Published in 2009 in the , their research, "Sword swallowing and its side effects," found that performers had a heightened chance of injury when "distracted or adding embellishments" – as in the case of one unfortunate swallower who lacerated his throat after being disturbed by a "misbehaving macaw on his shoulder." In 2007 Witcombe and Meyer together received the Ig Nobel Prize in medicine in view of the pair's "penetrating medical report."Common weekend warrior tales would suggest that a beer bottle makes a good weapon in the event of a bar brawl.But would a full or an empty bottle inflict the most damage, and would that damage include fracturing a human skull? picked up a 2009 Ig Nobel Prize in the "Peace" category.
These important questions were answered in 2009 by a team of researchers from the University of Bern with their seminal paper, "Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull? Stephan Bolliger and his colleagues tested the breaking energy of full and empty beer bottles using a drop tower. The titles of scientific research papers can sometimes be fairly impenetrable to the layman; other times they may take a more direct approach.
Moreover, they discovered that a "full bottle will strike a target with almost 70 percent more energy than an empty bottle," but that either is capable of breaking a human skull. Published in 2003, "Pressures produced when penguins pooh – calculations on avian defecation" certainly belongs to the latter category.
However, Professor Schwitzgebel believes this is a good thing, as "the demand that ethicists live as moral models would create distortive pressures on the field." published "Impact of wet underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort in the cold." The authors were Martha Kold Bakkevig of SINTEF Unimed in Trondheim, Norway and Ruth Nielson at Kongens Lyngby's Technical University of Denmark.
Bakkevig and Nielson had investigated "the significance of wet underwear" by monitoring the skin and intestinal warmth, as well as weight loss, of eight adult male subjects wearing wet or dry underwear in controlled cold conditions.
Apart from the obvious "significant cooling effect of wet underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort," the research also discovered that the thickness of the underwear exerted a greater effect on these factors than the material used to make the garment. In much the same way that we'd presume dragons don't get sore throats, it would be a reasonable assumption that woodpeckers don't suffer from headaches – but assumptions are a poor substitute for the authoritative grip of scientific fact.
Published in 2002 in the , "Cure for a headache" came courtesy of Ivan Schwab, an ophthalmologist at the University of California, Davis.A team from the University of New Mexico led by evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller enlisted the help of 18 professional dancers.These dancers documented their ovulatory cycles, shift patterns and the amount of tips they received over the course of 60 days.The paper's authors, Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of the then International University Bremen (now Jacobs University Bremen) and EÃ¶tvÃ¶s LorÃ¡nd University's Jozsef Gal, decided to address the question of how much internal pressure penguins generate for poop-firing purposes.With knowledge of just a few parameters – including the thickness of and distance covered by the fecal matter – the researchers were able to calculate that the birds employed pressures of up to 60 k Pa (kilopascal) to eject their bodily waste.Schwab's paper details the raft of physiological traits that woodpeckers have developed to avoid brain damage and bleeding or detached eyes when hammering their beaks into trees at up to 20 times a second, 12,000 times a day. poet and author Phyllis Mc Ginley at least, is what "makes nations great and marriages happy." It's also the backbone of the booty call, if research published in 2009 is anything to go by.In addition to a very broad but surprisingly squishy skull and sturdy jaw muscles, the woodpecker has a "relatively small" brain – which probably explains a lot. Appearing in , "The âbooty call': a compromise between men's and women's ideal mating strategies," was written by researchers from the department of psychology at New Mexico State University.Hence, it's comforting to know that the world of academic research is a far more inclusive, eclectic and remarkably unusual place than one might first assume.However left-field a particular subject might seem, there are almost certainly countless other research papers that wipe the floor with it in the weirdness stakes. To investigate the theory that estrus – the interval of amplified fertility and sexual awareness often referred to as "heat" in mammals – is no longer present in human females, researchers turned to an unlikely source: lap dancers.Published in 2007, the paper – "â Which feels heavier – a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?' A potential perceptual basis of a cognitive riddle" – discovered that participants rated the pound of lead as seeming weightier with an "above chance" frequency.