Archive for 'Arts and science'

A question for Professor Flegr

Friday, March 27th, 2015

At last night’s Ig Nobel show at the University of Aarhus, a woman in the audience asked Ig Nobel Prize winner Jaroslav Flegr: “Can you prove that you are not a character in the movie ‘Back to the Future’“?

Flegr answered: “No.”

Here is a photo of Professor Flegr taken at the event. He is seated at the right. (Ig Nobel Prize winner Hynek Burda is at the left, and Ig Nobel winner Eigil Reimers in the middle.)

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Tonight, the Ig Nobel Tour does a show in Copenhagen. Next Monday, there will be two shows in Stockholm.

Improbable Research weekly podcast, reviewed

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Tom Holliman reviewed the Improbable Research weekly podcast. The review appears in the April 2015 issue of The Psychologist:

The Annals of Improbable Research, the magazine dedicated to research that ‘makes people laugh and then think’, has recently launched a weekly podcast, ‘Improbable Research’, which is sure to be a massive hit with anyone interested in the quirky and obscure side of science. Presenter Marc Abrahams’ dead-pan style of reporting is a perfect comedic match for truly improbable research, well suited to discussing papers such as Kees Moeliker’s ‘The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck’. However, don’t let this comedy value fool you; ‘Improbable Research’ is a scientific podcast, and the methodology of studies such as Greenway and Garcia’s ‘Designing and testing an improved packaging for large hollow chocolate bunnies’ is treated to rigorous examination, as is an investigation into the economic benefits of Kurt Cobain’s suicide (the tactfully titled paper ‘Artists’ suicides as a public good’), with joyfully entertaining results. ‘Improbable Research’ takes the listener on a hilarious adventure through esoteric, absurd and at times questionable research, and leaves them amused, bemused, and eager for more.

Why mathematicians (some of them) cackle at wobbly tables

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Matthias Kreck explains, in this video made by Brady Haran for NumberPhile, a mathematical twist that fixes a wobbly table:

 

Podcast #4: The rectum of the Bishop of Durham

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

improbableresearchThe rectum of the Bishop of Durham is on display in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

The podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — research about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that’s good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, both on the new CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes.

Podcast #3: The Rectum of the Bishop of Durham

  • LISTEN on Play.it or iTunes. (Or DOWNLOAD it, and listen later)
  • SUBSCRIBE (to receive a new episode, FREE, every week) on Play.it or iTunes.

This week, Marc Abrahams tells about:

Ig Nobel shows in Aarhus (Wed, Thurs) and Copenhagen (Fri)

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

denmark-mapThe 2015 Ig Nobel EuroTour descends on Denmark this week. Here are the details:

  • AARHUS UNIVERSITY, Denmark, Aarhus. The Ceremonial Hall. Wednesday and Thursday, March 25 & 26, evening. (TICKETS). (NOTE: There are also optional events immediately before and after each Aarhus show. BEFORE the show, there is a BUFFET —separate tickets are required for the buffet. AFTER the show, there is a receptionfree, no tickets required — for every one, at the Steno Science Museum.) Featuring: Marc Abrahams; Dr. Nakamats (Ig Nobel winner, photographing every meal he has consumed over a period of 43 years); Hynek Burda (Ig Nobel winner, Documenting that when dogs defecate and urinate, they prefer to align their body axis with Earth’s north-south geomagnetic field lines); Jaroslav Flegr (Ig Nobel winner, Is it mentally hazardous for a human to own a cat); Eigel Reimers (Ig Nobel winner, Testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears); and a special appearance by LFFFHCfS member Halfdan Skjerning and his beard. NOTE: The shows in Aarhus will be live-streamed to six towns in Jutland, Germany, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
  • UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN, Denmark. Festsalen, Frue Plads 4, 1168 København. Friday, March 27, 7:00 pm. (TICKETS.) Featuring: Marc Abrahams; Dr. Nakamats (Ig Nobel winner, photographing every meal he has consumed over a period of 43 years); Hynek Burda (Ig Nobel winner, Documenting that when dogs defecate and urinate, they prefer to align their body axis with Earth’s north-south geomagnetic field lines); Jaroslav Flegr (Ig Nobel winner, Is it mentally hazardous for a human to own a cat); Eigel Reimers (Ig Nobel winner, Testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears)

BONUS: Dr. NakaMats discusses his ideas for better ideas

BONUS: The complete tour schedule (next week: Sweden).

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