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Why-Exactly-Is-a-Bicycle-Stable Experiments

September 21st, 2021

David Jones some years ago assaulted humanity’s embarrassing lack of understanding of why moving bicycles are so stable. Jones performed a series of experiments, from which he learned some surprising things. He revealed them in this article:

The Stability of the Bicycle,” David E.H. Jones, Physics Today, April 1970, pp. 34-40.

(Thanks to Catherine Klauss and Davide Castelvecci for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS: David Jones delivered a 24/7 Lecture on the giant topic “Science”, in the 2001 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.

BONUS: Here’s a video made much later by Andy Ruina, addressing advances on the bicycle question forty years after David Jones had brought the physics world up to cruising speed:

Podcast Episode #1081: “Ear Bigness Through the Years”

September 20th, 2021

In Podcast Episode #1081, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to biologist Dany Adams. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

Dany Adams encounters:

Ear size as a predictor of chronological age,” R. Tan , V. Osman, and G. Tan, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, vol. 25, 1997, pp. 187–191.

Seth Gliksman, Production Assistant

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Ig Nobel Prize winner Bolsonaro Brings a Certain Something to the UN

September 20th, 2021

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who in 2020 won an Ig Nobel Prize for his teachings about the Covid-19 pandemic, will share his experience with other world leaders tomorrow at a meeting of the United Nations.


The Washington Post reports:

The United Nations is demanding world leaders arriving in New York for its General Assembly adhere to an “honor system” to attest they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. But that mandate will be tested in the general debate’s very first moments.

Jair Bolsonaro, who contracted the virus last year and as recently as last week said publicly that he does not need to be vaccinated because he has naturally acquired antibodies, is scheduled to kick off the 76th U.N. General Assembly’s general debate on Tuesday…..

Bolsonaro’s 2020 Prize-winning Achievement

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for medical education was awarded to Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Narendra Modi of India, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, for using the Covid-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can.

Dual high heels [patent]

September 20th, 2021

“Shoes, especially high heels, have some special functions. It makes a wearer look taller than the real height of the wearer. Therefore, many young ladies, who want to be looked taller, wear high heel with very tall heel. The other function of high heels is that it has strong attraction power for some male adult.“

Explains US patent 7,574,819 B2 

“ Dress up or made up is very important in social life to give impression to other people. Especially for young ladies of twenties and thirties or even forties, dress up is critical to find their mates. Some young ladies even take risks of doing plastic surgeries to their body if she can make ‘ the one ’ as her mate. For them, shoes, cloths, jewelry, and adornments are less dangerous means to get attraction from ‘ the one ‘. “

The invention offers a considerable advantage over standard high-heeled shoes, which, as the inventor points out, are not a completely risk-free item –

“If a young lady wears a high heel that is very tall and the heel shape is narrow, she can easily dislocate her ankle. It may be charming but dangerous.“

The invention, as can be seen in the accompanying drawing, increases the number of heels by a factor of 100%, and in so doing –

“ . . . reduces dislocation of wearer’s ankle though the heels are narrow and long. “

Patent research Martin Gardiner

TV visit to the Ig Nobel Prizes Exhibition in Japan

September 17th, 2021

Qpri-TV visited the newly opened Ig Nobel Prizes exhibition in Fukuoka, Japan:

The exhibition runs through November 3, 2021

Improbable Research