Tardigrades on Far-Off Planets, Measuredly, Theoretically [research study]

One can rate far-off planets by their cosiness—especially the extremes, good or bad, of coziness—as homes or potential homes to tardigrades. That’s what this study tries to do: “Tardigrade Indexing Approach on Exoplanets,” Madhu Kashyap Jagadeesh, Milena Roszkowska, and Łukasz Kaczmarek, Life Science in Space Research, epub 2018. The authors, at Jyoti Nivas College, India, […]

Podcast 82: “The Best Life — Act 3 (of 3)” — A scientific mini-opera where everything goes wrong.

Act 3 — the spectacular finale of the 3-act mini-opera “The Best Life”, about about a competition to choose the best species of life — that’s this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams introduces the thrilling conclusion of the mini-opera “The Best Life,” which premiered as part of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize […]

Podcast 81: “The Best Life — Act 2 (of 3)” — A scientific mini-opera where everything goes wrong.

Act 2 of the 3-act mini-opera “The Best Life”, about about a competition to choose the best species of life — that’s this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams introduces Act 2 of the mini-opera “The Best Life,” which premiered as part of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard’s Sanders […]

Podcast 80: “The Best Life — Act 1 (of 3)” — A scientific mini-opera where everything goes wrong.

Act 1 of the 3-act mini-opera “The Best Life”, about about a competition to choose the best species of life — that’s this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams introduces Act 1 of the mini-opera “The Best Life,” which premiered as part of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard’s […]

Musical birds of a feather, when together, live ∼7.2 weeks less

Artists of all kinds often tend to cluster together (think Montmartre etc.) bringing the benefits of collaboration, interaction and inspiration. But what if there are just too many? For composers, in Paris or Vienna for example, there could be competition for limited resources such as concert halls. In other words they might incur high stress […]

“It’s [wildcard] Jim, but not as we know it” — The Firm’s lyrics in academic paper titles

Which pop act has inspired the most titles for scholarly academic papers? The Beatles? The Velvet Underground? A Flock of Seagulls? A likely candidate is the 80’s UK band The Firm. Although it’s fair to say that they were never quite as famous as the pop ensembles mentioned above, nonetheless more than a dozen academic authors […]

A Game of Life: Microorganism Billiards

The angle of incidence is strongly related to the angle of “reflection” in this new real-AND-SIMULTANEOUSLY-artificial game of the mathematical gods: “Microorganism Billiards,” Colin Wahl, Joseph Lukasik, Saverio E. Spagnolie, Jean-Luc Thiffeault, arXiv 1502.01478, February 5, 2015. (Thanks to Mason Porter for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Wisconsin, report: “Recent […]