The Ig Nobel prizes

Tuesday, 17 September 2013
As every year, the Ig Noble prizes have been awarded. For those who don't know what the Ig Nobel prizes are, I will explain a little bit: they are awarded to real research studies that, somehow, end up almost like a joke, and are amusing. As they say, improbable research is research that makes people laugh and then think.

This year, the winners are

MEDICINE PRIZE: Masateru Uchiyama et al., for assessing the effect of listening to opera, on heart transplant patients who are mice.

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE: Laurent Bègue et al. for confirming, by experiment, that people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive. 

JOINT PRIZE IN BIOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY: Marie Dacke et al., for discovering that when dung beetles get lost, they can navigate their way home by looking at the Milky Way. 

SAFETY ENGINEERING PRIZE: The late Gustano Pizzo [USA], for inventing an electro-mechanical system to trap airplane hijackers — the system drops a hijacker through trap doors, seals him into a package, then drops the encapsulated hijacker through the airplane's specially-installed bomb bay doors, whence he parachutes to earth, where police, having been alerted by radio, await his arrival. 

PHYSICS PRIZE: Alberto Minetti et al., for discovering that some people would be physically capable of running across the surface of a pond — if those people and that pond were on the moon. 

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Shinsuke Imai et al., for discovering that the biochemical process by which onions make people cry is even more complicated than scientists previously realized. 

ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE: Brian Crandall and Peter Stahl, for parboiling a dead shrew, and then swallowing the shrew without chewing, and then carefully examining everything excreted during subsequent days — all so they could see which bones would dissolve inside the human digestive system, and which bones would not. 

PEACE PRIZE: Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, for making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding. 

 PROBABILITY PRIZE: Bert Tolkamp et al., for making two related discoveries: First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and Second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again. 

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Kasian Bhanganada, et al., for the medical techniques described in their report "Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam" — techniques which they recommend, except in cases where the amputated penis had been partially eaten by a duck. [THAILAND] . 

You can see the whole ceremony at: 

I would love to be awarded, but I think I'm not good enough :(

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