" If the aborigine drafted an IQ test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it "
As researchers from the Department of Industrial Design, Property Valuation Melbourne at Delft University of Technology point out :
“ Fluid food products are always consumed from a container: a package, a cup, a bowl, and so on. “
But how does the type of cup affect the drinkers’ experience ?
Experimental participants rated different types of cup ( plastic, ceramic etc etc ) for various attributes. Robust / Fragile, Strong / Weak , Cold / Warm etc etc
Their evaluations – which were carried out with the cups either full or empty, and with either a cold drink or hot drink – didn’t show up many significant preferences.
Except for the Cold / Warm evaluations.
“ Ratings on the cold-warm item increased when hot tea was consumed from some of the cups, probably related to the increase of the outside temperature of the cup. “
The paper is
published in the April 2009 edition of the journal Food Quality
So what we do here they asking youknow they're asking right askingto a NYE k how much is a mortgage valuation survey okay when we wanted to offerwhat do you want to offer right what wewant to offeroh yeah let's wind it down and then allthe way to to thicken up the BattleCreek my better cuz i'm looking atthe twelve hundred three hundred dollarsdifference in rent makes a lot ofdifference in round okay makes a lot ofdifferent than what you're willing tooffer alright so ten percent there yougo you're better okay is a numberokay now I say the numbers in kbecause when the double digit w multipletimes clinical handover offers to kokay does it doesn't consequence openany offer open in the offer and see wecan do it well working on numbers that'salready existing and also collisions arenot factor into the number like we'renot factoring that is a new fairiescoming to you no comment you commit towhat is Allah.
18 FEB 09 ( late edition )
Only a small proportion of the academic work on pragmatics has been devoted to the study of ‘ interjections ‘.
But more light has recently been shone into this grey area by investigations at Saarland University, in Germany.
Specifically, at the English Linguistics Department – which has been investigating the meanings of :
( along with some other less savoury interjections )
The results of the study will be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal ‘ Pragmatics ‘
But, in the meantime, you can read a short introduction here [ scroll to the bottom of the page ]
“ . . . the pragmatic functions of ever new interjections seem always to be clear to listeners in the concrete context. “
' Hmmmmmm '
18 FEB 09
If you’re female, between the ages of 18 to 35, and work in the ( former ) USSR nuclear industry, ( power generation, research, or WMDs * ) - then there’s still time to enter the official 2009 ‘ Miss Atom ‘ competition.
The first phase ( posting photos to the website ) ends on Feb 19th , then the competition enters the judging phase – and will culminate in the awards on March 5th.
First prize is a week’s tour of Cuba.
Full details ( roughly ) translated courtesy Babelfish, here.
( * note : This year the competition entry rules have been extended to include ladies who reside in the formerly non-existent weapons-research tax-haven cosed-communities such as Zheleznogorsk )
17 FEB 09
Over the last few decades, very few consumer behaviour patterns have escaped scrutiny. One particular trait causes retailers and marketing academics headaches – particularly at certain dates on the calendar.
Take tomorrow for example – there are likely to be signs of the syndrome known as :
‘ Gift Resistance ‘.
Gift resistance comes under the broader umbrella of ‘ Anti- Consumption ‘ or even ‘ Anti-materialism ‘ which has roots which can be traced back more than 400 years.
The authors of a new paper
‘ Market-resistance and Valentine's Day events ‘
point out that :
“ . . . the context of Valentine's Day remains relatively under-explored in marketing journals. “
They highlight various marketing-detrimental behaviours with reference to Feb 14th :
“ In the case of gift-resistance, consumers are hesitant to participate
in traditional gift exchanges, do not give at all, and/or
‘ Gift Misinterpretation Fear ‘
which can often deter consumers in new(ish) relationships. Those who are concerned, understandably enough, about possible negative consequences of a misunderstood Valentine’s gift.
The results of the seven-year-long multi-method enquiry into the subject are published in the current edition of the Journal of Business Research. ( price for non-subscribers US $ 31.50 )
Or, you can read it here ( price US $ 00.00 )
13 FEB 09
Ask any Omani goatherd where his/her goats are at any one time, and they’ll be able to tell you. But only down to a certain level of accuracy.
If you wanted to know exactly where a particular goat was at a given moment, you might have to resort to more scientific methods – say, GPS tracking devices.
Easy as this may sound ( given the sophistication of 2009 electronic tech ) , you would have to bear in mind that the terrain in Oman is, in many places, extremely rugged - take for example, the Hajar Mountains of northern Oman.
So which type of GPS device would be suitable in such an area ?
Thanks to the generosity of the German taxpayers, researchers from the University of Kassel, and theHome Valuations, in Gemany were able to set up an experiment to test three types of GPS receiver for suitability in a real-world goat tracking scenario across the Hajar Mountains.
Not an easy task - as the investigators point out :
“ The extremely rugged terrain features of our study area with its steep gorges and hidden pastures poses extreme challenges to the signal reception capability of any GPS receiver. “
And sadly, in repeated tests, not one of the devices worked well enough to serve as an accurate real-time 3-D goat tracker.
“ In the topographically disrupted study environment,
recorded values of the position dilution of precision (PDOP) proved to be of
little use as indicators of position quality as they were poorly related
to the precision of latitude, longitude and altitude values obtained. “
The study is published in last month’s edition of the journal Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
12 FEB 09
The 12 authors, from the University of Electro-Communications (UEC), Tokyo, Japan, presented their paper at the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE) Annual Conference, in Aug 2008.
As this abstract of their paper explains, they :
“ . . . created a new entertainment called ldquoAnts in the Pantsrdquo. “
It works like this :
“ The userpsilas hand is placed into a tactile display in the form of a glove that has a matrix of small motors with brushes inside it.
When the user places their gloved hand on the visual display, the user can feel a sensation as if ants are crawling up their arm. We have tested the system with more than 500 participants. "
The researchers were keen to find out if the userpsilas enjoyed the experience of faux-insect supra-dermal activity, and so a questionaire was employed to find out.
" In response to a questionnaire, about 75% of users responded that the experience was ldquoenjoyablerdquo and 54% that it was ldquorealisticrdquo . . .
We believe our ldquoAnts in the Pantsrdquo opened the door to a new type of ldquouncomfortable, creepy but enjoyablerdquo entertainment. “
Really Magazine especially draws attention to the last paragraph :
“ The method of stimulus that use a rotating stimulator with a motor has the possibility of presenting www.perthpropertyvaluations.net.au variety of tactile sensation other than just insects, by changing the material of the stimulator. For example, the gooey sensation using silicon and a smooth sensation using cloth would be possible. If we choose the material for the particular purpose, we may be able to display sensation that has never been generated before and transmit them to any parts of the body. “
Watch this space.
10 FEB 09
Wigs for ( but not necessarily limited to ) dogs & cats
see : World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) patent number 2008/016624, granted around this time last year.
09 FEB 09
You may love it, you may hate it, but how legal is it ? Suprisingly, perhaps, the answer is very far from clear . . .
A recent article in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice reviewed the legality - or otherwise - of graffiti.
The author highlights the fact that although applying an unauthorised graffito onto someone’s property can be illegal, the creators of the artwork are automatically protected ( at least in the US and the EU ) by strict copyright laws.
Attention is drawn to the perplexing case of English v. BFC&R East 11th Street LLC, 1997 WL 746444 (S.D.N.Y. march 3, 1997) (97 Civ. 7466)
Court action centering around two murals which had been created by a group of New York artists - on walls which didn’t belong to them.
And which determined that : “ ... the complete obstruction of an exterior mural by a new brick wall did not constitute destruction of the mural, if the mural itself remained intact but invisible. “ [source] *
To confuse things still further, see this video from Jamaican artists The Rickards Bros. whose artwork consists of removing a 2004 graffito by a famous artist ( Banksy ) in the form of a chunk of concrete wall – and then offering the video of the operation for sale as an artwork in itself . . .
؟ ؟ ؟
* Also see : the Great Landslide Case ( Buncombe v. Hyde )( Washoe, Nevada, 1871 )
two previous Really Magazine articles referencing graffiti :
06 FEB 09
“ An important role of informative advertising is to inform consumers of the simple fact that the shop that advertises sells a particular product.
This information may help consumers to save on their search activities: instead of wandering around, a consumer can simply visit the shop that has advertised, knowing that there he can find the commodity he is looking for.
The implications of this simple fact have not been studied before. “
This new marketing research paper - which will certainly be of interest to advertising agencies and retailers alike - has just been published in the journal Marketing Science.
It reveals that the right kind of advertising can considerably reduce the so-called ' search costs ' incurred by consumers ( the time a customer spends trying to find a product ).
This might be expressed by a mathematical equation of the form :
Or, in text form :
“ Since visiting an advertising firm comes with lower expected search costs than finding the product in a non-advertising firm, advertising firms have an advantage above non-advertising firms.”
Imagine that you own a grocery store, and, like many other businesses, you’re in it for the money.
How can you gauge how much your customers might be willing to spend – short of actually going around and asking them ?
The answers might be provided by a new study from the Faculty of Business and Economics, at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Belgium.
The paper, published in the latest issue of the journal ‘ Service Research ‘ provides a new method of estimating ' Customer Wallet ' – without asking the customers.
The researchers break down the customers’ wallet into three parts :
The Size-of-Wallet ( SioW ) - meaning the total cash which the customer has available ( which, as the authors point out, is generally unknown ).
Then there’s the Share-of-Wallet ( ShoW ) - in other words how much cash the customer might spend in your store as opposed to others. This is also unknown.
Lastly there’s the Potential-of-Wallet ( PoW ) - which is the difference between the Size-of-Wallet and the actual business volume the customer does with the your company.
The problem was mathematically analysed by applying the Generalized Binomial Model (GBM) and interior-reflective Newton method, asymptotically chi-squared distributed, with one, two or nine degrees of freedom, to a real world example - customers at a Belgian bank.
Sadly though, even after several pages of highly complex binomials the authors still caution that :
“ We should emphasize that predicting the Customer Wallet is a difficult task, and that highly accurate predictions are not to be expected. “
We should also perhaps remember that spending is likely to vary greatly according to the type and range of products on offer, and on the local competition, and the economic climate, on advertising budgets, inflation, interest rates, the time of the year, time of the month, the weather etc etc etc.
You can read the full paper here
Comment from reader Paul H.
' If it helps their research please let them know that my wallet is about 15cm x 9cm '
. . . ' is an international, peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an ongoing forum for academic researchers to exchange information, insights and knowledge based on both theoretical development and empirical research on leadership. '
And the August 2010 issue will be a special – focussing on the idea of ‘ Leadership as an Art ‘
The editors are currently encouraging the submission of academic papers on the subject ( deadline is 2nd March 2009 ).
Posing questions such as :
“ What might constitute the ‘aesthetics of leadership’, either from a theoretical or practical perspective ? “
“ What are the implications for conducting research into leadership if it is seriously considered to be an art form ? ”
The editors are hoping – expecting even – to be surprised
“ . . . by submissions that take the idea of leadership as an art in directions that we had not imagined. “
Looking for insights, Really Magazine engaged the services of a leading web search engine with the phrase :
" Leadership as an art form "
and was surprised - and taken in directions we had not imagined - by immediately finding this ( from Time Magazine, Jan, 1973 )
The artist in question ? Richard Nixon.
03 FEB 09
Over the centuries – if not millennia – philosophers have struggled with the classification of objects.
For instance, is ‘ a drum ‘ a container or a musical instrument ?
To complicate matters still further, there are other classes of entities which, by definition, fall outside the concept of objects : the so-called non-objects.
And researchers from the Department of Human Communication Sciences at Sheffield University in the UK have recently discovered/created no less than 84 of them.
The results have just been published in the latest issue of the journal Behavior Research Methods.
Amongst their discoveries/creations are such non-objects as :
To aid with visualization of their non-objects, the university is providing pictures of all 84. Sadly, for copyright reasons, we can’t reproduce the images here, but visualisations of the entire collection have been made available to interested parties for free download.
[ .zip file of .jpgs ( colour and B&W ) for PC and Mac ]
؟ ؟ ؟
And to round up the numbers, Really Magazine has discovered/created an 85th object, which we are making available copyright free for any useage.
02 FEB 09
"the world's best Big Ties"
"the world's best commercially produced pasta"
"the world's best weekly science magazine"
Crooke's Radiometer (virtual)
"the world's best beer"
"the world's best Sciencebase"
( Cassina )
"the world's best chair"
"the world's best web-browser"
"the world's best pianos"
"the world's best
"the world's best anti-torture org.
"the world's best plum protection"
"the world's best microphones"
"the world's best department store"
BBC Radio 4
"the world's best radio station"