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Archive for 'mini-AIR'

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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January issue of mini-AIR

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

The January issue of mini-AIR just went out. (mini-AIR is a wee little supplement to the magnificent magazine Annals of Improbable Research.) Topics include:

  • The P-p-p-p-Power of the Words, Words, Words
  • News about the upcoming events in NYC, Boston, and Europe
  • “PPP versus PPPP — What is Wrong in Denmark?”
  • and more
It also has 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.

Want mini-AIR e-mailed to you every month? Just opt in!

Improbable Research