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Question: What Are “Mainly Triggered by Soap Handling and Random Jerks”?

July 20th, 2021

What Are “mainly triggered by soap handling and random jerks“? That is the question.

A clean answer may, perhaps, appear in the study: “A Robust Device for Large-Scale Monitoring of Bar Soap Usage in Free-Living Conditions,” Rüdiger Zillmer, Richard Wright, Susan Bates, and Ian Mahers, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, vol. 18, no. 8, 2014, pp. 2057-2064. The authors explain:

“False activations are mainly triggered by soap handling and random jerks…”

Painfully fashionable : The consequences of wearing pointy shoes in medieval England [study]

July 19th, 2021

It’s known that if you wear overly pointy shoes for long periods, you’re likely to damage your feet How long has this been going on? Was it prevalent in, say, medieval Cambridge, UK?

To find out, researchers examined the human remains of 177 adult individuals (11th > 15th century) from four cemeteries located in Cambridge, England, to check their toes for shoe damage.

18% had Hallux valgus (deformed big-toes) caused, very probably, by wearing overly pointy shoes (see dwg). The researchers also noted that many of the individuals who had apparently been wearing painfully fashionable shoes also had fractures consistent with falling over – especially so-called FOOSH injuries (Falls On OutStretched Hand ).

Ref : Fancy shoes and painful feet: Hallux valgus and fracture risk in medieval Cambridge, England 


This B&W photo, courtesy Kamstein @ Wikipedia, shoes a pair of modern-day(ish) Winkle Pickers. 

Question: What Is Defined as ‘a Succession of Random Jerks’?

July 15th, 2021

Random jerks fascinate some people, a few of whom, at least, might be captivated by the study “On the Seismic Jerk,” Ramiro Sofronie, Journal of Geological Resource and Engineering, vol. 4, 2017, pp. 147-52. The author reports:

“In the year 1936, only with four years before the strong earthquake that occurred in Romania, on November 10, 1940, the late Professor Aurel A. Beleș (1891-1976), published a paper about the role of jerk in dynamics. Then in 1941, after the earthquake, in his quality of official expert for analyzing the collapse of Carlton Hotel in Bucharest, the same professor published two extended papers together in a book entitled The Earthquake and the Buildings. In that original scientific document an earthquake is defined as a succession of random jerks…”

Ig Nobel Prize winner Bolsonaro’s Hiccups: Will He Demand 2006 Winner’s Treatment?

July 14th, 2021

Medical experts are eager to see whether 2021 Ig Nobel Prize winner Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, will cure his intractable hiccups with the digital-rectal-message treatment devised by 2006 Ig Nobel Prize winner Dr. Francis Fesmire.

Bolsonaro’s ailment is reported in many news outlets. The Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant says, today: “Brazilian President Bolsonaro hospitalized with persistent hiccups—There is a lot of speculation in Brazil as to why President Jair Bolsonaro has had the hiccups for ten days.”

The 2006 Ig Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to Dr. Francis M. Fesmire, for his medical case report “Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage“; and to Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven, for their subsequent medical case report also titled “Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage.”

President Bolsonaro is himself an Ig Nobel Prize winner.

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for medical education was awarded to Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Narendra Modi of India, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, for using the Covid-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can.

Training Ferrets to Recognize Virus Odor in Duck Droppings

July 13th, 2021

The effort to train ferrets to recognize virus odor in mallard duck droppings may be paying off, suggests a new study.

The study is: “Biodetection of a specific odor signature in mallard feces associated with infection by low pathogenic avian influenza A virus,” Glen J. Golden, Meredith J. Grady, Hailey E. McLean, Susan A. Shriner, Airn Hartwig, Richard A. Bowen, and Bruce A. Kimball, PLoS ONE, vol. 16, no. 5, 2021, e251841. The authors report:

“Domesticated male ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were trained to display a specific conditioned behavior (i.e. active scratch alert) in response to feces from AIV [Avian Influenza Virus]-infected mallards in comparison to feces from healthy ducks….

“A final experiment revealed that trained ferrets could detect AIV infection status even in the presence of samples from mallards inoculated with Newcastle disease virus or infectious laryngotracheitis virus. These results indicate that mammalian biodetectors are capable of discriminating the specific odors emitted from the feces of non-infected versus AIV infected mallards, suggesting that the health status of waterfowl can be evaluated non-invasively for AIV infection via monitoring of volatile fecal metabolites.”

Improbable Research