It's IgNobel time again!

The 19th IgNobel Awards were presented this week (Thursday 1st):

  • VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.
  • 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.
(I don't know their conclusions, their paper isn't available for free - anybody care to test for us?)

  • ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.
  • CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.
(Seriously, they did!)

  • MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60) years.
  • 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.
(Possibly "because they have spines"?)

  • LITERATURE PRIZE: Ireland's police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in Polish means "Driving License".
(I remember this story breaking - the confusion was immense.)

  • PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.
(How many teens are going to use difficulty breathing as an excuse to get into their girlfriend's underwear?)

  • MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers — from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).
  • BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.
(You've got to ask - where did they get the idea to try that?)

References (and past award winners) available at http://improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2009

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Bartboy7 years ago
Can't....Resist.....Laughing..... (Public Health Prize)
fwjs28 Bartboy7 years ago
indeed...
Goodhart7 years ago
# VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.

Probably has to do with the named ones being treated more like family and the nurturing factor ;-)

Interesting list....
# 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.

Really, is it so hard to determine that being hit with a greater mass is going to do more damage (assuming the speed of each bottle is fairly near the same), hadn't they heard of Einstein ?

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Aptiga, and Victor M. Castao of Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mexico, for creating diamonds from liquid specifically from tequila.

I suppose anything with a sufficient about of carbon (organic) material in it would suffice....

* 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.

(Possibly "because they have spines"?)

Well, I think the spine is a wee bit above the center of gravity as far as where the fetus resides, but then, maybe because said fetus is located at the center of gravity? ;-)

Woohoo!
lemonie7 years ago
Thank you. L
Kiteman (author)  lemonie7 years ago
You're welcome...