Donate to the Igs

Archive for 'Research News'

Do Beer Mats Make Bad Frisbees?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Beer mats do make bad Frisbees, this study implies and explains:

Beer Mats Make Bad Frisbees,” Johann Ostmeyer, Christoph Schürmann, Carsten Urbach, arXiv 2106.08238, 2021. (Thanks to Mason Porter for bringing this to our attention.) the authors, at the University of Bonn and at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Germany, explain:

In this article we show why flying and rotating beer mats, CDs, or other flat disks will eventually flip in the air and end up flying with backspin, thus, making them unusable as frisbees. The crucial effect responsible for the flipping is found to be the lift attacking not in the center of mass but slightly offset to the forward edge. This induces a torque leading to a precession towards backspin orientation. An effective theory is developed providing an approximate solution for the disk’s trajectory with a minimal set of parameters. Our theoretical results are confronted with experimental results obtained using a beer mat shooting apparatus and a high speed camera. Very good agreement is found.

Intimate Knowledge of the Ostrich Whisperer?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

In this video, a person called “the Ostrich Whisperer” appears to display an intimate knowledge of how ostriches behave towards humans:


One can wonder many things about the Ostrich Whisperer’s knowledge.

One can wonder how it compares with the knowledge reported in the study “Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches (Struthio camelus) Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain,” Norma E. Bubier, Charles G.M. Paxton, P. Bowers, D.C. Deeming, British Poultry Science, vol. 39, no. 4, September 1998, pp. 477-481.

Knowledgable readers of this blog know that that study’s authors were awarded the 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in biology.

(By the way, there seems to be more than one person who is called “the ostrich whisperer”.)





Picture the Heat Stress on Poultry

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

One picture is perhaps worth 1000 squawks. That picture is figure 3 (captioned “Schematic diagram showing an acid-base imbalance in poultry under heat stress”) in this study:

Impact of Heat Stress on Poultry Health and Performances, and Potential Mitigation Strategies,” Sanjeev Wasti, Nirvay Sah and Birendra Mishra, Animals, vol. 10, 2020, no. 1266. (Thanks to Berry Pinshow for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, explain:

High environmental temperature alters the poultry health and performances by causing heat stress. Heat stress elicits physiological, behavioral, and production changes in poultry. This review article summarizes these changes along with the strategies that have been used in the poultry industry to ameliorate the adverse effects of heat stress in poultry.

Low gravity looks at cats and pigeons and soldiers, and such

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Some of the old experiments at or near the Air Force research labs in Dayton, Ohio, are on display in this video.

The video comes with this info, added by someone somewhere at some time:

Coverage of research at the Aerospace Medical Division HQ 657Oth Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories including scenes of F-104 seat ejection; drop tests from C-130 and ejection from F-106; effects of weightlessness on cats and pigeons in a C-131; test subjects in water tank, on centrifuge, in heat chamber and on complex coordinator. Also shows scenes of vertical deceleration tower, incline impact test facility, vertical accelerator, equilibrium chair and vibration platform.

Addition info, elsewhere, suggests the occurrences occurred in the year 1947.

Do Cats Eat Human Remains? [Improbable Research]

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

What are your pet fears? The review column “Cats Research: Do Cats Eat Human Remains?” is a but one of many featured items in the special Forensics issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. The article is free to download:

Improbable Research