Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Pizza’s rat-sex study, and pizza rat

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Pizza’s rat-sex study has been overshadowed by this video of a rat dragging a slice of pizza, which currently is entrancing the Internet:

Pizza’s rat-sex study is:

pizzaHexanic Maca extract improves rat sexual performance more effectively than methanolic and chloroformic Maca extracts,” A. F. G. Cicero, S. Piacente, A. Plaza, E. Sala, R. Arletti, and Cosimo Pizza [pictured here], Andrologia, vol. 34, no. 3, June 2002, pp. 177–179. the authors are at the University of Modena and Reggio nell’Emilia, and the University of Salerno, Italy.

Professor Pizza is, technically speaking, a Professore Ordinario.

Creatures that present poo to their girlfriends as a gift

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

If you are in Johannesburg this week, you can hear details about the ways a male is judged by the size of his balls, if that male is a dung beetle.

It is not uncommon for male dung beetles to obtain sexual favors from females by presenting them with a ball of crap. But of course males cannot be entirely trusted and might pretend that they have deposited a big juicy piece of dung underground, only for the potential girlfriend to discover that this was a trick.

On 22 September 2015, in Johannesburg, South Africa Professor Marcus Byrne of the University of the Witwatersrand who is part of the team that won the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize for Biology and Astronomy for discovering that when dung beetles get lost they can navigate their way home by looking at the Milky Way, will give a talk titled “You can roll it, but I wouldn’t smoke it“.

BONUS. Prof Marcus Byrne is regarded as one of the sexiest scientists alive. In case you are unable to attend the evening of science and cocktails on the 22nd, you can read more about the shitty world of dung beetles here.

Podcast 29: Eat a shrew, and an epidemic of penile amputations

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

The secret of why onions make people cry; the scientist who ate and excreted a shrew; the one-armed man who was arrested for applauding; the question of when cows lie down and stand up; and surgical management of an epidemic of penile amputations in Siam; and a cat unexpectedly taking over the podcast — all these all turn up in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

Click on the “Venetian blinds” icon — at the lower right corner here — to select whichever week’s episode you want to hear:

SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free.

This week, Marc Abrahams tells about:

The mysterious John Schedler perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, both on the new CBS web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).

Snake Bites a Frequently-Metaphorical Snake

Friday, September 11th, 2015

RafiJanWe reproduce only a portion of the image for this medical report. To see the full image, follow the link to the NEJM site.

A Viper Bite,” Tajamul Hussain [pictured here] and Rafi A. Jan, New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM], vol. 373, no. 11, September 10, 2015. The authors, at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, India, report:

“A 46-year-old farmer presented to the emergency department 3 hours after his penis was bitten by a snake while he was urinating in an open field. The snake was identified by the patient as “gunas,” which is the local name of the Levantine viper (Macrovipera lebetina). Physical examination revealed stable vital signs, with a grossly swollen penis and formation of hemorrhagic bullae at the puncture sites (Panel A)….
“At 36 hours after the initiation of treatment, the patient’s coagulopathy had resolved and he was discharged home. The swelling subsided 4 days after discharge, with the formation of necrotic tissue at the puncture sites (Panel B). The patient had recovered completely at 2-week follow-up.”

BONUS (possibly unrelated): Ig Nobellian Miller’s new use for 3D printing: Women’s penis size recall

Celebrating Norway’s Ig Nobel Prize winners, and others, too

Monday, September 7th, 2015

The Schrödingers katt science TV program celebrated some of Norway’s Ig Nobel Prize winners  — and several other Ig Nobel Prize winners, too. They also interviewed me. Click on the image below, to be whisked to the Schrödingers katt web site and watch the entire episode:


The featured Norwegian winners include:

The bits with me, about the history of the ceremony, and how things work, are in four parts, interspersed with everything else in the program. Here are links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.



BONUS (possibly unrelated): CBC News reports on a kind of urine-collection vessel that is not included in Dr. Arvid Vatle’s Ig Nobel-prize-winning report: “Jerry Bance, Conservative caught peeing in mug, no longer candidate, party says“.