Future fashion cycles of Korean pants – a study

February 13th, 2017

Is it possible to establish a fashion theory frame to forecast future fashion cycles of pants (in the Republic of Korea) – through analyzing past fashion cycles of pants through a diachronic method? Yes! says researcher Seonsook Kim of the Dept. of Clothing & Textiles, Daejeon University, Republic of Korea. A paper on the subject is published in the Journal of the Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles Vol. 37, No. 6 (2013) p.786~798, and is entitled:

‘The Analysis of Pant Style Trend to Establish a Fashion Cycle Theory: Focus on 1967 to 2012’ (note: mostly in Korean).

This study establishes a fashion theory frame to forecast future fashion cycles of pants through analyzing past fashion cycles of pants through a diachronic method. Pants pictures from 1967-2012, post-industrialized period of Korea were analyzed. Representative pant styles, fashion cycles of pants and the relation of pant styles, length and width were identified. The total of 1006 pictures in fashion magazine published over 46 years were selected and analyzed using PASW 18.0 (statistical program).

The results are as follows. For 46 years, representative pant styles were skinny, regular and bell-bottom. The first cycle period was from 1969 to 1992 and lasted 24 years. The second cycle period was from 1993 to 2003 and lasted 11 years. The third cycle is ongoing as of 2004. Fashion cycles have shown a general trend to be shortened. The relation between pant styles, length and width revealed related results; in addition, pant length and width changed significantly in a similar orientation. Fashion marketers can develop successful products using fashion cycle theory from these results.”

Note: It remains unclear as to whether pant lengths and styles can be meaningfully related to economic trends.

The dismaying danger of buying perfume as a gift

February 12th, 2017

Craig Roberts, at the University of Stirling, warns you, based on his research, that there are “more reason to choose fragrances carefully“:

there is no one-scent-fits-all effect here. Different fragrances suit different people. In a study with my Czech colleague [Ig Nobel Prize winner] Jan Havlíček, we found that some people get this spectacularly wrong. While overall artificial fragrances improve the smell of their natural body odour, for some people, their armpit odour smells worse when they use their chosen fragrance – they have selected one that clearly doesn’t blend well with their own odour. More recently, my excellent ex-student Caroline Allen has shown that the right fragrance choice can emphasise the distinctiveness of our underlying body odour.

Now, Caroline has found something really very interesting about the effects of fragrances. Whereas the smell of unperfumed armpits (relatively masculine or feminine) predicts how our faces look (relatively masculine or feminine), this relationship disappears when men use fragrance. The relationship is maintained in the case of women’s smell and faces. And it disappears, in men, in an interesting way

DNA Cologne, invented by Bijan of Beverly Hills. The inventor was awarded the 1995 Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry.

DNA Cologne, invented by Bijan of Beverly Hills. The inventor was awarded the 1995 Ig Nobel Prize for chemistry.

In a recent Improbable Research podcast, Jean Berko Gleason explores the Roberts/Havlíček team’s garlic/armpit-smell study, with glee and more than a soupçon of disgust.


The Likely Obscurity of Famous Psychologists

February 11th, 2017

“The most famous psychologists today will be forgotten in less than a century”, says this study:

Varieties of Fame in Psychology,” Henry L. Roediger III, Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 11, no. 6, November 2016, pp. 882-887. The author, at Washington University, St. Louis, explains:

“Fame in psychology, as in all arenas, is a local phenomenon. Psychologists (and probably academics in all fields) often first become well known for studying a subfield of an area (say, the study of attention in cognitive psychology, or even certain tasks used to study attention). Later, the researcher may become famous within cognitive psychology. In a few cases, researchers break out of a discipline to become famous across psychology and (more rarely still) even outside the confines of academe. The progression is slow and uneven. Fame is also temporally constricted. The most famous psychologists today will be forgotten in less than a century, just as the greats from the era of World War I are rarely read or remembered today. Freud and a few others represent exceptions to the rule, but generally fame is fleeting and each generation seems to dispense with the lessons learned by previous ones to claim their place in the sun.”

Here’s further detail from the study:


(Thanks to Christian Jarrett for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS QUESTION: How famous is Henry L. Roediger III?


BONUS: “Should this essay about fame become famous?


Bernard Vonnegut, Ice-17, Ice-9, chicken-plucking, and tornadoes

February 10th, 2017

Bernard Vonnegut, that most surprising atmospheric scientist, gets appreciated in an Italian-language essay called “Ice Numbers“, by Franco Bagnoli of the University of Florence, published in Ciencia y Cultura. Here’s a machine translation of bits of Bagnoli’s essay:

At the end of 2016, at the Institute of Complex Systems of the CNR in Florence, Italy, a new solid phase of water was discovered: ice XVII….

The news, and the discussion workshops that followed, reminded me of one of my favorite novels by writer Kurt Vonnegut [which involves a new phase of water, called “ice-nine”]… Who could have given Vonnegut the idea of ​​this new phase of water? Probably his brother. Bernard Vonnegut, who was a scientist of the atmosphere. He discovered that silver iodide can be used as a nucleating agent to induce rainfall. In the clouds, the water is in the form of small supercooled drops….

Bernard Vonnegut became famous in 1997, the year of his death, for having won the Ig Nobel Prize in meteorology for a 1975 article entitled “Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed“.

Diesel Trains May Expose Passengers to Exhaust [research study]

February 10th, 2017

Passenger trains train a rain of exhaust on the passengers, if the trains burn diesel fuel and the passenger cars traipse dutifully behind the exhausting locomotive. Details are in this possibly-not-entirely-surprising study:

Exposure to ultrafine particles and black carbon in diesel-powered commuter trains,” Cheol-Heon Jeong, Alison Traub, Greg J. Evans, Atmospheric Environment, epub February 8, 2017. (Thanks to Falk Fish for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Toronto, report:

Ultrafine particle (UFP), black carbon (BC) and lung deposited surface area (LDSA) concentrations measured during 42 trips on diesel-powered commuter trains revealed elevated exposures under some conditions. When the passenger coaches were pulled by a locomotive, the geometric mean concentrations [were] higher than the exposure levels when the locomotive pushed the coaches.”

This drawing is part of the published study:

BONUS: Here are action videos of diesel-powered commuter trains: