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Thursday, April 13, 2006

175. Ig Nobel Prize Winners

My Favorites From the Ig Nobel Prize Winners
http://www.improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html

Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide.

Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the Five-Second Rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on the floor.

Jack Harvey, et al, for their irresistible report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces."

Eleanor Maguire, et al, for presenting evidence that the brains of London taxi drivers are more highly developed than those of their fellow citizens.

Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University, for his chemical investigation of a bronze statue, in the city of Kanazawa, that fails to attract pigeons.

John Trinkaus, of the Zicklin School of Business, New York City, for meticulously collecting data and publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him
(such as: What percentage of young people wear baseball caps with the peak facing to the rear rather than to the front; What percentage of pedestrians wear sport shoes that are white rather than some other color; What percentage of swimmers swim laps in the shallow end of a pool rather than the deep end; What percentage of automobile drivers almost, but not completely, come to a stop at one particular stop-sign; What percentage of commuters carry attaché cases; What percentage of shoppers exceed the number of items permitted in a supermarket's express checkout lane; and What percentage of students dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts.)

Stefano Ghirlanda, et al, for their inevitable report "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans."

Karl Kruszelnicki of The University of Sydney, for performing a comprehensive survey of human belly button lint -- who gets it, when, what color, and how much.

K.P. Sreekumar and the late G. Nirmalan of Kerala Agricultural University, India, for their analytical report "Estimation of the Total Surface Area in Indian Elephants."

David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts for his partial solution to the question of why shower curtains billow inwards.

Buck Weimer of Pueblo, Colorado for inventing Under-Ease, airtight underwear with a replaceable charcoal filter that removes bad-smelling gases before they escape.

David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kreuger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments."

Donatella Marazziti, et al, for their discovery that, biochemically, romantic love may be indistinguishable from having severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, for bringing efficiency and steady growth to the mass-marriage industry, with, according to his reports, a 36-couple wedding in 1960, a 430-couple wedding in 1968, an 1800-couple wedding in 1975, a 6000-couple wedding in 1982, a 30,000-couple wedding in 1992, a 360,000-couple wedding in 1995, and a 36,000,000-couple wedding in 1997.

The British Royal Navy, for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout "Bang!"

The Kansas State Board of Education and the Colorado State Board of Education, for mandating that children should not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution any more than they believe in Newton's theory of gravitation, Faraday's and Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism, or Pasteur's theory that germs cause disease.

Ellen Kleist of Nuuk, Greenland and Harald Moi of Oslo, Norway,
for their cautionary medical report "Transmission of Gonorrhea
Through an Inflatable Doll."

Presented jointly to Jim Knowlton, modern Renaissance man, for his
classic anatomy poster "Penises of the Animal Kingdom," and to the
U.S. National Endowment for the Arts for encouraging Mr. Knowlton
to extend his work in the form of a pop-up book.

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