Pepsi is a new Mythbusters, he says

Who is a new Mythbusters — meticulously debunking pernicious (or just plain silly) myths about science? A report by William Weir in the Hartford Courant — in his profile of Pepsi’s science laboratory (which is in New Haven, Connecticut), reveals the secret: Eric Milgram, senior fellow at the lab, used to work in the pharmaceutical […]

Asparagus Smell — Wee Progress

For Marcel Proust, one of the after-effects of eating asparagus, was that it  “…transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.’’ This unusual phenomenon is well known by a (disputed) percentage of asparagus-eaters who are lucky (or unlucky) enough to be able to nasaly detect the vegetable’s odorous metabolites in their (or others’) urine. And […]

December mini-AIR

The December issue of mini-AIR just went out. Topics include: Odd Balls; Agony-of-the-Leaves Tea Insights; UK Tour Cities; Stinkbugs-in-Cotton Competition; Accuracy-of-100.4% Poet; Singers/Musicians for our Cambridge Science Festival Show; A Bid to Identify a Skull; etc. Mel [pictured here] says, “It’s swell.” (mini-AIR is the simplest way to keep informed about Improbable and Ig Nobel […]

Voyeurs swooping beneath Nottingham

The good folks at the Nottingham Caves Survey marry spelunking, archaeology, laser scanning, and computer-generated-imagery to record and display some of the hidden wonders — caves and tunnels and other passageways — that statically wriggle and wander beneath the streets and buildings and hills of Nottingham, England. The video below is one of several they […]

Video: Dynamics of Hula Hooping

Ariel Kraakman demonstrates the dynamics of hula-hooping, on the day after she first took up the practice. In so doing, she unknowingly honors the research of scientists Ramesh Balasubramaniam and Michael Turvey, who were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in physics in 2004 for their study “Coordination Modes in the Multisegmental Dynamics of Hula Hooping” […]