Ridiculous Science.

Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by radiorental, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. Not sure if this belongs in the NAAFI? Still here are a few examples of some completely useless but none the less hilarious research conducted in the name of science during the past decade. Source ... Improbable Research

    Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.

    Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.

    Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.

    Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

    Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.

    Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.

    Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, USA, for discovering that professional lap dancers earn higher tips when they are ovulating.

    David Sims of Cass Business School. London, UK, for his lovingly written study "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations."

    Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan, for developing a way to extract vanillin -- vanilla fragrance and flavoring -- from cow dung.

    Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, of Universitat de Barcelona, for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.

    The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, USA, for instigating research & development on a chemical weapon -- the so-called "gay bomb" -- that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other.

    Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.

    Wasmia Al-Houty of Kuwait University and Faten Al-Mussalam of the Kuwait Environment Public Authority, for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters.

    Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant -- a device that makes annoying high-pitched noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but probably not to their teachers.

    D. Lynn Halpern (of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Brandeis University, and Northwestern University), Randolph Blake (of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University) and James Hillenbrand (of Western Michigan University and Northwestern University) for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.

    Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, for their insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces.

    Bart Knols (of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research, in Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna Austria) and Ruurd de Jong (of Wageningen Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy) for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.

    James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, for his scholarly study, "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley’s Exploding Trousers."

    Gregg A. Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri, for inventing Neuticles -- artificial replacement testicles for dogs, which are available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness.

    The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters -- General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others -- each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.

    Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University, in the U.K., for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie "Star Wars."

    Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.

    The American Nudist Research Library of Kissimmee, Florida, USA, for preserving nudist history so that everyone can see it.

    Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christopher Chabris of Harvard University, for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it's all too easy to overlook anything else -- even a woman in a gorilla suit.

    The Vatican, for outsourcing prayers to India.

    John Trinkaus, of the Zicklin School of Business, New York City, for meticulously collecting data and publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him (such as: What percentage of young people wear baseball caps with the peak facing to the rear rather than to the front; What percentage of pedestrians wear sport shoes that are white rather than some other color; What percentage of swimmers swim laps in the shallow end of a pool rather than the deep end; What percentage of automobile drivers almost, but not completely, come to a stop at one particular stop-sign; What percentage of commuters carry attaché cases; What percentage of shoppers exceed the number of items permitted in a supermarket's express checkout lane; and What percentage of students dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts.)

    C.W. Moeliker, of Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.

    N. Bubier, Charles G.M. Paxton, Phil Bowers, and D. Charles Deeming of the United Kingdom, for their report "Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain."

    Keita Sato, President of Takara Co., Dr. Matsumi Suzuki, President of Japan Acoustic Lab, and Dr. Norio Kogure, Executive Director, Kogure Veterinary Hospital, for promoting peace and harmony between the species by inventing
    Bow-Lingual, a computer-based automatic dog-to-human language translation device.

    Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe of Jack Van Impe Ministries, Rochester Hills, Michigan, for their discovery that black holes fulfill all the technical requirements to be the location of Hell.

    Viliumas Malinauskus of Grutas, Lithuania, for creating the amusement park known as "Stalin World."

    Chittaranjan Andrade and B.S. Srihari of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, for their probing medical discovery that nose picking is a common activity among adolescents

    The British Royal Navy, for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout "Bang!"

    Dr. Len Fisher of Bath, England and Sydney, Australia for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit.
    and Professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck of the University of East Anglia, England, and Belgium, for calculating how to make a teapot spout that does not drip.

    Robert Matthews of Aston University, England, for his studies of Murphy's Law, and especially for demonstrating that toast often falls on the buttered side.

    The investors of Lloyds of London, heirs to 300 years of dull prudent management, for their bold attempt to insure disaster by refusing to pay for their company's losses.

    Anyone got any other suggestions?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Playful Christmas Statistical Analysis in the BMJ, do like this one:
    Rugby (the religion of Wales) and its influence on the Catholic church: should Pope Benedict XVI be worried?

    Abstract

    Objective To explore the perceived wisdom that papal mortality is related to the success of the Welsh rugby union team.

    In recent times, an intriguing urban legend has arisen in Wales: “every time Wales win the rugby grand slam, a Pope dies, except for 1978 when Wales were really good, and two Popes died” (BBC SPORT | Fun and Games | Coincidence - or something more?). We used historical data to examine whether the Vatican medical team caring for Pope Benedict XVI should be especially vigilant in this, a year in which Wales won the grand slam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Slam_(Rugby_Union) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Slam_(Rugby_Union)).

    Link to full article:

    Rugby (the religion of Wales) and its influence on the Catholic church: should Pope Benedict XVI be worried? -- Payne et al. 337 -- bmj.com
     
  3. A great book on the subject and worth reading if peeps get the time ..........

    Great Mambo Chicken & The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge
    By Ed Regis

    Addison-Wesley, 1990

    Reviewed by Howard Rheingold

    Whole Earth Review has been a hotbed of technological hubris for a long time: what else would you call "We are as gods and we might as well get good at it?" The core beliefs of several different technology cults Ñ immortality via cryonics, space colonies, biospheres, Dyson spheres, nanotechnology, artificial life, downloading minds into computers -- were gleefully seeded by Catalogs and Co-Evs of years past. There are people behind all of these notions: people who want to freeze their heads in liquid nitrogen and store their brains until future scientists figure out how to reconstitute them, people who are worried about the fate of the galaxy because they plan to live that long, people who worry about the heat-death of the universe billions of years from now and start brainstorming ways to escape the End of Everything.

    Ed Regis, often funny but never condescending to his subjects, plays the role of an anthropologist on an ethnographic expedition to the subcircles of American culture where cryogenic re-animation, galactic-scale engineering, and homebrew space travel are commonplace objects of conversation. Regis doesn't make fun of the people he describes, but he does show how the grandiosity of their ideas -- dismantling the outer planets to capture enough of the sun's energy to fuel a population of trillions, for example -- reflects that immensely confident view of our own capacities that has distinguished the human race. We're bigger than ameba, smaller than planets, our ancestors were swinging in the trees very recently, we're good with tools, and we've already started tinkering with the forces that light the stars. Regis evokes humor, awe, and continued reflection on the sheer chutzpah of Homo sapiens in this informal but well-informed joyride through the territory of the high-tech, high-hubrists.

    Amazon.com: Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge (9780201567519): Ed Regis: Books
     
  4. Following on from some of the wacky ideas mentioned in that book, a valuable resource for anyone considering 'uploading' their mind ....
     
  5. I dare say that I myself may have made a contribution to this sort of thing, for recording the world's most boring sex-related videos as a part of my PhD research.

    I was trying to investigate how the males of a couple of species of plant parasitic worms found the females. To develop an accurate test of how attractive they found various chemicals, I needed to know how fast they responded in the test environments I'd made; thin layers of agar gel on petri dishes.

    So I filmed them.

    What you saw was an elongated blob wiggling about really, really slowly; I usually watched with the video on fast forward so as not to fall asleep. When the worm reached the source, it would stop then wiggle in circles, looking for the female it could smell, but not find.

    Fortunately for the sanity of the world, when I was done with the tapes my PhD supervisor nicked them; I'd been using broadcast-quality tapes (which I wasn't paying for) and he quite fancied some almost unused blank tapes for home use. Or at least I hope it was for home recording use...
     
  6. '"Bow-Lingual" the latest update .....
    Sadly they haven't invented the "Plum-Lingual" yet. A similar device, but for translating 'Woopert' into 'Trog.' ;-)
     
  7. I know a place in Soho which sells a lot of tapes like that.

    DC