arXiv Fool's Day 2024

I have been a bit of a slacker for the past year, but April is here, which means it’s time for another update to my “asymptotically comprehensive” list of April 1 arXiv joke papers!

This year I found 20 new papers, which the biggest addition yet. On one hand, congratulations researchers! On the other hand, that means a lot of work for me to look over them all — and I can’t even slack off because so many of them are really good.

I couldn’t resist starting with the figure on the right, from Scatophobic Dark Matter brought to my attention by Jim Cline. I mean, look at that cute little pile of poo, so innocent and honest. Unfortunately the paper says we’re going to have a hard time finding experimental confirmation: “…no direct detection signals will be observed before the demise of civilization.” And probably also because it’s stinky, although maybe the experimentalists are used to that. (I kid, I kid)

Explanations for dark matter are a perennial topic of speculation, though, and the scatophobic theory has competition this year: a proposal that dark matter might be made of souls. Souls have long been known …

Featured Posts


New site!

I’m back! After lots of work improving the theme and the implementation of my website, I’m getting back to regular blogging!

Most of the site looks pretty similar to how it did before, but there are some significant changes under the hood.

  • I’ve converted almost the entire …

About saturation

Time to kick off a new year of blog posts! For my first post of 2015, I’m continuing a series I’ve had on hold since nearly the same time last year, about the research I work on for my job. This is based on a paper my group …


Lessons from my first half-week

Things that don’t exist in China:

  • Ubiquitous wireless internet. Not so surprising, really, because Americans do have a rather unhealthy obsession with their wireless, but one would think I’d get wifi in the hotel room. Surprise, nope! Naturally this makes it rather less convenient to put up blog …