Share funny/amusing academic papers!

As the thread title says - post citations (preferably with legal fulltext links) to some of the most amusing papers in your particular field of academia! We’ll all learn things, have a good laugh - it’ll be fun!

I’ll go first:

1.) “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law”. Ira P. Robbins. U.C. Davis Law Review, April 2008. 41 UCDLR 1403.

From the abstract:

2.) “The Perfect Crime”. Brian C. Kalt. MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 02-14. Available at SSRN: ; also The Perfect Crime, 93 GEO. L.J. 675 (2005).

From the abstract:

3.) The entire purpose of George Mason University’s Green Bag journal is to publish entertaining works of legal scholarship. I love these guys - they even write about pirates!

Awsome! Monkey knife fights all around!

Sadly, no - the article points out that your hypothetical murderer would have to take care to violate no laws before entering the area in question, because they could easily be charged for those crimes. Training monkeys to knife-fight is probably illegal almost everywhere.

from the American Water Resources Association.

Basically, the authors modeled human bodies out of different geometric components and simulated the effects of varying velocities, currents and drag forces. I’m looking forward to the second part of the project, when they validate the results of their simulations.

Just check out annals of improbable research… in particular, the Ig Noble Proze winners.

My favourite? The study that found that giving viagra to hamsters helps their recovery of jet lag.
Try to find a more deserving Ig Noble!

Edit: Okay, didn’t read OP - this is NOT my field of research.

Maybe it should be, though.

This one wasn’t intended to be funny, but achieves that goal anyway.

“Towards a New Model of the Homeopathic Process Based on Quantum Field Theory”

If you’re desperately scratching for something to support homeopathy, it makes sense to pick a theory that few understand and where you can use really, really big words to cover the fact that you’re full of it.

“Disease manifestation by the Vital Force (Vf) could be an event similar to spontaneous symmetry breaking in QFT: the curative remedy acting to restore the broken symmetry of the Vf field. Entanglement between patient, practitioner, and remedy might be representable as Feynman-like diagrams. Conclusion: QFT demonstrates that quantum properties can be physical without being observable.”

I fear that Dr. Milgrom has been thoroughly ridiculed for his bold attempt.

Not the paper itself, but the title is wonderful — P.J. Brancazio’s American Journal of Physics paper on the physics of judging Fly Balls (53 (9) 849-855 (1985)) is entitled

Looking into Chapman’s Homer.

The Chapman in this case was a previous AJP author:

J. Kruger and D. Dunning. “Unskilled and Unaware”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1999, Vol. 77, No. 6. ] 121-1134. Available at

Not only a fairly entertaining paper, but it should be required reading for every adult in our society.

OK, now I’m intrigued. How do you test humor?

Read the paper.

For the win:


Come on - on a board dedicated to fighting ignorance, this thread should be on its second page by now!

Lawsuit Schmawsuit

Discusses the prevalence of Yiddish in legal opinions, originally published in the Yale Law Journal.

Well, those were…interesting. What grades did he get on them?

Aside, The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule, 123 U. PA. L. REV. 1474 (1975)

That last paper makes SO much more sense!

I’m not the teacher or student. They’ve been floating around the webs for a long time.