When punks grow old

Can punk rockers remain orthodox when they grow old? Joanna R Davis, a sociologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, confronts this painful question in her study Growing Up Punk: Negotiating Ageing Identity in a Local Music Scene, published in the journal Symbolic Interaction. “Punk developed in both the United Kingdom and the United […]

(L)Ode Upon a Creaking Chair

Contrary to what you might think, sitting is not a static activity, unless you are dead. In the study Chair Load Analysis During Daily Sitting Activities, Carla Paoliello and Edgar Vladimiro Mantilla Carrasco adopt the perspective of a chair. They quantify the shifting risks your furniture faces when someone sits on it. Now – right […]

Thinking on your feet

When one’s feet smell unpleasant, it’s polite to wonder why. But six scientists at the Shiseido Research Centre in Yokohama, Japan, pursued this interest more thoroughly than mere politeness alone would dictate. The pioneering research study, Elucidation of Chemical Compounds Responsible for Foot Malodour, by F Kanda, E Yagi, M Fukuda, K Nakajima, T Ohta […]

Uncomfortable truths about wet underwear

Martha Kold Bakkevig and Ruth Nielson performed the first good scientific analysis of wet underwear in cold weather. Their study, Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold, appeared in 1994 in the journal Ergonomics. Bakkevig, at Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway, and Nielson, at the Technical University of Denmark, […]

The Ghoulish State of Necrophilia Law

John Troyer, a newly arrived scholar at the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society, dug up evidence of a little-unappreciated gap in the law. His study, called Abuse of a Corpse: A Brief History and Re-Theorisation of Necrophilia Laws in the USA, appears in the only-occasionally-ghoulish journal Mortality. Troyer spotlights an incident that […]

The FBI’s EZ pocket guide to WMDs

For deathly economy of wording, nothing much beats a pamphlet published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation entitled: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD); A Pocket Guide. On this single sheet of paper, America’s celebrated crime-fighting organisation tells you everything you might want to know, if you didn’t want to know much, about weapons of mass […]

Being Carmen Miranda

More than 50 years after she last wore a pile of fruit on her head, Carmen Miranda inspired a psychological test. Emily Balcetis, of Ohio University, and David Dunning, of Cornell University, published a study, in the journal Psychological Science, called Cognitive Dissonance and the Perception of Natural Environments. Balcetis and Dunning describe an experiment […]