Wednesday, September 30, 2015

wednesday newstrip

Archaeologists have excavated ex-Prom Minister Toe Knee Ass-Bit from a Pre-Roman era tomb at Pompeii, the town buried in a 79AD volcanic eruption ∙ a local Conservative party group has cancelled a planned "pig race" fundraising event after allegations emerged that British Prim Minister David Came*on had inserted his private parts into a dead pig's head at university ∙ a woman is being counselled after allegedly catching a Brisbane childcare worker trying to insert his private parts into her friend's two-year-old son's mouth ∙ new Pram Minister Malformed Turnip-Ball will not live in the official Sydney residence Kirribilli House, preferring instead to stay in his $50 million harborside mansion ∙ scientists have discovered that supermassive black holes spiraling towards one another can communicate between themselves by humming at incredibly low frequencies.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The 2015 Ig Nobel Awards

It's been a while since I noted one of my favorite lists. I'm rectifying that omission now.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE — For inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.

Callum Ormonde and Colin Raston [Australia], and Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Gregory Weiss [USA]

PHYSICS PRIZE — For testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).

Patricia Yang [USA and Taiwan], David Hu [USA and Taiwan], and Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo [USA]

LITERATURE PRIZE — For discovering that the word "huh?" (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language — and for not being quite sure why.

Mark Dingemanse [The Netherlands, USA], Francisco Torreira [The Netherlands, Belgium, USA], and Nick J. Enfield [Australia, The Netherlands]

MANAGEMENT PRIZE — For discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences.

Gennaro Bernile [Italy, Singapore, USA], Vineet Bhagwat [USA], and P. Raghavendra Rau [U.K., India, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Japan]

ECONOMICS PRIZE — The Bangkok Metropolitan Police [Thailand], for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes.

MEDICINE PRIZE — For experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).

Awarded jointly to two groups: Hajime Kimata [Japan, China]; and to Jaroslava Durdiaková [Slovakia, USA, U.K.], Peter Celec [Slovakia, Germany], Natália Kamodyová, Tatiana Sedláčková, Gabriela Repiská, Barbara Sviežená, and Gabriel Minárik [Slovakia]

MATHEMATICS PRIZE — For trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.

Elisabeth Oberzaucher [Austria, Germany, U.K.] and Karl Grammer [Austra, Germany]

BIOLOGY PRIZE — For observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.

Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez [Chile], José Iriarte-Díaz [Chile, USA]

DIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE PRIZE — For determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps.

Diallah Karim [CANADA, U.K.], Anthony Harnden [New Zealand, U.K., USA], Nigel D’Souza [Bahrain, Belgium, Dubai, India, South Africa, USA, U.K.], Andrew Huang [China, U.K.], Abdel Kader Allouni [Syria, U.K.], Helen Ashdown [U.K.], Richard J. Stevens [U.K.], and Simon Kreckler [U.K.]

PHYSIOLOGY and ENTOMOLOGY PRIZE — For carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).

Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt [USA, Canada], for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith [USA, U.K., The Netherlands]
FULL LIST with Scientific References can be found at Ig Nobel website,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

wednesday newstrip

Three new bee species with unusually narrow heads & long mouths have been discovered by Oroton Group's big-ticket handbags, pushing the label back towards profit growth & driving its transformation from a mid-market discounter to an Australian luxury label ∙ an Australian photographer has captured a rare moment of animal communion with a shot of a seal humping a surfbreak whale off the New South Wales coast ∙ new Pram Minister & well-known dick tech head, Malformed Turnip-Ball, will not be going ahead with a Silicon Valley trade mission planned by his predecessor now that researchers have found asbestos in the crayons there ∙ severe storms on the New South Wales Central Coast have left a thick blanket of potentially harmful nanoparticles of titanium dioxide & silica covering roads & causing power disruptions to hundreds of homes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

wednesday newstrip

Commonwealth Bank services have returned to normal after a problem with electronic transactions left customers stranded in the midst of the morning rush hour, unable to pay for the inland railway idea floated again like clockwork as an election year nears ∙ Toe Knee Ass-Bit was caught laughing at a distasteful joke made by I'm_migrating Minister, Pastor Dustbin, regarding the rising sea levels that threaten the small island states of the Pacific ∙ there is growing anger within the ministry after a hit-list of Howard-era ministers reportedly in line to be demoted was published. A cabinet minister said he was in no doubt the reshuffle story had come from the Prom Minister's office but said the office was so inept it had actually harmed, rather than helped, the Government ∙ Japanese fishermen have killed the first dolphins of the season in a controversial annual hunt ∙ Australian researchers have made what they say is the first link between brain size & junk food, finding older people with unhealthy diets have smaller brains ∙ Malcontent Turncoatabull has overthrown Toe Knee Ass-Bit & is now Pram Minister of Australia.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Point CANAVERAL, a found poem

An important acoustic guitar on a $1 dollar billion NASA satellite has futile, minimizing scientists’ the trap files to really appraise the water in Earth’s dust to develop heavy rain pour conjecturing and watch global warming, officers said on Thursday.

A minute tool remnants working onboard the two,100-pound (950-kg) Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite, while its measure of fact can be more restricted.

The satellite’s high-powered radar technique, proficient at accumulating figures in swaths of harsh land as little as about more than 2 airline miles (thee kilometer) across, did not in July after lower than a three month period running, NASA said. The reason behind the catastrophe is below inspection.

Launched in January, SMAP was devised to shell out 3 many years in area, using sizing on the level of h2o within the greater couple of inch (six cervical mucus) along the Earth’s land.

Scientists had liked to mix SMAP’s high-res research along with records that are caused by the lower-resolution apparatus…

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

wednesday newstrip

Prom Minister Toe Knee Ass-Bit says the "very sad" images of a Syrian boy lying lifeless on a Turkish beach demonstrate the need for countries to adopt tough policies & launch airstrikes against asylum seekers arriving by boat ∙ Ass-Bit has also managed to anger the Islamic State movement by suggesting that an autonomous robot that can administer a lethal injection was more dangerous than they could ever be ∙ the Prom Minister has lost three trillion trees from his personal office in the nearly two years since being elected. That figure is eight times bigger than any other previous occupant's ∙ a parliamentary intelligence committee is expected to back the government's controversial anti-terrorism citizenship law changes ∙ hundreds of crown-of-thorns starfish have poured into Budapest's international train station after police re-opened it following a two-day standoff ∙ the head of the UN refugee agency in Jordan has questioned why Australia is spending more money on military operations in Iraq than it is on aid for Syrian refugees.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Today the
postman brought
me a capital
letter. It felt
like a small
case of déjà vu.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Border Fence - for Márton Koppány

"Politicians love fences, but what fences do is create major humanitarian problems & a market for smugglers."
—New York Times

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

wednesday newstrip

The Royal New Zealand SPCA has defended the actions of police officers who shot dead an eight-inch penis that was causing chaos in the streets of Whanganui this morning ∙ Prom Minister Toe Knee Ass-Bit's paleo diet crusade has been compared to Hollywood actor Tom Cruise spruiking Scientology ∙ a new smartphone app that measures mood & brain power can show why people with communication disabilities tend to flourish on Twitter ∙ Mel Gibson says he was busy being fitted with a penis that was sculpted from his arm when a News Corp photographer claims she was shoved & spat on by the actor on Sunday night ∙ South Korea's president said Monday that anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts will continue unless North Korea apologizes for planting land mines that explode whenever he presses the button connected to his testicles ∙ a cow has maimed Celebrity chef Pete Evans outside a Paddington cinema.