High quality literature production and mating success

“We hypothesized that the quantitative and qualitative literary output of famous writers would correlate with their number of mates, children, and grandchildren. We further assumed that writing lyric poetry would be more beneficial for mating success than nonpoetry because the former consists of more verbal handicaps (e.g., rhymes) than the latter and thus requires special […]

An interim report about the report about reports about reports

The winner of the 2012 Ig Nobel Prize for literature has issued an update — a relatively short interim report — about progress on the report about its prize-winning report about reports about reports. That prize was awarded to The US Government General Accountability Office [US GAO], for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends […]

The ubiquity of dead mules in Southern literature

Jerry Leath Mills [pictured here] reigns as the unchallenged authority on the subject of dead mules in 20th-century American southern literature. Professor Mills established his reputation – almost instantly – in 1996, with the publication of a long essay called “Equine Gothic: The Dead Mule as Generic Signifier in Southern Literature of the Twentieth Century”. […]

How to write a book semi-automatically

To semi-automatically compose a non-fiction book, or several hundred thousand of them, one can observe the methods of Professor Philip M. Parker (of INSEAD), of whom we have written (semi-automatically) many times. To semi-automatically compose a work of fiction, one can learn much by reading Michelle Legro’s essay in Brain Pickings. It begins: Plotto: The Master Book […]

Plagiarize! (then, and again)

“Multiple retractions as brazen plagiarist victimizes orthopedics literature” says the headline today in the Retraction Watch blog, which gives lots and lots of juicy details: Several journals in the field of orthopedics and related disciplines have been victimized by an apparent serial plagiarist. The author, Bernardino Saccomanni, of Gabriele D’ Annunzio University, in Chieti Scalo, Italy—across […]