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Archive for 'Arts and Science'

Pocket-Sized #1029: “Abnormal Blinking”

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Abnormal Blinking

In this Pocket-Sized episode #1029, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to Jean Berko Gleason. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

The research mentioned in this episode is featured in the special Psychology issue (vol. 26, #1) of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

1. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

Abnormal Blinking of Newscasters,” Kazuo Tsubota, Fuminobu Egami, Tomohiro Ohtsuki, and Masuro Shintani, The Lancet, vol. 354, no. 9175, July 24, 1999, p. 308.

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

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Press release breathes hint of a more potent garlic

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Discovery could lead to more potent garlic, boosting flavor and bad breath” is the punch-in-the-nose headline in a news release from Virginia Tech. The lead researcher [pictured here, gazing at a test tube] explains:

“This information changes the whole story about how garlic could be improved or we could make the compounds responsible of its unique flavor,” said Hannah Valentino, a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ph.D. candidate. “This could lead to a new strain of garlic that would produce more flavor.”

The team offers punchy details, in a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is called “Structure and function of a flavin-dependent S-monooxygenase from garlic (Allium sativum)“.

(Thanks to Davide Castelvecchi for bringing this to our attention.)

Ministerial Exploration: Ozone Up the Rectum in Brazil

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

The pandemic is inspiring a few individuals to new depths of innovation. The English translation of this headline is: “Minister of Health meets with supporters of ozone use in the rectum against covid-19“. The August 5, 2020 news report appears in the Brazilian magazine CartaCapital:

The article begins by saying: “The interim Minister of Health, General Eduardo Pazuello, met with defenders of the application of ozone in the anus as a way to fight the coronavirus, on Monday 3. The treatment model was suggested by the mayor of Itajaí , in Santa Catarina, Volnei Morastoni (MDB), to help prevent the disease.”

The article finishes up with a bit of recent history: “Although the practice has not been proven effective against covid-19, it is also defended for this purpose in a bill presented on April 1 by federal deputy Paula Belmonte (Cidadania-DF). The PL 1383/2020 authorizes the prescription of ozone therapy as a complementary medical treatment for the coronavirus. Another 2017 project asks for permission to prescribe ozone therapy across the country.”

(Thanks to Ruth Bellinghini for bringing this to our attention.)

News about last year’s Ig Nobel Prize winners, in slow French

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Who would not want to hear a news report about last year’s Ig Nobel Prize winners, reported aloud in slow French? Anyone who DOES want to hear that can hear it, thanks to the web site News in Slow French. Their report is called “Cérémonie de remise des prix Ig Nobel 2019.”

“And Then It Began”– an Ig Nobel Prize favorite moment

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

This historic Ig Nobel Favorite Moment video stars Maria Ferrante, who starred in many of the Ig Nobel operas.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK.

The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will be webcast September 17, 2020 at

Coordinator, Narrator, & Typist: Seth Gliksman

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