New Yorker profile of Ig Nobel-winning chew-a-Pringle researcher’s research

The taste-smell-sound-look-and-feel research of Ig Nobel Prize winner Charles Spence gets a good, sensory-rich going over, in a New Yorker profile called “Accounting for Taste,” by Nicola Twilley. It says, in part: Outside the academy, the paper failed to generate any interest until 2008, when its authors were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Nutrition. […]

Boer’s Lively Dining Table and Toilet Brush

“Sharing a mealtime, but not truly eating together can cause social friction and discomfort. For instance, being closely observed whilst eating can feel awkward and disrespectful. The person who is last to finish the food may suffer the discomfort of being watched by their no longer actually eating dining companions.” What, if anything, might be […]

Romance, food, dieting, and fMRI, all in one study

Here’s a scientific study that combines the era’s most irresistible topics — romance, food, and dieting  — with the era’s favorite cogno-intellectual expensive electromechanical procedure, fMRI. The study is: “The way to her heart? Response to romantic cues is dependent on hunger state and dieting history: An fMRI pilot study,” Alice V. Ely, Anna Rose Childress, Kanchana Jagannathan, Michael R. […]

Melon bug and Sorghum bug ice cream

“Ice cream was made by using 0.5% insect’s gelatin and compared with that made using 0.5% commercial gelatin as stabilizing agent.” The two insects concerned, the melon bug (Coridius viduatus) and sorghum bug (Agonoscelis versicoloratus versicoloratus) were the subject of an investigation described in a new paper (for the journal Food Science and Technology International) […]

‘Culinary terms are used to describe genitals colloquially’

A quartet from Washington and San Francisco writes, in the American Journal of Medicine: “Although culinary terms are used to describe genitals colloquially, medical terminology has avoided such comparisons.” Dr Nicholas Mark and his colleagues survey the medical literature on diagnostic clues in urine, stool, sputum, etc. that — in at least some respect — resemble drink […]

A Gastropod taste and listen to electro-acoustical modified Pringles-crunching

The Gastropod podcast (perhaps the most delicious of all podcasts) tastes the taste-and-sound experimental research of 2008 Ig Nobel Prize winner Charles Spence. Here’s a snippet, in print form: “Food and drink are among life’s most multisensory experiences,” Spence pointed out, so it’s perhaps hardly surprising that it occurred to him that the parchment skin illusion might […]

Professor Simon Leonardo Altman

Professor Simon Leonardo Altman , Emeritus Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, is a mathematical physicist whose main work is on group theory, quaternions, and solid state. Since his retirement his main interests have been history and philosophy of science, poetry, especially science poetry, and some work on art theory, mainly concerning right-left problems. His website […]