Echoing the cogitation that earned other people the 1996 Ig Nobel Prize for biodiveristy and the 1997 Ig Nobel Prize for astronomy, Ohio University Professor Emeritus William Romoser has announced a planetload of his own discoveries. The university celebrated Romoser’s recent findings, in a November 19, 2019 press release that says: Photos show evidence of […]
Implementing a Bird Imitator
Preamble: Improbable has attempted to make contact with the Ukrainian Podgorny Institute in order to obtain a photo of their rubbery ‘Bird Imitator’, but, sadly, our efforts failed – so in lieu we have used a relatively non-representative picture of a latex chicken. Bird Strikes are a considerable hazard for aircraft – see, for example, […]
Hare in the air: How rare?
One vital statistic is only implied, and that just barely, in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau‘s report “Australian aviation wildlife strike statistics: Bird and animal strikes 2002 to 2009“. The report lists the number of times various animal species struck (or were struck by) aircraft. But it does not specify what percentage of those strikes […]
When the Pilot Met a Frog: Aviation Anomalies
“WHILE FLYING THE VISUAL APCH [approach], ABOUT 10 MI [miles] OUT, I FELT SOMETHING LAND ON MY R [right] FOOT. REACHING DOWN WITH MY R [right] HAND, I WAS SURPRISED TO FEEL SOMETHING COLD AND DAMP, WHICH MOVED …” So begins an airline pilot’s report (number ACN: 311910) as archived by the US Aviation Safety […]
More Flying Saucer Patents (Russian Federation style)
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is not the only blue-chip global-reach official authority which grants patents to the inventors of spacefaring ‘flying saucers‘. So does Федеральная служба по интеллектуальной собственности (Роспатент) (The Federal Service for Intellectual Property in Russia, a.k.a. Rospatent). See, for example : AEROSPACE AIRCRAFT (RF Patent № 2436715) The design […]
The Moth to Flame Effect – is it real or not real?
‘The Moth to a Flame Effect’ (a.k.a ‘Perceptual Tropism’), was first formally described in 1953 by Clark, Nicholson and Graybiel in their paper ‘Fascination: a cause of pilot error‘ (for Journal of Aviation Medicine, 24(5):429-40.) Unfortunately, the paper doesn’t appear to be available online, but it describes how aircraft pilots sometimes fail to take evasive […]
Nose Art Psychology
Of all the available publications on Aircraft Nose Art, very few have investigated its psychological undercurrents. An exception is ‘Aircraft Nose Art: From World War I to Today’ (1991). Chapter 1 of which was authored by the late George R. Klare, who was Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Ohio University. In his essay ‘Why Nose […]