As I surveyed the annual end of the year summaries I came across the Ig Nobels, an annual ceremony that honors seemingly inane research projects. “
Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobels and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, the science humor magazine that coordinates the prizes said that, “The point [of the awards] is to expose people to things they might not come across.”
Mission accomplished. Here are the real 2005 winners of Ig Noble awards. My Ig Noramus Award winning commentary is italicized.
Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University in England nabbed the 2005 Ig Nobel Peace prize for their work electronically monitoring the brain cells of locusts as the insects watched selected scenes from Star Wars.
“The reason I did the research was curiosity. I had to know,” Rind said in jest. On a serious note, her research studies the way that locusts avoid predators. She hopes the information will lead to new tools that will help cars avoid collisions.
I have begun my own studies by monitoring the brain cells of roaches as they watch selected TV pastors. I hope that by studying when the roaches are drawn to the television I can help gullible viewers avoid bad theology.
The winners of the Ig Nobel Fluid Dynamics prize—hailing from universities in Finland, Germany, and Hungary—won for calculating the pressure that builds up inside a penguin’s bowels before it defecates. But none of the honored penguin researchers were able to attend the ceremony because the U.S. denied them visas.
Who says Homeland Security isn’t doing their jobs?
Yoshihiro Nakamats of Tokyo, who won the Nutrition prize for his meticulous photographing of every meal he has eaten during the past 34 years.
The research value of this would be?????
A large team of international researchers won the Ig Nobel in Biology for their paper in the February 2004 issue of the journal Applied Herpetology. Their research, which catalogued frogs that smell like vanilla and others like flowers, may result in new perfumes or lead to frog-skin-based biopharmaceuticals. The team studied and catalogued different scents emitted by more than 100 species of frogs under stress. Some smelled like cashews, while others smelled like licorice, mint or rotting fish.
My prediction for next year’s hot new men’s scent: Kermit. Or you might hear something like this next Christmas…
“Love your perfume”!
“Oh thank you. It’s Eau de Tree Frog”.
Anonymous Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, who won the Literature prize for writing compelling short stories that are then sent to millions of people around the globe via the Internet, accompanied by pleas for cash.
I have had numerous opportunities to become rich by helping these poor folk. I hope when they do get those lost riches they will invest in a spell check.
And may I suggest that every one double check all of these email stories before you hit the forward button. I probably receive a half dozen inaccurate email forwards a week. A friend of mine sent a tongue in cheek email thanking everyone for warning him about various health scares and internet viruses and on and on.
Yes, I want to thank you so much for looking out for me that I will now
return the favor!
If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 7
minutes, a large pigeon with a wicked case of diarrhea will land on your
head at 5:00 p.m. (PDT) this afternoon. I know this will occur because it
actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex-mother-in-law’s
second husband’s cousin’s beautician.
I am forwarding this message to everyone on my list. I mean…what if it is true? And I really hate pigeons.