Podcast #44: Stool pigeons, and clothes-shopping clothes, and tanning beds

Stool pigeons, clothing-shopping clothing, and the dark attitudes of people who tan themselves in tanning beds — these are the things that turn up in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  —with dramatic readings by Jean Berko Gleason — tells about: Self-control by pigeons. (“Self-Control by Pigeons in the Prisoner’s Dilemma,” […]

Drink | drunk | hungover (studies)

Scenario: You’re on holiday. You drink heavily. What are the factors that might contribute towards a hangover? Such a question was asked by researchers Morten Hesse and Sébastien Tutenges of the University of Aarhus, Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Copenhagen Division, Denmark, who performed a 2010 observational prospective study with a total of 112 […]

Biblical Bone Euphemism, Perhaps

Biblical study and biology combine in this treatise: “Congenital human baculum deficiency: The generative bone of Genesis,” Scott F. Gilbert [pictured here] and Ziony Zevit, American Journal of Medical Genetics, vol. 101, no. 3, 2001, pp. 284-285. The authors explain: “Whereas most mammals (including common species such as dogs and mice) and most other primates […]

How curious is the kangaroo (and other animals)

We’re rapidly approaching the semicentennial anniversary of the classic and yet-to-be-replicated study ‘Curiosity in Zoo Animals’ (Behaviour, Volume 26, Issue 1). Investigators Stephen E. Glickman and Richard W. Sroges* performed an extensive series of experiments with kangaroos and more than 100 other species of zoo animals, to see how curious they were. The team presented […]

Enter, pursued by a bear

Do you share the Christmas tradition of watching “Project Grizzly“, the documentary film about Ig Nobel Prize winner Troy Hurtubise? Here’s the film: Troy was awarded the 1998 Ig Nobel Prize for safety engineering, for Troy Hurtubise, of North Bay, Ontario, for developing, and personally testing a suit of armor that is impervious to grizzly bears. BONUS: Farewell, […]