Podcast 86: Walking on feet in the city (accompanied by a bongo drum)

A scholarly study about the rhythm, rhythm, rhythm of walking, walking, walking in the city. That’s what you’ll hear about — and you’ll hear it accompanied by a bongo drum — 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 study about the rhythms of walking in cities, with fluid […]

Mathematics, Failure, and the World’s Most Famous Walking Event

Have you ever calculated your chances of being allowed to participate in an event? As at least one study demonstrates, you might be surprised. The 100th International Four Days Marches Nijmegen, the world’s most famous walking event, took place last month. Over 40,000 people participated, and there are various ways that somebody can be allowed to participate in […]

Mr. Sparks’ predator-intimidating walking stick (new patent)

“Disclosed herein is an apparatus for deterring predators, which may be used as a walking stick until a predator is encountered. Upon encountering a predator, the apparatus allows a user to rapidly deploy a collapsible rigid structure from the interior of the hollow walking stick, which supports a membrane, or set of membranes, that display […]

Artists and their difficulties with gaits

Even the most accomplished artists sometimes have difficulty in accurately portraying human anatomy. Paul Cezzane, for instance, had trouble with hands (examples [1] [2] [3] ). Another persistently tricky area is highlighted (or, if you prefer, highlit) by Professor Julian Meltzoff of La Jolla, California,in a recent article for Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the […]

The effect of potholes in the path of helmeted guinea fowl

What happens when Helmeted Guinea Fowl, out walking, encounter an unexpected pothole? Do they fall over? That depends, in quite an improbable way, on whether they see it coming or not … In 2005, a research team at Concord Field Station, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, US, endeavoured to clarify things by encouraging […]

Revolving doors – an examination (Laurier #4 of 4)

Improbable has been profiling the work of Dr. Eric Laurier who is a Senior Lecturer in Geography & Interaction, Institute of Geography & the Lived Environment, University of Edinburgh. Dr. Laurier specialises in the study of ordinary life, as that life happens. A new paper is currently being written in association with Alexandra Weilenmann (University of […]

‘Silly Walk’ studies (#2)

The Movement Lab at Ohio State University, US, is not the only academic institution to have experimentally evaluated ‘Silly Walks’ (see Part 1 of this series). On the other side of the Atlantic at the Department of Motion Science, University of Muenster, Germany, researchers Sook-Yee Chong, Heiko Wagner and Arne Wul have also performed a study. […]

How do pedestrians avoid collisions?

As you walk city streets, frustrated at why those other pedestrians behave so frustratingly, be aware that scientists are trying to improve the situation, but are making progress only in slow steps. Dr Taku Fujiyama [pictured here, receiving an award], one of the modern masters in this endeavour, is a lecturer at University College London’s Secret […]