Rauks are Rocks

Tom Gill alerted us to this study, saying “I’ve been a geology nerd for fifty-plus years. I was today years old when I learned that a type of rocks exists which is officially named… rauks.” The study is: “Limestone Sea Stacks (Rauks) Record Past Sea Levels and Rocky Coast Evolution in the Baltic Sea (Gotland […]

An analysis of journal articles winning Ig Nobel prizes during 2011–2020

Dr. Andy Wai Kan Yeung (pictured here, below) of the University of Hong Kong analyzed several years’ worth of Ig Nobel Prize-winning studies. He published a paper telling how he did it, and what he found. You can download the paper. Here’s the citation: “Not just nickel-and-dime: An analysis of journal articles winning Ig Nobel […]

Musical Instrument Distinguishes between Diethylene Glycol and Glycerol (and more)

In the hands of a scientist, musical instruments can do many sorts of things. This study tells how some instruments can be used to distinguish between different kinds of physical materials. “Musical Instruments as Sensors,” Heran C. Bhakta, Vamsi K. Choday, and William H. Grover, ACS Omega, vol. 3, 2018, pp. 11026−11032. The authors, at […]

Reading on a Smartphone, and Sighing

If you are reading this on a smartphone, please monitor your sighing activity. As you read, and as you sigh, consider the details presented in the following study: “Reading on a Smartphone Affects Sigh Generation, Brain Activity, and Comprehension,” Motoyasu Honma, Yuri Masaoka, Natsuko Iizuka, Sayaka Wada, Sawa Kamimura, Akira Yoshikawa, Rika Moriya, Shotaro Kamijo, […]

Lip Vibration Assessment of Hot Pepper Sensation [research study]

The mystery of spice-induced lip tingling succumbed, partially, to investigation in the year 2013. Details are in this study: “Food Vibrations: Asian Spice Sets Lips Trembling,” Nobuhiro Hagura, Harry Barber, and Patrick Haggard, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 280, no. 1770, 2013: 20131680. The authors, at University College London, report: Szechuan […]