Have you ever wondered about the physics of slipping on a banana peel? How about the Marxist interpretation of people's fascination with Duchess Middleton's posterior? No, really? What about the incidence of human injury and death by being crushed by a vending machine?
Well someone has wondered, researched and published studies on all of these questions. And chances are, while you hadn't wondered about any of these things before, you kind of do now?
And that is the point--for Marc Abrahams anyway. Abrahams is editor of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine, and he has highlighted all of the above examples in his regular column for The Guardian. Through humor, Abrahams hopes to reconnect science with people. First they laugh and then they think, he hopes.
The friction study on slipping on banana peels won the 2014 Ig Noble award for physics, which celebrates the strangest research being done.
We walk through the world of the improbable, and at times, absurd, with one organization of the popular Ig Noble awards. This award program is celebrated every year at Harvard University and carried by some National Public Radio stations across the country.
Marc Abrahams, founder and co-editor of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine. (@marcabrahams)
*Abrahams will be presenting at St. Mary's University tonight at 7 pm as part of their Lin Great Speakers Series