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How does faecal sludge in pit latrines decompose? The quarrel continues.

August 5th, 2020

Does fecal sludge in pit latrines decompose more aerobically, or more anaerobically? The debate bubbles, bubbles, toils, and troubles on, in the research journal Water Science & Technology:

Miriam H. A. van Eekert and colleagues, like their rivals, do not settle for too-quick, easily-disposed-of answers. Some things take time.

News about last year’s Ig Nobel Prize winners, in slow French

August 4th, 2020

Who would not want to hear a news report about last year’s Ig Nobel Prize winners, reported aloud in slow French? Anyone who DOES want to hear that can hear it, thanks to the web site News in Slow French. Their report is called “Cérémonie de remise des prix Ig Nobel 2019.”

Recent progress in Peppa Pig® studies

August 3rd, 2020

Given the worldwide success of the Peppa Pig® TV series (and subsequent spinoffs), it’s perhaps not surprising that the character has attracted attention in academic circles. Here are some recent examples of scholarly publications on the subject.


Does Peppa Pig encourage inappropriate use of primary care resources? British Medical Journal, 2017; 359

Peppa Pig and Friends International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, volume 31, pages 451–471(2018)

I’m Peppa Shit: Spokes-characters 2.0 as Bearers of Reputational Risk? The Case of Peppa Pig  Meaning and λόγος, Proceedings from the Early Professional Interdisciplinary Conference, 2015

Peppa Pig in China (2019) MKVM13 20182, Media and Communication Studies, Lund University

Peppa Pig: a study on family relationships between grandparents, parents and grandchildren Pensando Familias, 2017, vol.21, n.1, pp. 63-79.

The Billion Dollar Pig – A Subjective Extrospective Exploration of the Cross-Cultural Meanings of The Peppa Pig Cartoon Character Franchise, Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) conference, 2017, Queen Mary University

Research research by Martin Gardiner

“And Then It Began”– an Ig Nobel Prize favorite moment

August 2nd, 2020

This historic Ig Nobel Favorite Moment video stars Maria Ferrante, who starred in many of the Ig Nobel operas.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK.

The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will be webcast September 17, 2020 at

Coordinator, Narrator, & Typist: Seth Gliksman

Pocket-Sized #1027: “Happiness Equation”

August 1st, 2020

In this Pocket-Sized episode #1027, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to Jean Berko Gleason. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

The research mentioned in this episode is featured in the special Psychology issue (vol. 26, #1) of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine.

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

1. Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

The Social Contingency of Momentary Subjective Well-Being,”  Robb B. Rutledge, Archy O. de Berker, Svenja Espenhahn, Peter Dayan, and Raymond J. Dolan, Nature Communications, vol. 7, no. 11825, 2016.

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