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

April 2015, issue number 2015-04. ISSN 1076-500X.

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The monthly wee little tiny mini update/alert from Improbable Research

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

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2015-04-01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

2015-04-02 Imminent Events

2015-04-03 In the Magazine: Hair Twists

2015-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Frugal Breakthrough

2015-04-05 WE WANT YOUR TECH ADVICE about the future of our magazine!

2015-04-06 Great Toe Transfer Limerick Competition

2015-04-07 Hash on Not-Very-Spicy Vegetable Poet

2015-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Tadpoles, Dinos, and Dumplings

2015-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: For Faking Personnel Selection Inventories

2015-04-10— Improbable Research Events

2015-04-11 — How to Get the Magazine (*)

2015-04-12 — Our Address (*)

2015-04-13 — Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

2015-04-14 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

      Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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2015-04-02 Imminent Events

 

San Antonio, TX             — Apr 27, 2015

Dead Duck Day               — Jun 5, 2015

Tokyo                       — Late June/early July

 

      DETAILS: <http://goo.gl/SEMgnw>

 

 

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2015-04-03 In the Magazine: Hair Twists

 

The special HAIR TWISTS issue is out.

 

Read three of its articles online, at <http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume21/v21i2/v21i2.html >:

Influence of Coriolis Force on the Growth of Body Hair

Hair Twist Research Review

Icky Cutesy Research Review

 

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

      Links to all issues: <http://www.improbable.com/magazine>

 

 

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2015-04-04 RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Frugal Breakthrough

 

This month's spotlight shines on a frugal breakthrough in understanding humanity:

 

"The Etiology of Frugal Spending: A Partial Replication and Extension," Ronald E. Goldsmith and Leisa R. Flynn, Comprehensive Psychology: vol. 4, 2015. <http://goo.gl/rXHKHq> The authors, at Florida State University and the University of Southern Mississippi, explain:

 

"The present study builds on previous research into the nature and motivations for frugal behavior. Data analysis from a survey of 464 U.S. student respondents shows that three individual-difference characteristics are associated with frugality. Consistent with a prior study, frugality was negatively correlated with materialism and positively correlated with consumer independence. In addition, frugality was positively correlated with self-control."

 

 

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2015-04-05 WE WANT YOUR TECH ADVICE about the future of our magazine!

 

We beg your knowledgeable advice:

What is a good, reliable system to sell PDFs?

If you know, please tell us!

 

We are going to gradually (no rush!) phase out the paper version of the magazine — the Annals of Improbable Research — and phase in PDFs.

 

Here's why we are doing this:

We are good at producing a magazine full of research that makes people LAUGH then THINK. But we are tiny, and we are not very good at handling the maddening mechanics of paper subscriptions — dealing with the ever-increasing vaguaries, complexities and breakdowns of the world's postal systems, subscription agencies, etc. — those things have been driving us (and some of you, our ever-patient, beloved subscribers) nuts.

 

For full details — including our tech requirements —

see <http://goo.gl/wGUc9l>

 

We have so far identified only one promising system: Gumroad.

If you have experienced advice about Gumroad — or if you know of something else that's good — please tell us. Please e-mail Marc Abrahams <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>.

 

 

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2015-04-06 Great Toe Transfer Limerick Competition

 

Great toe transfer inspires this month's limerick competition. To enter, compose an original limerick that clarifies the nature of this study:

 

"Preoperative and postoperative gait analyses of patients undergoing great toe-to-thumb transfer," Howard A. Lipton James W. May Jr, and Sheldon R. Simon, Journal of Hand Surgery, vol. 12, no. 1, 1987, pp 66-69. <http://goo.gl/n6hP1A> The authors, in Boston, report:

 

"Only one patient exhibited a significant motion change postoperatively, which was a reduction in ankle plantar-flexion at weight release of the operated foot (push-off). The average velocity, cadence, step length of the foot that had surgery performed, single and double limb stance times of each foot, and step width did not significantly change."

 

Submit your perfectly formed limerick to:

 

      GREAT TOE TRANSFER LIMERICK COMPETITION

      c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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2015-04-07 Hash on Not-Very-Spicy Vegetable Poet

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Hash on Not-Very-Spicy Vegetable Limerick Competition, which asked for a limerick to honor this study:

 

"Why Vegetable Recipes are Not Very Spicy," Paul W. Sherman, and Geoffrey A. Hash, Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 22, no. 3, 2001, pp. 147-163. <http://goo.gl/4kqH33>

 

The winner is INVESTIGATOR JOANNE ELISA LEARY, who wrote:

 

Vegetables, researchers found,

Are not where most microbes abound.

  But meat is more dicey,

  And therefore more spicy

When cooked, across cultures world-round.

 

Here's the offering from our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER:

 

Recipe writers defeat

The microbes in dead things we eat.

  To make food less dicey,

  They add something spicy

To veggies, and more so to meat.

 

 

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2015-04-08 MORE IMPROBABLE: Tadpoles, Dinos, and Dumplings

 

Recent improbable bits you maybe missed.

 

The weekly podcast:

 

      LISTEN / DOWNLOAD:

            Play.it: <http://www1.play.it/audio/improbable-research>

            iTunes: <http://goo.gl/tDnUFW>

      LINKS to everything we discuss: <http://goo.gl/GqUW6i>

 

      #8 "They taste-tested tadpoles"

      #7 "Trinkaus, a further look (at things that annoy him)"

      #6 "Trinkaus, who counts things that annoy him"

      #5 "The Blonsky centrifugal birthing device"

      #4 "The rectum of the Bishop of Durham"

      #3 "Michael Jackson surgery"

      #2 "The proper way to make a cup of tea"

 

The blog:

 

      "What is your favorite dinosaur, and why?"

                   <http://goo.gl/ScyCno>

      "A rectal foreign body in a 65 million year-old

                  Danish sea urchin" <http://goo.gl/y8hjnF>

      "He studied Shanghai soup dumplings" <http://goo.gl/xujOa2>

...and much more

 

New members of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Clubs for Scientists (LFHCfS) and the LFFFHfSS:

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

 

      Ben Pascoe

      Brady Mackowiak

      Jeffrey Guterman

 

AND LOTS MORE, at

      [blog]      <www.IMPROBABLE.com>

      [twitter]   @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

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

      [podcast]   <http://goo.gl/GqUW6i>

 

 

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2015-04-09 MAY WE RECOMMEND: For Faking Personnel Selection Inventories

 

"The Effects of Item Context in Faking Personnel Selection Inventories, James S. Zalinski and Norman M. Abrahams, Personnel Psychology, Volume 32, Issue 1, March 1979, pages 161–166. <http://goo.gl/O75a5m>

 

 

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2015-04-10 — Improbable Research Events

 

For details and additional events, see

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

 

San Antonio, TX                           — Apr 27, 2015

Dead Duck Day, Rotterdam                  — Jun 5, 2015

Ig Nobel Events in Japan                  — Jun, 2015

Ig Nobel TICKETS go on sale               — July [exact day TBA]

25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony — Sep 17, 2015

Ig Informal Lectures                      — Sep 19, 2015

U Rhode Island                            — Dec 8, 2015

 

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2015-04-11 — 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:

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

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

 

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2015-04-12 — Our Address (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

(+1) 617-491-4437

 

EDITORIAL: <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS: <subscriptions AT improbable.com>

Web Site and blog: <http://www.improbable.com>

Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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2015-04-13 — 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

CO-CONSPIRATORS: Kees Moeliker, Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Gary Dryfoos, Ernest Ersatz, Stephen Drew

PROOFREADER: Ambient Happenstance

AUTHORITY FIGURES: Nobel Laureates Dudley Herschbach, Sheldon Glashow, Richard Roberts

 

Key words: improbable research, science humor, Ig Nobel, AIR, the

(c) copyright 2015, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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2015-04-14 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

Mini-AIR is a (free!) teeny-tiny monthly *supplement*

to the big, bold six-times-a-year magazine AIR.

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