The Seminal Book Question

We invite you to participate in The Seminal Study (also known as “The Seminal Book Question“). The Seminal Study is simple. It asks this one question: Should libraries and bookstores be required to clearly label every seminal book, with a large, easily-readable label that says “SEMINAL”? Please note that: (1) there are many seminal books, […]

Double-Ig Nobel Prize Winner David Hu Awarded Science Communication Prize

David Hu, whose research on urination duration led to the 2015 Ig Nobel Physics Prize and whose research on why wombat poo is cube shaped led—three weeks ago—to the 2019 Ig Nobel Physics Prize, has this week been given a new honor: The American Institute of Physics Announces 2019 Science Communication Award Winners WASHINGTON, D.C., […]

Odorous preoccupations of James Joyce – the low down [study]

James Joyce may not have had particularly good eyesight, but (some say) he at least partially made up for it with a heightened awareness of smells. Especially bodily ones. Which he often wrote about. In great detail. But do academic works about Joyce’s evident preoccupations with flatulence – which have led some scholars to suggest that […]

Blank pages in 18th century books (study)

Anyone who’s seen the phrase “This page has intentionally been left blank” and who has been left thinking that it’s a relatively modern construct – think again. Intentionally blank pages have been around, in abundance, since at least the 18th century. Dr. Anne Toner (Trinity College Cambridge, UK), has extensively researched varieties of incompleteness in […]

Girls in books, statistically

Emily St. John Mandel [pictured here], a former girl, who writes books, analyzed data about the many of the characters who are specifically identified as a “girl” in the title of a book. Mandel wrote up her findings for the FiveThirtyEight web site: “The Gone Girl With The Dragon Tattoo On The Train — Why are there so many books with “girl” in […]

High quality literature production and mating success

“We hypothesized that the quantitative and qualitative literary output of famous writers would correlate with their number of mates, children, and grandchildren. We further assumed that writing lyric poetry would be more beneficial for mating success than nonpoetry because the former consists of more verbal handicaps (e.g., rhymes) than the latter and thus requires special […]