Useful Things

Chainsaw Science &
Improbable Research

It’s often said that some branches of modern scientific research are way too dependent on funding, and that many a medical think-tank can be accused of putting commercial consideration ahead of the need for new therapies.
Perhaps. Fortunately, there are honorable exceptions. And to prove that scientific rigor is not incompatible with sense of humor, many an important breakthrough was achieved pursuing an initial formulation that could as well serve as a comedy routine.
That’s exactly what Improbable Research means to promote. With its motto, “To Make People Laugh and Then Think,” it publishes unusual scientific papers on its magazine, the Annals, and every year chooses winners for its Ig Nobel Prizes.
Blood and Tissue Spatter Associated with Chainsaw Dismemberment,” a serious investigation on the effects of such Continue reading

The Whole Spiel

In a World Gone Bananas, They’ve
Now Fund Torture & Remove Splinters

And you thought there’s no tamer fruit than a banana. These clones that used to be your monkey’s favorites are now best-sellers in the global fruit market’s hit parade. From the tropics, where they’re originally from, to Alaska, the snowy foot of Mount Fuji to scorching deserts of North of Africa, bananas became our favorite, potassium-rich snack food.
But there’s more to this picture than meets the many eyes of the poisonous spiders that happen to have been hitching hiking aboard those big green bunches since the Discovery era and the Continue reading