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Ig Noble Awards for weird science.

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posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 10:01 PM
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The Ig Noble awards celebrated their 20th anniversary this year for celebrating the science that makes us laugh and then makes us think.


The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

Every year, in a gala ceremony in Harvard's Sanders Theatre, 1200 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the winners step forward to accept their Prizes. These are physically handed out by genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates.

The Ig Nobel Prizes are organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Student, the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and the Harvard Computer Society.

Improbable.com

Here's a video of their 20th annual awards presentation:



The award winners this year were:


ENGINEERING PRIZE: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.
"A Novel Non-Invasive Tool for Disease Surveillance of Free-Ranging Whales and Its Relevance to Conservation Programs"

MEDICINE PRIZE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.
"Rollercoaster Asthma: When Positive Emotional Stress Interferes with Dyspnea Perception"

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PRIZE: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker of the UK, for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.
"Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design"

PHYSICS PRIZE: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.
"Preventing Winter Falls: A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Novel Intervention"

PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.
"Swearing as a Response to Pain"

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists.
"Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men"

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.
"Review of Deep Oil Spill Modeling Activity Supported by the Deep Spill JIP and Offshore Operator’s Committee. Final Report"

MANAGEMENT PRIZE: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.
“The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study”

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.
"Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time"

List of all past Ig Nobel prize winners


I wonder how many of those were funded with government grants?



edit on 11/29/10 by FortAnthem because: Stand still damn you!
_____________________




posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 10:12 PM
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There are only three US recipients? Is that good or bad?
Obviously the last study was funded, conceived, tested, peer-reviewed, affirmed, and endorsed by men.
Just sayin'.



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 10:41 PM
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"ECONOMICS PRIZE: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof."

...or for a portion thereof. Heh, good one.

edit on 29-11-2010 by Crimelab because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 11:10 PM
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Oh, God, the LOLZ were had! A selection of my favorites:

2009 Peace Prize

Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland

For determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

(REFERENCE: "Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Sturdier and Does Their Fracture-Threshold Suffice to Break the Human Skull?" Stephan A. Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael J. Thali and Beat P. Kneubuehl, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 16, no. 3, April 2009, pp. 138-42. DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2008.07.013.)

2009 Physics Prize

Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA.

For analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over.

(REFERENCE: "Fetal Load and the Evolution of Lumbar Lordosis in Bipedal Hominins," Katherine K. Whitcome, Liza J. Shapiro & Daniel E. Lieberman, Nature, vol. 450, 1075-1078 (December 13, 2007). DOI:10.1038/nature06342.)

2007 Peace Prize

PEACE: The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, USA

For instigating research & development on a chemical weapon -- the so-called "gay bomb" -- that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other.

(REFERENCE: "Harassing, Annoying, and 'Bad Guy' Identifying Chemicals," Wright Laboratory, WL/FIVR, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, June 1, 1994.)

2006 Ornithology Prize

Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles.

For exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.

(REFERENCE: "Cure for a Headache," Ivan R Schwab, British Journal of Ophthalmology, vol. 86, 2002, p. 843.
REFERENCE: "Woodpeckersand Head Injury," Philip R.A. May, JoaquinM. Fuster, Paul Newman and Ada Hirschman, Lancet, vol. 307, no. 7957, February28, 1976, pp. 454-5.
REFERENCE: "Woodpeckersand Head Injury," Philip R.A. May, JoaquinM. Fuster, Paul Newman and Ada Hirschman, Lancet, vol. 307, no. 7973, June 19,1976, pp. 1347-8.)

2005 Economics Prize

Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.

2003 Physics Prize

Jack Harvey, John Culvenor, Warren Payne, Steve Cowley, Michael Lawrance, David Stuart, and Robyn Williams of Australia.

For their irresistible report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces."
[PUBLISHED IN: Applied Ergonomics, vol. 33, no. 6, November 2002, pp. 523-31.]



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Arrowmancer
2006 Ornithology Prize

Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles.

For exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
Yeah that's a darn good question, I can see why they would research that one.



Originally posted by FortAnthem

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.
"Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time"


The paper on bat fellatio is the one that surprised me, I had no idea bats did that, I suspected it was unique to primates, but apparently not.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:35 PM
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They should've given the peace prize to President Obama. It would have shown what a joke the real Nobel peace prize has become. Of course, those Harvard boys wouldn't have the stones to pull off something as un-PC as that.


Besides, I doubt he would've shown up to collect his prize at the awards ceremony. Unless there was some money involved...



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by Arrowmancer

2009 Physics Prize

Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA.

For analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over.

(REFERENCE: "Fetal Load and the Evolution of Lumbar Lordosis in Bipedal Hominins," Katherine K. Whitcome, Liza J. Shapiro & Daniel E. Lieberman, Nature, vol. 450, 1075-1078 (December 13, 2007). DOI:10.1038/nature06342.)

Even a child knows Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
2006 Ornithology Prize

Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles.

For exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.

(REFERENCE: "Cure for a Headache," Ivan R Schwab, British Journal of Ophthalmology, vol. 86, 2002, p. 843.
REFERENCE: "Woodpeckersand Head Injury," Philip R.A. May, JoaquinM. Fuster, Paul Newman and Ada Hirschman, Lancet, vol. 307, no. 7957, February28, 1976, pp. 454-5.
REFERENCE: "Woodpeckersand Head Injury," Philip R.A. May, JoaquinM. Fuster, Paul Newman and Ada Hirschman, Lancet, vol. 307, no. 7973, June 19,1976, pp. 1347-8.)

This is probably a continuation of study on the shock absorbent qualities of a woodpecker's skull, useful for designing better shock-absorbing helmets. I remember reading that one myself, several years ago. So it sounds funny, but might actually be useful.
I get migraines daily because of a mid-velocity rear-end collision. If they can figure out how woodpeckers deal with it, maybe they can help me!



posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by stars15k
This is probably a continuation of study on the shock absorbent qualities of a woodpecker's skull, useful for designing better shock-absorbing helmets. I remember reading that one myself, several years ago. So it sounds funny, but might actually be useful.
I get migraines daily because of a mid-velocity rear-end collision. If they can figure out how woodpeckers deal with it, maybe they can help me!


I would bet that the idea for the woodpecker one came from a question asked by a five year old. Kids ask the craziest questions and sometimes scientists decide its about time that someone figured out the answers.


That's the great thing about these awards, they show these scientific studies that, at first glance, sound funny but, when you dig deeper, many of them have useful results.


I'm still trying to figure out how that bat fellatio study will change the course of mankind though...



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