People with bipolar disorder swing between mood extremes. A team of mathematicians decided to see how much of that swinging they could describe mathematically.
Mason Porter, then at the Georgia Institute of Technology and now at Oxford University, with several US colleagues, published a study in 2009, Mathematical Models of Bipolar Disorder. It appeared in the journal Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation.
Bipolar disorder has always been a difficult condition to recognise and describe in words, let alone equations….
Next time someone disrupts your evening by clambering in or out of a nearby theatre seat, remember: it needn’t be this way.
In 1924, Louis J Duprey of Dorchester, Massachusetts, patented a system that “permits any patron of the theatre to enter or leave his place without at all disturbing other patrons”. You, the patron, entered vertically, though a trap door, already ensconced on a chair. When you wanted to leave, a discreet twist of a knob activated the machinery in reverse, causing the chair, and you, to quietly sink back down, and out.…
NOTE: Years after Mr. Duprey obtained his patent, Flann O’Brien independently created much the same idea — but purely as a comic notion, and with much less detail. See page 37 of the book collection (The Best of Myles) of many of his Irish Times newspaper columns.
Here is one way to measure people’s fear of spiders. Post flyers seeking individuals who are very afraid of spiders, and who are willing to be paid a small amount of cash to participate in a research project, said project turning out to be the repeated answering of survey questions before and during the following activities:
1 approaching a live spider in an uncovered glass tank, initially standing 12 feet away from the tank.
2 coming right up to the tank and using an eight-inch stick to guide the spider hither and thither for a marathonic two minutes.
3 using a 5.5-inch stick to guide the spider thither and hither during a two-minute eternity.
4 estimating as exactly as possible the spider’s size (by drawing a line on a card “indicating the length of the spider from the tips of its front legs to the tips of its back legs”).…
In the spirit of making-lemons-into-lemonade, a few individuals have realised that, when life produces cauliflower ears, it might also be coaxed to produce customers who will pay money for replicas of cauliflower ears. A patent application (US 20130326793 [a detail from it is pictured here]) describes the fruit of their ingenuity: “An apparatus and method for wearing replica ‘cauliflower’ ears which are moulded from the actual cauliflower ears of athletes [in] contact sports including mixed martial arts (MMA), wrestling, rugby, boxing.”
The patent explains: “Cauliflower ears are often unique and distinctive for each athlete, and are often considered by the athletes and fans as badges of honour.” The aim is to supply the extra-pulpy artificial ears as adornments for enthusiasts who, though eager, could not or would not sport self-grown, fisticuff-generated cauliflower ears….
BONUS: The photo below shows “fan photos” displayed by a California company called Dedicated Few, which offers the ears for sale:
BONUS: A video report by Hawaii News Now about genuine cauliflower ears on mixed martial fighters:
BONUS: Historic video of the band Radioactive Cauliflower, which hails from a California town near the listed home town of the individuals who have applied for the patent for artificial cauliflower ears :