Improbable Research Collection #109

Here’s episode 109 (“Subliminal, subliminal, shrew no chew”) of the Improbable Research TV series. To see it, click on the image at right, and you will be whisked to YouTube (where you can subscribe, if you like, to the Improbable Research channel). These are three-minute videos about research that makes people laugh, then makes them […]

“When Harry Met Alley”

Named in honor of former USBC testing facility employee Harry Lawrence, he is a robotic bowling ball thrower who is part of the equipment testing and research effort at the USBC test facility in Greendale, Wis. Harry is a key contributor in USBC’s two-year study of bowling ball motion and how advanced, high-tech equipment may […]

Male quail porn stars

“Female Japanese Quail Affiliate With Live Males That They Have Seen Mate on Video,” A.G. Ophir and B.G. Galef, Jr., Animal Behaviour, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 369—75. ( (Thanks to Elinor Lichtenberg for bringing this to our attention.) (That’s an excerpt from the article “Boys Will Be Boys,” Published in AIR 14:4.)

Horsetail: Kervran’s inspiration

1993 Ig Nobel Biology Prize winner Louis Kervran’s discoveries (among other things, Kervran said that that the calcium in chickens’ eggshells is created by a process of cold fusion) inspired a video producer to make this micro-documentary. Most biologists are unaware of Kervran’s theories, just as Kervran himself may have been aware of much of […]

Attention, inventeurs! C’est Milken!

An item in Le Figaro Magazine celebrates the legacy of Ig Nobel Prize winner Michael Milken: Attention, inventeurs! PAR CHRISTOPHE DORE 17/10/2008 Les prix Ig Nobel sont décernés aux génies qui explorent tout, même les impasses de la connaissance. Grâce à eux, on sait que les puces de chien sautent plus haut que celles des […]

Grain Configuration of One Worm After Individual Compressed

“Grain Configuration of One Worm After Individual Compressed,” Chen Jian, Zhao Jin-ping, Zhang Jing-yu and Huang Gui-rong, paper presented at the Carbon 2007 Conference, July 2007 in Seattle. (Thanks to Claus Friedrich for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Sichuan University of Science and Engineering in ZiGong, China, report: The surface photograph of […]

Uncomfortable truths about wet underwear

Martha Kold Bakkevig and Ruth Nielson performed the first good scientific analysis of wet underwear in cold weather. Their study, Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold, appeared in 1994 in the journal Ergonomics. Bakkevig, at Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway, and Nielson, at the Technical University of Denmark, […]

2008 Ig Nobel webcast available

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to Sanders Theatre to see the Igs in person, or if you weren’t near a computer to watch it streamed live, or for those of you who just want to see it one more time, we’ve archived and posted the video here. QuickTime is required, […]