Congratulations to New York’s most efficiently irritable man

Tomorrow Professor John Trinkaus — New York City’s most efficiently irritable man — will give his last lecture at the Zicklin School of Business, where he has taught for fifty years.

Professor Trinkaus was awarded the 2003 Ig Nobel Prize for literature, for meticulously collecting data and publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him (such as: What percentage of young people wear baseball caps with the peak facing to the rear rather than to the front; What percentage of pedestrians wear sport shoes that are white rather than some other color; What percentage of swimmers swim laps in the shallow end of a pool rather than the deep end; What percentage of automobile drivers almost, but not completely, come to a stop at one particular stop-sign; What percentage of commuters carry attaché cases; What percentage of shoppers exceed the number of items permitted in a supermarket’s express checkout lane; and What percentage of students dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts.)

86 of Professor Trinkaus’s publications are listed in “Trinkaus — An Informal Look,” Annals of Improbable Research, vol. 9, no. 3, May/Jun 2003. The photo below shows Professor Trinkaus at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard, expressing his irritation:


BONUS: Simon Black’s small but heartfelt tribute to Professor Trinkaus

BONUS: Science Now‘s look at some of Professor Trinkaus’s irritated research about Santa Claus

BONUS: Professor Trinkaus’s entire body of annoyed research was donated (by me) to The Museum of Curiosity