Coffee cosmetics / UK coffee enema gap / Abyss of lunacy / Bayesian delay

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them:

  • Caffeine boost — … Though some folk choose to roast, brew and drink coffee, innovative scientists use the bean and its byproducts to make cosmetics. Fernanda Maria Pinto Vilela and her colleagues at Brazil’s Federal University of Juiz de Fora did a worldwide search for every recent patent that applies coffee to that purpose. They found patents for producing emulsions, gels, suspensions, solutions, powders, aerosols, sticks, creams, lotions, ointments, shampoos, serum, soaps, essences, masks and sprays – all of them meant to be dripped, rubbed or otherwise applied to human skin….
  • A royal endeavour — …Until recently, the UK led the world in exploring and promoting coffee enemas’ benefits. The public face of that effort, the now former Prince Charles, recently assumed new professional duties. Unless someone else is appointed soon to carry on the work, UK industry and the general populace might soon face a coffee enema gap.
  • Abyss of infinite lunacy — The academic field called evolutionary psychology suffers from an image problem among scholars in general. There is a suspicion that much of the discussion there is just slick storytelling, with only skimpy evidence for the stories. Some reputations, complainers grumble, are more marketed than earned. Even many marketing professors are known to keep their distance from evolutionary psychology. But they shouldn’t, suggests Gad Saad, a marketing professor at Concordia University in Canada….
  • Feedback on Howls — … Berry’s own note is dedicated to another Feedback item. “I can also contribute to your mention of the 11-year publication delay [endured by ecologist Peter Shaw]. Longer is the interval between submission (1747) and publication (1763) of a paper by Thomas Bayes (he of the eponymous statistics)”, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. But “I would be surprised,” says Berry, “if this 16-year delay is the longest”.