What the

A new book echoes and explores some of the the perplexities that were honored, some years ago, with an Ig Nobel Literature Prize. The new book is called Index, A History of the. Dennis Duncan wrote it. (And here’s a review in the Globe and Mail.) The 2007 Ig Nobel Literature Prize was awarded to […]

A Look at the Looooooooong-Almost-Dripping, Ig Nobel Prize-winning Pitch Drop Experiment

The folks at Today I Found Out take a look at the Ig Nobel Prize-winning Pitch Drop Experiment: The 2005 Ig Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to John Mainstone and the late Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, Australia, for patiently conducting an experiment that began in the year 1927 — in which a glob of congealed black tar […]

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, […]