Sunday, September 21, 2014

the Ig Nobel awards

[Sept 18, 2014] The 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners - Each has done something that makes people laugh then think.
Winners travelled to the ceremony, at their own expense, from around the world to receive their prize from a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, in Harvard's historic and largest theater. 1100 improbable persons filled the theatre, and the whole affair was broadcast live.

The full list of winners this year:
PHYSICS: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, of Kitasato University, Japan, and colleagues, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that's on the floor.
NEUROSCIENCE: Kang Lee, of the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.
PSYCHOLOGY: Peter Jonason, of the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and colleagues for amassing evidence that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning.
PUBLIC HEALTH: Jaroslav Flegr, of Charles University, Czech Republic, and colleagues for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat.
BIOLOGY: Vlastimil Hart, of the Czech University of Life Sciences, and colleagues for carefully documenting that when dogs defecate and urinate, they prefer to align their body axis with Earth's north-south geomagnetic field lines.
ART: Marina de Tommaso, of the University of Bari, Italy, and colleagues for measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam.
ECONOMICS: The Italian government's National Institute of Statistics, for proudly taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions between willing participants.
MEDICINE: Ian Humphreys, of Michigan State University, US, and colleagues, for treating "uncontrollable" nosebleeds, using the method of nasal-packing-with-strips-of-cured-pork.
ARCTIC SCIENCE: Eigil Reimers, of the University of Oslo, Norway, and colleagues, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.
NUTRITION: Raquel Rubio, of IRTA, Spain, and colleagues, for their study titled "Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Infant Faeces as Potential Probiotic Starter Cultures for Fermented Sausages."


  1. I had to look up the one about cats and used "mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat" as a search parameter on google. Aside from it being mentioned as an Ig Nobel award, all i could find was this...

  2. Swatting yourself on the fanny already - that you did without a nomniation such that this blog stood as it is over as long as it did - I learned recently that mathematician John Nash is still around..