Last week, I told you about a new, peer-reviewed study detailing more than 700 cases of traumatic brain injury in the comic Asterix. Yesterday, I went on New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth to talk about WHY that study was done. That's the question everybody had about this research. And it's a reasonable question. After all, what good is it to anyone to know how comic book characters get injured?
The answer is surprising. On several levels. For one thing, lead author Marcel Kamp told me that Traumatic brain injuries in illustrated literature: Experience from a series of over 700 head injuries in the Asterix comic books is the first peer-reviewed paper he's ever published that didn't need any revisions. The reviewers were very supportive, right from the beginning.
The other big surprise: This is really a culture shock thing. Turns out, what the general public sees as frivolous "dumb science" makes a lot more sense if you know how this paper fits into the cultural norms of medical research. I explain this in my Word of Mouth interview, but I will spoil you on one little tidbit. Before you complain about the waste of public funds, you really should know that no public funds were spent on this paper. As Kamp told me, "the analysis" was done on weekends and holidays, using the researchers own collections of comic books.
Image: goldenslumbus, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from terrapin_flyer's photostream
“Worry not.” (posted to r/pics by kekembas17)
Brian Wansink is one of the most-cited nutrition researchers in the world; 30,000 US schools use his advice to design their lunch programs, drawing on studies he’s done that show that kids eat more carrots when they’re called “X-ray vision carrots” and that putting out fruit bowls improves eating habits, and that smaller plates reduce […]
A Chinese company developed a human sperm extraction machine for use in hospitals and other settings where human sperm may be required on the spot, but where conservative social norms or embarrassment make “while they wait” masturbation a difficult proposition. The Jiangsu Sanwe Medical Science and Technology Center says their device, which has been sold […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]