Improbable Show in Seattle Feb 13

If you’re in or near Seattle tomorrow night, Feb 13, come to the free Improbable Research show. Here are details: AAAS ANNUAL MEETING, SEATTLE — FRI, FEBRUARY 13, 2004 SHERATON HOTEL, METROPOLITAN BALLROOM The annual Improbable Research show, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). FREE — OPEN […]

Getting Carded in Philadelphia

Scientists often forget to carry their credentials with them. Investigator Earle Spamer, of Philadelphia, sends this first-hand account, which shows the value of carrying proper credentials: On a recent visit to the airport, I was asked to show identification. Upon producing a photographic driver’s license and my official Improbable Research Investigator card, I was immediately […]

Missiles and Bears

For devotees of missile coloring books, there is none more fun than the Missile Defense Agency Coloring Book. See it here. And many of the many admirers of Troy Hurtubise will enjoy drawing home-built armor onto the Bear Aware Coloring Book. See it here.

Sex Apology

We apologize to Dr. Sakae Inouye for changing his sex. The week-before-last-week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian described Dr. Inouye’s well-articulated theory about how the SARS virus might be spread by people speaking one, rather than another, language. (See that column here.) Dr. Inouye subsequently sent us this note: Thank you for your introducing […]

Man of Letter

An errant letter has transformed an eminent scientist into a loaf of bread. Investigator Alain Le Faou of the Laboratoire Central de Virologie at the Centre hospitalier et Universitaire de Nancy writes: I feel honored to have received my official Improbable Researcher Card, but I would have been far more honored if I were not […]

Bovine Runners-Up

The Bovine Indecision Limerick Contest has produced a vast herd of runners-up. Here is a tiny selection. (The contest was announced in mini-AIR 2004-01. The winners will be announced in mini-AIR 2004-02) INVESTIGATOR B. ROBSON: Cows are not easily moved By questions of “slotted or grooved?” They’ll think you a bore If you ponder the […]

Further Filth-in-Food

Investigators Golson and LaVin express their feelings about Sidebottom’s classic ‘Fundamentals of Microanalytical Entomology: A Practical Guide to Detecting and Identifying Filth in Foods’: INVESTIGATOR STEVE GOLSON Said Olsen, Sidebottom, and Knight, “Messy kitchens fill us with delight! All the insects and germs, And those lovely hookworms! Is our book about filth? Yes, that’s right!” […]

Filth-in-Foods Paeans

Here are two new Filth-in-Foods paeans. They were composed in tribute to Sidebottom’s classic ‘Fundamentals of Microanalytical Entomology: A Practical Guide to Detecting and Identifying Filth in Foods.’ These paeans are part of an ongoing project that was introduced in mini-AIR 2004-01. INVESTIGATOR HEATHER HEWITT: Olsen, Sidebottom, and Knight Endeavor to help shine a light […]

Mad Cow / Opera

Is mad cow disease a tragedy of operatic scale? Not yet, but it is of mini-operatic scale. “The Brain Food Opera,”a mini-opera in 3 acts, was performed at the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. The entire libretto is here, and you can hear the perfomance by listening to NPR Science Friday’s broadcast of the ceremony, […]

The Lugnut Letters

In Re Louis the Lugnut You dastardly FIENDS!!!! How could you kill Louis the Lugnut??????! Bring him back!!!!!!! F. T. Alvis, Ph.D.,University of Cambridge, England That is the first in our voluminous collection of letters regarding the demise of the “Louis the Lugnut” comic strip. The Lugnut Society, the foremost group of admirers and scholars […]