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November 1, 1995

Annals of Improbable Research

Author Affiliations

Cornell University Medical College New York, NY

JAMA. 1995;274(17):1403-1404. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530170083039

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From clowns at Native American sacred dances to satyr plays pricking Greek tragedies, humor can be a counterweight to our most sacred beliefs. Science, near sacred to many because of its underlying search for truths of life, the universe, and everything, is no exception. A new journal attempting scientific humor is the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), produced by former editors, staffers, and contributors of the older Journal of Irreproducible Results (JIR) (the new journal, however, is in no way associated with the older title). Unfortunately, although the price is right, the attempt is only partially successful: much of the material of the initial three issues is not very scientific and not very funny.

Most of the issues of AIR (readers are referred to as "AIRheads"—get it?) comprise "research" articles and lists of "improbable theories, experiments, and conclusions" gleaned from actual scientific literature. Some articles poke gentle fun at modern

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