12 October 2010

Ig Nobels

You've heard about the Nobel prizes, but what about the Ig Nobels?
Here are some of the recent awards from the ceremony at Harvard University:

The Ig Nobel peace prize was awarded to research from Keele University in the U.K. that confirmed that swearing can lessen pain.
"Swearing increased pain tolerance, increased heart rate, and decreased perceived pain compared with not swearing," the abstract says. "However, swearing did not increase pain tolerance in males with a tendency to catastrophise."

An award that is sure to raise eyebrows is the biology prize that went to researchers at the University of Bristol in the U.K., who found that fellatio in fruit bats prolongs intercourse. There's even a YouTube video that is more eerie than erotic.

In research that could boost the sales of socks in New England, a study out of the University of Otago in New Zealand found that wearing socks over shoes results in far fewer slips and falls on icy footpaths. It won the physics prize.

Other researchers are concerned with protecting whale populations by looking for novel ways to check for microorganisms in the ocean-dwelling mammals. The engineering prize went to researchers at the Zoological Society of London and the Instituto Politecnico Nacional in Baja, Mexico, for devising a method to collect whale snot using a remote-control helicopter.

Meanwhile, the chemistry prize went to researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Hawaii, as well as the British Petroleum company for "disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix."

And finally, a project at the University of Catania in Italy was awarded the management prize for demonstrating mathematically that organizations can improve efficiency by promoting people randomly.

I was going to make a comment, but really, most of these speak for themselves :)
You can read about some of the other here.

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