Archive for 'mini-AIR'

Research about winking, and news about Ig Nobel events in Europe

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

This month’s mini-AIR research spotlight scrutinizes this study about winking:

Elevation of the Eye-Balls on Winking,” W.R. Miles, Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 14, no. 4, Aug 1931, pp. 311-332. The research was done at Stanford University.

That study and other bits of improbable research news congest the November issue of mini-AIR.

mini-AIR is the wee, free monthly supplement to the magnificent magazine Annals of Improbable Research. Get it by email, or read it our web site.

Chocolate and Tea Are Better Than Flouride, for Teeth, in Toothpaste for Rats?

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

This month’s mini-AIR research spotlight shines on possible ingredients for toothpaste, to protect teeth:

Theobromine: A Safe and Effective Alternative for Fluoride in Dentifrices,” Tetsuo Nakamoto, Alexander U. Falster, and William B. Simmons, Jr., Journal of Caffeine Research, vol. 6, no. 1, February 2016, pp. 1-9. The authors, at  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, Bethel, Maine, explain:

“During the process of studying caffeine’s effects on developing teeth, a serendipitous discovery was made…. [We conducted studies in rats….] It is also well documented that young children who brush their teeth often ingest fluoride-containing dentifrices. Based upon our comparative study between fluoride and theobromine [a major constituent of chocolate, and also of tea], theobromine is a better alternative than fluoride. We believe that theobromine can be used as an ingredient of dentifrices and even if swallowed accidentally, there are no adverse effects.”

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This and other bits of improbable research news litter the October issue of mini-AIR. mini-AIR is the wee, free monthly supplement to the magnificent magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

Decisive-Regret-Under-Uncertainty Limerick Contest

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

This month’s research limerick contest:

Devise a pleasing limerick that encapsulates this study:

Regret in Decision Making Under Uncertainty,” David E. Bell, Operations Research, vol. 30, no. 5, 1982, pp. 961-981.  The author, at Harvard University, reports:

“After making a decision under uncertainty, a person may discover, on learning the relevant outcomes, that another alternative would have been preferable. This knowledge may impart a sense of loss, or regret.”

The contest, and details about how to submit your perfectly formed, delightfully enlightening limerick, are in the August issue of mini-AIR.

LIMERICK CONTEST: Cigarettes in a Milkshake

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

This month’s contest — Devise a pleasing limerick that encapsulates this study:

The Smoking Milkshake,” Jennifer Thomas and Paul E. Luebbers, American Journal of Health Education, vol. 40, no. 6, 2009, pp. 322-328. The authors, at Emporia State University, explain:

“Cigarettes can have many ingredients. Philip Morris, the nations largest cigarette manufacturer, uses over 200 ingredients in the production of their cigarettes (Figure 1). Distribute the Cigarette Ingredients/Effects Worksheet (Figure 3), and explain that using several of the listed ingredients, they, as a class, will assist the teacher in making a ‘Smoking Milkshake.’ ”

(This limerick contest appears in the May 2017 issue of mini-AIR, our newsletter of bits too tiny to fit in the magazine. A new limerick contest appears every month. You can sign up to receive mini-AIR by email, if you like!)

Toast and tea, in the March issue of mini-AIR

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The April issue of mini-AIR just went out. (mini-AIR is a wee little every-month supplement to the every-other-month magazine Annals of Improbable Research.)

This month it dips into:

  • research about TOAST and TEA.
  • a new research limerick contest — and the winner of last month’s Cigarette-Butt-and-Urban-Bird research limerick contest.
  • info about upcoming events, and events that are upcoming.

Mel [pictured here] says, “It’s swell.”

mini-AIR is the simplest way to keep informed about Improbable and Ig Nobel news and events.

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