Thursday, July 19, 2007

The journal of irreproducible results

I want to further plug this journal, since in my mind it may be even funnier than the annals of improbable research. Virologist Alexander Kohn and physicist Harry J. Lipkin founded The Journal of Irreproducible Results in 1955 in Ness Ziona, Israel.

Anyone can submit their irreproducible results, provided they have a sense of humour:
"IR articles should be humorous. Appeal to scientists, doctors, and engineers. Make your points in good humor. Make readers feel good about having read them. Minimize bitter aftertaste. The rule for length is simple: write it for what it's worth. Include everything that ought to be there, and then stop. Don't leave out anything that helps the article, but don't pad, either. Parts of articles that deal with real science should be valid both in technicalities and in sense of proportion. 70% of JIR readers have doctorates - they can spot problems. "

This philosophy has gotten the journal some critical acclaim:
"I recommend a regular dose of the Journal of Irreproducible Results, the funniest magazine I know." - Toronto Globe And Mail
"The Journal of Irreproducible Results is the funniest thing to happen to science since Archimedes ran naked through the streets of Syracuse."- Discover
"The Journal of Irreproducible Results is our favorite magazine."- New Scientist "

And for good reason. Some of my favorite papers (or graph above) include the effect of national geographic on landmass depression in america. The authors estimate that around 7 million copies are printed annually, and the journal has been around for 141 years, with each copy weighing 2lb and not likely to be discarded by the subscriber. Hence some simple maths tells you that :

"Taking the predictions of Kaub (1974) at face value, the height of a column of National Geographic magazines necessary to depress the continental land mass by 100 feet (30.48 m) was calculated. This would be a vertical stack 82.33 m high, equivalent to 11.45 x 103 magazines. This depression of the land mass would produce a rise in sea level due to displaced mantle material. Assuming the effect is confined only to the ocean basins, a net depression of 100 feet (30.48 m) would be due to an actual depression of the land of 29.82 m and a resultant rise in sea level of 66 cm."


Anonymous said...
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Andrew Conti said...

Wow. Really enjoy your blog. And I'll gladly exchange links. Thanks for the kind words.