Three academics argue that boys have an unfair advantage over girls in understanding physics and thus out-performing girls in tests, because they can urinate standing up


A trio of researchers—two in Australia, one in Scotland—have suggested a delightful explanation for the unfortunate and embarrassing fact that boys outperform girls on physics tests.

It’s because boys pee standing up.

In an allegedly scholarly paper called “Taking the pee out of physics: how boys are getting a leg-up,” Anna Wilson, Kate Wilson, and David Low say they realize that some people will think they’re “daft,” but they insist that their intentions are “honourable.” They say that “playful urination practices” such as Peeball or even spelling their names in the snow with their pee “may give boys an advantage over girls when it comes to physics”:

The fact that boys (and men) play with their ability to projectile pee is hardly contentious.…All this is experienced up to five times a day, so by 14, boys have had the opportunity to play with projectile motion around 10,000 times. And 14 is when many children meet formalised physics in the form of projectile motion and Newton’s equations of motion for the first time.

But as we all know, their statements—and by extension, all “academic” papers of this ilk—are worthless once you take the piss out of them.

Daft, indeed…


Feminist researcher invents ‘intersectional quantum physics’ to fight ‘oppression’ of Newton


A feminist academic affiliated with the University of Arizona has invented a new theory of “intersectional quantum physics,” and told the world about it in a journal published by Duke University Press.

Whitney Stark argues in support of “combining intersectionality and quantum physics” to better understand “marginalized people” and to create “safer spaces” for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review.

Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanity’s understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.”

A researcher in culture and gender studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Stark also holds an appointment in women’s and gender studies at the University of Arizona through its Institute for LGBT Studies.

She is a member of the Somatechnics Research Network, hosted by UA, whose scholars “reflect on the mutual inextricability of embodiment and technology.”

Ah, so that qualifies her to teach about physics…


Physicists invent new, difficult to eat pasta shape, to explain polymer physics

Still, it’s pasta! 🙂

Two physicists from the University of Warwick have taken to the kitchen to explain the complexity surrounding what they say is one of the last big mysteries in polymer physics.

As a way of demonstrating the complicated shapes that ring-shaped polymers can adopt, the researchers have created a brand new type of ring-shaped , dubbed “anelloni” (anello being the Italian word for “ring”), which they’ve exclusively unveiled in this month’s Physics World.

With just 2 eggs and 200 g of plain flour, Davide Michieletto and Matthew S Turner have created large loops of pasta that, when cooked and thrown together in a bowl, get hugely tangled up, in much the same way that ring-shaped polymers become massively intertwined with each other.

A video of Davide Michieletto showing what it’s like to eat this new kind of pasta was taken at the headquarters of Physics World.

Whereas it’s easy when faced with a bowl of normal spaghetti to suck or pull a single strand out, it’s much harder to extract a single piece of pasta from a pile of anelloni, which get horribly tangled up.

These are trying times; be brave!