Annals of Improbable Research goes to the newstand.

The Guardian has started publishing a column by Marc Abrahams who is editor of the bimonthly magazine Annals of Improbable Research and organiser of the Ig Nobel Prize. Check it out! The first article is called "Fizzy Logic" which covers the Coke vs. Pepsi debate. He also has a blog here.

Here's a little sample of the column in the Guardian:

The nagging question of which is better, Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola, sprang from an earlier, more basic question: Can anyone tell the difference?

Professor Nicholas H Pronko and colleagues at the University of Wichita, Kansas, conducted a series of experiments in the 1940s and 1950s. They wrote five studies that brought rigour, sophistication and cachet to the testing of Coke/Pepsi taste-discrimination.

Pronko's first study asked a series of complex questions. Volunteer drinkers tasted samples of four different kinds of cola - Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Royal Crown Cola (a third brand that was popular at the time), and Vess Cola. Vess Cola was then (and remained) little known.

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Thanks for pointing this out. I read The Guardian (International Edition) everyday, flaky distribution in southern France permitting, and missed this. But since it seems to be the Education Guardian supplement, that's probably why: The International Edition is about half the content of the UK version for two or three times the price. And isn't full colo(u)r, which is really annoying each time they run one of you-need-colo(u)r-to-understand-this graphics, in black-and-gre/ay-and-white. Sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a rant about (relatively trivial) issues .... apologies! And thanks!

All bitching is good bitching... well as long as it isn't anti-me. :)