Annals of Improbable Research – Review

Annals of Improbable Research

Vol. II, No. 6 $5 (PO Box 380853 Cambridge, MA 02238)
by Clarendon Lavorich

Egghead humor never gets the credit it deserves, probably because so few people actually get it. High brow humor appeals to, well, the high brow. If you can chuckle at the joke, “I don’t have my homework because I accidentally calculated its precise momentum, so it could be anywhere in the universe,” you’ve probably been paying attention in physics class for too long. This is precisely the kind of humor that The Annals of Improbable Research aims for. Sure, they still go for some sophomoric jokes, as in a paper about grafting an amputated penis onto a patient’s forearm, but still, how can you go wrong with “Interaction of Serotonin and lysergic acid diethylamide in the Siamese fighting fish?” Better yet, the reader’s letters (“I am a big fan of the Cyrrillic alphabet. Please use more Cyrrillic letters in your articles,” and “I left my raincoat in your office. Please return it”), which show the general attitude of the `zine’s demographic. As The Annals… say themselves, “There are no typographical errors in this issue. Can you identify all of them correctly?” Clearly, this is not for the faint of brain. Also included is a travelogue of trying to catch a meteorite in the Antarctic (bare handed), a meaningless poem about Chemistry where all the lines are an anagram of “I Love Chemistry” (“`He so vile!’ cry Tim/Vomit his celery”), an in-depth analysis of one of the leading science journals (Self magazine), and the 1993 Ig Nobel Psychology prize winner essay, which proves that people who think they are God, actually are. All this, and a circumcision parody of Hamlet’s soliloquy, too? Line up, all you college grads. Sink your mind into this.

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