the author was prompted to examine the evidence for the existence of A.I. Mikhailov, the legendary and apparently near-ubiquitous Soviet information scientist. At first glance this might seem unwarranted and gratuitous. After all, the appearance of Mikhailov, or at least his name, in the program was a fixture of international library and information science conferences […]
About: Marc Abrahams
- Editor, Annals of Improbable Research www.improbablecom.wpcomstaging.com
Posts by Marc Abrahams:
Interview With Professor Hirose
When Prof. Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University expressed his warmest gratitude for pigeons and crows upon receiving the Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize (a parody of the Nobel Prize) in October, the audience at Harvard University exploded into cheers…. So begins a report about the 2003 Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize winner, who won his prize for […]
Home-Grown Growth Curves
Do you find yourself pregnant, and wanting some mathematical amusement? Here’s something simple and pleasing. During the course of the pregnancy, use a lamp to project your silhouette on the wall once a week. Have someone trace the outline in pencil. You might want to write the date next to each curve. (You might also […]
When guests come to dinner, a question may arise: “Do people chew delicious food faster than they chew distasteful food?” The answer seems to be yes… So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian. Read it here.
Fingerprint Art — Another Look
“Where can I find your remarkable collection of fingerprint art?” writes investigator Sheila Soames. She, and anyone else who wants a look, can see it here. By clicking on successive links, one can see a total of eight majestic artworks, each composed within the confines, yet taking advantage of the conformations,of human fingerprints. The originals […]
Iatrogenic Hot Stuff
Hospitals can be good places to catch cold or other illnesses. They can also, it seems, be good places to catch fire. Investigator Joanne Berger has alerted us to a snazzily written guide to preventing hospital bed fires. The document is titled, simply, “Safety Tips for Preventing Hospital Bed Fires” and is published by the […]
Measuring Russian Happiness
Don’t worry, be happy. Unless you’re Russian, of course, and then it’s probably impossible… So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian. Read it here.
Questions From the Chinese Translator
Improbable research translates from one language to another, but sometimes this involves adventure. For a prime example, see the letter from the Chinese translator of the book Best of Annals of Improbable Research, here.
Samuel “Marshmallow” Pepys
The English writer Samuel Pepys (who lived from 1633-1703, and whose name was pronounced “peeps”) produced a diary that is now much-celebrated. We at the Annals of Improbable Research have have an intriguing photograph of “Marshmallow” Pepys, which you can see here.
Rate the Poets
Our Rate-the-Poets Project question of the month is: Which of these three poets (click here to see them) would you be least likely to buy a used car from? Data from this question will be added to our database, for future analysis.