Entomologists Who Are Scared of Spiders [Ig Informal Lecture]

Here is the Ig Informal Lecture by the winner of the 2020 Ig Nobel Entomology Prize. The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK. In the Ig Informal Lectures, some days after the ceremony, the new Ig Nobel Prize winners attempt to explain what they did, and why they did it. [In non-pandemic years, […]

Seeing Spider/Antman Movies Lessen Fear of Bugs?

What power over the minds of humans lurks in bug-human-hybrid superhero movies? One study, at least, asks that question. The study is: ” ‘Spidey Can’: Preliminary Evidence Showing Arachnophobia Symptom Reduction Due to Superhero Movie Exposure,” Yaakov S.G. Hoffman, Shani Pitcho-Prelorentzos, Lia Ring, and Menachem Ben-Ezra, Frontiers in Psychiatry, epub 2019. The authors, at Bar-Ilan […]

When mailing spiders, caterpillars, or cockroaches

QUESTION: When you mail live creatures, insects and invertebrates (including bees, caterpillars, cockroaches, crickets, destroyers of noxious pests, earthworms, fish fry and eggs, leeches and other parasites, lugworms, maggots, mealworms, pupae and chrysalides, rag worms, silkworms, spiders and stick insects) in the UK, must you box and package them? The answer lies on page 26 of the Royal Mail‘s […]

The scariness of spiders to people scared of spiders

Here is one way to measure people’s fear of spiders. Post flyers seeking individuals who are very afraid of spiders, and who are willing to be paid a small amount of cash to participate in a research project, said project turning out to be the repeated answering of survey questions before and during the following activities: 1 approaching […]

The Case of the Bagel, the Bite, and the Ticking Clock

“A New, Occasional Instrument for Measuring Marital Quality: The Time Required to Make a Cream Cheese and Salmon Bagel Following Funnel-Web Spider Bite,” Gary Walter, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 171, nos. 11–12, December 6–20, 1999, pp. 674–5. [AIR 16:2] The author is a psychiatrist in Concord West, NSW, Australia. His firsthand account includes a […]

Improbable Research