HotAIR - AIRhead Research


AIRhead Research Review

Improbable theories, experiments, and conclusions

compiled by Dirk Manley

Empirical Investigation of Toast

Effect of Toasting Time on the Browning of Sliced Bread,” Antonio Ramírez-Jiménez, Belén García-Villanova, and Eduardo Guerra-Hernández, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, vol. 81, no. 5, April 2001, pp. 513-18. (Thanks to New Scientist magazine for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, who are at Universidad de Granada, Spain, explain that:
Slices of wheat bread were toasted for different times until a distinct intensity of brown colour was reached… High linear correlations (r2 > 0.860) were obtained between browning indicators and time.

Whale Into Mice

“Reproductive System Impairment of Mice Fed Diets Containing Beluga Whale Blubber from the St. Lawrence Estuary and Arctic Populations,” Sylvia Ruby, Luz Tavera Mendoza, Michel Fournier, Pauline Brousseau, and V. Dégas, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, vol. 66, no. 11, January 2003, pp. 1073-85. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at Concordia University, Montreal, and INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Santé Humaine, Pointe-Claire, Québec.

Drop-Dead Drop-Outs

Modeling Cognitive Ability From Longitudinal Data With Drop-Out and Death,” A. Dominicus, J. Palmgren, S. Ripatti, and N.L. Pedersen, presented at the XXIst International Biometric Conference, Freiberg, Germany, July 21-6, 2002. (Thanks to Dany Adams for bringing this to our attention.) The authors report that:
“In longitudinal studies of cognitive ability subjects often drop out prematurely due to death, low cognitive ability or for other reasons.”

Measuring Glitz

How Shiny Is L.A.?Haider Taha, Recent Research in the Building Energy Analysis Group [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory], no. 8, September 1994. The report explains that:
an important factor in determining the intensity of urban heat islands is the albedo — or reflectivity — of urban areas. There are, however, few large-scale measurements of albedo… BEA’s Haider Taha measured surface albedo of California’s South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB)… Taha performed radiometric measurements from a single-engine plane using two precision spectral pyranometers.

We welcome your suggestions for this column. Please enclose the full citation (no abbreviations!) and, if possible, a photocopy of the paper.

This HotAIR feature first appeared in AIR Volume 9 Issue 4. For a complete list of strangely fascinating featured articles elsewhere on this web site, see What's New.