The campaign to honor the first cat in outer space

A cat named Félicette gets ever-widening recognition as being the first cat intentionally (and probably otherwise, too) launched into outer space. Félicette has many admirers, and has admired research into the history of the thing, and inspired artists, too. (Thanks to Brent Freeze for bringing this to our attention.) NOTE: The saga of Félicette should […]

A Grizzly-Bear-Suitably Heroic Obituary of a Modern Don Quixote

Troy Hurtubise meets his destiny in a grand obituary, written by Tom Hawthorn, in the (Toronto) Globe and Mail. Here are some highlights: Troy Hurtubise combined the fevered imagination of a mad scientist with the foolhardy bravery of Evel Knievel in his quest to design a suit impervious to bear attack…. The fanatical mission was […]

The farmer, his neuropathic pain and the cow fence

Documented improbable electrical treatments for pain relief are not restricted to shocks from the Nile Catfish. ‘An interesting Case’ is described by Professor Jock Murray of the Division of Neurology, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, in which he relates the bespoke treatment that a Canadian farmer had developed for alleviating constant pain in his leg. […]

Update on Association of Dead People’s Award-winning Founder

Lal Bihari, who founded the Association of Dead People, is back in the news (and he’s still, again, alive). Outlook India magazine reports, with the headline “In UP’s Azamgarh, ‘Living Dead’ Have A Long Legal Battle To Fight“: … At age 21, Lal Bihari applied for a loan to start a business. The bank wanted […]

I Would Code Anything for Love (but I Won’t Code That)

Taking the term “Rockstar Programmer” to a new level—well, perhaps they’re half way there?—Dylan Beattie has developed a programming language called Rockstar that allows people to live their wildest dream of writing code that resembles a 1980s rock song: Rockstar is designed for creating computer programs that are also song lyrics, and is heavily influenced by the lyrical […]

Professor Kosinski, Generator of Improbable Research

The Guardian profiles Michael Kosinski, a Stanford University assistant professor of organizational behavior. Professor Kosinski is a prolific generator of improbable research: Artificial intelligence (AI)— ‘I was shocked it was so easy’: ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you’re gay … Weeks after his trip to Moscow, Kosinski published a controversial paper in […]

Who Might You Meet at the Ig? London’s Pioneering Theatrical Electrician

If you come to the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, you might enjoy chatting with your neighbors, in the audience. Many have done amazing things. In this video, Ann Crighton-Harris tells how she became the first woman to be a professional electrician in London’s theaters. Perhaps you sat near Ann Crighton-Harris in the audience at the […]

Professor, expert on losing control, loses control and retires instantly

Professor Todd Todd Heatherton today lost control. [And if you follow the link attached to his name, you may see that his university web page has lost nearly all mention of him.] Heatherton is co-author of the book Losing control: How and why people fail at self-regulation [Academic Press, 1994], and co-author of the study  “Self-regulation […]

STILL MORE INFO: Dead Duck Day, June 5th, honoring homosexual necrophilia in the mallard

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 is the 23rd edition of Dead Duck Day, arriving precisely one year after last year’s Dead Duck Day. At exactly 17:55 h [Rotterdam time] we will honor the mallard duck that became known to science as the first (documented) ‘victim’ of homosexual necrophilia in that species, and earned its discoverer the […]

Improbable Research