(Rubber) Chicken in (almost) outer space

NASA reports: Rubber Chicken Flies into Solar Radiation Storm April 19, 2012:  Last month, when the sun unleashed the most intense radiation storm since 2003, peppering satellites with charged particles and igniting strong auroras around both poles, a group of high school students in Bishop, California, … launched a rubber chicken. The students inflated a helium […]

McGraw & Warren, humor zeroing

Marketing researchers zero in, ever further, on understanding how people react to theoretically humorous stimuli. Investigator Dan Goldstein alerts us to a new study which says: [In one experiment] participants read one of two versions of a scenario adapted from Haidt et al. (1993) as part of an ostensibly unrelated experiment. Participants either read about […]

Blowing the feathers off a chicken

In a 1975 monograph called Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed, Bernard Vonnegut considers what might happen to a dead chicken if it were fired from a cannon. He explains: “One way of estimating the wind in a tornado vortex is to determine by experiment what air speed is required to blow all […]

Frozen chickens killed Detroit, sort of

Harvard professor Robert Lawrence, who specializes in international trade, proposes that the “chicken tax” is actually what killed Detroit, by insulating it from real competition in light-duty trucks for 40 years….  It all started in 1962, when the European Common Market barred access to US frozen-chicken imports on the grounds they were devastating German producers. […]

“Strapless Gown” engineer to give first public talk — after 51 years

This Friday night will see a historic event. Charles Seim, author of the 1956 classic engineering report “Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown,” will give a five-minute public lecture about it. This will be the first time, ever, that he has done so. Seim’s strapless evening gown work somehow led to a subsequent career […]