Relative Finger Lengths and Russian Wages

The famous “invisible hand” of economics is made visible in part — that part being the relative lengths of some of the fingers of laborers in Russia — in a newly published study. The study is: “The Effects of Prenatal Testosterone on Wages: Evidence from Russia,” John V.C. Nye, Maksym Bryukhanov, Ekaterina Kochergina, Ekaterina Orel, […]

The radioprotective blancmange from Saint Petersburg

A research team from Saint Petersburg, Russia, have developed the world’s first radioprotective blancmange. Professor Tamara Arsenyeva and Olga Kukushkina of ITMO University (Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics) explain their concept – a functional dairy product, contributing to a better elimination of radionuclides from the human body – in the […]

Neviadomsky discovers every germ at once!

The New York Medical Journal‘s “Pith of Current Literature” section contained summaries of the most important findings in other journals. Most importantly, it summarized foreign-language articles – since nobody was translating entire issues of Riforma Medica or Zentralblatt für Gynäkologie, this was unique information. In the October 1, 1904 issue we learned about the findings of […]

Alexander Semenov and Alexander Semenov, and their works

One Alexander Semenov makes beautiful photographs of worms deep in the ocean. The other Alexander Senenov invents spectacular devices, one of which is a method to use the waste products produced by the crew of a battle tank, stuffing those waste products into explosive shells that the tank fires at an enemy. See if you […]

A man — Mikhailovich — obsessed, computationally, with laughter

Suslov Igor Mikhailovich, Doctor of Science, who is Head Scientist at the P.L. Kapitza Institute for Physical Problems, has been working steadily towards a goal: creating a computer with a sense of humor. The photo below shows Mikhailovich projecting his thoughts. Here are four of his research papers on the matter: 1. arXiv:0711.3197 [pdf, ps, other] How to realize […]

Smelov’s investigation of HPV on toilet seats in international airports

Lead author Smelov and colleagues write, in this letter to a medical journal, about a careful investigation that may (and may not) have small or nonexistent implications: “Are human papillomavirus DNA prevalences providing high-flying estimates of infection? An international survey of HPV detection on environmental surfaces,” Vitaly Smelov [pictured here], Carina Eklund, Laila Sara Arroyo […]

Herring farts, Russian submarines & the PM on Swedish TV

Tonight the “Vetenskapens Värld” program on Sweden’s Swedish SVT2 network broadcast a pair of reports, back-to-back, about the Ig Nobel Prizes. Report # 1 is about the recent Ig Nobel Tour‘s visit to Stockholm. Report #2 focuses the history behind one part of that visit — the now-it-can-be-told story of how, some years ago, herring farts prevented the […]

Fish farts, Russian submarines, the Swedish Foreign Minister

Maggie Koerth-Baker of Boing-Boing interviewed several journalists at the AAAS Annual Meeting last week in Vancouver, about what they had learned at the meeting. Here’s me, blabbing on about a new little chapter in the story of how fish farts almost caused a diplomatic crisis between Russia and Sweden, and might cause a new little kerfuffle […]