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  • Jen-Luc Piquant sez: "They like us! They really like us!"

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« daring to be extraordinary | Main | REPOST: caveat voter »


I had a Krest bitter lemon encounter in Zambia some time back when, doing a documentary with street children, i asked a young prostitute what she used as a contraceptive. Fascinating to hear it has actually been studied!
I was wondering if you could check my application of Newtonian physics to pole-dancing I understand you are very busy so worry not if you don't get over but I was thinking how as a pice of educational stand up - -a physics lesson taught via pole dancer might truly inspire the twisted teenage contingent of the Western hemisphere.
Tanvir (Chimera)

At first I was a little confused by the criteria used for the Ig Nobel awards, but the Journal of Improbable Research lays it out nicely: To laugh and then to think. At the risk of a dreadful pun, this is a noble goal indeed. I especially like the "string in a box" research, because I suspect it has something to do with the behavior of constrained random systems in general. I have to think about this a bit.

And although I am late to the party, kudos on your last post where you discuss lowered expectations. I am afraid that intelligence is still viewed by many as something vaguely rude.

Hi Jennifer, enjoyed your blog as usual! Thought you might get a laugh out of this:

Part of me is glad that I don't do research watching slime molds move, but another part wants to know what their top speed is.

My best friend worked on knot theory for a while. Completely different than mathematics of bubbles, but vaguely related to topography, I think.

Re: birthcontrol.; I'm given to understand that sponges soaked in olive oil are pretty effective. So are talismans taken with abstinence. In case you don't have enough to do today, there's a good history here

And the medicine.... I saw a study before that people responded better to drugs (or was it placebos?) when they thought they were expensive. Counterfeit drugs would be redundant with that, no? Not surprisingly, people also think purportedly expensive wines taste better. Probably this applies to a lot of things. Should push it further and found out if that's why extremely rich people are willing to pay disproportionately high prices and wait ridiculously long period for many products. Perception of quality and rarity?

Hi Jennifer, You've possibly already seen/heard Dan Barber on "organic" foie gras and the history of foie gras at Ted Talks, but if you haven't check it out: -- gavage is not a requirement.

Jen -- Slime molds ain't plants, but we all still love you and your super cool books.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.