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Archive for 'Arts and Science'

Saint Choice and the Fight Against Covid-19

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

Hopes and prayers lie at the heart of a saint-centric study about mitigating the effects of the pandemic. The study is:

Which Saint to Pray for Fighting Against a Covid infection? A short survey,” A. Perciaccante, A. Corallic, and P. Charlier, Ethics, Medicine and Public Health, vol. 18, September 2021, 100674. (Thanks to Andrea Rapisarda for bringing this to our attention.)

The authors, at Paris-Saclay University (UVSQ), France and Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Giuliano Isontina, Italy, explain:

In the absence of a treatment still considered universally effective, and of a vaccine validated by the health authorities, we wanted to know which Catholic saint the European Christian community turned to in the event of infection with Covid-19 to request a miraculous healing.

Methodology— An online survey was carried out on a sample of 1158 adults using social media tools.

Results—All results are presented in this research, with a few saints in the majority, and some dictated by the symptomatology of the Covid-19 infection or the personalities of certain « doctor guru »….

All results are summarized in Table 1.

A New Engineering Opera, in the Ig

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

The theme of the 2021 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, evinced in the opera and other bits, is ENGINEERING. The ceremony will include the premiere of a new mini-opera called “A Bridge Between People”. The crude drawing you see here summarizes the opera’s plot.

‘Centrifugal Bed Rotator’ [new patent]

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Inventor Vern Ader has just been granted (Aug 10th 2021) a full US patent for his ‘Centrifugal Bed Rotator’. The new invention is a progressive development of his Gym & Rehabilitation System Designed for Space – in that it can centrifuge not just one, but two people at the same time.

The present invention provides a passive exercise apparatus comprising a centrifuge having a central pivot base to which riding arms or beds are connected. The beds are also supported by components that are similar to components of a skateboard. The centrifuge increases gravitational forces on the body, i.e, induces hypergravity. This artificial hyper-gravity machine may provide comprehensive counter measures capable of improving all the user’s physical systems at once (including muscles, joints, etc.), particularly when combined with other exercise. The inventive hypergravity apparatus may provide a total body low impact workout while comfortably and passively lying on a spinning centrifuge, as demonstrated by state-of-the-art NASA proven centrifuge systems.

A video presentation of the previous one-person model in action can be seen here

Note: Followers of the Ig Nobel Prizes will note some shared design features with the invention of the late George and Charlotte Blonsky of New York City and San Jose, California, who were awarded the 1997 Ig Nobel Prize for Managed Health Care for their device (US Patent #3,216,423) to aid women in giving birth — the woman is strapped onto a circular table, and the table is then rotated at high speed.

Research research by Martin Gardiner

Goal Scoring and Birth Control

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

The search continues, to find timely meaning in soccer (football) and childbirth:

More Goals, Fewer Babies? On National Teams’ Performance and Birth Rates,” Luca Fumarco and Francesco Principe, IZA DP No. 14448, June 2021

The authors, at Tulane University, IZA, the Tinbergen Institute, and ECASE, explain:

“Does national team performance boost birth rates? We compiled a unique dataset combining country-level monthly birth rates for 50 European countries, along 56 years, with measures of national teams’ performance in 27 international football events. We find that an increase in national teams’ performance in international cups is associated with a drop in birth rates nine months after the event. We hypothesize that these results might be explained by individuals’ time allocation choices.”

Some stuff about the stuffed frogs in Split

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Froggyland, a museum in Split, Croatia, describes its treasures:

“The collection consists of 507 stuffed frogs of a common European frog species (lat. rana esculenta). The frogs have been stuffed in a very demanding way, using a taxidermy technique through the mouth, which is an extremely complex and time consuming process, so the exhibits are devoid of any external incisions. Comparing the Ferenc Mere’s collection with similar collections made by other authors, it is evident that Ferenc Mere was a master craftsman of taxidermy of small animals…. This collection is comprised of 21 exhibits which show thematically arranged frogs and depict various everyday life situations.”

Improbable Research