Fracking and Sexually Transmitted Disease [public health study]

Of all the criticisms aimed at fracking, charges that it might increase the incidence of STDs – specifically gonorrhea – are seldom heard. Yet there might be a link – according to a new research paper published in the Journal of Public Health Policy. “We analyzed one potential cost to communities, the effect of fracking […]

Banana Skins – their promise as an industrial lubricant additive

The work of Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, who were awarded the 2014 Ig Nobel Physics Prize for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor, continues […]

Head butting in whales – explanations for junk

“The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom.“ Leading to the question: ‘What’s it for?’ Herman Melville’s famous novel Moby-Dick suggested that one purpose might be for large-scale head-butting, the practicalities of which are reviewed in a new paper for PeerJ PrePrints, […]

Ig Nobel update: How well do oil and water mix, five years later?

David Biello writes, in Scientific American, about “The Enduring Mystery of the Missing Oil Spilt in the Gulf of Mexico” — a detective story whose beginnings were told in an Ig Nobel Prize-winning study: Workers uncovered a tar mat weighing some 18,000 kilograms just offshore of a natural barrier island in Louisiana in the summer of 2013. […]