The scientists who taste-tested tadpoles figure heavily in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.
This week, Marc Abrahams tells about:
- Taste-testing tadpoles. (Richard Wassersug, and earlier, at Dalhousie University/ “On the Comparative Palatability of Some Dry-Season Tadpoles from Costa Rica,” American Midland Naturalist, vol. 86, no. 1, July 1971, pp. 101-9. / dramatic reading by psychologist Jean Berko Gleason)
- Some scientific mysteries about eunuchs. (Roberts, Lesley F., Michelle A. Brett, Thomas W. Johnson, and Richard J. Wassersug (2007). ‘A Passion for Castration: Characterizing Men Who Are Fascinated with Castration, but Have Not Been Castrated.’ Journal of Sexual Medicine 5 (7): 1669–80. /Brett, Michelle A., Lesley F. Roberts, Thomas W. Johnson, and Richard J. Wassersug (2007). ‘Eunuchs in Contemporary Society: Expectations, Consequences and Adjustments to Castration. Part II.’ Journal of Sexual Medicine 4 (4): 946–55.)
- Motion sickness in amphibians. (“Motion Sickness in Amphibians,” Richard J. Wassersug, Akemi Izumi-Kurotani, Masamichi , and Tomio Naitoh, Behavioral and Neural Biology, vol. 60, 1993, pp. 42-51. / Dramatic reading by Jean Berko Gleason)
- Sexual and other moves of frogs in low gravity. (“Amphibian Amplexus in Microgravity,” Tomio Naitoh, Masamichi Yamashita, Akemi Izumi-Kurotani, Shigefumi Yokota, and Richard J. Wassersug, ” Zoological Science, vol. 12, no. 1, 1995, pp. 113-116. / Dramatic reading by physicist Melissa Franklin)
- Turtles and snakes in free fall. (“The Behavioral Reactions of a Snake and a Turtle to Abrupt Decreases in Gravity,” R. Wassersug and A. Izumi-Kurotani, Zoological Science, vol. 10, no. 3., June 1, 1993, p. 505. / Dramatic reading by Melissa Franklin)
- The great British tasting-all-sorts-of-eggs project. (Hugh B. Cott / ‘The Palatability of the Eggs of Birds – Illustrated by Experiments on the Food Preferences of the Hedgehog (erinaceus-europaeus).’ Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 121 (1): 1951, 1–40.)
- When cows stand and when they sit. (Tolkamp, Bert J., Marie J. Haskell, Fritha M. Langford, David J. Roberts and Colin A. Morgan (2010). ‘Are Cows More Likely to Lie Down the Longer They Stand?’ Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 124, (1-2): 1–10.)
- The mini-opera “The Blonsky Device”, act 4 – the thrilling conclusion. (The opera premiered as part of the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Henry Akona orchestrated and directed. The opera starred Maria Ferrante (as Charlotte Blonsky), Martin Kelly (as George Blonsky), Philip Lima (as the zookeeper), and Miles Rind (as the patent examiner), with an orchestra of biomedical researchers directed by Dr. Thomas Michel. Karen Hopkin narrates. The opera also featured, in non-singing roles: Melissa Franklin, Peaco Todd, Alex Nemiroski, and Nobel laureates Roy Glauber, Dudley Herschbach, Frank Wilczek, and Eric Maskin.)
The mysterious John Schedler did the sound engineering this week.
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.