Oct 22, 2007

Quirky Website: Improbable.com

The Quirky Website of the Week is a regular feature on this site. Feel free to recommend other quirky websites in the Comments section.

Subtitled "Research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK," the website Improbable Research is dedicated to examining phenomena unlikely to be studied by traditional researchers. One of my favorite studies is the series of Postal Experiments, in which IR researchers attempt to mail a variety of unusual items, including a $20 bill enclosed in a clear plastic envelope (it arrived to its destination, by the way).

Somewhat akin to the television program Mythbusters that you enjoy in your home theater furniture, Improbable Research combines hard science and humor in its quest for truth and mirth. The group also awards the annual Ig Nobel Prize to recipients whose research, well, first makes people laugh, and then makes them think.

The 2007 Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Brian Witcombe of Gloucester, UK, and Dan Meyer of Antioch, Tennessee, for their cutting-edge medical report "Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects." Read on for more hilarity, and remind your boss when you get busted for Net-surfing that Improbable Research is real, live science.

See how far that gets you.

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