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Children and Walking and Toes

December 1st, 2021

Children and Walking and Toes” is a featured revue article in the special Children issue (volume 27, number 5) of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

Read this article, free, on the web.

Then, if research about kids inspires you, subscribe to the magazine, or buy individual back issues.

Importance of Face Effacement

November 30th, 2021

Google’s policy of effacing any human faces visible in Google Street View imagery, applies, de facto, even to faces one might not expect to be effaced. The stated purpose is “to protect the privacy of individuals”. Here’s an example from a holiday poster—showing a face-blurred individual carrying a cross—on the outer wall of a church in Raffadali, Italy:

Should shopping carts be more like wheelbarrows? [marketing study]

November 29th, 2021

Supermarket shopping carts (trolleys) tend to have horizontal handles – would people buy more things if the handles were parallel – like a wheelbarrow? New research from City University of London and the University of Innsbruck suggest that the answer could be ‘yes’.

In an experimental study :

“supermarket shoppers purchased more products and spent more of their own money when shopping with a parallel-handle cart than with a standard horizontal handlebar.“

The reasons, say the researchers, may lie in the activation of a different set of arm muscles which push carts wihich have parallel handles.

£29 will buy you 24 hrs access to download the Journal of Marketing advance online publication : Getting a Handle on Sales: Shopping Carts Affect Purchasing by Activating Arm Muscles

Alternatively, a full copy may be found here courtesy City, University of London Institutional Repository.

Research research Martin Gardiner

The special Children issue of the Improbable magazine

November 26th, 2021

The special Children issue (volume 27, number 5) of the magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, has flown its way to subscribers. This special issue, like many other special issues of the magazine, is also available for purchase. All the issues are in the form of downloadable PDFs.

Are you a Child?

Whether you are a child or a non-child, you are likely to discover many surprising things about children, if you read the special Children issue, a likelihood that is large indeed if you assess such things considering matters that concern children, compared with what would be the size of you considered all possible subjects. The previous sentence is nearly incomprehensible, by the way.

Research about Children

The special Children issue includes these articles about children-related research (and includes other articles, too, about research about other things):

Pre-teen Werewolf
Big-Toe Curling
Saliva, Snot, and Sugar
Unusual Children
Children and Walking and Toes
What Children Dislike or Like
Children Chewing

The issue even includes an explanation of the image that appears on the magazine’s front cover. Also, there is an explanation, of sorts, about the image that appears on the back cover.

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on “Science Friday” on the day after Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2021

Friday, November 26, 2021 is the day for this year’s day-after-Thanksgiving Ig Nobel special on the Science Friday radio program, on public radio stations in the USA. This is the 30th year for the special. (This is the 31st year for the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony itself.)

WHAT: This is a specially edited version of the 31st First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, with commentary from SciFri founder/host Ira Flatow, and Ig Nobel founder/emcee Marc Abrahams.

WHEN, IN MOST OF THE USA: On most public radio stations, the Ig Nobel broadcast will be at 3:00 pm (which is HOUR TWO of Science Friday’s two-hour broadcast).

BOSTON IS AN EXCEPTION: Boston, where the ceremony is based, always views itself as an exceptional place, always a step ahead of the crowd. Accordingly, in Boston the Ig Nobel special will be broadcast on WBUR-FM, at 2:00 pm, rather than 3:00 pm.

INTERNET: Most public radio stations stream over the internet, as well as broadcasting good ol’ radio signals — so no matter where you are, you can probable catch the show. And if you don’t catch it on the fly, you can catch it later on the sofa. The broadcast will also be archived, and available later on the Science Friday web site.

Improbable Research