The Naked Hunch

The American Nudist Research Library has a fairly simple motto: “Dedicated to preserving nudist history with a comprehensive archive of nudist material”. Like all specialist libraries, it operates with a limited budget. Thus, the library covers only what it needs to. … So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian. Read it here.

Wag the Mail

The recent novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon, has been justly celebrated for an innovation: its first-person narrator is autistic and of mathematical bent. But for postal historians, the novel has weightier significance. Curious Incident is the second most compelling book that involves both (a) the mysterious death […]

The Hairier Sex

Has anyone done scientific research about beards? Well, yes. Most of it concerns beards that are attached to scientists. Most of those researchers are men. Most of them are British. Why that should be, I don’t know…. So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian. Read it here.

The Cheese Files

Because race is an uncomfortable topic for many people, certain questions simply do not get discussed. It is now nearly 20 years since the publication of Beth A Scanlon’s blockbuster report Race Differences in Selection of Cheese Colour…. So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian. Read it here.

Nail the Snail

On Mediterranean shores, there’s always something in the air. Romance, perhaps? Well, research shows that sometimes it’s just marijuana pollen wafting in from Africa. And sometimes, it’s snails…. So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian. Read it here.

Jargon Transfer

Abstruse communication has had no more generous friend in the past century than the newly late Howard J Brannd. Brannd gave new words to a field that was starved of vocabulary. It was he who brought technical jargon from the world of electric appliance repair to the field of mental health therapy…. So begins this […]