288 pages, b/w illustrations
Guardian columnist Marc Abrahams collects the odd, imaginative, and amazingly improbable research from around the world. Now he investigates the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body, uncovering studies on the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly, the amount of dandruff among Pakistani soldiers, and the very valuable material that has been extracted from cockroaches as well as chocolate bars. He also shares unlikely medical cases, including a boy with an 'Eiffel head injury' (involving the tower), and more unlikely inventions, such as a patented system for attacking your enemy with a biowaste bomb. This latest tour of improbable science is guaranteed to make you laugh, then make you think about your body – especially as you look to both sides of a middle finger* – in a whole new way.
*Referring to 2D:4D studies by the most prolific finger research celebrities, most assuredly.
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Marc Abrahams writes the Improbable Research column for the Guardian and is the author of This Is Improbable. He is editor of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research and founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, which are presented annually at Harvard. A monthly guest on NPR's nationally syndicated "Science Friday," Abrahams and the Igs have been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, and numerous other outlets. He and his wife, Robin, a columnist for the Boston Globe, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He's on Twitter @MarcAbrahams.