Friday, September 24, 2010

2009 Ig Nobels

We're coming up on the 2010 Ig Nobel Awards. These are the flip side of the very serious Nobel Prize Awards. These are inventions, theories, discoveries, and studies that "make you laugh, then make you think."

Which reminds me that I don't believe I ever posted the winners from 2009.

Let me correct that, post-haste. And next Friday I'll write up a few of this year's winners.



The Ig Nobel for Veterinary Medicine goes to Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson from Newcastle University for showing that cows who have names give more milk than anonymous bovine.

The Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to five scientists from the University of Bern, in Switzerland, for determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or an empty one. The answer? They both have the capacity to crack your cranium.

The Ig Nobel in Medicine was given to Donald Unger of California for investigating if cracking your knuckles causes arthritis in your fingers. His method? Every day for more than 60 years, he cracked the knuckles on his left hand ... but not his right hand.

The Ig Nobel for Physics goes to Katherine Whitman, Daniel Lieberman, and Liza Shapiro of three separate American universities for analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over.

The Public Health Ig Nobel went to Elena Bodnar, Raphael Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois for inventing a bra that - in an emergency - can be easily converted into two protective face masks. And you thought I was kidding.

[selected from The Annals of Improbable Research; the complete list can be found here]


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