mini-Annals of Improbable Research ("mini-AIR")

February 2020, issue number 2020-02. ISSN 1076-500X.

            <https://www.improbable.com/airchives/miniair/>

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  Research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.

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01 TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

02 Imminent Events

03 IN THE MAGAZINE ITSELF: Ig then Psych

04 Stuck on a Shoe

05 Limerick Challenge: Felons' Footware

06 Perspicacity Winner

07 MORE IMPROBABLE: Madman, Egg, Sneezing, etc.

08 Temporal Landscape of Shoes

09 IMPROBABLE EVENTS

20 — Subscribe to the Actual Magazine! (*)

21 — How to start or stop receiving this little newsletter (*)

22 — Contact Info (*)

23 — Standard Gobbledegook (*)

 

            Items marked (*) are reprinted in every issue.

 

 

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02 Imminent Events

 

            AAAS Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, USA—Sat, Feb 15, 8 pm

                        The Improbable Research session

                         is open to the public, free. Bring friends.

 

            Archie McPhee, Seattle, WA, USA—Sun, Feb 16, noon

                         This event is open to the public, free. Bring friends.

 

            NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA—Wed, Feb 19, 3 pm

                         This event is open to the public, free. Bring friends.

 

            Ig Nobel Euro (and Brexitannia) Tour—March & April:

                        Brexitannia

                        Italy

                        Austria

                        Switzerland

                        Germany

                        Denmark

                        Sweden

 

DETAILS AND FULL EVENTS SCHEDULE: <http://www.improbable.com/improbable-research-shows/complete-schedule/>

 

 

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03 IN THE MAGAZINE ITSELF: Ig then Psych

 

            WHAT YOU ARE READING AT THIS MOMENT

            is just our monthly newsletter, (mini-AIR).

 

            Our best stuff goes into the actual magazine:

            Annals of Improbable Research (AIR).

 

The special IG NOBEL issue (vol. 25, no. 6), awaits you:

<https://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume25/v25i6/v25i6.php>

 

The special PSYCHOLOGY issue will be going out soon to subscribers.

 

SUBSCRIBE to the MAGAZINE, or get BACK ISSUES:

            <https://gumroad.com/improbable>

 

            Tables of Contents:     <http://www.improbable.com/magazine/>

 

 

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04 Stuck on a Shoe

 

This month's quasi-randomly selected dip into our vast collection of Improbable Research:

 

"On the Adhesion of Sediment to Footwear and the Implications for Geoconservation," Jack J. Matthews and Duncan McIlroy, Geoheritage, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2019, pp. 1749–1756. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.)

<https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12371-019-00380-3>

 

The authors, at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and at Oxford University, UK, explain:

 

"This study recommends the use of hydrophobic footwear for walking on geoheritage rock surfaces and has led to policy change at the Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site."

 

 

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05 Limerick Challenge: Felons' Footware

 

This month's RESEARCH LIMERICK challenge — Devise a pleasing limerick that encapsulates this study:

 

"Fashion Conscious Burglars? Testing the Principles of Offender Profiling with Footwear Impressions Recovered at Domestic Burglaries," Matthew Tonkin, John W. Bond and Jessica Woodhams, Psychology, Crime and Law, vol. 15, no. 4, May 2009, pp. 327-345.

<http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10683160802244108>

 

The authors, at Rampton Hospital, Retford, Nottinghamshire, UK, at the Northamptonshire Police, and at the University of Gloucestershire, report:

 

"This study extends previous collaborative research between forensic scientists and psychologists to investigate how forensic science can assist in the psychological process of offender profiling. Specifically, the potential utility of footwear impression evidence in the task of offender profiling is investigated. Using 155 domestic burglaries, the consistency and homology assumptions underlying offender profiling were tested…. A multiple regression analysis identified significant relationships between cost of footwear and employment status, age of offender, and the relative deprivation of his/her residence."

 

Submit your perfectly formed, delightfully enlightening limerick to:

 

            FELONS' FOOTWARE LIMERICK COMPETITION

            c/o <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

 

 

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06 Perspicacity Winner

 

The judges have chosen a winner in last month's Competition, which asked for a limerick to explain this study:

 

"The Perspicacity of Seymour Hadwen on Tick Paralysis — A Commentary," M.W. Felz, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, vol. 11 No. 2, 2000, pp. 113-121. <https://tinyurl.com/uwlvdmp>

 

INVESTIGATOR ALICE SHIRRELL KASWELL writes:

 

Had Hadwen had ticks of his own?

Has having had ticks e'er been shown

  To help someone master

  Tick mysteries faster,

To add to what little was known?

 

This month's take from our LIMERICK LAUREATE, MARTIN EIGER:

 

To propose a new theory's audacious.

So many are proven fallacious.

  But Hadwen, on ticks,

  Had a theory that sticks.

So Felz says that he's perspicacious.

 

 

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07 MORE IMPROBABLE: Madman, Egg, Sneezing, etc.

 

Recent improbable research bits you may have missed...

 

BLOG: <http://www.improbable.com/>:

* The Madman Theory – tested for the first time

* Further adventures of a guy who partially uncooked an egg

* Latin-language performance of The Beatles song "Yesterday"

 

LUXURIANT FLOWING HAIR CLUB FOR SCIENTISTS (LFHCfS) new member: Alexander Levin

<https://www.improbable.com/category/lfhcfs-hair-club/>

 

PODCAST:

<https://www.improbable.com/category/the-weekly-improbable-research-podcast/>:

 

* Podcast Episode 202:

Sneezing on a Full Stomach, Mustache Wax, Red Hippo Sweat, The Impossible Expertise of Self-Perceived Expertise, some 2012 Ig Nobel Prize Winners, and Walking in the City.

 

* Podcast Episode 203:

Who Can Touch Whom, Head on Brain in Brain, Gueguen and the Goad of Small Things, Clever Contraptions to Capture Crooks, some 2013 Ig Nobel Prize Winners, Fire-Eaters and Punk Rockers, and the Names of Bad Guys.

 

FACEBOOK: <http://www.facebook.com/improbableresearch>

 

TWITTER: @ImprobResearch, @MarcAbrahams, #IgNobel

 

PATREON: <www.patreon.com/ImprobableResearch>

 

 

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08 Temporal Landscape of Shoes

 

This month's other quasi-randomly selected dip into our vast collection of Improbable Research:

 

"The Temporal Landscape of Shoes: A Life Course Perspective," Jenny Hockey, Rachel Dilley, Victoria Robinson and Alexandra Sherlock, The Sociological Review, vol. 62, no. 2, May 2014, pp. 255–275. (Thanks to Ron Josephson for bringing this to our attention.)

<https://doi.org/10.1111%2F1467-954X.12154 >

 

The authors, at the University of Sheffield, UK, explain:

 

"This empirically grounded article draws on an ESRC-funded project on footwear, identity and transition to offer new understandings of how a linear model of the life course may, in practice, be disrupted, subverted or reconfigured. Combining the insights of material culture and life course studies, it develops the notion of a temporal landscape of shoes within which their scope for interrupting life course temporalities can be explored."

 

 

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            THAT WAS JUST A TASTE.

 

            DEVOUR MUCH, MUCH MORE

            IMPROBABLE STUFF.

 

            SUBCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE ITSELF!

            <www.improbable.com/magazine/>

 

 

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09 IMPROBABLE EVENTS

 

AAAS Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA           —Feb 15, 2020

Archie McPhee, Seattle, USA            —Feb 16, 2020

NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA                              —Feb 19, 2020

Ig Nobel Euro (and Brexitannia) Tour           —Mar/Apr 2020

Ig Nobel ceremony TICKETS go on sale      —Jul, 2020

Readercon, Quincy, MA, USA                       —Jul, 2020

30th First Annual Ig Nobel ceremony            —Sep 17, 2020

Ig Informal Lectures                                       —Sep 19, 2020

Osaka, Japan                                                   —Fall, 2020

 

For details and additional events, see

<http://www.improbable.com/improbable-research-shows/complete-schedule/>

 

 

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20 — Subscribe to the Actual Magazine! (*)

 

The Annals of Improbable Research is a 6-issues-per-year magazine,

in PDF form.

It's packed with research that makes people laugh, then think.

 

            <www.improbable.com/magazine/>

            SUBSCRIPTIONS     ($25, for six issues)

            BACK ISSUES           ($5 each)

 

(mini-AIR, the thing you are reading at this moment, is but a tiny, free-floating appendix to the actual magazine.)

 

 

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21 — How to start or stop receiving this newsletter (*)

 

This newsletter, Mini-AIR, is just a (free!) tiny monthly *supplement* to the big, bold six-times-a-year magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

 

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22 — CONTACT INFO (*)

 

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

<www.improbable.com>

EDITORIAL: <MARC aaattt IMPROBABLE dddooottt COM>

SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS: <subscriptions AT improbable.com>

Cambridge, MA, USA

Twitter: @ImprobResearch

 

 

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23 — Standard Gobbledegook (*)

 

EDITOR: Marc Abrahams

CO-CONSPIRATORS: Kees Moeliker, Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Gary Dryfoos, Nan Swift, Stephen Drew

PROOFREADER: Ambient Happenstance

AUTHORITY FIGURES: Nobel Laureates Dudley Herschbach, Sheldon Glashow, Richard Roberts

 

Key words: improbable research, science humor, Ig Nobel, AIR, the

(c) copyright 2020, Annals of Improbable Research

 

 

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