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Pocket-Sized #1029: “Abnormal Blinking”

August 8th, 2020

Abnormal Blinking

In this Pocket-Sized episode #1029, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to Jean Berko Gleason. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

The research mentioned in this episode is featured in the special Psychology issue (vol. 26, #1) of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

1. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

Abnormal Blinking of Newscasters,” Kazuo Tsubota, Fuminobu Egami, Tomohiro Ohtsuki, and Masuro Shintani, The Lancet, vol. 354, no. 9175, July 24, 1999, p. 308.

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

The case of the roaming cat carcass & the case of the dead cat carcass

August 7th, 2020

Cat carcasses can create curiosity.

A study called “A Case Report of a Botulism Outbreak in Beef Cattle Due to the Contamination of Wheat by a Roaming Cat Carcass: From the Suspicion to the Management of the Outbreak” has been published by a research team in France.

An earlier report by a team in Australia, about a different incident, concerns what would appear, from the writing, to be a doubly dead cat. The study, called “Aggregation in quads but not pairs of rats exposed to cat odor or bright light”, includes this passage:

The predator odor stimulus was a 2 g ball of cat fur obtained from a dead cat carcass acquired from the company Australian Feral Pest Management.

Those are but two of science’s curious cases involving cat carcasses. If you know of other examples—good examples, not just examples, we might enjoy hearing about them.

Press release breathes hint of a more potent garlic

August 6th, 2020

Discovery could lead to more potent garlic, boosting flavor and bad breath” is the punch-in-the-nose headline in a news release from Virginia Tech. The lead researcher [pictured here, gazing at a test tube] explains:

“This information changes the whole story about how garlic could be improved or we could make the compounds responsible of its unique flavor,” said Hannah Valentino, a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ph.D. candidate. “This could lead to a new strain of garlic that would produce more flavor.”

The team offers punchy details, in a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is called “Structure and function of a flavin-dependent S-monooxygenase from garlic (Allium sativum)“.

(Thanks to Davide Castelvecchi for bringing this to our attention.)

Ministerial Exploration: Ozone Up the Rectum in Brazil

August 5th, 2020

The pandemic is inspiring a few individuals to new depths of innovation. The English translation of this headline is: “Minister of Health meets with supporters of ozone use in the rectum against covid-19“. The August 5, 2020 news report appears in the Brazilian magazine CartaCapital:

The article begins by saying: “The interim Minister of Health, General Eduardo Pazuello, met with defenders of the application of ozone in the anus as a way to fight the coronavirus, on Monday 3. The treatment model was suggested by the mayor of Itajaí , in Santa Catarina, Volnei Morastoni (MDB), to help prevent the disease.”

The article finishes up with a bit of recent history: “Although the practice has not been proven effective against covid-19, it is also defended for this purpose in a bill presented on April 1 by federal deputy Paula Belmonte (Cidadania-DF). The PL 1383/2020 authorizes the prescription of ozone therapy as a complementary medical treatment for the coronavirus. Another 2017 project asks for permission to prescribe ozone therapy across the country.”

(Thanks to Ruth Bellinghini for bringing this to our attention.)

Pocket-Sized #1028: “Ruck in a Rug”

August 5th, 2020

In this Pocket-Sized episode #1028, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to Chris Cotsapas. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

The research mentioned in this episode is featured in the Important Research issue (Vol. 25, #5) of the Annals of Improbable Research Magazine.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

1. Chris Cotsapas encounters:

Statics and Inertial Dynamics of a Ruck in a Rug,” Dominic Vella, Arezki Boudaoud, and Mokhtar Adda-Bedia, Physical Review Letters, vol. 103, 2009, 174301.

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

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