Friday, October 10, 2008

Ig Nobel 2008

Well, the big brains from the committees in Switzerland have begun handing out Nobel Prizes to the best and brightest of our time, so that must mean it's also time for the folks who run the "Annals of Improbable Research" to hand out the Ig Nobel Prize, for scientific achievements of a more, umm, dubious nature.

These are all real, my friends, nothing is made up. Check out the source listed below.



The Ig Nobel in Nutrition goes to researchers from Italy and the United Kingdom for proving that audio cues affect our perceived taste in food. The pair played sounds of crunchy, fresh potato chips while subjects ate stale chips and the subject believed their chip was fresher and better tasting than it actually was.

The Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology as well as to all the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that, "plants have dignity."

The field of Archeology won an Ig Nobel this year. A pair of archeologists from Brazil won for showing how the course of history - or at least our understanding of it at a dig site - can be changed by the random actions of a live armadillo.

The Ig Nobel in Biology was awarded to three French veterinarians for proving that the fleas on a dog can jump higher than the fleas on a cat.

Three U.S.A. professors and one from Singapore won the Ig Nobel in Medicine for a study that showed a high-priced placebo was more effective than a low-priced placebo. It seems that the more fake medicine costs, the better it is.

I have no idea what their credentials are, but the Ig Nobel in Economics was awarded to three men (in what had to be a biased study) for a paper showing that the tips lap dancers receive are affected by their ovulation cycles.

The Ig Nobel in Physics was awarded to a pair of American mathematicians for proving that anything that can get tangled, will.

The field of chemistry was rewarded with an Ig Nobel for two opposing studies. One was a study originating in the U.S.A. that proves Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide. The other was a study from Taiwan discovering that it is not. And as if to prove the point, the winner from Taiwan sent his daughter to the awards ceremony.

[selected from the Annals of Improbable Research]


At long last, a weekend without much to do. And for those of you following the unfolding saga of my car troubles, the first garage could not figure out what was wrong with it, nor get it to run long enough to even move it. So I had to pay a second towing fee and take it to a more qualified facility. As I write this late on Thursday night, I still haven't heard exactly what's wrong, though I am told it's definitely more than one issue ... possibly as many as three or four.

Let's just say that if my car were a horse, we would have shot it by now. I'll see you on Monday.



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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures." (H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)

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