Fire eaters, punk rocker’s lung, bad guys and their names, “A Boy Named Sue”, crook-capturing devices, manly cellphones, and wedding ring impressions all turn up in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.
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This week, Marc Abrahams tells about:
- Fire-eaters and punk rockers. (“Paukenbelüftung durch Aufblasen eines Luftballons mit der Nase” [Middle Ear Ventilation by Blowing up a Balloon with the Nose], [article in German], S. Kaus, Laryngorhinootologie, vol. 71, no. 9, September 1992, pp. 485-6. / “Fire-Eater’s Lung,” P.E. Brander, E. Taskinen, and B. Stenius-Aarniala, European Respiratory Journal, vol. 5, no. 1, January 1992, pp. 112-4. / “Fire-Eater’s Lung: Seventeen Cases and a Review of the Literature,” Thibaut Gentina, Isabelle Tillie-Leblond, Sophie Birolleau, Saidi Faycal, Thierry Saelens, Laurent Boudoux, Daniel Vervloet, Philippe Delaval, and André-Bernard Tonnel, Medicine, Vol.80(5), 2001, pp. 291-297. / “Punk Rocker’s Lung: Pulmonary Fibrosis in a Drug Snorting Fire-Eater,” D.R. Buchanan, D. Lamb, and A. Seaton, British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition), vol. 283, no. 6307, Dec. 19, 1981, p. 1661. Featuring a dramatic reading by Chris Cotsapas.) BONUS: Here’s video of a song by the punk bank Jonathan Fire Eater:
- The names of bad guys. (“Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and Their Peers,” David Figlio, Education, Finance and Policy, vol. 2, no. 4, 2007, pp. 376–94. / “First Names and Crime: Does Unpopularity Spell Trouble?” David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee, Social Science Quarterly, vol. 90, no. 1, March 2009, pp. 39–49. Featuring dramatic readings by Jean Berko Gleason.) BONUS: Here’s video of Johnny Cash singing “A Boy Named Sue”,the song that inspired the study:
- Clever contraptions to capture crooks. (“Oscar V. Hargrave’s “Means of Defense” (U.S. patent 1381301, granted 1921) / Samuel D. Goswick’s “Robber Exterminator” (U.S. patent 1500188, granted 1924) / Ernest English’s “Burglar Trap” (U.S. patent 1607066, granted 1926). Featuring dramatic readings by Andrew Berry.)
- Soft Is Hard. (“Mobile Phones as Lekking Devices Among Human Males,” J.E. Lycett and R.I.M. Dunbar, Human Nature, vol. 11, no. 1, 2000, pp. 93-104. / “Human Mate Choice and the Wedding Ring Effect: Are Married Men More Attractive?” Tobias Uller and L. Christoffer Johansson, Human Nature, vol. 14, no. 3, 2003, pp. 267-76. Featuring dramatic readings by Daniel Rosenberg.)
- The 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony (and webcast).
The mysterious John Schedler perhaps did the sound engineering this week.
The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, both on the new CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).