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Ig Nobel Prizes Awarded

The BBC reports that the ‘Gay bomb’ scoops Ig Nobel award:

Pioneering research into a “gay bomb” that makes enemy troops “sexually irresistible” to each other has scooped one of this year’s Ig Nobel Prizes.

Other winners included work on treating hamster jetlag with impotency drugs, extracting vanilla from cow dung, and the side-effects of sword swallowing.

Complete list below the fold.

2007 Ig Nobel Winners

Medicine – Brain Witcombe, of Gloucestershire Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and Dan Meyer for their probing work on the health consequences of swallowing a sword.

Physics – A US-Chile team who ironed out the problem of how sheets become wrinkled.

Biology – Dr Johanna van Bronswijk of the Netherlands for carrying out a creepy crawly census of all of the mites, insects, spiders, ferns and fungi that share our beds.

Chemistry – Mayu Yamamoto, from Japan, for developing a method to extract vanilla fragrance and flavouring from cow dung.

Linguistics – A University of Barcelona team for showing that rats are unable to tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards.

Literature – Glenda Browne of Blue Mountains, Australia, for her study of the word “the”, and how it can flummox those trying to put things into alphabetical order.

Peace – The US Air Force Wright Laboratory for instigating research and development on a chemical weapon that would provoke widespread homosexual behaviour among enemy troops.

Nutrition – Brian Wansink of Cornell University for investigating the limits of human appetite by feeding volunteers a self-refilling, “bottomless” bowl of soup.

Economics – Kuo Cheng Hsieh of Taiwan for patenting a device that can catch bank robbers by dropping a net over them.

Aviation – A National University of Quilmes, Argentina, team for discovering that impotency drugs can help hamsters to recover from jet lag.


1 hipparchia { 10.05.07 at 12:39 am }

i can’t tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards.

2 jams o donnell { 10.05.07 at 8:53 am }

Hipparchia has a point. If we humans have difficulty in that area, how much harder is it for rats?

Finding that viagara aids jetlag in hamsters is truly groundbreaking work

3 Bryan { 10.05.07 at 12:16 pm }

Actually, if you have heard a reasonable amount of spoken Dutch and spoken Japanese it isn’t that difficult to tell the difference, but rats don’t have the same range of hearing, so it was a fool’s errand unless they used sopranos.

You have to wonder how many “jet-set” hamsters there are in the world.

4 Steve Bates { 10.05.07 at 4:24 pm }

‘Scuse me while I go change my sheets. It’s Biology, not Physics, that concerns me.

Next: Dr. van Bronswijk and that team from Barcelona combine efforts, attempting to speak Dutch and, um, probably Spanish backwards to “mites, insects, spiders, ferns and fungi” (oh my!). My prediction: they do no better than rats on the test.

5 Bryan { 10.05.07 at 7:17 pm }

Before requesting the funding maybe they should sleep on it.