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An Ig Nobel quiz

A look back to Scossa L’Eredità (the Italian TV quiz program)’s question about the Ig Nobel Prizes: Scossa L’Eredità 15 ottobre 2013 Laura: Premi Ignobel BONUS: A look back at that, and several other Iggy TV quizzes

Lots of data and info about paper airplanes, and lots of planes

Lots of data and info about paper airplanes, from Papierfliegerei: From flight tests and experiments, a lot can be gained qualitative statements about paper airplanes. Paper airplanes cost so much, because empiricism is certainly a possible solution. But you can also calculate pretty good paper airplane. The Excel table on the right is intended to provide […]

The Rheology of Ant Swarms

Room 007 of the Love Building at Gatech, Atlanta, Georgia is the home of the Hoogle Lab. It’s run by David L. Hu  (Assistant Professor of Fluid Mechanics) who is the corresponding author for the robotic jumping-beans study which Improbable recently profiled. But the Hoogle Lab doesn’t exclusively focus on jumping beans, it also investigates the […]

Why does toothpaste make orange juice taste awful? (video)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2014 — It's happened to many of us: Half asleep in the morning, you finish brushing your teeth and reach for your daily glass of orange juice. After taking a big swig, you spit it back out, making a face like you've just chewed on a lemon. Show More Summary

Further dramatic readings from bizarre studies, Friday night

We’ll be doing some more Improbable Dramatic Readings — brief public readings from bizarre — yet genuine — scientific studies, this Friday night, September 26, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, starting at 7:00 pm. The studies — which we will treat as if they are dramatic literature written for actors to perform — […]

Do cats see these optical illusions? Study and video say yes.

Further insight, in this study, on what cats have in sight: “Cats and Illusory Motion,” Rasmus Bååth [pictured here], Takeharu Seno, Akiyoshi Kitaoka, Psychology, vol. 5, 2014, pp. 1131-1134. The authors, at Lund University, Sweden,Show More Summary

Ig Nobel winner Audoly on the physics of the lasso

Basile Audoly — who shared the 2006 Ig Nobel prize for physics with Sebastien Neukirch for insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces — has a new study about the physics of rodeo lassoing. The new paper is: “An introduction to the mechanics of the lasso,” Pierre-Thomas Brun, Neil […]

Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris explains the clockwork saw

Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris savors the clockwork saw, in this brief video: (Thanks to Adam Rutherford for bringing this to our attention.) BONUS: Additional detail, from someone else who saw the saw

An ethics discussion of the “leg of lamp” medical case

This ethics discussion, broadcast in The Netherlands, concerns the man who lost his leg and gained a floor lamp, which we discussed here recently. Dr. Erwin Kompanje is the main medical discussant here:

Why do leaves change color in the fall? (video)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2014 — It's the first day of autumn, and the telltale signs are here: crisp weather, pumpkin spice lattes and, most importantly, the leaves are changing colors. Ever wonder why some leaves turn red, others yellow...Show More Summary

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