A round-up of American hole-in-one jurisprudence

Of all the curious things one can get insurance cover for – the golfing fraternity’s ‘hole-in-one-insurance’ is surely one of the curiouser. Why would one want insurance against a hole-in-one? The answer lies in the substantial cash bonus prizes which (some) golf clubs offer to those players who manage to get one. From the club’s […]

Calculations: Insurance for clowns

Clown insurance is for clowns, not for persons potentially afflicted by them. Insurance companies offer it to clowns because clowns – no matter what you may thoughtlessly think of them – are people, and bad things can happen to anyone. Clown insurance exists, as a distinct product category, thanks to the mathematical discipline called risk assessment. […]

Alert: psych hair-pulling, spitting ahead

Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists galore are in for a long period of hair-pulling, spitting, accusations, recriminations, name-calling and good old-fashioned spitefests. The proposed draft version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) just went online for comments. The DSM gets used in many ways. What’s included in the new version — and […]

The Big Bank Opera (video)

“The Big Bank Opera” premiered as a featured part of the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Here’s the entire mini-opera — Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 and Act 4 — each as a separate episode (#124-7) of the Improbable Research TV series. The video displayed below is Act 3, which is called “The Big […]