Archive for 'Improbable Investigators'

Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (4): David Hu’s Sister Being Born

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Here’s David Hu talking about seeing the birth of his sister—an experience that, when he was a child, excited David in a way that led to his eventual unusual career. David uses math and physics—and experiments—to try to understand some of the seemingly simply, scientifically mystifying things that happen in nature every day.

ABOUT THIS LITTLE VIDEO SERIES—This is part of a series of sessions we (David Hu and I, and a film crew) recorded at Georgia Tech. We assembled a little group of scientists (including David) who are renowned for looking at questions others might overlook, and doing research in inventive, clever ways.

The question we asked them: “What happened when you were a kid that somehow led—much later—to your doing unusual science?

The scientists: David Hu, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Frans de Waal, Nicole Sharp, Diego Golombek, and Olga Shishkov. Follow the links on their names to begin exploring some of their work!

A FURTHER NOTE ABOUT THIS SERIES: These little videos are not quite as good as they ought to have been, due to curious decisions made by the video editor. The most obvious of those strange decisions was to dose everything with goopy, slightly distracting music. The editor also objected to some of the content of the videos, deeming them somehow too offensive to record. The lesson we learned: choose our video editor more carefully.

This Person is About 98%

Friday, June 14th, 2019

“Although he has written books called What it Means to be 98% Chimpanzee and Why I am Not a Scientist, he would like it to be known, for the record, that he is about 98% scientist, and not a chimpanzee. ”

He is Jonathan Marks.

Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (3): Olga Shishkov’s Bug Pals

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Here’s Olga Shishkov talking about some bugs that, when Olga was a child, excited Olga in a way that led to her eventual unusual career. Olga studies how maggots manage to do some of the surprising, impressive things they do.

ABOUT THIS LITTLE VIDEO SERIES—This is part of a series of sessions we (David Hu and I, and a film crew) recorded at Georgia Tech. We assembled a little group of scientists (including David) who are renowned for looking at questions others might overlook, and doing research in inventive, clever ways.

The question we asked them: “What happened when you were a kid that somehow led—much later—to your doing unusual science?

The scientists: David Hu, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Frans de Waal, Nicole Sharp, Diego Golombek, and Olga Shishkov. Follow the links on their names to begin exploring some of their work!

A FURTHER NOTE ABOUT THIS SERIES: These little videos are not quite as good as they ought to have been, due to curious decisions made by the video editor. The most obvious of those strange decisions was to dose everything with goopy, slightly distracting music. The editor also objected to some of the content of the videos, deeming them somehow too offensive to record. The lesson we learned: choose our video editor more carefully.

A visit to the prize-winning doctor who examined his own intestines

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

Thai PBS sent a news crew to visit Akira Horiuchi, the Japanese doctor who pioneered self-colonoscopy. Thai PBS reports [in Thai, which we present here via machine translation into English text]:

IG NOBEL is an award given to scientific work. Or research that is unlikely to be possible The only selection criteria is Your research must make people laugh and think. And this Japanese doctor got this award Doctor invented a method for detecting colon cancer by himself. Research of doctors who use themselves to experiment And receiving the prize is a telescope with sitting position Self-taught lessons Which the doctor published in the medical magazine in 2006 and the committee saw the value of the research that proved by the body that if receiving a colonoscopy with a sitting position Will have less pain But from that day until today, 15 years ago, the doctor still thought And continue thinking not to stop Until the day that the colon examination was easy

Which your method is Special anesthetic examination The camera is shining and the patient just forgot about 10 minutes. Can recover and drive home This type of examination is priced at 7,000 yen or about 2,000 baht, but if the tumor is cut off too The price will be 20,000 yen or about 6,000 baht.

Follow up on the program to see when the doctor examines the intestines, IG NOBEL Awards, Sunday 9 June 2019, 17.30 – 18.00 hrs., In Thai PBS. Or watch via online TV via www.thaipbs.or.th/Live And follow the movement of the item at www.facebook.com/Dohiru

Looking Back at that Ig Nobel Prize

The 2018 Ig Nobel Prize for medical education was awarded to Akira Horiuchi, for the medical report “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy.”

REFERENCE: “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy by Using a Small-Caliber, Variable-Stiffness Colonoscope,” Akira Horiuchi and Yoshiko Nakayama, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, vol. 63, No. 1, 2006, pp. 119-20.

Here’s video of Dr. Horiuchi being awarded the prize, giving his acceptance speech, and demonstrating his work:

 

In search of Flensmark (of high-heels and schizophrenia fame)

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

The NeuroSkeptic blog reports:

Neuroscience’s Shoe Saga

If you delve into the wildest depths of the scientific literature, you will find a trilogy of papers so weird, that they have become legendary.

In these articles, spanning a 12 year period, author Jarl Flensmark says that heeled shoes cause mental illness, while flat footwear promotes brain health:

Unsurprisingly, Flensmark’s bizarre work has been a regular feature of ‘weird science’ compilations such as Improbable Research and many others. But did Jarl Flensmark really believe that shoes affect brain function, or was it all a joke? ….

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!