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Sad news: Trinkaus is out for the count

John Trinkaus, who was awarded the 2003 Ig Nobel literature prize, for meticulously collecting data and publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him, died. His family notified us today. John (who enjoyed jokingly referring to himself as Trinkaus) was one of New York‘s overlooked treasures. We became friends after he []

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Elephant Trunk (new patent)

Robert Dale Beadles of Lodi, California, US, has just been granted a new US patent. Clues to its intended function can be seen in the drawing : 704 being a handle, and 703 being a wheel. ‘In summary, the present container for items and personal effects for travel will be seen to provide not only []

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Research Hazard: Instrument Eaten By a Camel

Two researchers appear to be unusually frank, in this study, in telling why some of their data is flawed: Desert Dust and Health: A Central Asian Review and Steppe Case Study, Troy Sternberg and Mona Edwards, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 14, 2017, p. 1342 ff. The authors, at the University []

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Richard Nixon‘s inauguration day haul of dead pigeons

In his previous inauguration, Nixon had noticed that there were a large number of birds in the trees, and didn‘t like the thought of being pooped on as he drove down the National Mall in Washington DC in an open-top limo. Nixon ordered that the pigeons were to be removed and so the US []

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Ultrasound Probe Grip: The Afternoon Tea Technique

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‘The Archers‘ in academia (UK radio soap conference 2017)

The Archers‘ is the world‘s longest-running radio soap opera. Although the BBC has been transmitting it in the UK for more than 60 years now, it‘s only recently been gaining traction in the academic world. See, for example, the 2017 ‘The Archers in fact and fiction: Academic analyses of life in rural Borsetshire* ‘ conference []

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The STRANGE QUESTIONS issue of the Annals of Improbable Research

The special Strange Questions issue (vol. 23, no. 5) of the Annals of Improbable Researchis now available. The issue‘s table of contents is online. And you can obtain, for a pittance, the full issue, in PDF form. In thisissue you will find, among other things: Strange Questions* Strange‘s Questions* Strange Medical Questions* Are Lung Cancers []

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Seriously Silly Design Fictions (study)

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Beijing restaurant gives medical professionals discounted food for thought

China Daily reports: Lancet restaurant gives medical professionals food for thought When Feng Shangqing published a paper in a scientific journal, she was simply hoping it would prove beneficial to her medical career. She certainly didn‘t imagine that the article would provide her with a discounted treat at a barbecue restaurant in Beijing. The physician, []

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Named-cow researcher recognizes merit in research on sheep recognizing people

I was asked if, as anIg Nobel laureatemyself, I thought this recent Cambridge sheep study would be a contender for anIg Nobel award, the prize for science that ‘first makes you laugh, then makes you think‘. Celebrity-spotting sheep might sound funny but the science involved in this study actually isn‘t sniggerable. So writes Catherine Douglas []

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Three Computer Keyboards Operated by Hissing

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Techniques in Saliva Collection: Bacon Smell Rules, Lozenge Drools

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