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

August 2013, issue number 2013-08. 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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2013-08-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2013-08-02 Imminent Events

2013-08-03 In the Magazine: Italian Hand Gestures

2013-08-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Something is Lacking in Amusia

2013-08-05 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and Webcast (and Lectures)

2013-08-06 Dissolved Air Flotation and Him Limerick Competition

2013-08-07 Greek Royal Jelly Squirmer Poet

2013-08-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Moronic Acid, Human Gas, Chicken

2013-08-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Tuma on Tumors

2013-08-10 Improbable Research Events

2013-08-11 -- How to Get the Magazine (*)

2013-08-12 -- Our Address (*)

2013-08-13 -- Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2013-08-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2013-08-02 Imminent Events

 

Ig Nobel Prize ceremony & webcast   — Sept 12

 

Ig Informal Lectures                — Sept 14

de Nederlandse Ig Nobel Night       — Sept 14

 

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

 

 

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2013-08-03 In the Magazine: Italian Hand Gestures

 

The special Italian Hand Gestures issue of the Annals of Improbable Research is out and about. Parts are online at <http://goo.gl/RMNTWK>. The full e-book version is available, too, on e-book sites.

 

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

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

 

 

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2013-08-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Something is Lacking in Amusia

 

This month's research spotlights a lack in amusia:

 

"Amusia" [article in Japanese], A. Midorikawa, Brain and Nerve, vol. 59, no. 8, August  2007, pp. 865-70. <http://goo.gl/GcvB55> The author, at Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan, explains:

 

"This report reviews recent cases of amusia and draws the following conclusions.... [R]ecent ideas concerning the relationship between music and the brain have been derived from patients with brain damage, developmental disorders, and degenerative diseases. However, there is a missing link with respect to amusia. We know a lot about the cognitive aspect of music, but the 'true' function of music from an evolutionary perspective, something that is lacking in amusia, is not known."

 

 

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2013-08-05 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and Webcast (and Lectures)

 

The 23rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony happens on Thursday evening, September 12, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre, honoring achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK.

      The new winners will travel to Harvard from five continents. Nobel laureates DUDLEY HERSCHBACH, ROY GLAUBER, ERIC MASKIN, SHELDON GLASHOW, and FRANK WILCZEK will physically hand the prizes to them.

      The theme of this year's ceremony: FORCE.

 

TICKETS: A very few tickets are still available, from the Harvard Box Office: <http://ofa.fas.harvard.edu/cal/details.php?ID=44127>

 

DELEGATIONS: The deadline for Official Delegations (audience groups of 5 or more persons) to register is Friday, August 30: <http://goo.gl/HY5mPy>.

 

WEBCAST: The ceremony will be webcast live, beginning at 5:40 pm (US eastern time) with a special pre-ceremony forceful concert by DEBORAH HENSON-CONANT. The ceremomy itself begins at 6:00 pm (US eastern time).

      SITES: The Webcast will be available on the Improbable Research site, and also on many major science and news sites (Io9, Slate, The Guardian, QI, LiveScience, C&EN, etc.). If you are a major science or news site and would like to embed the webcast, please get in touch with us.

      PARTIES: Webcast-watching parties will happen in Paris <http://goo.gl/vP9JQ8>, Atlanta <http://goo.gl/hpxYHW>, and elsewhere. If you are organizing a public party, and want us to spread the word, please tell us. (NOTE: There will also be a special party in Leiden, the Netherlands, two days after the ceremony <http://goo.gl/Vr861w>)

 

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

 

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OPERA: The ceremony will include the premiere of "The Blonsky Device", a mini-opera inspired by the life and work (US patent #3216423, "Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force") of 1999 Ig Nobel Prize winners George (who graduated from MIT in 1925!) and Charlotte Blonsky.

      The opera stars MARIA FERRANTE (Charlotte), MARTIN KELLY (George), PHILIP LIMA (The Zookeeper) and MILES RIND (The Patent Examiner) under the direction of maestro HENRY AKONA. They wil be accompanied by a new orchestra, "The Forces of Nature", composed of Harvard and MIT physicians and researchers, led by DR. THOMAS MICHEL.

 

      OPERA: <http://goo.gl/KzF7XB>

 

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IG INFORMAL LECTURES: The Ig Informal Lectures, happen on Saturday, September 14, at MIT, at 1:00 pm. No tickets are needed, but seating is limited. The new winners will discuss, and in some cases demonstrate, their work.

 

      LECTURES: <http://goo.gl/iH6ywl>

 

 

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2013-08-06 Dissolved Air Flotation and Him Limerick Competition

 

Dissolved air flotation and he (Edzwald) inspire this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that illuminates the nature of this study:

 

"Dissolved Air Flotation and Me," James K. Edzwald, Water Research, vol. 44, no. 7, April 2010, Pages 2077–2106. <http://goo.gl/xMW6uW> (Thanks to investigator Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) The author, at the University of Massachusetts, explains:

 

"This paper is mainly a critical review of the literature and an assessment of what we know about dissolved air flotation (DAF). A few remarks are made at the outset about the author's personal journey in DAF research, his start and its progression."

 

Send your limerick to:

 

      Dissolved Air Flotation LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <[email protected]>

 

 

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2013-08-07 Greek Royal Jelly Squirmer Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner for last month's Greek Royal Jelly Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor the 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. <http://goo.gl/kVZrQ>

 

The winning poet is RUTH GREENWOOD, who muses:

Larval bees feed on pollen-rich jelly;

Queenship goes to the tubbiest belly.

   Fancy that, Princess Kate

   (Who daintily ate

Just enough to look slim on the telly).

 

From LIMERICK LAUREATE MARTIN EIGER:

Without royal jelly, bees die.

To make it, how far will they fly?

  In Greece, they would rather,

  For pollen they gather,

Go only to flowers nearby.

 

 

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2013-08-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Moronic Acid, Human Gas, Chicken

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed:

 

IMPROBABLE BLOG:

<> Moronic Acid <http://goo.gl/KVYMTZ>

<> Academic Study of a Young ManŐs Sexual Attraction to Human Gas <http://goo.gl/1uQL1T>

<> Chicken Chicken Chicken Subways Subways Subways <http://goo.gl/mHYQRI>

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

 

NEWSPAPER COLUMN:

<> Rifle-Slapping Soldiers Grow Lopsided Chests <http://goo.gl/OKZxkK>

<> Solar Protectivity of Beards and Moustaches on Dummies <http://goo.gl/bEOmO0>

 

twitter:    @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

book:       <http://goo.gl/rHMb3t>

 

 

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2013-08-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: Tuma on Tumors

 

"Are Smokers Now at Higher Risk of Bladder Cancer? Are Changes in Cigarettes To Blame?" Rabiya S. Tuma, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol. 101, 2009, pp. 1532-4. <http://goo.gl/fJrGpK > (Thanks to Ian Davis for bringing this to our attention.)

 

 

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2013-08-10 Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

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

Ig Informal Lectures, MIT                 — Sep 14, 2013

de Nederlandse Ig Nobel Night             — 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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2013-08-11 -- 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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2013-08-12 -- 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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2013-08-13 -- 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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2013-08-14 -- How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

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