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Podcast Episode #202: “Sneezing and a Full Stomach”

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Sneezing on a Full Stomach, Mustache Wax, Red Hippo Sweat, The Impossible Expertise of Self-Perceived Expertise, some 2012 Ig Nobel Prize Winners, and Walking in the City.

In episode #202, Marc Abrahams shows some unfamiliar research studies to Melissa Franklin, Richard Baguley, Robin Abrahams, Jean Berko Gleason, and Nicole Sharp. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

1. Melissa Franklin encounters:

“Autosomal Dominant Sneezing Disorder Provoked by Fullness of the Stomach” A.S. Teebi and Q.A. Al-Saleh, Journal of Medical Genetics, vol. 26 , 1989 , pp. 539-40.

“An Unusual Finding on Routine Dental Pan-Oral Tomography,” S. Lloyd, V.R. Talati, and J.P. Ward, British Dental Journal, vol. 176, no. 4, February 19, 1994, pp. 144-6.

“Perioral Dermatitis Secondary to the Use of a Corticosteroid Ointment as Mustache Wax,” E.K. Edwards Jr. and E.K. Edwards Sr., International Journal of Dermatology, vol. 26, no. 10, December 1987, p. 649.

“Islam, Teaching Dermatologic Surgery, and Porcine Parts,” Lawrence M. Field, Dermatologic Surgery, vol. 27, no. 6, June 2001, pp. 608-9.

2. Richard Baguley encounters:

“Refined Structure of Hipposudoric and Norhipposudoric Acids, Pigments of the Red Sweat of the Hippopotamus,” Takatoshi Matsumoto, Yoko Saikawa, Masaya Nakata, and Kimiko Hashimoto, Chemistry Letters, epub 2015.

3. Robin Abrahams encounters:

“When Knowledge Knows No Bounds — Self-Perceived Expertise Predicts Claims of Impossible Knowledge,” Stav Atir, Emily Rosenzweig, David Dunning, Psychological Science, vol. 26 no. 8, 2015, pp. 1295-1303.

“Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,” David Dunning and Justin Kruger, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 77, no. 6, December 1999, pp. 1121-34.

4. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

“Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller: Posture-Modulated Estimation,” Anita Eerland, Tulio M. Guadalupe and Rolf A. Zwaan, Psychological Science, vol. 22 no. 12, December 2011, pp. 1511-14.

The SKN Company (Details.)

“SpeechJammer: A System Utilizing Artificial Speech Disturbance with Delayed Auditory Feedback,” Kazutaka Kurihara, Koji Tsukada, arxiv.org/abs/1202.6106. February 28, 2012.

“Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction,” Craig M. Bennett, Abigail A. Baird, Michael B. Miller, and George L. Wolford, poster, 15th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, San Francisco, CA, June 2009. It was later published as: “Neural Correlates of Interspecies Perspective Taking in the Post-Mortem Atlantic Salmon: An Argument For Multiple Comparisons Correction,” Craig M. Bennett, Abigail A. Baird, Michael B. Miller, and George L. Wolford, Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results, vol. 1, no. 1, 2010, pp. 1-5.e

Johan Pettersson (see various news reports).

5. Nicole Sharp encounters:

“Walking and rhythmicity: Sensing urban space,” by Filipa Matos Wunderlich, published in the Journal of Urban Design, in 2008.

Bruce Petschek, Audio Engineer
Jon Shedler, Audio Engineer
Seth Gliksman, Production Assistant
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Podcast Episode #201: “Crunchiness Loss”

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Crunchiness Lost, Clever Contraptions to Trap Crooks, Shoe-Throwing at Weddings, Untied Laces Across the World, Moving Violations of Washing Machines, Stool Pigeons, Clothes for Clothes Shopping, Tanning Beds, Frozen Mammoth Meat, and Neurological Damage from Praying.

In episode #201, Marc Abrahams shows some unfamiliar research studies to Jean Berko Gleason, Richard Baguley, Robin Abrahams, Bruce Petschek, and Chris Cotsapas. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

1. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

“Crunchiness Loss and Moisture Toughening in Puffed Cereals and Snacks,” Micha Peleg, Journal of Food Science, epub July 29, 2015.

“A Study of the Effects of Water Content on the Compaction Behaviour of Breakfast Cereal Flakes,” D.M.R. Georget, R. Parker, and A.C. Smith, Powder technology 81, no. 2 (1994): 189-195.

2. Richard Baguley encounters:

Mike Hall’s “Drive-up Teller Window Protection Apparatus” (U.S. patent 3956997, granted 1976)

Louis J. Marcone’s “Dog-tracking Scent Dispensing System for Apprehending Burglars and the Like” (U.S. patent 4867076, granted 1989)

Philip David Jones, Alan Hickling, and Ruth Marjorie Hickling’s “Soft Restraining System” (U.S. patent application 20050240132, G.B. patent application 211771)

3. Robin Abrahams encounters:

“Shoe-Throwing at Weddings,” James E. Crombie, Folklore, vol. 6, no. 3, 1895, pp. 258–81.

4. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

Mörth, Ingo (2007). ‘The Shoe-lace Breaching Experiment.’ Figurations: Newsletter of the Norbert Elias Foundation 2 (27): 4–6.

Elias, Norbert (1967). ‘Die Geschichte mit den Schuhbändern.’ Die Zeit, 17 November.

5. Richard Baguley encounters:

Conrad, Daniel C., and Werner O. Soedel (1995). ‘On the Problem of Oscillatory Walk of Automatic Washing Machines.’ Journal of Sound and Vibration 188 (3): 301–14.

Whiteman, Wayne E. and Kip P. Nygren (1999). ‘Basic Vibration Design to Which Young Engineers Can Relate: The Washing Machine.’ Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education, Charlotte, N.C., 20–23 June, session 3268.

6. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

“Self-Control by Pigeons in the Prisoner’s Dilemma,” Forest Baker and Howard Rachlin, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, vol. 9, no. 3, September 2002, pp. 482-8.

“Customer Service as a Function of Shopper’s Attire,” Pamela C. Regan and Veronica Llamas, Psychological Reports, vol. 90, no. 1, February 2002, pp. 203-4. The authors are at California State University, Los Angeles.

“Why Do Young Women Use Sunbeds? A Comparative Psychological Study,” B. Fiala, M. Kopp, and V. Gunther, British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 137, no. 6, December 1997, pp. 950-4.

7. Bruce Petschek encounters:

“Was Frozen Mammoth or Giant Ground Sloth Served for Dinner at the Explorers Club?” Matt Davis, Jessica R. Glass, Timothy J. Walsh, Eric J. Sargis, and Adalgisa Caccone, 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015), Paper No. 327-16.

8. Chris Cotsapas encounters:

Ilic, Tihomir V., Monika Pötter, Iris Holler, Günther Deuschl, and Jens Volkmann (2005). ‘Praying-Induced Oromandibular Dystonia.’ Movement Disorders 20 (3): 385–86.

Scolding, N. J., S. M. Smith, S. Sturman, G. B. Brookes, and A. J. Lees (1995). ‘Auctioneer’s Jaw: A Case of Occupational Oromandibular Hemidystonia.’ Movement Disorders 10 (4): 508v9.

Bruce Petschek, Audio Engineer
Jon Shedler, Audio Engineer
Seth Gliksman, Production Assistant
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Podcast Episode #200: “Disgusting Sounds?”

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019

Disgusting Sounds, Cello Scrotum, Hole Shapes, Headless Mannequins, Medical Oddities, Grateful Dead, Cool Noses, and Black Dress Temperatures.

The Improbable Research podcast is back! In episode #200 (the first episode in the new series!), Marc Abrahams shows some unfamiliar research studies to Jean Berko Gleason, Chris Cotsapas, Melissa Franklin, Robin Abrahams, and Richard Baguley. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

Remember that our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public. In this episode:

1. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

“Analysis of Chewing Sounds for Dietary Monitoring,” Oliver Amft, Mathias Stäger, Paul Lukowicz, and Gerhard Tröster, UbiComp 2005: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Tokyo, Japan, 11–14 September 2005, pp. 56–72.

“Food Crushing Sounds: An Introductory Study,” B.K. Drake, Journal of Food Science, vol. 28, no. 2, 1963, pp. 233–41.

“Gnathosonics: A Study of Sounds Produced by the Masticatory Mechanism,” D.M. Watt, Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, vol. 16, no. 1, 1966, pp. 73–82.

2. Chris Cotsapas encounters:

“Guitar Nipple,” P. Curtis, British Medical Journal, April 27, 1974, p. 226.

“Cello Scrotum,” J.M. Murphy, British Medical Journal, May 11, 1974, p. 335.  / “‘Cello Scrotum’ Questioned,” Philip E. Shapiro, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 24, no. 4, April 1991, p. 665. 

Cello Scrotum Confession,” Elaine Murphy and John M. Murphy, British Medical Journal, January 27, 2009, p. 288.

“Pseudo-Cello Scrotum?” Anand Deshpande, British Medical Journal, vol. 388, January 27, 2009, p. 288.

3. Melissa Franklin encounters:

“The Shape of Holes,” Marco Bertamini and Camilla J. Croucher, Cognition, vol. 87, no. 1, 2003, pp. 33–54.

“Holes,” David Kellogg Lewis and Stephanie R. Lewis, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. 48: 206-12; reprinted in Lewis, D. K. (1983). Philosophical Papers, vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970, pp. 3–9.

“Information Concentration Along the Boundary Contours of Naturally Shaped Solid Objects,” J.F. Norman, F. Phillips, and H. E. Ross, Perception, vol. 30, 2001, pp. 1285–94.

4. Robin Abrahams encounters:

“Does the presence of a mannequin head change shopping behavior?” Annika Lindström, Hanna Berg, Jens Nordfält, Anne L. Roggeveen, Dhruv Grewal, Journal of Business Research, vol. 69, no. 2, 2016, pp. 517-524.

5. Richard Baguley encounters:

“What to Do If It Gets ‘Bigger'”, C. Kouriefs and N.A. Watkin, Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, vol. 85, no. 2, March 2003, pp. 126–8.

“Serotonin Transporter Promoter Region (5-HTTLPR) Polymorphism is Associated with the Intravaginal Ejaculation Latency Time in Dutch Men with Lifelong Premature Ejaculation,” Journal of Sexual Medicine, Paddy K.C. Janssen, Steven C. Bakker, Janos Réthelyi, Aeilko H. Zwinderman, Daan J. Touw, Berend Olivier, and Marcel D. Waldinger, vol. 6, 2009, pp. 276–84.

“Effect of Different Types of Textiles on Sexual Activity. Experimental Study,” Ahmed Shafik, European Urology, vol. 24, no. 3, 1993, pp. 375–80.

Excrement in the Late Middle Ages— Sacred Filth and Chaucer’s Fecopoetics, Susan Signe Morrison, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008.

On Bullshit, Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2005.

“A Kind Word for Bullshit: The Problem of Academic Writing,” Philip Eubanks and John D. Schaeffer, College Composition and Communication, vol. 59, no. 3, February 2008, pp. 272–88.

“Picadura de Anémona en Pene” [article in Spanish], J.M. Janeiro Pais, et al., Actas Urológicas Españolas, vol.  32, no. 8, September 2008, p. 864.

6. Melissa Franklin encounters:

“An Experiment in Dream Telepathy with ‘The Grateful Dead’,” Stan Krippner, Monte Ullman and Bob Van de Castle, Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, vol. 20, no. 1, 1973, pp. 9-17.

7. Richard Baguley encounters:

“The Air-Conditioning Capacity of the Human Nose,” Sara Naftali, Moshe Rosenfeld, Michael Wolf, and David Elad, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol. 33, no. 4, 2005, pp. 545–53.

“The Cooling Power of the Pigeon Head,” Robert St. Laurent and Jacques Larochelle, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 194, 1994, pp. 329–39.

8. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

“Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?” Amiram Shkolnik, C. Richard Taylor, Virginia Finch, and Arieh Borut, Nature, vol. 283, 1980, pp. 373–75.

“Penetrance of Cattle Coats by Radiation,” John C. D. Hutchinson and Graham D. Brown, Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 26, no. 4, 1969, pp. 454–64.

Bruce Petschek, Audio Engineer
Jon Shedler, Audio Engineer
Seth Gliksman, Production Assistant
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Improbable Podcast Resurrection / Introducing our Patreon

Friday, November 29th, 2019

We are hatching plans to bring the Improbable Research podcast back from the dead! To do that—and more!—we have created a Patreon.

The Improbable Research podcast ran for two years, weekly—a collaboration between us and the CBS Radio network. It was one of CBS’s very first podcasts. It was one of the most fun things we ever did. Alas, when the CBS Radio network dismantled itself, we stopped doing the podcast. Here, below, are little video teasers for four of the old episodes.

We miss doing it. (We podcast regulars—Marc Abrahams, Jean Berko Gleason, Melissa Franklin, Richard Baguley, Nicole Sharp, Chris Cotsapas, etc.—really miss doing it!)

From what we’ve heard, some of you miss hearing it. Many others of you never got the chance to hear it.

Here’s the plan.

We intend to bring back (and maybe re-mix) some of the existing improbable stuff. And make new stuff.

Introducing our Patreon

To fund this, to make it possible, we have created a Patreon.

Our intention, our plan, is to resurrect the best of the old stuff, to create new episodes, and to support our related activities—the Ig Nobel Prizes, the magazine (Annals of Improbable Research), the public events worldwide, and whoknowswhat!

Please join us in our Improbable Research adventuring. We would welcome your support!

 

 

How Many Kids Can One Man Father in his Lifetime? [podcast]

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

UPDATE (November 29, 2019): We plan to resurrect the podcast, and to make new episodes!

UPDATE (mid-2017): In February 2017 the Improbable Research podcast moved, by invitation, from its original home (CBS Radio) to Scientific American. After we moved there, SciAm insisted that we change the podcast into something very different. We did, happily. Then SciAm declined to run more than one episode of the new, very different podcast. In a word: yikes. We are patiently looking for a good home for the podcast.

Here’s the first—and only—episode that ran at Scientific American:

How Many Kids Can One Man Father in his Lifetime?

Every day was Father’s Day for Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the emperor of Morocco, who reportedly fathered 888 children. Ig Nobel Prize-winning biologist Lisa Oberzaucher tells why Moulay quite possibly had lots more than that. Recorded at Imperial College London.

PEOPLE IN THIS EPISODE

  • Elizabeth Oberzaucher, Ig Nobel Prize winner (mathematics, 2015), biologist based at the University of Vienna, Austria and at Ulm University, Germany.
  • Marc Abrahams, founder of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, and editor of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research

RELATED STUDY

PREVIOUS EPISODES: Dip into descriptions of the previous Improbable Research podcast episodes! UPDATE: Some weeks after we moved the podcast to Scientific American, the old home base—CBS Radio—was sold, and our podcast archives (more than 100 episodes) there vanished. We do have all our original audio files, and intend to make the best of them available once we find a stable, good home for the podcast.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!