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Improbable Research

Research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK

Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:56:12 +0000


Ultrasound Probe Grip: The Afternoon Tea Technique

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:48:46 +0000

British tea traditions continue to affect the way medicine is taught and practiced. A new study pours out details. “Ultrasound Probe Grip: The Afternoon Tea Technique,” Luke McMenamin, Stephen Wolstenhulme, Max Hunt, Stuart Nuttall, and Asoka Weerasinghe, Journal of the Intensive Care Society, vol. 18, no. 3, 2017, pp. 258-260. The authors, at medical institutions […]

Seriously Silly Design Fictions (study)

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:00:58 +0000

What would be the point of designing and developing “Magic Machines” in the form of a “Poo Detector” … Or an “Eyes and Ears” gizmo? … One reason would be to draw attention to the effects of so-called ‘Solutionism’ – prevalent in today’s world where technological ‘solutions’ (esp. gadgets) are constantly presented to solve problems […]

Three Computer Keyboards Operated by Hissing

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:39:51 +0000

Hissing might be a means of operating equipment, suggests this study: “Predictive Scanning Keyboard Operated by Hissing,” Ondřej Poláček [pictured here], Zdeněk Mikovec, and Pavel Slavik, in Proceedings of the 2nd IASTED International Conference Assistive Technologies, 2012, pp. 862-9. The authors, at Czech Technical University in Prague, report: “This strategy is demonstrated on three virtual […]

Techniques in Saliva Collection: Bacon Smell Rules, Lozenge Drools

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:23:42 +0000

Certain studies are tongue in cheek. This certain study is interested in the fluids between the tongue and cheek. Mouthwatering science abounds in the article, “New Techniques for Augmenting Saliva Collection: Bacon Rules and Lozenge Drools.” Hoping to find a method that increases the rate mouth fluids can be collected, researchers had volunteers’ saliva analyzed […]

Elephant Trunk (new patent)

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:00:47 +0000

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 […]

Sad news: Trinkaus is out for the count

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 02:07:38 +0000

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 […]

Richard Nixon’s inauguration day haul of dead pigeons

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 16:36:56 +0000

“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 […]

Research Hazard: Instrument Eaten By a Camel

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 15:05:43 +0000

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 […]

The STRANGE QUESTIONS issue of the Annals of Improbable Research

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 21:19:14 +0000

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