Smelly people in the office [podcast #78]

Smelly people in the smelly workplace — that’s the dilemma and joy of this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by FYFD fluid dynamicist Nicole Sharp — tells about: Hugging and what it means, maybe — “Smell Organization: Bodies and Corporeal Porosity in Office Work,” Kathleen Riach […]

“Inelegant Mathematics and Worse Social Science?”

For a while, a long while ago, some people thought they would soon make computers simulate the ways people behave with each other. This paper, published in 1974, suggested that maybe such things would not be simple or easy: “Computer Simulations: Inelegant Mathematics and Worse Social Science?“, Hayward R. Alker, International Journal of Mathematical Education […]

To deal with climate change… make people smaller

The plan to engineer a shorter, smaller human race to cope with climate change is almost as big and bold as the schemes of people working to convince themselves climate change won’t affect them. The plan, at this point still sketchy, has three engineers. S Matthew Liao [pictured here] is a professor of bioethics at New York University. Anders Sandberg and Rebecca […]

The stars in the heavens, the adults in the house

A new paper relates the apparent clumpings of stars to those of humans. Astronomer Alon Retter, who earlier posited a mathematical similarity between astronomical objects and human children, gives full details of his work: “An Intriguing Correlation between the Distribution of Star Multiples and Human Adults in Household,” Alon Retter, International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. […]