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Archive for 'Arts and Science'

Ways to Use the Chocolate Issue

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Ways to Use This Issue” is a featured article in the special Chocolate issue (volume 27, number 1) of the Annals of Improbable Research. This article is free to download:

Here’s a shorthand version of what’s in that article:

  • Write a limerick about one of the cited studies….
  • Write a long-single-sentence short story that includes the titles of every study mentioned in one of the review articles….
  • Do dramatic readings, in person, or in live or recorded video, of little chunks from the magazine….
  • Watch an Ig Nobel Prize winner…
  • Go down a rabbit hole. For some item that catches your fancy…
  • Go down a maybe-important rabbit hole…
  • If you are a journalist, some of those rabbit holes house bunnies that can make news editors hop to attention…
  • Start an argument about whether some particular study is good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless.

Depression and Chocolate

Friday, April 16th, 2021

Depression and Chocolate” is a featured article in the special Chocolate issue (volume 27, number 1) of the Annals of Improbable Research. This article is free to download:

The article highlights several research studies about the search for delicious mood management methods.

Dr. I.C. Notting— A classic case of nominative determinism

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Dr. I.C. Notting, an ophthalmologist at Leiden University, is a classic case of nominative determinism.

Shareholder Value Destruction following Tiger Wood’s Earlier Car Crash

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Tiger Woods, the celebrated professional golfer, was in a car crash in 2020. This was his second widely-reported major smash-up. After the first crash—in 2009—economists calculated some of the economic knock-on costs to companies that had paid Woods to endorse them or their products and services.

They reported details in a study: “Shareholder Value Destruction following the Tiger Woods Scandal,” Christopher R. Knittel and Victor Stango, University of California, Davis, January 2010. The authors report:

“We estimate that in the days beginning with Tiger Woods’ recent car accident and ending with his announced ‘indefinite leave’ from golf, shareholders of companies that Mr. Woods endorses lost $5-12 billion in wealth. We measure the losses relative to both the entire stock market and a set of competitor firms.”

Ig Nobel Prizes in The New Yorker Crossword Puzzle

Friday, April 9th, 2021

The Ig Nobel Prizes have again wandered into a crossword puzzle, this time as a clue in the April 5, 2021 puzzle in The New Yorker. The clue for one of the across words is:

17 Item whose slipperiness was the subject of a 2014 Ig Nobel Prize-winning study

By our lazy count, this is the fourth time the Ig Nobel Prizes have appeared in a major crossword puzzle (if there is such a thing as a major crossword puzzle) in an English-language publication. The Week used it in their puzzle on October 19, 2015. The New York Times used it in their puzzle on December 20, 2020. The Wall Street Journal used it in their puzzle January 23, 2021

The Igs have also been an answer on the Jeopardy! TV program eight times or so.

(Thanks to Miriam Bloom for bringing this to our attention.)

Improbable Research