Profiling Professor Persinger – part 1

Human brains and lightning-discharges – what might they have in common? Could there be potentially congruent scale-invariant quantitative properties connecting the two? These questions have been examined by professor Michael A. Persinger of the psychology dept. at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada. The professor presents his findings in the May 2012 edition of the scholarly journal […]

On the up and up: levitating particles & a frog, with sound & magnets

Two visual demonstrations of levitation, each using known physics properties: 1. Using sound waves to levitate particles [REFERENCE: “Three-dimensional Mid-air Acoustic Manipulation by Ultrasonic Phased Arrays,” Yoichi Ochiai, Takayuki Hoshi, Jun Rekimoto, (2013) arXiv:1312.4006.. Thanks to @BetsytheDevine for bringing this to our attention.]: 2. The Ig Nobel Prize-winning levitation of a frog, using magnets [REFERENCE: “Of […]

A mathematical look at frog choruses

A further attempt to understand croaking: “Spatio-Temporal Dynamics in Collective Frog Choruses Examined by Mathematical Modeling and Field Observations,” Ikkyu Aihara, Takeshi Mizumoto, Takuma Otsuka, Hiromitsu Awano, Kohei Nagira, Hiroshi G. Okuno and Kazuyuki Aihara, Scientific Reports, vol. 4, Article 3891, January 27, 1014. The authors, at Brain Science Institute, RIKEN and Kyoto University, and […]

A Measured Celebration of the Jumping Frog

Mark Twain’s short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” became the jumping off point, more than a century after the story was written, for a scientific study of frog-jumping performance: “Chasing maximal performance: a cautionary tale from the celebrated jumping frogs of Calaveras County,” Henry C. Astley, E.M. Abbott, E. Azizi, R.L. Marsh […]

Geim’s surprises about (1) materials and (2) a historic hamster

Andre Geim, interviewed in YourIs, reveals two surprises, one speculating about materials he intends to study, the other about the existence of a predecessor to the celebrated levitating frog: Andre Geim: graphene is only the beginning Andre Konstantin Geim is the only person who ever received both a Nobel and an Ig Nobel [editor’s note: this almost — but not […]

Resurrecting an extinct, odd frog, using an Ig Nobel winner’s discovery

Ed Yong reports on Mike Archer‘s ambitious project to resurrect — so to speak — an unusual species of frog that went extinct not long ago. The frog’s oddity was researched, and reported in 1981, by Mike Tyler, who later was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for studying and cataloguing odd smells produced by different frogs. Detail […]

Frog’s response to artificial ants

A frog’s eyes include networks of nerves that act as bug detectors — signaling to the frog’s brain whenever they see motion that’s typical of tasty bugs. That insight was revealed in 1959 in the study “What the Frog’s Eye Tells the Frog’s Brain,” written with Jerry Lettvin, Humberto Maturana, Warren McCullough, and Walter Pitts. This […]

Four-headed worms, six-legged frogs, and other new fauna

“We have four-headed worms, six-legged frogs, and many other unusual creatures here as part of our work on bioelectricity and organ regeneration.” Biologist Michael Levin said that. Charles Choi explains, in an article in LiveScience under the headline “Mutant tadpoles sprout eyeballs on their tails“. BONUS: “What the Frog’s Eye Tells the Frog’s Brain” BONUS: “Two legs, […]