Fun_People Archive
2 Apr
mini-AIR Bits Feb 99

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  2 Apr 99 13:47:24 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: mini-AIR Bits Feb 99

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649

Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Excerpted-from: mini-AIR Feb 99
From: Marc Abrahams <>

1999-02-06	Entitlement Survey

Investigator Carol Myers, who apparently wishes to endanger her
employment at the National Institutes of Health, proposes a most
prestigious investigation:
	"I have an idea for a new scientific survey: to determine
the most obnoxious or pretentious return address. Copied below is
the first entry. You must admit this is truly an illness-inducing
return address. How does he fit it all into that little space at
the top left corner of envelopes?  And what is an 'M.B.'??"

	Nicholas J. Sarlis, M.B., M.D., Ph.D.
	Tenure-track Investigator
	Clinical Thyroidology
	Section on Molecular Regulation & Neuroendocrinology (SMRN)
	Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Branch (MCEB)
	National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive,
		and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
	National Institutes of Health
	Building # 10, Room # 8D12C
	10 Center Drive, MSC 1758
	Bethesda, MD  20892-1758

Help us find the grandest return address of them all. If you know
of an example that significantly exceeds this one, please send it
(with an envelope or letterhead or URL or other documentation) to:
	Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)
	PO Box 380853, Cambridge MA 02238 USA.

1999-02-07	Vocabulary Word

This month's Handy Vocabulary Word is "didapper." The American
Heritage Dictionary (Second College Edition) gives this definition
for "didapper":

	A small grebe, such as the dabchick.

Please make a point of introducing the Handy Vocabulary Word into
your daily flow of paperwork. Thank you.

1999-02-09	May Not

A few years ago, we had the privilege of receiving two letters from Sir
Robert May, the chief science advisor to the British government, demanding
that we stop giving Ig Nobel Prizes, especially to British scientists.
(All this is documented in the book, "The Best of Annals of Improbable
Research," W.H. Freeman publishers, ISBN 0-7161-3094-4.) We are honored
and bemused to report that Sir Robert has given further thought to the
matter, and that he has a novel suggestion, and that he also has a
not-so-novel suggestion.
	At the recent Annual Meeting of the AAAS in Anaheim, California,
our editor, Marc Abrahams, had the honor of meeting Sir Robert. Sir Robert
was friendly and charming, for about twenty seconds. He then launched into
a highly energetic, skillfully animated lecture that concluded with two
monosyllabic words, the second of which was "off." That was Sir Robert's
not-so-novel suggestion.
	Sir Robert's novel suggestion was that should we ever again award
an Ig Nobel Prize to a scientist, we must first obtain permission from
the scientist's supervisor and from the scientist's government. This is
especially important, Sir Robert emphasized, when the scientist *wants*
to receive the Prize.

1999-02-18	How to Subscribe to AIR (*)

Here's how to subscribe to the magnificent bi-monthly print
journal The Annals of Improbable Research -- (the real thing, not
just the little bits of overflow material you have been reading
here in mini-AIR)

City and State:					Zip or postal code:
Phone:			FAX:			E-mail:

	USA			1 year/$23		2 years/$39
	Canada/Mexico	1 year/$27 US	2 years/$45 US
	Overseas		1 year/$40 US	2 years/$70 US

[Copies of back issues are each $8 in the USA,
$11 in Canada/Mexico, $16 overseas.]

Send payment (US bank check, or international money order, or
Visa, Mastercard or Discover info) to:
The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)
PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA
617-491-4437	FAX:617-661-0927

1999-02-19	How to Receive mini-AIR, etc. (*)

What you are reading right now is mini-AIR. It is NOT a tiny
version of AIR -- rather, it is a tiny supplement to the magazine.
To subscribe, send a brief E-mail message to:
The body of your message should contain ONLY the words
(You may substitute your own name for that of Madame Curie.)
To stop subscribing, send the following message: SIGNOFF MINI-AIR

1999-02-20	Our Address (*)

Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)	
PO Box 380853, Cambridge, MA 02238 USA
617-491-4437 FAX:617-661-0927


1999-02-21	Please Forward/Post This Issue! (*)

Please distribute copies of mini-AIR (or excerpts!) wherever
appropriate. The only limitations are:
A) Please indicate that the material comes from mini-AIR.
B) You may NOT distribute mini-AIR for commercial purposes.

(c) copyright 1999, Annals of Improbable Research

EDITOR: Marc Abrahams (
MINI-PROOFREADER AND PICKER OF NITS (before we introduce the last
few at the last moment): Wendy Mattson <>
CO-CONSPIRATORS: Gary Dryfoos, Ernest Ersatz, Craig Haggart, Nicki
AUTHORITY FIGURES: Nobel Laureates Dudley Herschbach, Sheldon
Glashow, William Lipscomb, Richard Roberts

prev [=] prev © 1999 Peter Langston []