how to write an April Fools' paper

I had a great visit to the University of Toronto Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (and Dunlap Institute) today. I had great conversations about scintillometry (new word?) and the future of likelihood functions and component separation in the CMB. I also discussed pairwise velocity differences in cosmology, and probabilistic supernova classification. There is lots going on. I gave my talk on The Cannon, in which I was perhaps way too pessimistic about chemical tagging!

Early in the day, I ate Toronto-style (no, not Montreal-style) bagels with Dustin Lang (Toronto) and discussed many of the things we like to discuss, like finding very faint outer-Solar-System objects in all the data Lang wrangles, like the differences between accuracy and precision, and even how to define accuracy in astrophysics, and like April Fools' papers, which have to meet four criteria:

  1. conceptually interesting inference
  2. extremely challenging computation
  3. no long-term scientific value to the specific results found
  4. non-irrelevant mention of April 1 in abstract
It is a brutal set of requirements but we have met them two times. I think this year is out (because of criterion 2), but maybe 2018?

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