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

May 2013, issue number 2013-05. 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/2013/mini2013-05.htm>

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

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2013-05-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2013-05-02 Imminent Events

2013-05-03 In the Magazine: Blushing in the Dark

2013-05-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Potto Organization Analyzed

2013-05-05 Ig Nobel Tickets, Dead Duck Day, and CERN Improbability

2013-05-06 Potto's Niche Limerick Competition

2013-05-07 Putrid-Defect-of-Butter Poet

2013-05-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Jerkmeter, Money, Smoots & Standards

2013-05-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: L'Allure du Potto

2013-05-10 Improbable Research Events

2013-05-11 -- How to Get the Magazine (*)

2013-05-12 -- Our Address (*)

2013-05-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2013-05-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2013-05-02 Imminent Events

 

Leiden, The Netherlands                         — May 28

Oxford University, UK                           — Jun 4

Somerville, MA, USA                             — Jun 4

Dead Duck Day, Rotterdam, The Netherlands       — Jun 5

Ig Nobel Ceremony Tickets will go on sale       — mid-July

 

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

 

 

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2013-05-03 In the Magazine: Blushing in the Dark

 

The special Blushing issue of the Annals of Improbable Research is out and about. Two of its most salient articles, "Blushing in the Dark: First Experimental Proof" and "Medical Research Review", are online. The e-book version is up on Barnes&Noble, Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo: <http://goo.gl/v9oiR>

 

      Download a FREE E-BOOK ISSUE <http://goo.gl/BMzMw>

      All issues of the magazine <http://www.improbable.com/magazine>

 

 

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2013-05-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Potto Organization Analyzed

 

This month's research spotlights potto organization, such as it may be:

 

"Social Organization of the Milne-Edward's Potto," Elizabeth R. Pimley, Simon K. Bearder, Alan F. Dixson, American Journal of Primatology, vol. 66, no. 4, August 2005, pp. 317-30. <http://goo.gl/uQiH6> The authors, at the University of Cambridge, the Univeristy of Oxford, and the Zoological Society of San Diego, report:

 

"Certain males and females that were seen together regularly throughout the study, but were not observed to have contact with other pottos of the opposite sex, were labeled as 'pairs'. These pairs were found to have higher levels of association with each other than with other conspecifics. The only affiliative and sexual behaviors observed between members of the opposite sex occurred within the pairs of pottos."

 

 

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2013-05-05 Ig Nobel Tickets, Dead Duck Day, and CERN Improbability

 

IG NOBEL TICKETS (Mid-July)

 

Tickets for this year's Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony go on sale in MID-JULY.

 

If you want us to email you a reminder when the time nears, sign up for the private reminder list:

<http://www.improbable.com/ig/2013/>

 

The ceremony — the 23rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony — will happen on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12. That's about two weeks earlier than usual. Beginning this year, the ceremony will be broadcast live on network TV in several nations.

 

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DEAD DUCK DAY (June 5)

 

Crowds are gathering now for this year's Dead Duck Day — the annual public celebration/commemoration of the historic event described in the Ig Nobel Prize-winning study "The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves: Anatidae)". It happens on JUNE 5, at the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, followed by the traditional duck dinner at a nearby restaurant. DETAILS: <http://goo.gl/KXVJZ>

 

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VIDEOS OF TEDx CERN (now)

 

TEDx CERN has posted video of the three officially Improbable parts of their recent event: Soprano Maria Ferrante and pianist Alice Martelli performing two songs from Ig Nobel operas, and me doing a TEDx talk about Improbable Research:

<http://goo.gl/hzKrn>

 

 

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2013-05-06 Potto's Niche Limerick Competition

 

A possible (some say probable) niche of pottos inspires this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this study:

 

"The Niche of the Potto, Perodicticus potto," John F. Oates, International Journal of Primatology, vol. 5, no. 1, February, 1984, pp. 51-61. <http://goo.gl/F0oH0> Oates the Potto Man, at Hunter College, New York, reports:

 

"Some new field observations on West African pottos are presented and compared with previously published information.... This evidence suggests that the predominant means by which pottos find food is by carefully searching branches in the forest canopy with their noses... The pottoÕs niche is compared to that of other lorisid primates and is found to resemble closely that of Galago crassicaudatus in several respects."

 

PRIZE: The winning poet will receive (if we manage to send it to the correct address) a free (and conceivably pseudo-potto-like), e-book issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. Send your limerick to:

 

      POTTO NICHE LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2013-05-07 Putrid-Defect-of-Butter Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner for last month's Putrid-Defect-of-Butter Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study:

 

"Bacteriology of Butter. VIII. Relationship of Achromobacter putrefaciens to the Putrid Defect of Butter," T.J. Claydon and B. W. Hammer, Iowa Agr. Expt. Sta., Research Bulletin, 267, 1939.

<http://goo.gl/ks7mR>

 

The winner is PAUL BARNETT, who writes:

 

To the layman it may seem incredible:

Putrid butter is frankly inedible.

   But Acromobacter

   Adds a marketing factor —

It's inedible still, but more spreadable.

 

From LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

Bacteria frequently grow

On butter, two researchers show.

   But is it the essence

   Of butter's putrescence?

It is, sometimes.  Other times, no.

 

BONUS: Investigator RUTH GREENWOOD, too, found special inspiration in ruined butter. Here are her limerickian thoughts, and bolstering references thereto:

 

It's not just that these late scholars knew

Why some butter smelled skunk-like1 (P.U.!)

   You like Buffalo wings

   And other savory things?

This Doc Hammer turned Maytag cheese blue!

 

1. "A Skunk-Like Odor of Bacterial Origin in Butter," T.J. Claydon and B.W. Hammer, Journal Paper J-571 of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa. Project No. 119, 1938. <http://goo.gl/fHkz6>

 

2. "Finest Blue Cheese" <http://goo.gl/u5chm>

 

 

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2013-05-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Jerkmeter, Money, Smoots & Standards

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

<> Patent for a jerkmeter

      <http://www.improbable.com/2013/05/25/patent-for-a-jerkmeter/>

<> Economics experiment finds people volunteer for economics experiments largely to make money

      <http://goo.gl/FBvf4>

<> "Making ice-cream more nutritious with meat left-overs"

      <http://goo.gl/wgMCu>

... and more at <http://improbable.com>

 

THE NEWSPAPER COLUMN:

<> A cup of tea and some Smoots: One must or can celebrate standards

      <http://goo.gl/Wlr9X>

 

NEW LUXURIANT HAIR CLUB FOR SCIENTISTS (LFHCFS) MEMBER:

<> Roy Armstrong: <http://goo.gl/ERuQ6>

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

facebook:   <http://www.facebook.com/improbableresearch>

NEW BOOK, "This Is Improbable": <http://goo.gl/brcd8>

 

 

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2013-05-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: L'Allure du Potto

 

"L'Allure du Potto au Cours de Son Dˇplacement sur un Support Horizontal," S. Renous and J.-P. Gasc, Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. Paris, vol. 13, 1980, pp. 117–130.

 

 

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2013-05-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Raamsteeg2, Leiden, The Netherlands       — May 28, 2013

Ponytail Physics, Oxford University, UK   — Jun 4, 2013

Story Collider, Cambridge, MA, USA        — Jun 4, 2013

Dead Duck Day, Rotterdam, The Netherlands — Jun 5, 2013

  *** Ig Nobel Ceremony Tickets will go on sale in mid-JULY ***

2013 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, Harvard     — Sep 12, 2013

Ig Informal Lectures, MIT                 — Sep 14, 2013

AAAS Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA         — Feb, 2014

Ig Nobel Tour of Scandinavia             — Mar, 2014

Ig Nobel Tour of the UK, USA              — Mar, 2014

USA Sci & Eng Fest, Washington, DC        — Apr, 2014

Imperial College London Festival, UK      — May, 2014

Science Friday (NPR)                      — almost every month

 

 

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2013-05-11 -- How to Get the Magazine (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a 6-issues-per-year magazine. (It's much bigger and better than the little bits in this newsletter.)

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2013-05-12 -- Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

(+1) 617-491-4437, FAX: (+1) 617-661-0927

 

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2013-05-13 -- 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 2013, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2013-05-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

Mini-AIR is a (free!) teeny-tiny monthly *supplement* to the actual six-times-a-year magazine AIR.

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