Earprints as criminal evidence

February 19th, 2018

“An earprint is an impression of the external ear. House breakers may leave their earprints inadvertently when they listen at doors and windows to check if there is anyone inside before breaking and entering a premises. Owing to uniqueness and individualistic characteristics of the human ear, earprints can be used as evidence to link a criminal with the crime. In the recent past, many suspected thieves have been convicted and several burglaries linked due to the presence of similar earprints.”

So writes Professor Kewal Krishan of Panjab University, India, in ‘Identification: Prints – Ear (Earprints)’, in the Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine (Second Edition) 2016. [At the time of writing the book is on special offer at $1,375.00 – down from its usual list price of $2,100.00]

As an alternative, you can find out more about earprints via ‘Earprint recognition based on an ensemble of global and local features’ Security Technology (ICCST), 2015 International Carnahan Conference on. A copy of which may be found here, free of charge : 

“The earmarks are usual evidences in many real criminal investigations. The earprint appears for example when a criminal tries to listen through a window or a door before entering, and the methods to make it visible are similar to those used in latent fingerprint lifting. However, its acceptance as evidence in real prosecutions still raises doubts. Although it is well-accepted the uniqueness of the ear and its usefulness for person identification, the permanence of such discriminate ability in earprints is not obvious.”

Some of the doubts outlined above might arise from consideration of stories such as this one from The Guardian, 2004. ‘Earprint landed innocent man in jail for murder’

Also see : Unconstrained ear recognition progress

 

OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year: “Most Loved Injector”

February 18th, 2018

Here is the verbatim text of the OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year:

Date: Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 9:41:29 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: Michelle Thompson

Boston’s beloved facial injector, Dr. Onir Spiegel, was the only doctor in Massachusetts named as RealSelf’s “Most Loved Injector Award for 2017.” RealSelf received over 20,000 nominations nationwide, and Dr. Spiegel is ranked in the TOP 25 for the U.S. Massachusetts isn’t typically one of the places you would think of when thinking of facial procedures, but with the growing popularity of fillers, people are careful to select a doctor who not only knows what she is doing but is a true expert in these treatments. Dr. Onir Spiegel also is a DOCTOR, and in fact, has two doctorates, in DDS and a PhD. RealSelf is the largest online destination to become informed about elective cosmetic treatments and to help find the right provider for your wants and needs. The injectable filler category is one of the fastest growing.

Would you like to learn more about Dr. Spiegel by scheduling an interview?

Respectfully,
Michelle Thompson CWR & Partners, LLP.

The OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year was announced on Saturday night, February 17, 2018, at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in Austin, Texas, in the special Improbable Research session.

The Committee of Reporters who Receive and Appreciate Press Releases (Rosie Mestel, Bob Finn, Maggie Fox, Michael Newman, Bethany Brookshire, Marc Abrahams) made the selection.  It was given a dramatic reading, at the event, by John Rennie, editor of Quanta magazine and former editor of Scientific American magazine. The audience responded with genteel, subdued emotion sustained by gentle applause.

PS. If you were at the event, and have video of the dramatic reading, we urge you to put it on YouTube and send us the URL.

Technical details

Nominees: The OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year is selected from amongst all the press releases considered by the selection committee.

Selection criterion: The OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year exemplifies a singular quality: it stands out.

UPDATE: Journalist David Levine photographed John Rennie dramatically reading aloud the OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE OF THE YEAR:

Improbable Research at AAAS — Saturday Night in Austin

February 15th, 2018

Join us for the Improbable Research session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, in Austin Texas!

When: Saturday night, February 17, 8:00 pm.
Where: Hilton Austin Hotel— Salon H, Austin, Texas

The event will include will include:

This special session is open to the public, free of charge. This is the twenty-somethingth year we’ve done this kind of event at the AAAS meeting. It always draws an overflow crowd. So… we suggest you arrive a little early, to ensure finding a seat.

Here’s an image from one of the Ig Nobel Prize-winning studies we will discuss. The study asks the question “Can a cat be both a solid and a liquid?”

A flash fire caused by a hospital hand sanitizer

February 15th, 2018

It sometimes happens that a solution to a problem ends up creating a new problem. As an example, here’s a case in which the solution was a 70% alcohol-based gel in a wall-mounted dispenser in a hospital. The gel was intended to resolve so-called nosocomial problems associated with poor hand hygiene in hospitals. Unfortunately, a health care worker (HCW) removed a 100% polyester isolation gown shortly after using the sanitiser, causing a static electricity spark (at least 3000 volts) which then ignited the gel on her hands and arms :

The report of the incident lead to the temporary removal of alcohol-based hand santisers in some hospitals, including those where  healthcare professionals had been found repetitively licking their fingers while reviewing hospital charts. 

Coming Soon: Even more problems with hand sanitizers . . .

OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year

February 14th, 2018

The
OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year

will be announced
at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),
in the special Improbable Research session.
WHERE: Hilton Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas — in Salon H.
WHEN: Saturday night, February 17, 2018, 8:00 pm.

Selected by the
Committee of Reporters who Receive and Appreciate Press Releases
(Rosie Mestel, Bob Finn, Maggie Fox, Michael Newman,
Bethany Brookshire, Marc Abrahams)

Nominees: The OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year is selected from amongst all the press releases considered by the selection committee.

Selection criterion: The OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year exemplifies a singular quality: it stands out.

Admission to the event: The OUTSTANDING PRESS RELEASE of the Year announcement event is open to all accredited journalists, all registered attendees of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and to the public, free of charge.

 

PLEASE DOWNLOAD a printable promotional PDF for this outstanding event.

UPDATE: The announcement was made. You can now read the verbatim text of the PRESS RELEASE of the Year.