Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

The insect sex research adventures of Yoshitaka Kamimura

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

This insect-sex-reversal-centric profile of 2017 Ig Nobel Biology Prize co-winner Yoshitaka Kamimura appeared a year ago in the Keio Times:

Sex-Role Reversal Research in Insects Wins Ig Nobel Prize for Keio Professor Yoshitaka Kamimura

…In 2012, Prof. Kamimura was first invited to join a research team led by Kazunori Yoshizawa, an associate professor at Hokkaido University, whose award-winning research focuses on cave-dwelling species of insect from Brazil that belongs to the genus Neotrogla. In most insects, the male penetrates the female reproductive organ to transfer seminal fluid, but for Neotrogla, it is the female that has a penis, which it uses to penetrate the male in order to receive seminal fluid and nutritional substances.

“Neotrogla are small, 3mm-long insects that inhabit caves in Brazil. Our first face-to-face encounter with these fascinating creatures was in 2016, when we donned headlamps and explored the caves in search of them. The caves they inhabit are quite dry and food is scarce, which forces them to rely on bat guano and mouse droppings to survive….”



Wearing High Heels as Female Mating Strategy [research study]

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Comes a major advance, possibly, in the understanding of why some women wear high heeled shoes. A new study presents details:

Wearing High Heels as Female Mating Strategy,” Pavol Prokop and Jana Švancárová, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 152, January 2020, 109558. The authors, at Comenius University and at the Slovak Academy of Science, Slovakia, explain:

This suggests that females strategically wear high heels when anticipating an interaction with an attractive male and in all probability avoid wearing high heels when anticipating an interaction with a relatively unattractive male….

The results of the present research are based on a specific homogeneous sample of young Slovak females. Future research should further investigate the preference for high heels with data from larger, more diverse samples, because the more divergent the cultures being considered, the stronger the case for universality.

BONUS (possibly unrelated): High Heels and Schizophrenia

Program details from last year’s cannibalism conference

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Here’s the program (downloadable!) from last year’s cannibalism conference at the University of Leeds.

The lunch break was from 12:45-13:45.

Sperm Bags Research (and other Disgusting Research)

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Sperm Bags Research—thinking and looking outside the bag” is one of the articles in the special Disgusting Research issue (volume 25, number 4) of the Annals of Improbable Research.

Subscribe, if you dare, to the magazine!

Associations: Terrorist attacks and CEOs’ wages [new study]

Monday, August 12th, 2019

“This is an important topic”

– say Yunhao Dai, Raghavendra Rau, Aris Stouraitis and Weiqiang Tan [jointly of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China; Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK; and the Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong]. The important topic to which they are referring is the question of whether CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) of major US companies might tend to be rewarded with cash-based compensations (e.g. increased salary and bonuses etc.) in the unfortunate event that a terrorist attack happens within 100 miles or so of their office.

According to the results of the team’s research project, they do indeed :

“We show that CEOs employed at firms located near terrorist attacks earn an average pay increase of 12% after the attack relative to CEOs at firms located far from attacks.”

See: ‘An ill wind? Terrorist attacks and CEO compensation’ in press at the Journal of Financial Economics, June, 2019.

The study notes that:

“Other executives and workers do not receive a terrorist attack premium.”

Co-author Rao shared the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize for management with several colleagues, for for discovering that many business leaders developed during childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences.

Research research by Martin Gardiner

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