A Flying Lizard (extinct) and a Famous Cartoonist (extant)

In answer to the question “How many monofenestratan pterosaurs are named after famous cartoonists?”, Improbable hazards a guess that the answer is :“One”. Being : Cuspicephalus scarfi which is named (say its describers David Martill and Steve Etches of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, UK) “After artist/cartoonist Gerald […]

Physiology: Why Rudolph’s Nose is Red

A new Dutch study explains the likely physiology of Rudolph the reindeer’s red nose: “Microcirculatory investigations of nasal mucosa in reindeer Rangifer tarandus (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Cervidae): Rudolph’s nose was overheated,” Ben van der Hoven, Eva Klijn, Michel van Genderen, Willem Schaftenaar, Lisette L. de Vogel, Ditty van Duijn and Erwin J.O. Kompanje (a member of the […]

Making cheese from humans’ foot, nose, armpit bacteria

“Make hay while the sun shines, but make cheese from places where it does not” is the unstated them of a project described in Christina Agapakis‘s Harvard PhD Thesis (and described more colorfully on her web site): “Descriptions of  human body odors often overlap with those of  cheese; Propionibacterium used to make Swiss cheese is a major […]

Nasal topsy-turvyism examined

More than one scientific investigator has examined the implications of misplaced facial attributes in drawings. [Example] But fewer have drawn attention to the implications of a facial attribute which actually is misplaced (rather than just in an illustration). What would happen for example, if one’s nose was upside down? This question was asked – and […]

Recognitions – part 1 – Where is the nose?

“An important issue in face recognition research is whether faces are recognized on the basis of their individual features or more holistically, on the basis of their overall shape.” To clarify, researchers professor James Tanaka, now at the University of Victoria, Canada, and professor Martha Farah University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, decided to show […]

Pork, the surprise (yet traditional) remedy for a nosebleed

A new medical study recommends a method called “nasal packing with strips of cured pork” as an effective way to treat uncontrollable nosebleeds. Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin [pictured here], at Detroit Medical Centre in Michigan, treated a girl who had a rare hereditary disorder that brings prolongued bleeding. Publishing in […]

The quest for an ideal nose

“The ‘ideal’ nose is a nose that is in harmony with the other favorable features of your face.” Explains Dr. Daniel G. Becker, M.D., F.A.C.S. Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology : Head and Neck Surgery, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Medical Director of the Becker […]