Synopses & Reviews
Often, thinking seriously about outlandish problems is the only way to make progress in science. The rest of the time, its hilarious. Marc Abrahams, the founder of the famous Ig Nobel prizes, offers an addictive, wryly funny exposé of the oddest, most imaginative, and just plain improbable research from around the world. He looks into why books on ethics are more likely to get stolen and how randomly promoting people (rather than doing it based on merit) improves their work. He also shares the findings of weird experiments, from whether Vegas lap dancers earn higher tips at a certain time of the month to how mice were once outfitted with parachutes to find a better way to murder tree snakes. Abrahams tour through this strangest of strange science will first make you laugh, and then make you think about your world in a completely new way. Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel prize, offers an addictive, wryly funny exposé of the most improbable research from around the world, from why one psychologist insisted it was better to promote people randomly to whether Vegas lap dancers get higher tips at certain times of the month. As you travel from the bizarre to the profound, Abrahams will make you laugh, and then think about the world in a completely new way.
"Abrahams, founder of the IgNobel Prizes and co-founder of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, culled through decades of (often ridiculous) scientific studies. This book represents his findings in essays, most first published in Great Britain's Guardian newspaper, package here‚--îwith quippy subheads and witty commentary. Defining 'improbable' as 'what you don't expect' and maintaining that he 'tried hard to exaggerate nothing,' Abrahams recounts research about when and why young adults hop and skip; the yawning tendencies of tortoises and vomiting habits of monkeys; the history of necrophilia laws; the connection between obesity and crime; and a study called 'Race Differences in Selection of Cheese Color.' Some entries, such as one about used college textbooks, could have been ripped from The Onion, such as the attention he gives to fish studies completed by individuals named 'Fish.' Abrahams teases readers in 'May We Recommend' sections that list only the name and source of such tantalizing research as 'An Experiment in Dream Telepathy' with The Grateful Dead and 'Fatalities Attributed to Entering Manure Waste Pits.' Given the overwhelming, if vastly entertaining, amount of material presented here, this book should be digested in small doses. Illus.
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.