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Usefulness, for Teachers, of Ig Nobel Prizes

April 6th, 2021

Here’s yet another use of the Ig Nobel Prizes as a teaching tool:

Podcast Episode #1062: “Happiness from Painful Insect Stings”

April 5th, 2021

In Podcast Episode #1062, Marc Abrahams shows a poetical research paper — about insect-sting pain — to QI Elves James Harkin, Dan Schreiber, Anne Miller, Steve Colgan, and Alex Bell. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

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

The QI Elves encounter:

The Sting of the Wild‘ by Justin O. Schmidt, Johns Hopkins Press, 2016. ISBN: 9781421419282.

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

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

The consequences of inconsequentialities [study]

April 5th, 2021

People occasionally misplace seemingly inconsequential things – gloves, trainers, scarfs etc etc. But perhaps the sociological implications of misplaced objects may not have received as much scholarly attention as they deserve? Bearing in mind that :

“Especially for the purposes of grant applications, researchers must demonstrate how these objects have impacts that go beyond their immediate spatialities to affect a significant proportion of the population “

Despite the difficulties, there are, nevertheless, academic papers examining just such inconsequentialities. One author was inspired to write one for the journal Space and Culture after finding a lost mitten in Salford, UK.. The paper :

“ . . . explores the ephemeral, delicate, and often superficial materiality of these objects of rupture relative to a flow-optimized urban landscape. “

With the observation that :

“ The consequences of inconsequentialities may be more profound than we might think.“

See: Inconsequential Materialities: The Movements of Lost Effects Space and Culture ,Volume: 12 issue: 1, page(s): 95-115

Protecting Large Hollow Chocolate Bunnies

April 2nd, 2021

Protecting Large Hollow Chocolate Bunnies” is a featured article in the special Chocolate issue (volume 27, number 1) of the Annals of Improbable Research. This article is free to download:

The article begins: “There are few peer-reviewed papers on the subject of designing and testing an improved packaging for large hollow chocolate bunnies. Of these, the most bouncily thorough is one called “Designing and Testing an Improved Packaging for Large Hollow Chocolate Bunnies.” Though just seven pages long, it contains everything a research report ought to have….”

A Scottian History of Science Spoofs

April 2nd, 2021

Douglas Scott has written a history of “Science Spoofs, Physics Pranks and Astronomical Antics“:

Improbable Research