Posts by Marc Abrahams:

What Has God Done Lately? Satan, Buddha, Fate, Brown Sauce

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: God’s recent works — What has God done lately? Professionally, much of God’s work these days aims to help humans fly more safely, more efficiently and more profitably. As head of the Institute for Aircraft Cabin Systems […]

Why Pipe Smokers’ Personalities Are Resistant to Cancer, Philosophically

Research studies about the Relation Between Pipe Smokers’ Personalities and Cancer; about Smoking and Drinking, Attractiveness and Addiction; and about 57 people; about a Heavily Bearded Philosopher in Women’s Underwear; and about the question “When Should Philosophers Sacrifice Utilitarians?” are featured in the “Super Advanced Theories: Philosophers and Smokers” column in the special Super-Advanced Theories issue […]

Detective Story: The Case of Dimples and ‘Not’ Not Being There

Niels Berg Olsen sent this (fabulously) discerning note: I enjoyed reading your item on Greek cheek in your fabulous book This is Improbable, Too [Printed and bound in Denmark…”]. I notice a difference in the text in the book and in your news item in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2005/jul/05/highereducation.research In the Guardian you wrote: “The report […]

Deep Oesophagus, Snoozing Grumpy Face, Deep Secrets

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Deep Oesophagus — Scientists, as a group, like to think they behave in ways a little distinct from the herd. The herd, as a herd, likes to think so, too. From time to time, Feedback receives furtive […]

A look back at the prize-winning anti-car-jacking flamethrower

Charl Fourie and Michelle Wong were awarded the 1999 Ig Nobel Peace Prize, for inventing an automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower. (Patent WO/1999/032331, “A Security System for a Vehicle“) Now, in 2023, The South African news organization takes a look back at one of South Africa’s most spectacular but least financially rewarding inventions. […]

Sequencing Gregor Mendel and a Pea Plant / Turtles, Elephants, Bottlecaps Down

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Down, with turtles and elephants — The fabled dominance of the hare by the tortoise has an underground counterpart of sorts in a look at turtles and elephants in times gone by. The elephants came out […]