Friday, October 5, 2007

Hamsters on viagra, gay bombs, sword swallowers' sore throat cures win improbable prize


Real research, reported by the Beeb from Harvard Yard.

The Ig Nobel Prizes were created by the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), a science magazine.

The awards, now in their 17th year, are intended to "celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative - and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology".

Marc Abrahams, the editor of AIR, told the BBC News website: "When I became the editor of a science magazine, suddenly I was meeting all kinds of people who had done things that were hard to describe, and for the most part, nobody had ever heard of.

"For some of them, it seemed a great shame that nobody would give them any kind of recognition, and that was what really led to the birth of the Ig Nobels."

Like their more sober counterpart, the Nobel Prizes, the Ig Nobels are split into several categories and all research is real and published.

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 comment:

Dr.Maria12 said...

One of the alternative treatment that is increasingly gaining popularity for erectile dysfunction is using Viagra. Many men have tried it and have seen the benefits of this product. In fact, many of them attested that their sexual life flourished after using it. http://www.viagraforce.com