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

July 2013, issue number 2013-07. ISSN 1076-500X.

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Monthly mini update/alert from the Annals of Improbable Research

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

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2013-07-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2013-07-02 Imminent Events

2013-07-03 In the Magazine: Boring, Boring, Boring

2013-07-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Effect of Blondes on Drug Testing

2013-07-05 Ig Nobel TICKETS Go On Sale July 16

2013-07-06 Greek Royal Jelly Limerick Competition

2013-07-07 Steady Squirmer Poet

2013-07-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Teddy Bears, Robots, Prisoners

2013-07-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Why Redheads Might Have Tempers

2013-07-10 Improbable Research Events

2013-07-11 -- How to Get the Magazine (*)

2013-07-12 -- Our Address (*)

2013-07-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2013-07-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2013-07-02 Imminent Events

 

Ig Nobel Ceremony Tickets go on sale            — July 16

 

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

 

 

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2013-07-03 In the Magazine: Boring, Boring, Boring

 

The special Boring Machines issue of the Annals of Improbable Research is in gear, droning on and on. Parts are online at <http://goo.gl/vuyy2>. The full e-book version is up on Barnes&Noble, Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo: <http://goo.gl/vuyy2>

 

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

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

 

 

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2013-07-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Effect of Blondes on Drug Testing

 

This month's research spotlights blondes and blonds on drug testing:

 

"The Effect of Hair Color on the Incorporation of Codeine into Human Hair," D.E. Rollins, D.G. Wilkins, G.G. Kruger, M.P. Augsburger, A. Mizuno, C. O'Neal, C.R. Borges, and M.S. Slawson, Journal of Analytical Toxicology, vol. 27, 2003, pp. 545-51. <http://goo.gl/GOFUI> The authors report that:

 

"The purpose of this study was to determine if codeine, as a model compound for abused drugs, would be incorporated into black, brown, blond, or red hair as a function of melanin concentration.... These data demonstrate that the interpretation and reporting of hair test results for codeine are influenced by hair color. After this dosing protocol, the proposed federal guideline cut-off of 200 pg/mg of codeine would result in 100% of subjects with black hair and 50% of subjects with brown hair being reported as positive, and subjects with blond or red hair would be reported as negative."

 

 

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2013-07-05 Ig Nobel TICKETS Go On Sale July 16

 

Tickets for the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony go on sale TUESDAY, JULY 16, at NOON (US eastern time).

 

Tickets will be available exclusively from the Harvard Box Office (via the web, by telephone, or in person). We heavy-handedly-yet-kindly remind you that tickets always go quickly.

 

      HARVARD BOX OFFICE: <http://ofa.fas.harvard.edu/boxoffice/>

 

DELEGATIONS: If you are coming in a group of five or more persons, and wish to be recognized as an Official Delegation, please see the ceremony web page.

 

CEREMONY and WEBCAST: The 23rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will happen on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2013, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. It will be webcast live.

 

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

 

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BONUS FOR THE NOSTALGIC: We have posted video of three classic 24/7 Lectures, from past Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies:

 

Dany Adams (BIOLOGY) <http://goo.gl/U6FUv>

Eric Lander (GENOME) <http://goo.gl/x5Duh>

Benoit Mandelbrot (FRACTALS) <http://goo.gl/JPjKJ>

 

 

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2013-07-06 Greek Royal Jelly Limerick Competition

 

Greek Royal Jelly inspires this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this study:

 

"Melissopalynological Analysis of Royal Jelly from Greece," Maria Dimou, Chrysoula Tananaki, Georgios Goras, Emmanuel Karazafiris & Andreas Thrasyvoulou, Grana, vol. 52, no. 2, 2013, pp. 106-112. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) <http://goo.gl/kVZrQ> The authors, at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, report:

 

"Microscopic analysis of 82 royal jelly samples obtained from several locations in Greece was carried out in order to study the pollen spectrum of Greek royal jelly. The analysis recorded over 60 taxa. The abundance of each pollen type varied among the areas and the samples. The most frequent pollen types found in the samples were Brassicaceae, Olea europaea, Eucalyptus, Trifolium, Rubus, Carduus-type, Hypericum, Daucus-type and Cistus."

 

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

 

      GREEK ROYAL JELLY LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2013-07-07 Steady Squirmer Poet

 

The judges have declared that there is no winner for last month's Steady Squirmer Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the study:

 

"Nutrient Uptake by a Self-Propelled Steady Squirmer," Vanesa Magar, Tomonobu Goto and T.J. Pedley, Quarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, vol. 56, no. 1, 2003, pp. 65–91. <http://goo.gl/Oi3HG> "In this paper we study nutrient uptake by a very simple model of a swimming microorganism, a sphere moving its surface tangentially to itself with constant concentration on the surface...."

 

The winning poet is TERRY BRYNER, who muses:

 

Pray tell me, how can a sphere squirm?

For while its round surface stays firm,

   Then move or translate,

   Revolve or rotate,

It still does not move like a worm.

 

From LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

 

We have ankles and elbows and ears.

We eat salads and soups and drink beers.

   Researchers assessed

   How much we'd ingest

If instead, human beings were spheres.

 

 

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2013-07-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Teddy Bears, Robots, Prisoners

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

<> Towards a taxonomy of teddy bears <http://goo.gl/VolJY>

<> Robots speech – Japanese pneumatic style <http://goo.gl/qsKjB>

<> The Prisoner's Dilemma, with real prisoners <http://goo.gl/SY8bZ>

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

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

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

 

 

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2013-07-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Why Redheads Might Have Tempers

 

"Increased Sensitivity to Thermal Pain and Reduced Subcutaneous Lidocaine Efficacy in Redheads," Edwin B. Liem, Teresa V. Joiner, Kentaro Tsueda, and Daniel I. Sessler, Anesthesiology, vol. 102, no. 3, March 2005, pp. 509-14. (Thanks to David Holzman for bringing this to our attention.) <http://goo.gl/No3GP> The paper says:

 

"the authors tested the hypotheses that women with natural red hair are more sensitive to pain and that redheads are resistant to topical and subcutaneous lidocaine.... Results indicate that redheads are more sensitive to thermal pain and are resistant to the analgesic effects of subcutaneous lidocaine."

 

 

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2013-07-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

Ig Nobel Ceremony Tickets go on sale      — Jul 16, 2013

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

ESOF, Copenhagen, Denmark                 — Jun, 2014

 

 

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2013-07-11 -- 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.)

We produce each issue as an e-book, as well as on traditional paper.

 

E-BOOKS:

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      DOWNLOAD A FREE E-BOOK ISSUE: <http://goo.gl/BMzMw>

 

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2013-07-12 -- Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

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

 

EDITORIAL: <[email protected]>

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Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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2013-07-13 -- 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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2013-07-14 -- 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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