An Ig Nobel quiz

October 19th, 2014

A look back to Scossa L’Eredità (the Italian TV quiz program)’s question about the Ig Nobel Prizes:

Scossa L’Eredità 15 ottobre 2013 Laura: Premi Ignobel

BONUS: A look back at that, and several other Iggy TV quizzes

Lots of data and info about paper airplanes, and lots of planes

October 18th, 2014

Lots of data and info about paper airplanes, from Papierfliegerei:

PaperPlaneExcelFrom flight tests and experiments, a lot can be gained qualitative statements about paper airplanes. Paper airplanes cost so much, because empiricism is certainly a possible solution. But you can also calculate pretty good paper airplane. The Excel table on the right is intended to provide a little insight you there. If you are interested, on which formulas are based the results of the table and how they are derived, can you in my book read.

use this Excel table, the simple paper airplane can be quite accurately. In the upper part of the table the necessary inputs for the calculation to be made.

The paper airplane enthusiast behind the site built, and in this video demonstrates, a machine for making and launching a fleet of paper airplanes:

3-D carving (rather than printing), for teeth

October 17th, 2014

The 3-D printing revolution gets most of the attention, but 3-D carving has already added a very real bite to modern healthcare. Dentists (and engineers) are leading the way.

A considerable number of people are strolling the streets, smiling, chewing the fat, and eating lunch — sporting dental crowns made through a process of 3-D scanning and then 3-D milling. The video above shows one dentist proudly showing off his tooth-milling machine.

Why milling (carving slowly, in a process that is literally grinding), rather than printing? Because teeth need to be hard, if they are to survive years of chomping….

So begins another Improbable Innovation nugget, which appears in its entirety on BetaBoston.

The Rheology of Ant Swarms

October 17th, 2014

Room 007 of the Love Building at Gatech, Atlanta, Georgia is the home of the Hoogle Lab. It’s run by David L. Hu  (Assistant Professor of Fluid Mechanics) who is the corresponding author for the robotic jumping-beans study which Improbable recently profiled. But the Hoogle Lab doesn’t exclusively focus on jumping beans, it also investigates the ‘rheology’ of ants – in other words the study of how large groups of ants might be compared to fluids. Full details can be found here, including this video showing how ants can be ‘poured’ through a funnel.

For (a few) more details see : Ants as Fluids: Physics-Inspired Biology

Fashionable photos of the Ig Nobel ceremony

October 16th, 2014

Of the many press reports about this year’s Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, perhaps the nicest photo spread was done by the magazine Paris Match.