The role of flapping elephant ears in heat dissipation

Elephants are big, and they get hot. Especially in Africa. Thus, from the elephant’s point of view, there’s sometimes an urgent necessity to dissipate excess heat. Some investigators have suggested that flapping their large ears (strictly, their ‘pinnae’) could provide a significant heat-loss mechanism. (e.g. Buss, I. O., and Estes, J. A., 1971, ‘The Functional […]

Complex Medical Insights: “Indoor Air Pollution, Nighttime Heart Rate Variability and Coffee Consumption among Convenient Store Workers”

Medical researchers, seeking insight, sometimes try to make simple sense of complex, difficult conglomerations of things that may or may not have effects on each other and on many other things. Sometimes coffee is involved, as is the case here: “Indoor Air Pollution, Nighttime Heart Rate Variability and Coffee Consumption among Convenient Store Workers,” Kai-Jen […]

Scary blow-up and unnecessary kidney removal after oral sex

This medical report presents a cautionary story — the possibly-unnecessary removal of a body part: “Non-surgical pneumoperitoneum after oro-genital intercourse ,” Shamir O. Cawich [pictured here], Peter B. Johnson, Eric Williams, Vijay Naraynsngh, International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, epub September 25, 2013. The authors, at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, report: “A […]

The Three Dimensions of Fresh Air

The Journal of Material Culture  is “concerned with the relationship between artefacts and social relations irrespective of time and place”. And, as part of this remit, the June 2013 issue of features one of the few academic studies of ‘Fresh Air’. ‘The air from outside: Getting to know the world through air practices’. “The article […]

Improbable Research