Posts by Martin Gardiner:

Thankfully atypical burn #5

Bathtubs Methane build-up is not uncommon in sewage systems. Normally, a standard bathtub is substantially protected from methane back-leakage by the fluid-filled U-bend connected to the water outlet. But in case of failure, or excessive methane pressure, the gas can leak into the tub. Methane is highly flammable.

Thankfully atypical burn #8

Exploding microwaved eggs “Four of 41 burns from microwave ovens, presented by an international survey in 1986, were due to exploding microwave-heated eggs.” Fortunately though, “…the clinical presentation of a facial injury from an exploding microwave-heated egg is relatively constant and mild.”

Thankfully atypical burn #7

Lime “Burns due to lime, although well reported as a result of occupational exposure, are uncommon in the sports arena.” However, researchers from Morriston Hospital, Swansea, in Wales, do report at least one such case. A lime-induced chemical burn, severe enough to require minor surgery in a football goalkeeper. (Note: Lime as in calcium oxide, […]

Thankfully atypical burn #4

Flambé drinks “The injuries occurred while drinking and spilling the whisky on the flame during the hours of social gathering and festivity.” – as Korean researchers observe. Also known – a similar hazard for sambuca drinkers worldwide. Wait at least five minutes after the flame has gone out.

Thankfully atypical burns – #1 of 8

As was pointed out in Annals of Improbable Research March | April 2010 (volume 16, number 2) Sec.1:22 ‘Toilet Tragedy’ , burns are not restricted to the more obvious heat-producing sources. Along with burns received via incendiary toilet contents, Improbable draws attention to the following documented examples – identifying various other items which can, under […]


“Body odor sampling is an essential tool in human chemical ecology research.” – explain the authors of a recent research project undertaken jointly by the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, and the Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Ecology Research Group at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, […]

‘Dunno’ under the microscope

“This study outlines a corpus comparison of British and New Zealander speakers’ use of the phrases ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I dunno’. ” Dr. Lynn Grant, Senior Lecturer at the School of Languages and Social Sciences at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand (The University for Changing the World) has recently completed a study […]