2012

 

      Seoul, South Korea                  — May 22, 2012

 

 

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2012-04-03 The Magazine: And More Body Parts Issue

 

The special "...And More Body Parts" issue of the magazine is online at <http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume18/v18i2/v18i2.html>.

 

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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2012-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Wine, With or Without Women, and Song

 

This month's research spotlight focuses on wine:

 

"The Nature and Functions of Wine in Opera," Michael Lovitt, Journal of Wine Research, vol. 14, nos. 2-3, August-December, 2003, pp. 147-51. <http://bit.ly/IjqVhN> (Thanks to Kristine Danowski for bringing this to our attention.) The author reports that:

 

"Wine has been an important ingredient of opera since its inception, though only occasionally is a particular variety stipulated. In this paper fourteen functions of wine in opera are characterised and contextualised by indicative examples. In some cases Spirits are invoked and the reader's indulgence is sought for this trespass."

 

 

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2012-04-05 Improbable Research Readings at Cambridge Science Festival

 

Join us for another night of "Improbable Research Reports" — Dramatic 2-minute-long readings from bizarre studies and patents that resulted in Ig Nobel Prizes, recited by an all-star cast of scientists, journalists, and other enlightening entertainers.

 

WHERE: Voltage Coffee & Art, 295 Third Street, Cambridge, MA, USA.

WHEN: 6:00 pm, Thursday, April 26, 2012

 

It's free.

 

DETAILS, including the list of performers, at:

<http://www.improbable.com/2012/04/20/improbable-research-cambridge-science-fest/>

 

 

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2012-04-06 Wine Swirling Limerick Competition

 

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

 

"'Oenodynamic': Hydrodynamic of Wine Swirling," Martino Reclari, Matthieu Dreyer, Stephanie Tissot, Danail Obreschkow, Florian Wurm, Mohamed Farha," arXiv:1110.3369v1, October 15, 2011. The authors are at the Laboratoire des Machines Hydrauliques and the Laboratory of Cellular Biotechnology, both in Lausanne, Switzerland. They write:

 

"A crucial step in wine tasting is the so called swirling, necessary to release the bouquet of the wine: a gentle circular movement of the glass generates a wave propagating along the glass walls, enhancing oxygenation and mixing.... this motion is not yet well understood. In this fluid dynamics video we show the large variety of waves shapes generated by this simple movement, and we identify a group of dimensionless parameters governing the flow."

 

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

 

      WINE SWIRLING LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

BONUS: A large (152 MB) video file of the wine-swirling experiment can be downloaded from <http://arxiv.org/src/1110.3369v1/anc/Oenodynamics_HQ.mpg>

 

 

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2012-04-07 Crumpled-Paper Poets

 

The judges have chosen co-winners in the Crumpled-Paper Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "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>

 

Here are winning limericks.

 

From INVESTIGATOR DAVE SANTO:

Will a single pristine piece of paper

Fold itself, or converge to a taper?

   The sheet morphs to stacks,

   With parallel backs,

Not caused by the skill of the shaper.

 

From INVESTIGATOR DAVID WEINBERGER:

Among the odd paper-based facts:

When "Crumple" is set to the max,

   Look at the right scale —

   Does entropy fail? —

It's folded right back into stacks.

 

Here's the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

Researchers use X-rays to test


The structure of what's coalesced.


   They find layers that fall


   In the shape of a ball


When what once was a flat sheet's compressed.

 

 

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2012-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Cow Explosion, German Beer Bellies

 

Recent improbable bits you may or may not have missed:

 

HAIR CLUBS: Alexander Mastin has joined the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS):

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

 

BLOG <http://improbable.com/>

<> How to blow up a cow (officially)

<> How many psychology studies will survive a 2nd look?

<> A blood-typing test credited to Harry Potter, sort of

And many more...

 

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

<> Why random selection of legislators makes mathematical sense <http://bit.ly/JqrfrD>

<> The laws of human stupidity <http://bit.ly/ImEgHC>

<> The German beer belly is misunderstood <http://bit.ly/HEPe8B>

<> The Sherlock Holmes effect <http://bit.ly/H5nPzK>

<> The problem of exploding pacemakers <http://bit.ly/Jlp2iU>

And more...

 

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

      twitter: @ImprobResearch, @IgNobel

      facebook: "Improbable Research"

 

 

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2012-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Mousy Smell in Wine

 

"Mousy Smell in Wine," A.C. Zaslavskii, SadaVostVo, VinogradarstVo Vinodelie MoldaVii 1955, 10, 43-44.

 

BONUS: More about mousey wine: <http://bit.ly/JA4JjP>

 

 

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2012-04-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Cambridge (MA) Sci Fest                   — Apr 26, 2012

 

Seoul Digital Forum, South Korea          — May 22, 2012

 

Dead Duck Day, Rotterdam, The Netherlands — Jun 5, 2012

 

The Netherlands                           — Jun 2012

 

Publication Day: new Improbable Book      — Sep 16, 2012

 

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony                   — Sep 20, 2012

 

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Sep 22, 2012

 

AAAS Annual Meeting, Boston, USA          — Feb 2013

 

Ig Nobel Tour of the UK                   — Mar 2013

 

Ig Nobel Tour of Scandinavia              — Mar 2013

 

 

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2012-04-11 -- 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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Send payment (US bank check, or international money order, or Visa, Mastercard or Discover info) to:

      Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

      PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

      617-491-4437 FAX:617-661-0927 <[email protected]>

 

 

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2012-04-12 -- 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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2012-04-13 -- 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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2012-04-14 -- 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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