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An Ig Nobel exercise from Madame Van Isterdael

June 8th, 2021

Madame Van Isterdael educates you, in this language-learning video which she calls, enchantingly, “2euro méthodo CE the IG Nobel Prizes“:


Logged logs

June 7th, 2021

Say, how many logs would a lumber-carrier-vessel captain’s log log if a lumber-carrier-vessel captain’s log logged logs?

The answer is not contained, nor is the question directly addressed, in Granite Geek’s article ” ‘Structural round timber’ sounds much better than ‘logs’ “.

Fishbase profile : The Inexplicable Shrimpgoby

June 7th, 2021

The Inexplicable Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus inexplicatus) was named as such by the American ichthyologist (fish studier) and lichenologist (lichen studier) Albert William Christian Theodore Herre c. 1934.

It’s one of more than 33,000 fish species listed by the online resource Fishbase – A Global Information System on Fishes (a branch of the Philippines-based Q-quatics group).

It’s not immediately obvious why the Inexplicable Shrimpgoby is (or was) inexplicable, In other words, at first glance at least, its inexplicableness appears to be unexplained.

BONUS : Sneaking behaviour in the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus

The CC photo is courtesy John E. Randall at Fishbase

Research research by Martin Gardiner

Podcast Episode #1071: “Umbrella Progress on a Crowded Sidewalk”

June 6th, 2021

In Podcast Episode #1071, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to physicist Melissa Franklin. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

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

Melissa Franklin encounters:

Impact of Holding Umbrella on Uni- and Bi-Directional Pedestrian Flow: Experiments and Modeling,” Ning Guo, Qing-Yi Hao, Rui Jiang, Mao-Bin Hu, and Bin Jia, arXiv 1606.03434, December 21, 2015.

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Dead Duck Day 2020 kinda sorta postponed till 2022

June 4th, 2021

The 25th Dead Duck Day, on June 5th, which was postponed from 2020 until 2021, will be more or less postponed till 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So be on the lookout for the special (postponed) 25th anniversary edition in 2022.

This year, like last year, Dead Duck Day will have only two participants – me and the stuffed duck, accompanied by a bottle of beer, just as on the very first Dead Duck Day celebration, 26 years ago.

Kees Moeliker

Of course everybody is free and invited to have private Dead Duck Day celebrations, anywhere in the world, to commemorate the dramatic death of the duck — and the tragedy of billions of other birds that die from colliding with glass buildings.

Here is a photo from a previous #DeadDuckDay, with a massive public gathering at Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, the site of the historic collision (photo by Maarten Laupman):

Nonetheless, a Joyous Day, This June 5, 2021

The good—not just good, but excellent—news is that June 5, 2021 is the day when the museum will be re-opening to the public, after a long closure because of the pandemic.

The number of visitors will be strictly limited because of Covid precautions. To go inside the museum on re-opening day, you can (and if you want to get in, you must!) book tickets in advance, online. And when you are there, pay your own personal homage to the carcass of the victim duck, which now resides permanently inside the museum with which it had that fatal, fateful, historic crash 26 years ago.

Ig Nobel Duck
The mallard duck that is a vital part of Dead Duck Day became known to science as the first (documented) ‘victim’ of homosexual necrophilia in that species, and earned its discoverer, Kees Moeliker, the 2003 Ig Nobel Biology Prize.

Improbable Research