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The Best of Annals of Improbable Research Paperback – September 15, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0716730941 ISBN-10: 0716730944

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman (September 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716730944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716730941
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Science is too human, too much fun, and too important not to laugh at it." The Annals of Improbable Research (and its predecessor, the Journal of Irreproducible Results) has been making fun of science and scientists for decades. This latest compendium includes a listing of the Ig Nobel prizes, annually awarded "for scientific achievements which cannot or should not be reproduced," and some of the prizewinning papers, such as "Failure of Electric Shock Treatment for Rattlesnake Envenomation" and "Of Mites and Man." There are also plenty of groundbreaking original studies from AIR: "How Dead Is a Doornail?" "Furniture Airbags," and "The Medical Effects of Kissing Boo-Boos." As the book's warning label states, the result is a highly reactive mix: "Contents are unexpectedly educational and informative, especially in patients who suffer allergic reactions to science, technology, literature, or art. Can be highly addictive." Let the buyer beware. --Mary Ellen Curtin

Review

"If you have any interest in modern scientific research you'll find yourself guffawing from the first page of this book to the last."--Martin Gardner

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Turtle Haste on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book came home with my spouse about a year ago to be placed in my "reading" pile. I never could figure out what he was snickering at until I was looking for an article for math class. What a find! As a student teacher I've used "Aerodynamics of Potato Chips" and "Taxonomy of Barney" for evaluation of scientific study and an introduction to scientific inquiry. Most recently a classmate used "Aerodynamics of Potato Chips" with a group of middle school students who were interested in the distance of the standard toss as defined by the article (much to the horror of the custodial staff). From this initial investigation, the class moved into a more formal study of aerodynamics. This book is science educators dream! Fun and interesting articles that refocus attention, demonstrating that anything can be done scientifically, if one puts their mind to it. Its also an insight into the humor of science as who better to make fun of science than those who do it?
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a scientist, I really enjoyed reading about the many funny quirks of scientific experimentation. Perhaps without these eccentricities, there would be no innovation! Great book!! If you enjoy "behind-the-bench" humor, I would like to suggest yet another book filled with hilarious situations and lots of candid, satirical wit on the life of scientists and their managers in high-tech R&D industry, from the point-of-view of the technical staff. This new, insightful American satire is entitled, "Management by Vice" by C.B. Don and is highly recommended as an entertaining, adjunct-read to the incredible "Annals of Improbable Research".
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 26, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a scientist and technical professional I couldn't put this book down. I have kept up with the the Annals of Improbable Research for many years and this truly reflects some of the best efforts of scientists the world over. In this volume we have works by legitimate Nobel prize winners, and lesser known works such as "Gummy Worm on a Sidewalk" by Kate and Jesse Eppers, ages 12 and 10, respectively. (In their conclusion they noted that: "We came to a conclusion that three out of five people will accidentally step on a gummy worm thrown on a sidewalk." Brilliant.)
Highlights for me include: "The Laser Cheese Raclette", "The Effects of Peanut Butter on the Earth's Rotation," and, of course, "Internet Barbie and the Time Caplet." There are too many to go into, but almost all are delightful. I guess the only minor critique would be of the couple of pages of limericks, which I find a bit trying, particularly when the subject matter is "Mastodon, Mother, and Babe."
Overall a wonderful, humorous look at scientists and science through a very different lens than most are used to.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Annals of Improbable Research is an institution by itself. A journal where Nobel Prize Winners amongst others write on the lighter side of science. Funny essays, stupid experiments, and completely non-sense conclusions, all of them scientifically backed up and explained. This Book collect some of the finest pearls that have appeared in the magazine and lets you wanting more. This book is the ultimate proof that your average Nobel Prize Winner can be a funny guy, and be able to laugh at himself and his work. Gives you a different (and funny) vision of science and scientists, by some of the best amongst them. A Definitive must buy if you are, even only remotly, linked to science, investigation, or technology. Your laughing source for when your experiment is going wrong at 3 a.m.
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