Archive for 'Research News'

Abulziement and Abusion

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Abulziement and Abusion can each be found in James B. Montgomerie-Fleming‘s Notes on Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary,  published by W. Hodge in 1899.

Here is a photograph of Major James B. Montgomerie-Fleming displaying his knees. This photo was taken during Major Montgomerie-Fleming’s lifetime. One might note that Major Montgomerie-Fleming’s left and right hands are not displayed:

Adding broccoli powder to coffee—A new taste sensibility

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

“Green, nutrient-rich coffees may be on the horizon after researchers have developed a powder made from imperfect-looking broccoli that would have previously been wasted,” says a press release sent out earlier this year by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mary Ann Augustin is the lead researcher on the experiment.

Ashitha Nagesh wrote an essay about this for BBC3, with the headline: “Broccoli coffee: the new health trend nobody asked for—Please don’t make us drink this.”

(Thanks to Vaughn Tan for bringing this to our attention.)

Broccoli and coffee may be an unusual combination, but so was the combination some decades ago of Broccoli and James Bond, which turned out to be appetizing and lucrative for many people.

BONUS: For an even more full-bodied experience, consult the 1990 University of Copenhagen study “Cytochrome P450 IA2 activity in man measured by caffeine metabolism: effect of smoking, broccoli and exercise.”

The Paper Clip: Its Various Uses in Medicine

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

The Paper Clip Nasal Dilator” is one of several studies featured in the article “The Paper Clip in Medicine,” which is one of the articles in the special Medical Surprises issue of the Annals of Improbable Research, which is one of the 143 issues published so far!

Subscribe to the magazine, and a new batch of fresh-cooked improbable research will come your way every two months! A subscription also makes a lovely gift, for certain personality types, we are told.

Analysing Pointless Banter

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

‘Pointless’ is a popular TV quiz-show series currently aired in the UK by the BBC. It’s hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, whom, along with the contestants, often engage in a spot of banter. [If you’re not familiar with the show, here’s an episode.]

This banter specifically features in (what the publishers say is) the first book-length study analysing irony and banter together The Pragmatics of Irony and Banter [purchasing details below]. Chapter 8 is devoted to an analysis of the banter in Pointless, and is entitled : ‘The point of banter in the television show Pointless’. It’s written by professor Linda Pillière of Aix Marseille University, Le Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone (LERMA), Aix-en-Provence, France.

“This paper explores banter within the television quiz show Pointless. Building on previous theories of banter, I suggest that the composite nature of the phenomenon can usefully be analysed within an interactional pragmatic model, such as that proposed by Lecercle (1999). Using this model to analyse various episodes of Pointless, I seek to demonstrate that banter is created within a dynamic interpersonal process. I focus on the sequential interaction between speaker and the various hearers involved in the exchange, as opposed to isolated utterances. I propose that any analysis of banter needs not only to study the linguistic aspects of a series of utterances, but also the sociocultural context and the encyclopaedic knowledge that each participant brings to the exchange.”

The book is currently available from John Benjamins Publishing Company, at $143.00, in hardbound or e-book formats.

[ Research research by Martin Gardiner ]

Canadian Crime Rates in the Penalty Box

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

The game of hockey generates both action and statistics. Does it generate crime, now more than ever? This police study analyzes that and other questions:

Canadian Crime Rates in the Penalty Box,” Simon Demers, arXiv:1810.05118, 2018. The author, an Audit Manager in the Planning, Research & Audit Section of the Vancouver Police Department, reports:

“Over the 1962-2016 period, the Canadian violent crime rate has remained strongly correlated with National Hockey League (NHL) penalties. The Canadian property crime rate was similarly correlated with stolen base attempts in the Major League Baseball (MLB). Possible implications and avenues for future research are discussed.”

Here’s further detail from the study:

BONUS: Simon Demers takes on a paradox: “Simpson’s Paradox in Canadian Police Clearance Rates,” Simon Demers, D. Kim Rossmo, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Volume 57, Number 3, July/juillet 2015″

BONUS: Here are some old, unrelated statistics, about a hockey player named Simon Demers.

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