Steven Milloy versus the Ig Nobel Prizes

A man named Steven Milloy is misusing the the good name of the Ig Nobel Prizes. Mr. Milloy does his dirty business in an October 30, 2008 article, one of his regular so-called “Junk Science” columns that are published by Fox News.* The Ig Nobel Prizes, which we have awarded every year since 1991, honor […]

(L)Ode Upon a Creaking Chair

Contrary to what you might think, sitting is not a static activity, unless you are dead. In the study Chair Load Analysis During Daily Sitting Activities, Carla Paoliello and Edgar Vladimiro Mantilla Carrasco adopt the perspective of a chair. They quantify the shifting risks your furniture faces when someone sits on it. Now – right […]

Talking About Talking

“Are Women Really More Talkative Than Men?”, Matthias R. Mehl, Simine Vazire, Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, Richard B. Slatcher and James W. Pennebaker, Science, vol. 317, no. 5834, 2007, p. 82 ( The authors, who are variously at the University of Arizona, at Washington University and at the University of Texas, report that: Women are generally assumed […]

Under cover agents: stress, cash and ‘staches

Frequently, the UCE [Under Cover Employee]’s feeling of alienation results from the distorted perceptions associated with highly stressful situations, although, sometimes, a factual basis exists. Fellow employees may resent UCEs because they get special attention. Co-workers observe what appears to be UCEs’ living the good life: staying out all night, wearing expensive or exotic clothes […]

Thinking on your feet

When one’s feet smell unpleasant, it’s polite to wonder why. But six scientists at the Shiseido Research Centre in Yokohama, Japan, pursued this interest more thoroughly than mere politeness alone would dictate. The pioneering research study, Elucidation of Chemical Compounds Responsible for Foot Malodour, by F Kanda, E Yagi, M Fukuda, K Nakajima, T Ohta […]