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

JUNE 2012, issue number 2012-06. 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/mini2012-06.htm>

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

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2012-06-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2012-06-02 Imminent Events

2012-06-03 Randomness vs. Stupidity (magazine)

2012-06-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Not Wladimir

2012-06-05 Foam: Too Large for Lagrange

2012-06-06 Defoaming Intestinal Gas Limerick Competition

2012-06-07 Spudcan-in-Clay Stiffness Poet (Plus Bubbles)

2012-06-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Groucho Running, Penguins, UK vs. Argentina

2012-06-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Hardisty's Final Lamprey Thoughts

2012-06-10 Improbable Research Events

2012-06-11 -- How to Subscribe to the Magazine (*)

2012-06-12 -- Our Address (*)

2012-06-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2012-06-14 -- How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2012-06-02 Imminent Events

 

      Eindhoven, The Netherlands                — Jun 28

      Rotterdam, The Netherlands                — Jun 29

      Raytheon BBN, Columbia, Maryland, USA     — Jul 9

      Science Friday (NPR)                      — Jul TBA

 

      Full schedule at <http://goo.gl/tzwJt>

 

 

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2012-06-03 Randomness vs. Stupidity (magazine)

 

The special "Randomness versus Stupidity" issue of the magazine is out. Read a low-res version online at <http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume18/v18i3/v18i3.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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2012-06-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Not Wladimir

 

This month's research spotlight focuses on whether Wladimir von Dechterew is Wladimir von Bechterew:

 

"Wladimir von Dechterew Is Wladimir von Bechterew: A Typographical Error," Gregory Razran, Psychological Bulletin, vol. 67, no. 3, March 1967, p. 227. <http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/h0024283>. The abstract explains:

 

"A thorough search of Russian publications reveals no evidence of the existence of any von Dechterew and the fact than von Bechterew attended the 3rd congress and said what the alleged von Dechterew is quoted to have said. Silverstein's imputation in the article that Pavlov's system of 'higher nervous activity' and Razran's own views are reductionistic is a misconception."

 

BONUS: Wladimir von Bechterew's "Die Bedeutung der Suggestion im sozialen Leben" <http://goo.gl/qg3Wd>

 

BONUS: The man himself: <http://goo.gl/wKEA4>

 

 

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2012-06-05 Foam: Too Large for Lagrange

 

What to do when you expect bird deformation to be too large for a Lagrangian description to work? Try foam, suggests this study:

 

"A Numerical Model for Bird Strike of Aluminium Foam-Based Sandwich Panels," A.G. Hanssena, Y. Girard, L. Olovsson, T. Berstad and M. Langseth, International Journal of Impact Engineering, vol. 32, no. 7, July 2006, pp. 1127–44. <http://goo.gl/RYOID> The authors, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and institutions in France and the US, describe, in particular, a mathematical difficulty that faced them:

 

"The bird was expected to undergo too large deformations for a pure Lagrangian description of motion to be a feasible option."

 

 

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2012-06-06 Defoaming Intestinal Gas Limerick Competition

 

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

 

"Experience With the Use of a Defoaming Agent in The Treatment of Gastrointestinal Gas." J. Alfred Rider, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 150, February 1968, pp 170–177, The author is at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. Rider's obituary: <http://goo.gl/vKG0M>

 

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

 

      DEFOAMING INTESTINAL GAS LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2012-06-07 Spudcan-in-Clay Stiffness Poet (Plus Bubbles)

 

The judges have chosen co-winners in the Spudcan-in-Clay Stiffness Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study "Elastic Stiffness Coefficients for an Embedded Spudcan in Clay," Youhu Zhang, Mark J. Cassidy and Britta Bienen, Computers and Geotechnics, vol. 42, May 2012, pp. 89–97. <http://bit.ly/KTPRL0>

 

Here is the winning limerick, from INVESTIGATOR DON HEITZMANN:

 

Most users of spudcans, I'm thinking,

Just place 'em, forget 'em, go drinking,

   Unless set on clay,

   In which case you may,

Return, drunk, to find your rig sinking

 

Here's the offering from LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

Wind, waves, and currents can spoil

The rig when you're digging for oil.

   Coefficients of mud can

   Predict how your spudcan

Will impact the movement of soil.

 

LAUREATE EIGER also sends this bonus limerick, about an unrelated research study. The study is described at as: "Irish Mathematicians Solve The Guinness Sinking Bubble Problem" <http://goo.gl/ZeZNZ>. The study itself is at <http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.5233> The Eiger lierick is:

 

The bubbles appear to be sinking.

In Limerick, three guys did some thinking.

  They put forth the notion

  Of circular motion.

And then they got back to their drinking.

 

 

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2012-06-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Groucho Running, Penguins, UK vs. Argentina

 

Recent improbable bits you may or may not have missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

<> Groucho running

      <http://goo.gl/DJqIZ>

<> The puzzle of rising diagnosis rates of certain nasty diseases

      <http://goo.gl/nkDwI>

<> Penguins join the necrophilia club

      <http://goo.gl/re5q2>

 

IMPROBABLE NEWSPAPER COLUMN:

<> How gold wedding rings go missing abrasively

      <http://goo.gl/5DcGa>

<> Buttock and breast ogling: Britain vs. Argentina

      <http://goo.gl/6yVW7>

<> The suggestibility of itching and scratching, videorecorded

      <http://goo.gl/d4acz>

... and more at <http://improbable.com/category/newspaper-column>

 

NEWEST LFHCFS (HAIR CLUB) MEMBER: Reese Jenniges <http://www.improbable.com/2012/06/12/reese-jenniges-joins-lfhcfs/>

 

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

      twitter: @ImprobResearch, @IgNobel

      facebook: "Improbable Research"

 

 

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2012-06-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Hardisty's Final Lamprey Thoughts

 

"Hardisty Shares His Final Thoughts on Lampreys," M.F. Docker,  Environmental Biology of Fishes, vol. 82, no. 1 2008, pp. 11-15.

<http://www.springerlink.com/content/5774q566w03x2352>

 

BONUS: Martin Hardisty and other important lampreyists: <http://goo.gl/rWvyl>

 

 

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2012-06-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Eindhoven, The Netherlands                — Jun 28, 2012

Rotterdam, The Netherlands                — Jun 29, 2012

Raytheon BBN, Columbia, MD                — Jul 9, 2012

Science Friday (NPR)                      — Jul TBA, 2012

Publication Day: the 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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2012-06-11 -- 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.)

 

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2012-06-12 -- 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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2012-06-13 -- 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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2012-06-14 -- 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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