Bird-feather counters exhibited pluck, tediously

Many humans have spent days, months or years counting feathers. Here are exciting highlights from some of their reports. In 1936 Alexander Wetmore, of the US National Museum in Washington, gathered all the published reports he could find about someone or other counting how many feathers were on particular birds. “The work of feather counting […]

Magazine: The special FEATHERS issue is out

The special Feathers issue (vol. 20, no. 5) of the magazine (the Annals of Improbable Research) is now out! Articles include: “Feathers Research Review“ “Improbable Research Review“ “Improbable Sex“ …and more, more, more, including new helpings of “Improbable Medical Review”, “Boys Will Be Boys”, “Soft Is Hard”, and other outstandingly improbable research snippets from many fields and countries. We encourage […]

Echocardiography – the wild side

Performing echocardiography (ultrasound examination of the heart) is now so widespread that it might be called a routine procedure. But using the diagnostic technique is not always straightforward. What happens, for example, it the patient has feathers? Or a perhaps even a shell? Guidance for echocardiographing animals is at hand from Yolanda Martinez Pereira, LdaVt […]

Feather Duvet Lung Danger

If you were compiling a compendium of everyday household items which can pose a danger, stepladders, drain-cleaning chemicals, and hot saucepans might immediately spring to mind. Feather duvets would quite probably be considerably further down the list. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by their lightweight, soft and fluffy demeanour –  […]

mini-AIR (Feb issue): Feathers and Gebrauchsmusterschrift

The February issue of mini-AIR (our wee little monthly newsletter) just went out. You can read it online, too. Topics include: Feathers Gebrauchsmusterschrift Details about upcoming shows in Scandinavia & the UK More feathers and more It also has info about upcoming events. Mel [pictured here] says, “It’s swell.” mini-AIR is the simplest way to keep informed […]

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 […]