Friday, September 25, 2015

The 2015 Ig Nobel Awards

It's been a while since I noted one of my favorite lists. I'm rectifying that omission now.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE — For inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.

Callum Ormonde and Colin Raston [Australia], and Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Gregory Weiss [USA]

PHYSICS PRIZE — For testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).

Patricia Yang [USA and Taiwan], David Hu [USA and Taiwan], and Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo [USA]

LITERATURE PRIZE — For discovering that the word "huh?" (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language — and for not being quite sure why.

Mark Dingemanse [The Netherlands, USA], Francisco Torreira [The Netherlands, Belgium, USA], and Nick J. Enfield [Australia, The Netherlands]

MANAGEMENT PRIZE — For discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences.

Gennaro Bernile [Italy, Singapore, USA], Vineet Bhagwat [USA], and P. Raghavendra Rau [U.K., India, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Japan]

ECONOMICS PRIZE — The Bangkok Metropolitan Police [Thailand], for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes.

MEDICINE PRIZE — For experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).

Awarded jointly to two groups: Hajime Kimata [Japan, China]; and to Jaroslava Durdiaková [Slovakia, USA, U.K.], Peter Celec [Slovakia, Germany], Natália Kamodyová, Tatiana Sedláčková, Gabriela Repiská, Barbara Sviežená, and Gabriel Minárik [Slovakia]

MATHEMATICS PRIZE — For trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.

Elisabeth Oberzaucher [Austria, Germany, U.K.] and Karl Grammer [Austra, Germany]

BIOLOGY PRIZE — For observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.

Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez [Chile], José Iriarte-Díaz [Chile, USA]

DIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE PRIZE — For determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps.

Diallah Karim [CANADA, U.K.], Anthony Harnden [New Zealand, U.K., USA], Nigel D’Souza [Bahrain, Belgium, Dubai, India, South Africa, USA, U.K.], Andrew Huang [China, U.K.], Abdel Kader Allouni [Syria, U.K.], Helen Ashdown [U.K.], Richard J. Stevens [U.K.], and Simon Kreckler [U.K.]

PHYSIOLOGY and ENTOMOLOGY PRIZE — For carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).

Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt [USA, Canada], for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith [USA, U.K., The Netherlands]
FULL LIST with Scientific References can be found at Ig Nobel website,


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