Hollywood isn’t the only town to recognize greatness. Last Thursday night the 16th annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held at Harvard. The Ig Nobel Prize celebrates out-of-the-ordinary research that first make people laugh and then think. Mostly they’re thinking “who the hell signed off on these grants??”
Anyway, here are a few of this year’s winners along with my heartiest congratulations.
ORNITHOLOGY: Ivan R. Schwab and the late Philip R.A. May for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
PHYSICS: Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch for their insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces.
PEACE: Howard Stapleton for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant -- a device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but not to their teachers.
ACOUSTICS: D. Lynn Halpern, Randolph Blake, and James Hillenbrand for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.
MATHEMATICS: Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes for calculating the number of photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed
LITERATURE: Daniel Oppenheimer for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly."
And my personal favorite:
MEDICINE: Francis M. Fesmire for his medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage”.
Friday, October 13, 2006
By Ken Levine at 1:12 AM