Correlations: Left-Handers and Right-Wingers (new study)

“It seems axiomatic to assume that handedness is unrelated to actual placement on the political spectrum. Nevertheless, primed by my longstanding research interest in personality and political preference (e.g., McCann, 1997, 2014a, 2014b), I was struck by the rough similarity of a map of the percentage of left-handers in each state in 1986 (McManus, 2009, […]

Does One Armpit Smell Like the Other? (podcast #95)

Does the left armpit smell like the right armpit? A research study explores that very question, and we explore that study, in 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 discusses a published armpitty study, with dramatic readings from biologist Christina Agapakis, who has smelled more armpits, mostly for scientific reasons, than most […]

The world’s first “Pastarimeter” — lefty pasta and righty pasta

“Our experience of explaining polarimetry to the general public is that they frequently ask how molecules rotate light, which is difficult to explain using non-technical language. Therefore we were keen to find an analogous large scale system which mimicked the polarimeter and used everyday left- and right-handed objects.” – explain Claire Saxon, Scott Brindley, Nic […]

Overturned rhinoceros beetles – how do they get back on their feet? (study)

No matter how careful a beetle might be, there’s a fair chance that, sooner or later, it’ll find itself on its back. Raising the question, how does it right itself, i.e. get onto its feet again? For current beetle-righting research turn to volume 28, Issue 2, 2016, of the journal Ecological Psychology where researchers professor […]

Professor Wright meets Professor Wrong (Toronto, c. 1921)

If you’re looking for a (documented) example of an occasion when Professor Wright encountered Professor Wrong, then your search is over. One such event happened somewhere around March 1921, at the University of Toronto Winter Short Course for farmers. Here’s an account, in Volume XXI of the University of Toronto Monthly, March 1921, No. 6. […]

Left v. Right: How Academics Face-Pose on the Web

A new study, the purpose of which some may find delightfully puzzling, looks at the self-portraits scholars put on their home pages: “How Academics Face the World: A Study of 5829 Homepage Pictures,” Owen Churches [pictured here], Rebecca Callahan, Dana Michalski, Nicola Brewer, Emma Turner, Hannah Amy Diane Keage, Nicole Annette Thomas, Mike Elmo, Richard […]