Mr @

We raise  a salute to Ray Tomlinson (at BBN in Boston), who began the now-universal practice of using  the symbol @ in email. He turned apparent blasphemy into simple communication. (Thanks to Ig Nobel Prize winner Michael Turvey for bringing this to our attention.)

Crime and punishment: Small twist

“He wanted to use the 100-hour punishment to read books about endangered species statutes and lobby Congress to change the law he violated, according to documents filed in the U.S. court,” says a Hearst Newspapers report, published July 31, 2005 in the Washington Examiner. He is Lawrence Small, who runs the Smithsonian Institution. The newspaper […]

Of Atkins we sing

"The company started by the late nutrition guru Dr. Robert C. Atkins to promote a low-carb lifestyle has filed for bankruptcy court protection, a further sign of the waning popularity of the diet." So says an August 1, 2005 report from the Associated Press. How to mark this day? Perhaps by singing songs (or watching […]

Seeing Troy in action

We’ve had many requests about film of Ig Nobel Prize winner Troy Hurtubise, the man who built and personally tested a suit of armor meant to be impervious to grizzly bears. The National Film Board of Canada has just prepared a DVD version of its feature film documentary Project Grizzly, which is all about Troy. […]

Flameproof head guys

When Maurice Ward began tinkering with chemicals in a ladies’ hairdressing salon he never dreamed he was on the way to revolutionizing the American space program. All the Middlesbrough hairdresser was trying to achieve was a flame retardant wig but it eventually led to the discovery of a plastic that can stop a nuclear blast. […]

Spanking and mice

Sergei Speransky Institute of Hygiene in Novosibirsk is in the news again. A March 26, 2005 article in Pravda reports that: Doctor of Biological Sciences, Sergei Speransky, is a very well known figure in Novosibirsk. The doctor became one of the authors of the shocking whipping therapy. The professor used the self-flagellation method to cure […]

The man who knows better

Investigator Carlos E. Figueroa Castro writes: I would like to make you aware of Mr. Fernando Vallejo, a Colombian writer. Two of his most recent books are La tautolog?a de Darwin (Darwin’s tautology) and Manualito de imposturolog?a f?sica (Little manual of physical imposturology"). Mr.Vallejo was able to prove, in less than two years, that Charles […]