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Norman Sperling
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Norm Sperling’s Great Science Trek: 2014

San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Palm Springs
Death Valley
Tucson
El Paso
Corpus Christi
Baton Rouge
Tampa
Everglades
Key West
Winter Star Party, Scout Key
Miami

MARCH 2014:
up the Eastern seaboard
mid-South

APRIL 2014:
near I-40, I-30, and I-20 westbound

MAY 2014:
near US-101 northbound
May 17-18: Maker Faire, San Mateo
May 23-26: BayCon, Santa Clara

California till midJune

JUNE 2014:
Pacific Northwest

JULY 2014:
Western Canada, eastbound

AUGUST 2014:
near the US/Can border, westbound
August 22-on: UC Berkeley

Speaking engagements welcome!
2014 and 2015 itineraries will probably cross several times.

Humor

The Issues of the Issue: JIR v52 #6

© Norman Sperling, Editor, June 11, 2017

I apologize for the extreme delay. JIR has just broken out of an unwanted hiatus occasioned by my committing too much time to too many projects. The logjam is loosening. Every subscriber will receive every issue they’ve paid for, but it will take a while. I'm not taking on any new projects until I satisfy JIR and other projects already underway.

Over the years, JIR has used many different printers, large and small. The most recent, Yokto Subroto, has retired. I appreciated his attention to detail (which prevented many mistakes), his high quality (which kept the magazine looking substantial), and his realistic communication (which brought my flights of fancy down to Earth). With Yokto printing JIR, there were no Big Surprises or Catastrophic Emergencies. This issue was printed on the same press, by the company that bought it.

A previous owner of JIR, George H. Scherr, passed away in 2016.

Yet again, Wikipedia and Wikimedia have been most helpful. JIR submissions cover more different sciences than any one editor understands, so having an instant-lookup to learn what terms mean, and where puzzle-pieces fit, helps a whole lot. Derided in its beginning years, Wikipedia has made great efforts to get its act together. Nowadays, scientific articles are quite clean, though hardly perfect. If you have the expertise to correct and perfect their articles, supply technical references, and fill holes in their coverage, please do so. They post standards for contributing and editing, and priority requests. This is a major community service that anyone can perform in any amount at any time.

The associated Wikimedia Commons is a free repository for illustrations and other media. You probably took pictures that illustrate points particularly well. Clinging to their copyright may earn you less in money than freeing them will earn you in reputation and satisfaction. Wikimedia standards are posted too. You can select how you want to handle the “some rights reserved” alternatives.

When you get used to doing this, recommend it to experts you know in other fields, too.

For this issue’s articles about time, Robbert van der Steeg’s masterful “Eternal Clock” gives pause. He is a Dutchman living in Kenya, posting photos and manipulations to Flickr under Creative Commons. His creativity is, however, uncommon. It takes wing using the software “MathMap” and “Gimp”.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders offers JIR many opportunities for lampoons over many decades. In this issue we offer DSM-style descriptions of 2 exaggerated personality types, separated by the vast chasm of the gender divide.

I recall hearing that an apparently-serious scholar recommended that
• meticulous attention to detail, and
• determination to get technicalities “right”,
flag disorders common to nerds. What a disordered mind that numbskull must have! How much could Silicon Valley accomplish without those qualities? Or any science or engineering? Heeding details and getting things right is not a disorder. Thinking they are, is.

The article on selenium demonstrates the ongoing need to keep a sense of proportion in science. Legalisms have strayed vastly out of whack, reminiscent of the bad old days of the Delaney Clause. More such abuses lurk in classifying substances as “generally recognized as safe” though textbook science and plain English do not generally recognize them that way at all. JIR welcomes shout-outs and spoofs about exemplars.

While nosing around for pictures to illustrate our “big nose” article, I didn’t remember Jimmy Durante in time. The Wikimedia search engine brought up a lot of portraits from areas surrounding the Caspian Sea. Is this characteristic supported by research? How else has it been applied?

Most commercial companies are too sober-sided and too sales-focused to be any fun. Congratulations to O’Reilly Auto Parts for advertising their flux-capacitor. We’d love to learn about other science-fun items.

We have a new minimalist leader in adhering to our length-standard of “write it for what it’s worth. Include everything you ought to, then stop.” Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Dr. Paul K. Dayton, a rare wit, has whittled his main contents to 2 letters: “No.” He doesn’t leave much opportunity to reduce contents further.

A passing mention in Daniel Galef’s “Academic Bestiary” invites elucidation. Those “brightly coloured Salad Trees” are planted outside of his article’s animal kingdom. Are they related to “fruit salad trees”? Could an imaginative botanist please elaborate?

Chipmunk butter, lauded in Robert Haas’s article, is surely not the only imaginable rare gem of a food. Please recommend what else ought to be.

Students Need Imagination and Creativity, But Some Mismanage It.

by Norman Sperling
December 25, 2016

In Fall 2016 I had more students than usual, and they committed more bloopers than usual:

Much of what we know about the universe is unknown.

An overview about a brief overview

The celestial spear does not exist physically.

The sun was directly overhead at noon during the summer solstice and this was marked by the Mayan by aligning important buildings.

In Chichen Itza at sunset the sun would set directly in front of the building.

equatorial pole

The entire Mason Dixon line was surveyed through a stone.

Kepler [wrote] his laws of planetary emotion.

Planets orbit around the sun in ellipsises ... .

The orbit of the sun is an ellipse on the focus.

The square of the period of a planet is proportional to the cubic square of its orbital radius.

The period was squared of a sidereal was proportional to the cubed of distances.

Newton’s idea of gravity explained how the moon is rotating around each big planet.

Many galaxies and objects orbit around the Earth.

Reflecting telescopes were made to eliminate [chromatic aberration] by not having light come in.

The spacecraft Voyager was launched with Yuri Gaganan bravely setting out to find out more informations about the moon.

Particles collided so randomly that the point of randomness did not exist.

Comets have certain features that allows the planets to stay the way they are, maintain its temperature and function.

[Magnetic fields on] many other planets are unable to be identified, some may have North poles, other may have South Poles.

Hubole set out a spacecraft that landed on the surface of Venus.

An object is stuck to the surface of the Earth, instead of vice versa.

Tectonic plates can collide with another, making rivets in the surface or Mountains above.

Magnetic field of the Sun ... causes the rotation of the planet and keeps each stars and comets in its own place without having them fly out different places. It keeps constant the eyle of rotation and speed and makes it possible for planets to stationed.

When a star is closer to the astromer they give off blue rays, farther away give off red.

Planets that redshift are “moving” further away from us on the surface of the Earth.

Both the red dwarves and the red giants go throw the red shift, which is shifting their position in regards to size and temperature that evolve over time.

The observed redshit of spectra from distant galaxies caused astronomers to believe the Universe is expanding.

If we look at the spectral lines of an astronomical object far away, the red color on the spectral lines will move farther away every time we observe, creating a shift between observations.

75% of Long Gamma Ray Bursters occur in galaxies with the lowest mental content.

Two supermassive black holes have been found in the Chandra X-ray satellite.

The “Big Dang” explosion

The Issues of the Issue: JIR Volume 52, #4

© Norman Sperling, December 31, 2014

As always, The Journal of Irreproducible Results brings up real issues in its light-hearted way.

“We submitted most of our research design and several very good red velvet bundt cakes and a bottle of Scotch to the local Institutionalized Review Bored consisting of a bioethicist and his medical marijuana, a fairly convincing female impersonator, Plinkey (a nearsighted but lovely golden cocker spaniel), a black & white photograph of Merv Griffin, Mrs. Bronson, and 2 bowling pins. As usual, we were granted full authorization to proceed.”
- Herschel Knapp, PhD, UCLA, page 25

How good and proper are Institutional Review Boards? Occasionally I hear a little grousing. Surely researchers don’t have as much latitude as they used to, and shouldn’t. Are some boards too lax? Are some too restrictive? Should the rules they enforce be adjusted? Should some research be opened back up?

Fireplaces recede into history as more recent heating methods keep us warm. Fireplaces still lend romance and atmosphere. Unfortunately, the atmosphere they generate when users don’t know any better is carbon monoxide, which has killed humans for centuries. The Doherty family wrote an article pointing out that CO deaths rise in the Holiday season, following cheery fires. Let awareness rise instead of deaths.

An optometrist focuses on the problem that “most multi-focal contact lens patients need to accept that to be able to see well for reading, one has to put up with the occasional automobile accident. Conversely, to maintain adequate distance vision, most multi-focal contact lens wearers should expect to carry a lighthouse with them wherever they go, to provide adequate lighting for near tasks.” Exaggeration brings out humor, but to what degree is this true? Should advertising be reined back?

Siri leads consumers by the ear. Her “artificial intelligence” flows out of smartphones. Will she eventually violate Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics? John Wade thinks she could. Or at least, he thought that when he submitted the article we just printed. We haven’t heard from him since.

Hanjo Hamann of Bonn, Germany, tells how a legal scholar there conjured up a type of animal that nature never made. Laws that are contrary to reality and contrary to evidence need to be expunged. Citizens could not tell whether to follow reality, or, instead, law. That cannot promote respect for the law. JIR invites more hilarity on “legal fictions”.

Ice Bucket Challenges made a big splash in late 2014. Sports teams had dumped on heroes for decades, but all of a sudden it became a charity issue, and spread incautiously. Someone died immediately after being dumped on, and the meme receded as abruptly as it arose. A lot of memes aren’t great ideas, and JIR will happily target many of those. Thanks to future-doctor Ryan Sieli for this one.

A curiosity of archaeology and paleontology caught the attention of 3 researchers from the Wolff family (Wolvves?). Excavators in the field *lick* specimens. Bones and their fossils stick to the tongue, while stone and pottery do not. They investigate and propose a reason.

Our front cover continues a JIR tradition stretching back decades: a microscopic photo resembling something funny, in this case Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. These days, Science develops more imaging that ever. We invite amusing contributions from every form of imaging, not just microscopy. Embellishments welcome.

Futurist Steve Johnson shows how current building materials could be fashioned into vastly different houses than tradition fosters.

My front-cover quip mentions alternating-current batteries, a curious concept that an engineer once blew past me. We invite richer exploration of the possibilities.

Once more, contributors have been great with words and less great with illustrations. Once more, we filled in from our now-favorite source, WikiMedia Commons, part of the Wikipedia cluster. A lot of their trove of illustrations are “some-rights-reserved”, usually simply requiring attribution. This time, we thank Kim Quintano, and for the cute cat pictures: Lauraprl, Stephan Czuratis, Alexandra, Dan4th, and chmee2.

Wikipedia and WikiMedia, though not always right or best-proportioned, are spectacular places to start an inquiry. You have some expertise, or you wouldn’t be reading JIR. Please donate some of that by improving Wikipedia articles in subjects and languages you know well.

My Students Explained These to Me

© Norman Sperling, December 25, 2014

Most of my intro-astro students are diligent, and many are creative. Some of that second group aren’t in the first group. Here’s what they wrote on tests.

* [Mayans] used the sun to tell time by using steaks and shadows.

* Planets cover the same amount of mass in the same amount of time.

* [Kepler’s Third Law] The ratio of the average of a period of 2 planets is equal to the average cube of the semi-major axis.

* The period of rotation is proportional to our radius or something!

* Gravity pulls on things because of heat. Sunlight is brought down to Earth with the help from gravity.

* Newtonian telescopes consists of a secondary mirror added to the side in order to create more light to see colors.

* When a meteor passes earth its tail leaves behind comets which light & burn up in the sky or atmosphere of the earth.

* Uranus reflects most of the sunlight that it absorbs.

* You can tell the age of an object by looking at the objects within them.

* You can tell how old a star is by examining its main sequence.

* Stars with darker colors are considered a lot newer.

* Sefiet variables are used to measure the distance between space and the universe.

* A supernova emerges when iron reaches the core of the sun.

* The disk which is made of “arms” is just an extension of clustures which “spirals” out & sometimes makes eddies as a result of the outward gravity for a time being able to push out a section of clustures.

Big Ball of Twine: Cawker City, Kansas

© Norman Sperling, July 16, 2013

On the main street one of the few signs of life is the Ball of Twine, and especially the very clever artworks up and down the block.

I’ll defer to Guinness and Wikipedia to decide which town’s ball of twine really is biggest. This one certainly is awfully big.

Cooler than the twine is the series of paintings. Local artist Cher Olson copied famous paintings, cleverly adding a ball of twine to each.

This could easily adapt to other small attractions. They could be more paintings, or they could be something else -- practically anything, like photoshopping, songs, familiar sayings -- that can adapt to the local feature subject. Folks are very creative, especially online. Adapting online-style humor to points of civic pride shouldn’t be a problem.

Go for it!

Big Ball of Twine: Cawker City, Kansas

© Norman Sperling, July 6, 2013

On the main street one of the few signs of life is the Ball of Twine, and especially the very clever artworks up and down the block.

I’ll defer to Guinness and Wikipedia to decide which town’s ball of twine really is biggest. This one certainly is awfully big.

Cooler than the twine is the series of paintings. Local artist Cher Olson copied famous paintings, cleverly adding a ball of twine to each.

This could easily adapt to other small attractions. They could be more paintings, or they could be something else -- practically anything, like photoshopping -- that allows for adapting to the local feature subject. Folks are very creative, especially online. Adapting online-style humor to points of civic pride shouldn’t be a problem.

Go for it!

The Issues of the Issue: The Journal of Irreproducible Results, v52 #1

© Norman Sperling, Editor, February 5, 2013

JIR always looks for new angles. Longtime contributor Steve Groninger, a voracious reader, sends in several good catches of innumeracy. He finds Copernicus (or his translator?) saying "360° are equal to 2 right angles". Meanwhile, Herschel Knapp at UCLA points out that circles have 360° while triangles only have 180°, so circles are twice as hot as triangles.

Current issues make current articles. Twinkies are famous for not spoiling. Archaeology prof Alex Taub buried a pack at Wenatchee Valley College. Dug up a year later, he found a little spoilage, but not that much. I look forward to the return of Twinkies and especially Hostess cupcakes.

JIR also keeps up with the zombie apocalypse. For a useful indicator, A. L. Holm of the University of Michigan explored counts of websearch finds for "braaains" with various numbers of "a"s. The first supernumerary peak occurs with 3 "a"s, quantities decay till 11, then secondary peaks at 13 and 17, but it takes a surprising number to reach 0. I don't look forward to the return of zombies.

Also up-to-date is our article on texting, as seen by Lehigh prof Brian Pinaire. An idealist, he wants students to pay attention to what he's teaching. For a while I thought this was an age problem, with teenagers self-distracting. Then I saw their middle-aged parents doing the same thing. Should I text my students during class to remind them to pay attention to my lecture?

A longer look at recent trends reveals an accompaniment to several decades of Global Warming: Global Swarming! Pawan Dhar of Yokohama shows that as temperature has risen, so has the invention of new scientific directions.

That generates scads of new scholarly books. Many of us still use actual, physical books. Academic libraries are brimful of them. Longtime librarian Norman Stevens promotes an app for that: leave books anywhere they fit, and guide users to them by GPS.

A much shorter, more specialized form of literature is the "package insert" for drugs. Keenan Bora demonstrates how a treatment could be worse than its disease.

Timeless rather than timely is Andrew Olsen's exploration of the nether end of the spinal cord in human cognition. He indicates that people do often seem to think with their butt. I'm not going to touch that.

Immediately following that conclusion comes an expose of the role of a roll of toilet paper. It doesn't just indicate who's a winner and who's a loser, it determines which is which.

Neither of the 2 previous articles could explain the interview by which Tom Szirtes of Toronto got one of his best jobs.

David J. Burns of Xavier University, Cincinnati, proposes using a "Higgs Vacuum and Mass Transfer Device" for a wonderful particle-physics solution to clinical obesity and the Federal Debt. Higgs bosons confer mass. Extract fat from obese people, and then insert the mass into gold bars.

We are very pleased to publish a further examination of the Dreaded Sock Monster by Elaine Foster, near Melbourne, Australia. We're delighted to learn that she's recovering from some recent setbacks.

A followup of a different character explores the highly-publicized "Mozart Effect". Peter Lefevre of Caltech tested how rats would react to the "music" of the Insane Clown Posse. The lab assistants rebelled. The ethics committee rebelled. And the rats rebelled.

Some people like birds. Some people like cats. Cats prey on birds. Robert Haas summons up a bigger bird - an eagle - that preys on cats.

2 new cartoonists have found us. Sally Mills memorably pronounces on particle physics, and Michael Capozzola has a tasteful take on Star Wars.

For decades, JIR has struggled to find good illustrations. A minority of contributors illustrate their own articles. For the rest, we have to hunt. A new resource is yielding astonishingly appropriate resources: Wikimedia, a "sister project" to Wikipedia. They provided this issue with a leaky bucket, a zombie, boats, medicines, texting, library books, toilet paper, and the surprising picture on page 22. All we have to do is acknowledge the creative-commons sources and terms, and indeed we are very grateful for them. If you have some spare resources, and you also use Wikipedia and Wikimedia, consider enriching their articles, increasing their open media, or sending them some money.

The Exams I Just Graded Weren't Perfect

© Norman Sperling, December 23, 2012

According to my students:

Aristotle believed that the Earth was geocentric.

[Kepler's Law #] Two: Plants move fasters when they are closer to the Sun and slower then they are far away. Third: The period squared equals the semi-radius cubed.

Comets were initially fussy and difficult to see.

Plates "smash" into one another in a subversion zone, like along the Chilean coast.

Volcanoes ... become dormat.

Black holes are prominent in the solar system, but widely misunderstood.

The Big Bang theory states that the death of a star created our galaxy.

the "emberrs" of the Big Bong

The Big Bing was the creation of everything as we know it.

[Let us know when Microsoft's search engine starts listing that one.]

The Issues of the Issue: The Journal of Irreproducible Results, v51 #6

© Norman Sperling, May 29, 2012

Comedian Steve Martin wrote a play about how Science and Art approach similar questions from different angles. I saw a community theater production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile: in 1904, young Einstein and Picasso run into one another at a bar. I'd love to see it made into a movie. Our lead article is the script of an epilogue, set in a different bar 40 years later. They still regard space and time from very different angles, but come a bit closer this time. How would they, or current physicists and artists, interact this year? Thanks to David Carlberg for the script.

Our cover article celebrates cryptozoologists' ongoing search for undiscovered or unappreciated hominids. Enjoy this Irish expedition to examine "The Wild Ape-Leprechauns of Borneo". Is the orangutan the strange target, or the leprechaun? We welcome Pandareus von Grundenstein back to our author list.

Entrepreneur/adventurer Richard Branson pulled an April Fool joke by announcing "Virgin Volcanic". His new screw-propeller vehicle would swim through liquid lava to travel from volcano to volcano underground. On the back cover, look for the dramatic embodiment of his motto "screw business as usual".

JIR's decades-long exploration of academe continues with David Burns's grading of exams according to the time students hand them in. I've noticed something along those lines: students with little to say finish early, students with a lot to say need more time to say all that. Meanwhile - and we do mean "mean" - Subhabrata Sanyal attempts to measure the factors that make him cranky.

Cartoon character "Popeye" is so popular that people overlook his obvious physical peculiarities. S. D. Hines examines him medically and finds facial dysmorphism, microophthalmia, distal limb hypertrophy, a mono diet, and intermittent explosive disorder. What other popular characters should be examined?

Jeff Jargon takes aim at genetically-modified foods not by minimizing the differences of those currently on the market, but by exploring future extensions. He offers a pitless cherry, all-white-meat chicken, and (noting the great taste of a bacon cheesburger) a graft/hybrid cow/pig. His "chipoodle", a chihuahua/poodle hybrid, was hailed as "the most nervous, yappy, high-maintenance canine ever conceived."

Hybrid cars obviously combine electric and internal-combustion features. Nancy Niemeyer mixes in the kitchen mixer.

How would a statistician write a dating advertisement? Joeri Smits shows his bid. No word about how well it has worked. How would such an ad be written for other specialists? Like you?

Common basket filters for coffee makers are cheap and ubiquitous. The bottom ones in each stack are also infamous for collapsing. I suspect that's because, the way they're formed in bunches, upper ones have pleats arched in a way that resists collapse. Lower ones have pleats arched so weakly they invite collapse. Danila Oder explores the resulting muddy coffee as "grounds" for murder.

Is it "rocket science" that's so famously difficult? Engineer Rod Hatcher says it's actually "rocket engineering" that's the really hard stuff. I think both sides are right, and making rockets work is still a horrendously complex and difficult accomplishment.

Richard Mead greatly simplifies physicists' ongoing to-do over Higgs Bosons. He spotted 7 of them huddled in a corner of his sock drawer. I hate to think what might lurk in mine.

Other topics include paper-folding, inside-out underwear, famous quotations and who didn't say them, and more goofy-named advisors and web domains.

Establishments mentioned in this issue:
* The Melbourne Institute of Precipitate Isotrophism
* Department of Regression to the Grand Mean
* University of Unreality
* University of Imaginary Numbers
* Alaskan Neurologic Center for Subaqueous Sesquiology
* Polikeness School of Nutritional Sciences
* Denver Nucleic Agency
* Plunder Island Probiotic and Bionutritional Research
* Organization for Useful Cognitive Help (OUCH)
* Bureaucratic Invidious Negative Officialdom (BINGO)
* Acquaintances of Ministerial Informal Governmental Activities (AMIGA)
* Ghastly Repulsive Invidious Non-Governmental Offices (GRINGO)

Journals mentioned in this issue:
* The Journal of Unpleasant Student Experiences
* The Journal of Plant Sociology
* Acta Comic Toxigens
* The Journal of Abnormal Locomotion in Toddlers
* International Journal of Salad Experimentation

and, as unclassifiable as its author:
Director Supreme of the Gene Dream Team

Authors come from Australia, Canada, England, Israel, and Norway, and the American states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington.

The Issues of the Issue: JIR v51 #5

© Norman Sperling, December 23, 2011

The noticeable uptick in the national economy, encouraging though insufficient, is mirrored by JIR subscriptions. We're getting a few more than before, though not enough for prosperity. Part of this comes from general interest in recent scientific-press studies of (truly) irreproducible reports. Science-media critic Charlie Petit even used JIR in his lead when he commented on that - thanks Charlie!

Now in the postal system is JIR v51 #5. It's full, as always, of science humor. An MD using the pseudonym "Fizzy McFizz" wrote "All Research is Actually Made Up", supporting a conclusion that some draw from the reproducibility challenges. Burlesquing expansion on small-number statistics, Paul Monach of Boston University compares a category in which he can find 2 examples, to a huge population surrounding them.

While the Zen approach continues to interest people, Eric Levy shows that the Un-Zen life - seeking immediate gratification - seems closer to what they actually do.

Our cover article is "Ants are Superbeings!" by Australian researchers Elaine Foster and R. A. J. Reynolds. It points out many of ants' superior abilities, including their social behavior which acts in some cases like a super-organism. Serious entomologists ("ant"omologists?) are considering this, too. For one take, read Mark W. Moffett's spectacularly illustrated 2010 book Adventures Among Ants, from University of California Press.

We thank the talented young artist Marlin Peterson of Washington state for our cover art. He's a scientific illustrator who seeks to reproduce the results of Science that can't be photographed. Enjoy his website at www.marlinpeterson.com. The picture shows Argentine ants colonizing new ecological niches. The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is very remarkable indeed, and I'm sure we haven't heard the last of it. What remarkable things do the ants around you do?

Conferencemanship occupied some of JIR's earliest contributors, and still concerns our authors and readers. In this issue, P. Alexandre tells "How to Answer Questions" while maintaining (an illusion of) superiority.

Comedian Norm Goldblatt ties up beer, pi, the Higgs Boson, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, ET, and religion while having "Beer With An Alien". I've had a meal with Norm myself, but we didn't get to any of those issues.

Trevor Kitson, our most prolific contributor from New Zealand, apologizes to Rudyard Kipling for his chemistry takeoff on "If".

What is the proper opposite of the Vulcan Blessing, "Live Long and Prosper"? Logician John Mariani of Lancaster University, UK, explores the possibilities. "Fail And Die Soon" stops agony too soon to be a big curse. "Die Soon Or Fail" goes in the right direction, but "Live Long Or Prosper" is "far more elegant, far more logical, and much, much nastier."

Our friend Larry Lesser of UTEP is back with a new song. Taking his cue from James Taylor's excellent Fire & Rain, Lesser talks technical in Combustion & Precipitation. And I pun right back at him in an Editor's Note.

2 contributors send up dysfunctional bureaucracies: Harry Stern of Kennesaw State University in Georgia satirizes social work's "community disorganization", while R. L. Zimdahl critiques university administration, having been part of one for many years. I'll stick to my own standards: when there's good will and good management, any system works; where there isn't, no system can work.

A question for you: experience has taught that I catch a lot more errors when I proofread paper printouts, rather than the computer screen. A little is due to the screen's less-accurate renditions of character spacing, but that doesn't explain most of my "catches". Do others experience this too? Or the reverse? Why does this happen?

The Journal of Irreproducible Results
This Book Warps Space and Time
What Your Astronomy Textbook Won't Tell You

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