Annals of Improbable Research

JULY | AUGUST 2009 (volume 15, number 4)


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Guillotines and Ecology,
Pain, Possibly,
Naming Buggy Parts...


The features marked with a star (*) are based entirely on material taken straight from standard research (and other Official and Therefore Always Correct) literature. Many of the other articles are genuine, too, but we don’t know which ones.


Special Section: Instructions & Executions

The Ancient and Modern Ecology of Execution*— Simcha Lev-Yadun
Harold Hillman: Possible Pain*—Stephen Drew
Snippets of Instruction*—Ernest Ersatz

Improbable Research Reviews*

Improbable Research Review*—Dirk Manley
Improbable Medical Review*—Bertha Vanatian
May We Recommend*—Stephen Drew
Soft Is Hard*—Alice Shirrell Kaswell and Bissell Mango
Boys Will Be Boys*—Katherine Lee

News & Notes

HMO-NO News: Green Tea Diet!
AIR Vents (letters from our readers)
AIR Books
Editorial Board
XKCD: “Outreach”—Randall Munroe
2009 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Poster
Puzzling Solutions—Emil Filterbag
Medical End Notes*—Caroline Richmond
Teachers’ Guide
CARTOON: “Awkward Silence”—Nick Kim
Back Issues
Unclassified Ads

On the Front Cover

A horizontal tabular boiler pictured in a 1902 book on how to tend it and other kinds of boilers. See page 16 (of the magazine) for details.

On the Back Cover

A photograph of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820-1910), well-known in his day by the professional pseudonym “Nadar.” He is thought to be the first person to take photographs from a balloon aloft. This image is from the Smithsonian Institution’s collection.

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