Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 10:49:03 CDT
From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
To: Multiple recipients of list TOURBUS 
Subject: TOURBUS 10/19 -- AIR

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     \___/ \___/  "Why Surf When U Can Ride The Bus?"  \___/


First off, let me apologize for posting today's BUS a day late.
Your humble tourguide has been a busy beaver this week :)

Today's stop is at the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR).
AIR is a self-described "splendidly subversive science humor magazine"
produced by the founders and entire former editorial staff of
"The Journal of Irreproducible Results."  AIR's editorial board
consists of more than 40 distinguished scientists from around the
world, including eight Nobel Laureates and a convicted felon.

As an example of what the folks at AIR mean when they say
that AIR is a "splendidly subversive science humor magazine,"
AIR vol. 1, no. 6, the November/December 1995 issue, is a special
issue devoted partially to research on animal behavior.  Two of
the most prominent articles are:

     A) A report from Swiss researchers (Inaudil, de Lega, Di Tullo,
        Forno, Jacquet, Lehmann, Monti and Vurpillot) who have
        identified and captured the butterfly whose wingflapping
        causes rainfalls in Paris.

     B) A report from researchers at the University of Waterloo
        (Carron, Brawley and Widmeyer) concerning a program of
        independence training for lemmings.

While the print version of AIR actually costs money (GASP!), you can
still find pieces of AIR's articles on the Internet.  The nice
folks at AIR have created a mailing list called "mini-AIR,"
which is an monthly electronic newsletter of overflow tidbits
from The Annals of Improbable Research.  mini-AIR is available
over the Internet, free of charge.  To subscribe, send an E-mail
letter to:


which says


in the body of your e-mail letter, replacing YOURFIRSTNAME and
YOURLASTNAME with your first and last names.

If you have access to a Web browser, you might also want to
check out the Hot AIR homepage at

Hot AIR has links to all of the old mini-AIR posts, as well as
to some rather funny scientific investigations.  Hot AIR
has some hysterical information on it, and I still get a good
chuckle thinking about the "Hubble News" page.

The folks at AIR are probably most famous for their Ig Noble Prizes.
A few days ago, AIR held its Fifth First Annual Ig Noble Prize
ceremony, honoring people whose achievements "could or should not
be reproduced."

I won't ruin the surprise by telling you this year's winners
(you can find that out from both MINI-AIR and Hot AIR), but
I will tell you that last year's Ig Noble prize for Mathematics
went to the Southern Baptist Church of Alabama, mathematical
measurers of morality, for their county-by-county estimate of
how many Alabama citizens will go to Hell if they don't repent.
(The award was accepted by the Honorable Terje Korsnes, consul
of Norway, who accepted the Ig on behalf of the people of Hell,
a little town in Norway.)


RATS - noun.  Entitled power or privilege.
Usage: "We Southerners are willing to fight for out rats."

(*Today's Southern Word comes from a school teacher in America's
southern most state: Hawaii.  As part of her class' study of the
"War of Northern Aggression" (known to Yankees at the "Civil War"),
she showed her class the movie Gettysburg.  The students wondered
why the Confederacy was fighting for their "rats." The answer, of
course, is obvious: Southerners have very friendly rats ... in fact,
you could almost say that we have some downright civil rats*)


* One of my best friends invited me to the Purdue/OSU game this
  weekend, so if you see a really tall guy in the Purdue student
  section wearing a red jacket and an Alabama hat, that's me :)

* I want to thank the folks at the University of Kentucky for making
  me feel so welcome during my speech there on Wednesday.  I had a
  blast, and I just want to remind everyone at UK that, on behalf
  of the University of Alabama, you can keep Bill Curry :)

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