This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here’s how they begin: Holy nitpicking — Nitpicking often draws criticism, but Gérard Lucotte, Areki Izri and Thierry Thomasset didn’t let that deter them from publishing their sixth article in a series of keen looks at some old hairs…. Quantum Spirituality […]
Category: Research News
Research — on any and all subjects — that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.
Handedness and Hobby Preference in Greece
Left and right and hobbies in Greece all existed for a long time before anyone took a long look into whether they might be connected or interrelated. That long look gets a writeup in the study: “Handedness and Hobby Preference,” O. Giotakos, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 98, no. 3, part 1, June 2004, pp. […]
Cat’s Paws for Paratroopers, Hijacker Patent, Neom Ratio Sighting
This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here’s how they begin: Seeking a soft landing — The elegant structure of a naturally evolved cat’s paw has inspired a new way to protect paratroopers’ legs…. A bit Heath Robinson — The cat’s-paw-pads-for-paratrooper-protection patent reminds Feedback, a little, of a […]
An Improbable New Era of Feedback
I am very happy to report that I’m now writing the weekly Feedback column in New Scientist magazine. That began a few weeks ago, in September 2022. It’s in addition to the things ongoing here at Improbable Research. I am especially thrilled to be able to do this. Here’s why. The Feedback column was created […]
Serendipitous discovery of an old improbable book
A quality that any book can have: Years after it’s been published, new people discover, happily, that it exists. Here’s a recent review, in the Twaddle blog, of the book This Is Improbable. The reviewer says, in part: From sky lizards to exploding meat, the research covered in this book is the epitome of eclectic, […]
From Knobs to Clicks: A Magical Month for Barry Sharpless
Three weeks ago, Barry Sharpless presented the 2022 Ig Nobel Prize for Engineering to Gen Matsuzaki and colleagues, who tried to discover the most efficient way for people to use their fingers when turning a knob. He also presented the 2022 Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine to Marcin Jasiński, Martyna Maciejewska, Anna Brodziak, Michał Górka, […]
SHARPER Night in Italy, This Friday: Improbable Science Stories
There will be lots of improbable science story sharing in fourteen Italian cities this Friday night, September 30, 2022. Stories about real science. Stories filled with mystery, confusion, excitement, and lots of intriguing uncertainty. This is a new part of SHARPER Night in Italy — Friday night, September 30. (What, you may ask, is SHARPER? […]
Research About Pluck and Bedbugs
Research studies about luck and about bedbugs are featured in the “Icky Cutesy Research” column in the special Rotation and Spinning issue (volume 28, number 5) of the magazine. You can read that article free online. Better still, buy a copy of the issue (it’s in PDF form). Or better better still, subscribe to the magazine!
A Few Words About Bark Beetles (and lots of pictures, too)
If you somehow are not already in love with bark beetles, we self-interestedly recommend this wonderful new book: The Surprising Lives of Bark Beetles, by Jiri Hulcr and Marc Abrahams.
All-in-One Research about Lights, Food, Rotating Chair, and Earmuffs
A research study about lights, food, a rotating chair, and earmuffs is featured the “May We Recommend” column in the special Rotation and Spinning issue (volume 28, number 5) of the magazine. You can read that article free online. Better still, buy a copy of the issue (it’s in PDF form). Or better better still, subscribe […]