How don’t and do pedestrians collide? Ig Nobel Prize winner Alessandro Corbetta, a physicist based at Eindhoven University of Technology, explains, in this short video. The 2021 Ig Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to Alessandro Corbetta, Jasper Meeusen, Chung-min Lee, Roberto Benzi, and Federico Toschi, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do not […]
Physics of the Running of the People from the Bulls
The running of the people who are running from the bulls at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, begs for some insights. Insights — insights about the running of those people from those bulls — course through the paragraphs of this newly published study: “Pedestrian Dynamics at the Running of the Bulls Evidence […]
Leroy’s Elusive Little People
A new paper about hallucinations about little people evokes memories (for those who remember) of the fossilized mini-people perceived by Chonosuke Okamura, a discovery that led to Okamura being awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in 1996. The new paper is “Leroy’s Elusive Little People: A Systematic Review on Lilliputian Hallucinations,” Jan Dirk Blom [pictured here […]
How Many People Will Go to Hell [mathematics]
The 1994 Ig Nobel Prize for mathematics was awarded to the Southern Baptist Church of Alabama, mathematical measurers of morality, for their county-by-county estimate of how many Alabama citizens will go to Hell if they don’t repent. Click here for additional details, including a method to calculate your chance of going to hell.
Are People Bad Singers?
“Are People Bad Singers?”, in the special Music issue of the Annals of Improbable Research, gathers research about that high-pitched question. Read the article free (PDF). Then, if you dare, purchase the issue, or subscribe to the magazine.
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 Play.it, 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 […]
Measuring a person’s incoherence
People can sometimes be (or at least come across as) incoherent. Raising the question, is it possible to measure a person’s incoherence, absolutely? For answers, turn to a prominent investigator in the field, Liam Kofi Bright who is a 3rd year Philosophy PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, US, and who has written a paper […]
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 […]
Consternation about cleverness of humans & others
Some people tie themselves in knots, mentally, when they try to be clever about whether people and other animals are clever, is the gist of a study: “Clever animals and killjoy explanations in comparative psychology,” Sara J. Shettleworth, Trends in Cognitive Science, Volume 14, Issue 11, November 2010, Pages 477-481. The author, at the university […]